Vikings relay coach first home win
How special is the South Tahoe High boys cross country team? Consider for a moment that Dominique Westlake’s six previous squads never won their annnal Northern Nevada 4A League relay meet.
That all changed on Friday as the Vikings edged league power Reno – 52 minutes, 56 seconds to the Huskies’ 53:37 – to win on their home course at South Tahoe High.
“Right now, our top four guys – Manuel Lomeli, Cory Martin, Grant Carter and Jeff Cosmi – can run with any four guys in the league. It was just a matter of how fast each individual ran,” Westlake said.
Unlike regular meets, where five runners’ times count toward a team score, the relays’ scored four individuals per squad.
Martin led South Tahoe by finishing the 2.3-mile race in 12:59. He was closely followed by Lomeli at 13:00, then Cosmi and Carter at 13:22 and 13:35, respectively.
The Vikings’ other top times were: Chris Cosmi, 14:08; Sean Pawling, 14:22; Jeff Koeck, 14:37; Matt Pocock, 14:46; Conor Robinson, 15:00; Steven Moore, 15:09; and Aston Wilcox, 15:16.
Westlake believes his Vikings would finish third if zone were held today, but says any improvement will depend on the development of his younger runners.
“We’re trying to get someone to step up and become the fifth man. We need someone to be 10 seconds behind the fourth man,” Westlake said.
Freshman Chris Cosmi could become that runner, even though he has yet to run a varsity race.
“He will start running varsity for the rest of the year, and the top seven guys, no matter their age level, are going to run varsity,” Westlake said.
Other Viking times were: Bryan Christiansen, 15:28; Ryan Gleason, 15:32; Robert Gonzalez, 15:44; Ryan Nibouar, 15:52; Corey Buckley, 16:17; Justin Good, 16:16; Luis Gomez, 17:02; Freddie Ferrer, 17:02; J.P. Howell, 17:11; and Kyle Martinez, 19:15. Many of these runners contributed to South Tahoe’s tough 1-second loss to Reno in the eight-team boys junior varsity division.
Galena (59:41) edged Carson (1:00.03) to capture the coed division title, while South Tahoe’s teams were 11th and 12th.
The Vikings’ girls varsity placed seventh out of 10 teams, as a little over a minute separated the fourth- through seventh-place squads. First-place Reno was 30 seconds better than McQueen.
Marin St. Michel, Lisa Orr, Norma Olivas and Cecilia Cuevas formed the varsity unit, which finished their home course in a combined time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 50 seconds. Sixth-place Douglas finished 1 second ahead of the Vikings.
The varsity unit should solidify this week as a talented crop of freshmen runners will join the varsity ranks. Caitlin Robinson, Erica Zampardo, Katie Sheehan and Crystal Plotner helped the Viking JV to a convincing title. The Vikings ran away from three other teams to win by 7 minutes, 17 seconds with their combined time of 1:11.50, which was actually identical to the varsity squad’s effort.
“The girls ran a great race due to the fact that we were on our home course and were gearing up for this race,” Viking coach Kathy Bluethman said. “I look forward to this race every year. There was lot of spirit and camaraderie.”
The Vikings are scheduled to compete with Elko, Hug and Reno on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Hug High in Reno.
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