Vikings run by Tigers, ‘Stangs
STATELINE – Prior to the season, South Tahoe High set a team goal of making the boys’ state cross country meet. On Wednesday afternoon on a demanding course at Kingsbury Middle School, the Vikings learned that they are progressing toward that goal after beating both Douglas and Damonte Ranch in a Sierra Division triangular meet.
South Tahoe’s depth was the difference as the Vikings placed seven runners in the top 15. The Vikings defeated Douglas 26-30 and Damonte Ranch 21-34.
Senior Patrick Reilly led the Vikings, placing runner-up on the 5K course in 19 minutes, 57 seconds. Reilly led the race until taking a spill on a downhill stretch that was dotted with rabbit holes.
“It was nice to get back out there in the lead,” said Reilly, who is trying to overcome a summer without as many miles under him. “I haven’t fallen since my sophomore year. It was nice no one saw it.”
Reilly looked more like a beaten up football player following the race, with an ice pack on his right knee and another pack taped to his right ankle. The senior has been coping with knee tendinitis and his latest injury was a turned ankle.
Damonte Ranch’s Kyle Brush took advantage of Reilly’s spill to finish first in 19:42.
Senior Chris Gamage, the Vikings’ top runner through the first two races, placed fifth in 20:26. Viking sophomores Erich Baumann (21:04) and Jordan Yingling (21:06) and senior Joe Young (21:26) sealed the win over Douglas by finishing, eighth, ninth and 11th, respectively.
“I like how when one of our guys falls back, there will be another guy to step up and take his place. It’s nice to have that teamwork; that’s been missing the last two years,” Reilly said.
STHS coach Dominique Westlake agreed. “The sophomores really stepped it up,” he said. “Those guys make us even stronger.”
Senior Matt Arroues and freshman Brady Hiob came in 13th and 15th places, respectively. Whittell was led by senior David King’s sixth-place performance. His time was 20:46. The Warriors Allen McLeod (23:03) and freshman John Robinson (23:23) also made the top 20 at 17th and 20th, respectively.
Teams need to accumulate wins in the Sierra Division triangular meets in order to qualify for regionals. Douglas is one of the teams the Vikings will have to beat to qualify for state.
“We ran with very heavy legs today,” Westlake said. “That we can still beat Douglas running with tired legs, that’s a real good indicator that when we run with fresh legs we will run even faster.”
Young says the Vikings’ success on Wednesday is no secret.”Everyone on the team is a hard worker and we’re only going to get better,” Young said.
There was a little drama in the girls’ race than expected as sophomore Kelsey Smith won the 5K in 21:23 but only by nine seconds. The Vikings were reportedly holding back a bit for Saturday’s big meet in Irvine.
Douglas was able to prevent the Vikings from sending a pack of runners across the finish line together. South Tahoe senior Kate Lambdin was third in 21:32, freshman T.J. Zaccor fifth in 24:34, freshman Cheldon Rabbetts sixth in 25:41 and freshman Karly Arroues eighth in 26:25.
The Vikings bested Douglas 23-32, and picked up a forfeit win over Damonte Ranch, which was unable to field a complete team.
For Smith, the race was a homecoming as she raced for Kingsbury from sixth through eighth grades.
“It was good to have some familiarity,” she said. “It was really nice because I know the trails and everything.”
Lambdin last ran the course in middle school but didn’t remember it being so draining.
“I don’t remember all the hills,” she said. “We’ve done Angora, so I didn’t think this was going to be that bad, but I was dying out there.”
For Whittell, Shannon Marshall was 11th in 27:06, Natalie Daly 22nd in 29:39 and Miranda Flores 24th in 29:57.
Next up for the STHS girls is the Woodbridge Invitational on Saturday in Irvine.
“We are really motivated,” Smith said. “That is my favorite race, and all of the other girls enjoy it, too.”
SIERRA DIVISION XC MEET
At Kingsbury Middle School
1. Kyle Brush, Damonte Ranch, 19 minutes, 42 seconds; 2. Patrick Reilly, ST, 19;57; 3. Derrik Jenkins, Douglas, 20:10; 4. Seth White, Douglas, 20:16; 5. Chris Gamage, ST, 20:26; 6. David King, Whittell, 20:46; 7. David Williams, Douglas, 20:56; 8. Erich Baumann, ST, 21:04; 9. Jordan Yingling, ST, 21:06; 10. David Howard, Damonte, 21:04.
1. Kelsey Smith, ST, 21:23, 2. Whitney Lindsey, Damonte, 21:32; 3. Kate Lambdin, ST, 23:22; 4. Taylor Biaggi, Douglas, 24:06; 5. T.J. Zaccor, ST, 24:34; 6. Cheldon Rabbetts, ST, 25:41; 7. Cassie Hood, Douglas, 25:53; 8. Karly Arroues, ST, 26:25; 9. Lauren Matthews, Damonte, 26:35; 10. Sarah Allen, Douglas, 26:55.