Vikings the class of Douglas Invitational
After tasting state and regional success last year, the South Tahoe High girls’ cross country team never slowed down in the offseason, competing in track and field and training on trails through the spring and summer.
The Vikings ran like it on Friday in their season opener in the Douglas Invitational at Lampe Park in Gardnerville. Three STHS girls won their 2.5-mile class races and two others finished runner-up in a supreme effort.
“Reno didn’t run, so it’s hard to measure where we are right now,” said STHS coach Dan Wilvers. “It wasn’t a fresh race for us and we won’t have one until Stanford.”
Kate Lambdin ran the Vikings’ best time – 15 minutes, 25 seconds – to win the sophomore class race. Like Lambdin, Kylie Noll led wire to wire to claim first in the freshman race in 15:27. Noll also was better than all but three boys in her race.
STHS went 1-2 in the junior race as Kimmy Arroues and Kelsey McClurg dueled to the halfway point, when McClurg was overcome by an asthma attack. Arroues won in 15:34, while McClurg pressed on to finish second in 16:38.
“Kelsey is a beast,” Wilvers said. “For a kid to have an asthma attack and still finish a race, that’s incredible.”
Senior Megan Hillyard nearly gave the Vikings a fourth class title as she finished runner-up to a Galena runner. They ran 15:31 and 15:13, respectively.
The Vikings showed great depth in the sophomore division as Jordan Dalton was fifth in 16:39 and Courtney Cichowicz seventh in 16:51.
STHS’s Mary Kurek was 13th in the junior division, while Heather Newman, returning from injury, placed 13th in the senior race.
Last year’s No. 17 finisher at the Nike Team Nationals and NTN’s current No. 2 team in the Southwest Division will be in action next at the conference race Sept. 14 at Bishop Manogue in Reno.
Reno opted to run in Granite Bay on Saturday and won the sweepstakes division.
“They are gonna be tough,” Wilvers said, noting that the Huskies’ coaches watched the Vikings compete on Friday.
Patrick Reilly led the STHS boys by winning the sophomore class race in 14:01.
“P.J. did a really good job … he kept a real stady pace,” said STHS boys’ coach Dominique Westlake.
Jack Williams had the Vikings’ next-best placing, taking sixth in the senior race at 14:52.
Joey Summerhill also finished in the top 10 in the sophomore race, placing seventh in 14:34. Teammates Chris Gamage and Matt Arroues were 17th (15:33) and 20th (16:02), respectively.
Rand Norberg and Chris Heng made their high school debuts, placing 12th (16:53) and 13th (17:08) in the freshman division.
Junior Kevin Charon was 23rd in 16:21. Kyle Conroy, one of the Vikings’ top runners, didn’t run because of a lower leg injury.
Westlake emphasized tempo for his boys’ first meet.
“We wanted the kids working on controlling their race, running the first part of the race conistently so they could run stronger at the end of the race,” he said.