Vikings tune up for Stanford
Cross country results can definitely be deceiving.
Take the South Tahoe High boys team as an example. Competing in the first of two home meets on Wednesday, the Vikings’ results didn’t resemble a team that trains at high altitude.
Unless you knew better, you would have assumed the Vikings let down their classmates and family. It looked like the Vikings were taking some time off as not one of their runners finished in the top 10.
The Vikings, however, were up to some team bonding and strengthening during the four-team Northern 4A League meet.
Starting with freshman Rand Norberg in 14th place (14:36), the Vikings filled 11 of the next 12 places and all were within 27 seconds of one another.
The reason? The pack finish was orchestrated. Coach Dominique Westlake didn’t want to push his team only three days before one of the biggest races of the season – the Stanford Invitational.
The race also gave Westlake the unique opportunity to allow his younger competitors to run alongside his more experienced runners.
“It was really easy,” said STHS sophomore Joey Summerhill. “We decided to let the freshmen go ahead of us and push them the whole way through.”
Consequently, the Vikings’ top three runners – Summerhill, Patrick Reilly and Jack Williams – finished 16th, 17th and 20th, respectively, sacrificing predictable top-5 performances.
“They are team runners,” Westlake said. “They are just gonna do what they’re supposed to do.
“It’s probably a little hard because their parents are here and it’s their home course, but we told them what was going on earlier in the week. Next week, they’ll get after it at the relays. We have to keep perspective of the bigger picture down the road as far as the big meets and the regionals.”
Hug’s Adrian Garcia posted a winning 2-mile time of 11:58.
In the girls’ race, the Nike Team Nationals Southwest Region’s third-rated team wasn’t hampered with two key runners out of the lineup.
Kelsey McClurg, Kimmy Arroues and Kyle Noll of STHS finished in a three-way tie for first in 14:15. The Vikings nearly scored a perfect 15 as Jordan Dalton came in fifth (14:51) and Courtney Cichowicz placed sixth (14:52).
“We’ve been working harder and we have a couple of new, good runners,” Arroues said.
McClurg has been battling an asthmatic condition in races leading up to the home meet, trying to come to grips with times and places that don’t meet her history.
“It’s really hard racing and finishing, knowing that you can do better and you’ve done it,” McClurg said
The Vikings competed without senior Megan Hillyard and sophomore Kate Lambden. Both runners were healing minor injuries so they could compete at Stanford.
“We had to compete, so we had to win … and give it an honest effort,” said STHS coach Dan Wilvers. “But Saturday is big.”
Wilvers was hoping that Stanford Invitational race officials would reconsider moving the Vikings from Division III to the Division I seeded race. Wilvers recently learned that the smaller schools can ask to compete against the larger schools.
“We feel like the ugly stepchild or something,” Wilvers said. “I can’t believe they aren’t begging to take a Nike Team National team and get them in the best race of the day. But they are saying they have too many teams in there already.”
The Vikings emerged as one of the top teams on the West Coast at the Stanford Invitational last year, winning Division III and finishing second overall based on individual times.
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend to see how we do,” McClurg said. “I think our team is stronger or just as strong.”
Kyle Conroy, who has been sidelined with a foot injury, is expected to compete in his first meet of the season for the STHS boys at Stanford.
“We may not do as well as last year because we’re missing four seniors, but we’re still a really good team – a tight pack, so it’s gonna be hard to break us,” Reilly said.
South Tahoe’s final home meet is the South Tahoe Optimist Retro Relays on Sept. 30.
NORTHERN 4A CROSS COUNTRY MEET
At South Tahoe High
1. South Tahoe 17, 2. McQueen 50, 3. Hug 74, 4. Fallon (incomplete).
Individual top 25 results
1. (three-way tie) Kelsey McClurg, ST, 14:15; 1. Kimmy Arroues, ST, 14:15; 1. Kylie Noll, ST, 14:15; 4. Brittney Raich, M, 14:28; 5. Jordan Dalton, ST, 14:51; 6. Courtney Cichowicz, ST, 14:52; 7. Autumn Wassmuth, F, 14:53; 8. Brittany Johnson, M, 15:14; 9. Maria Moreno, Hug, 15:20; 10. Lacey Payne, ST, 15:53.
11. Heather Newman, ST, 16:23; 12. Jazmine Guzman, H, 16:35; 13. Rachel Reid, M, 16:36; 14. Jovanna Castlagnolo, M, 16:37; 15. Lauren Hinkle, M, 16:39; 16. Alyssa Stephens, F, 16:58; 17. Cherise Pritt, H, 17:07; 18. Remy Glock, M, 17:09; 19. Christine Oar, M, 17:11; 20. Marcella Ramirez, H, 17:45.
Other South Tahoe results
22. Samantha Brogna 18:26; 23. Camilla Johansen 19:10.
1. McQueen 24, 2. Hug 58, 3. South Tahoe 60, 4. Fallon (incomplete)
Individual top 25 results
1. Adrian Garcia, H, 11:50; 2. Matt Hausauer, M, 12:20; 3. Cory Macias, H, 12:36; 4. Trevor Hartzell, M, 12:42, 5. Allen Crist, M, 12:46; 6. Alex Dorszynski, M, 12:54; 7. Bruce Garro, M, 13:40; 8. Austin Bachman, M, 13:40; 9. Pancho Abeleion, M, 13:52; 10. Oscar Teal, M, 13:58.
11. Justin Speed, F, 14:03; 12. Jeff Bigham, M, 14:12; 13. Brogan O’Toole, F, 14:17; 14. Rand Norberg, ST, 14:36; 15. Greg Koeck, ST, 14:38; 16. Joey Summerhill, ST, 14:38; 17. P.J. Reilly, ST, 14:39; 18. Joe Young, ST, 14:45; 19. Kevin Charon, ST, 14:48; 20. Jack Williams, ST, 14:48.
Other South Tahoe results
21. Matt Arroues 14:48; 22. Chris Heng 14:48; 24. Chris Gamage 14:51; 25. Luis Cervantes 15:03; 28. William Ross 15:59.