Vikings, Warriors attempt to run down state berths
A season-long goal of qualifying for state will be there for the taking today for the Whittell and South Tahoe high school cross country teams.
The STHS girls and Whittell boys are favored to stretch their seasons a week, and the Viking boys are a threat to land the final state berth as well.
Whittell will compete with 12 other schools for three state qualifying spots in Carlin. The meet begins at 3 p.m.
Coach Lindsay Wines is excited about her boys’ team’s chances after finishing runner-up to the 3A’s Dayton in their most-recent meet at ROP.
“If we run like this on Thursday, we could be qualifying for state,” Wines said.
Senior David King has been the team’s leader, but underclassmen Adam Kingman, Adam Laub, John Robinson, Allen McLeod and Chris Crawford have continued to develop.
In Reno, meanwhile, the South Tahoe girls will try to win their first regional title under Dan Wilvers.
“I am well pleased with the work these young ladies have done,” Wilvers said. “They’ve been training since June 1 five-six days a week, and with only three returners and nine freshman, they have done everything I could have asked of them.
“Now we’ll wait to see if their hearts are ready to be champs like the hard workers they’ve been these past five months.”
Wilvers has preferred to downplay the regionals in past years so that his runners could be extra sharp for the state meet. It has paid off as STHS won state titles in 2004-05 and nearly a third last year when Reno edged out the Vikings in a tiebreaker.
“Regionals is a very tricky situation,” Wilvers said. “The fact of the matter resides in how much you can draw the proverbial net in back-to-back meets. Of course I want them to race hard, but I also know that if they don’t, they’ll be motivated more at state.”
South Tahoe has already beaten chief rivals Reno and Carson in a double dual meet earlier this month. The three teams were only separated by 12 points in that meet, and the Senators raced without top runner Yvonne Hollett.
Hence, it should be quite a battle for the regional trophy.
The best race of the day, however, might be between the STHS boys and Manogue Miners for fourth place. Galena, Reno and Carson are favored to grab the top three spots to state, leaving one remaining slot to compete the following week in Reno.
The two teams met during the Reed Invitational and at North Valleys, with the Miners winning the latest dual by a single point. Obviously, Westlake should have no trouble motivating his runners today.
“Our big competition is Manogue for fourth place. That is what we’re shooting for,” said Viking coach Dominique Westlake.
The Viking boys, who won their only Nevada championship in 1999, last qualified for state in 2004.
To prepare his Vikings for their biggest meet of the season, Westlake took his team to the Mount Sac Invitational last Friday in Los Angeles. The team spent four days together, including some down time at Disneyland.
“They hadn’t had much big meet experience the couple of years. It gave the kids a chance to run fast and compete in a big race going into regionals,” Westlake said.
Today’s 4A regional meet begins at 3:20 p.m. with the girls’ race; the boys are at the starting line at 5 p.m.