Warrior runners take second
Running together like a pack of wolves, the host Whittell Warrior cross country team finished an impressive second at the Warrior Warpath meet Friday in Zephyr Cove.
“This meet went just about as good as expected,” Warrior coach Brian Rippet said. “I was really impressed with the way we ran.”
Senior Ben Johnson led the way for the Warriors with a seventh overall finish on the 5-kilometer course. Teammates Chad Gerken and Brian Beebe were close behind, finishing eighth and ninth, respectively.
“I expected to have two guys up in the top,” Rippet said. “But Brian is really coming on so it looks like it is going to be a pack of three instead of two.”
The strategy to run as a group paid off for the Warriors as they finished nearly three minutes ahead (1:46:45) of third-place Douglas (1:49:41).
“The three of them run really well together,” Rippet said. “And if your teammate is near you, they’ll support you when the going gets tough. It’s a lot easier to be tougher when your running with your team.”
Division 4A McMinnville, who made the trip from Oregon, placed first with an overall time of 1:41:29.
While the Warrior runners were satisfied with second place, they feel their potential is far from being reached.
“We all felt like we could’ve ran a little harder,” Beebe said. “We were all crossing the line knowing we have a lot left.”
Johnson attributes their early success to hard work.
“The determination of the team is really helping us,” he said. “Everyone wants it and they’re so motivated at practice and you can’t beat that. I’m so happy to be apart of this.”
On the girls side, Christina Arana ran to an impressive 10th-place finish overall. Her coach was elated by the result.
“She is really tough,” Rippet said. “She just ignores pain. I’m expecting great things from her.”
The Warriors look for continued success this Friday when they compete in the Mountain Motivational hosted by North Tahoe.
STHS girls Xcountry
After falling down twice, South Tahoe cross country star Amber Ramos showed her gritty determination with a top-five overall finish at the Reed Invitational Friday.
After clearing the first water jump and leading the race at mile one, Ramos took a tumble on the course, but still managed to hold on to second place. But after she cleared the tricky water steeple again, she took another fall and ripped up her knees pretty good.
Showing the resilience of a prize fighter, Ramos once again bounced back up and managed to finish with the fourth-best time (21:32) overall.
“My main concern is that Amber remains healthy,” Viking coach Kathy Bluethman said. “She’s a tough girl that doesn’t mind a boo boo, I just hope nothing got crunched.”
While Reno High’s Collier Lawerence won the event with an overall time of 20:35, many of the Viking runners finished with respectable times.
Marin St. Michel placed 18th overall with a time of 23:40 and first-time varsity runner Aricela Ramos placed 29th with a time of 25:16.
“Aricela is training just right and developing into a great runner,” Bluethman said.
The team did have a setback when the Vikings’ second-best runner at state last year, Erica Zampardo, twisted both of her ankles and was forced drop out of the race at mile two.
However, if the team is going to suffer setbacks, coach Bluethman hopes it is now as opposed to later.
“It’s early in the season, so if my girls are to become injured or sick, the time to do it is now and not next month,” she siad.
Even though the team did not get the desired result, Bluethman remains confident her team will soon hit their stride.
“We raced tired, but I look at these first few races as training days,” she said. “I do not want my girls to be peaking at the beginning of the season.”
The Vikings will look to improve this Wednesday when they travel to Hug.
Fifteen boys cross country teams finished behind South Tahoe High at the Reed Invitational on Friday, but it was the two that came in ahead of the Vikings that will motivate last year’s state runners-up even more.
Galena was the surprise winner of the 18-team invitational, with defending state 4A champion Reno second, nine points behind. The Vikings were third, 65 points behind the Grizzlies.
“Reno and Galena look very good right now, so we have a lot of work ahead of us,” said STHS coach Dominique Westlake, who hasn’t had his full complement of runners in the each of the first two races.
For the second straight meet, Hudson Wilvers led the Vikings, placing fourth in 18 minutes, 2.10 seconds for the 5,000-meter run. In the process, Wilvers came in 10 seconds ahead of Reno’s Chris Concha, who had beaten the STHS runner a week earlier in a class race at Galena.
“To be able to beat Chris Concha is saying something,” Westlake said. “Hudson really impressed me with the way he ran.”
Like he did last year, Chris Cosmi is getting stronger as the season progresses. The STHS junior finished 13th in 19:02.30.
“He’s not at full strength yet,” Westlake said. “For the fitness level he’s at, he ran a really good race.”
Reno’s Jonathan Cardenas posted a 17:18.51 winning time.
Also conquering the course for the Vikings were Alex Tenoceloti, 24th,19:46.58; Jeff Koeck, 32nd, 20:11.57; Scott Brower, 49th, 21:04.18; Brian Marshall, 50th, 21:05.06; Corey Buckley, 89th, 23:19.67. The latter three were competing in their first varsity races.
Led by five top-10 finishes, the Viking JV boys won their five-team Reed Invitational. Complete results weren’t available at press time. They will appear in an upcoming edition.
South Tahoe toughs out home win
Facing match point in the final game, the South Tahoe Vikings rose to the occasion and went on to defeat the visiting Elko Indians 13-15, 7-15, 15-5, 15-8 and 17-15 in Nevada 4A Volleyball Saturday.
“The pressure was on and they delivered,” Viking coach Gary Hankoff said. “I was really proud of the girls in that respect.”
After experimenting with his lineup in the first two games, Hankoff finally found something that was working.
Cindy Davis came off the bench for the Vikings and contributed 10 kills and 15 digs.
“She caught fire offensively,” Hankoff said. “And she was getting it together on defense, too.”
The starting lineup also saw Angela Urreaga come off the bench with a huge defensive effort, tallying 17 digs.
The senior power duo of Jessica Dilegame and Jessica Urreaga had solid performances as well. Dilegame fired down 20 kills and Urreaga set up her teammates with 39 assists.
While the numbers seemed to show signs of dominance, Hankoff knows this team is going to improve.
“We still have some things to work on,” he said. “If we can get our passing game down, we will be able to spread out defenses. And when we do that, I think we’ll be real hard to stop.”
The Vikings look to keep it going when they travel to Spanish Springs on Tuesday.
STHS boys roll past McQueen
Effective ball control and a quality offensive performance by Alex Torres helped the South Tahoe Vikings cruise past the visiting McQueen Lancers 2-0 in Nevada 4A boys soccer Saturday.
The Vikings opened the match strong, firing 11 shots on goal and controlling the ball in the midfield, but unfortunately no one could find the back of the net.
But in the 31st minute midfielder Noe Estrada was taken down in the box, setting up a penalty kick, which Alex Torres buried for a 1-0 lead.
Torres struck again in the 43rd minute on a crafty combo play from goaltender Pete Chiarpotti.
Seeing the defense had crept up the field, Chiarpotti blasted a kick high over the defensive, springing Torres.
The pass by Chiarpotti landed directly on Torres’s foot, who dribbled up field and eventually scorched a laser past the McQueen keeper and into the back of the net.
Chiarpotti was excellent between the posts for the Vikings, saving all eight shots that came his way, including an athletic stop on a shot headed for the top right corner.
“Pete had some really nice saves for us,” Viking coach Joe Winters said.
McQueen’s offensive attack was limited in part to a stellar back line led by the solid play of Greg Ham and Tim Head.
“The defense has been really strong for us,” Winters said.
With a 2-0 outcome against a 4A opponent, Winters was pleased with the result, but is still looking to find a quicker stride.
“We’re still a little sluggish,” he said. “This game was a building block, but we’re still trying to get to that point where we want to be.”
South Tahoe faces Wooster at home on Wednesday.
WHS nets two victories on the road
Nestor Flores punched in all eight goals over the weekend, as the Warriors team notched road victories of 5-4 and and 3-2 over Battle Mountain and Spring Creek in Nevada 2A soccer.
“All of his goals were incredible,” Warrior coach Steve Maltase said. “Plus he hit the post about four or five times.”
In Friday’s tilt against Battle Mountain, the team fell behind 2-0 early on. But due to the accurate passing of the midfield, Florres was able to exploit the Longhorn defense and put three goals past the keeper in the last 10 minutes of the first half.
With momentum clearly on their side at the break, the Warriors continued their offensive surge in the second half en route to the victory.
However, in the victory the Warriors did suffer a loss.
Starting midfielder Weston Saloman broke his ankle when he and a Longhorn defender jousted for a ball. The Warriors also lost two other starters to yellow card disqualifications.
So down three starters the team traveled to Spring Creek on Saturday and played to another gritty victory.
Down 1-0 at the start of the second half the Warriors quickly tied the game. But minutes later the Spartans responded, moving back into the lead.
With their backs against the wall, the Warriors faced the music and put two more goals on the board. The go-ahead goal came in the final 10 minutes of play.
The Warriors were able to shut the door on the Spartans due to the solid effort of Devon Farnsworth in goal.
“We had some defensive breakdowns at times,” Maltase said. “But Devon kept us in both games with some great saves.”
Maltase went on to comment on a valiant team effort.
“This was a gutsy, character-building weekend. We showed a lot of heart coming from behind in both of these must-win games.”
Strong effort comes up just short
With time winding down in the second half, the South Tahoe girls soccer team made a valiant effort to even up the score. But in the end, it was the visiting McQueen Lancers who came away 2-1 victors in the Nevada 4A match.
After the first half ended in a scoreless draw, McQueen came out strong, firing shots on Viking keeper Erika Gonzales. One of those shots, off the foot of a Lancer midfielder, sailed in from 18 yards out on the right side.
“It was pretty much an unstoppable shot,” Viking coach Julia Russell said.
The Lancers increased their lead minutes later, connecting on a free kick that slid past Gonzales.
However, the Vikings weren’t going to let a 2-0 lead slow them down.
Senior Reggie Braun showed off her exemplary ball-handling skills and breakaway speed as she shot through the Lancer defense going one-on-one with the keeper. Approaching the goal, Braun’s patience prevailed as the Lancer keeper dropped to the ground, allowing her to put the ball around her outstretched body and into the net.
Braun’s goal lit a fire under the Vikings, who pounded the Lancer keeper with 12 shots in the second half, including three off the foot of midfielder Jessica Parasso. Gonzales also kept the game close with 11 saves.
However, time was just not on the Vikings’ side and McQueen was able to defend their lead for the victory.
Even though she didn’t get the desired result, coach Russell applauded her team’s character and determination.
“These girls will never quit,” she said. “They will continue to play their hardest and best until the final whistle sounds, and I’m very proud of that.”
The Vikings will look to get back in the winning column this Tuesday when they entertain Wooster at 3:30 p.m.
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Strong wind has led to multiple power outages Tuesday morning and a pair of Lake Tahoe ski resorts will not open due to the strong gusts.