As we’ve talked about in past articles, we are one of the few races in the nation that allow High School students to compete. And so, it’s with great pleasure to announce that one of our alumni from the 2017 Lake Tahoe DeCelle Memorial Relay has just won State in Cross Country for Nevada. Congrats to Carissa Buchholz! We had an opportunity to sit down and hear about her journey to champion.
Inspired by the Past
Back in 2016 as a freshman, Carissa finished top 3 at State. It was then she realized that if she really put in hard work (with a little bit of luck), she could win it all as a sophomore. Over the summer, she focused and trained hard, had no injuries and just felt good. Then at the Bob Firman Invitational in September, against a high level of competition from all over the country including Canada, Carissa got a chance to see if her hard work paid off… and it did! Finishing 7th overall against a stacked competitive field, she knew she was ready to make a run for champion.
Up Next… Regionals!
The original plan wasn’t for just Carissa to make State but for the entire team to go. Unfortunately, due to injuries they placed one spot lower than needed as a team to get into State. But on a positive note, Carissa qualified by placing first. It was now time to see how her competition from the south stacked up for the State championships.
State was a heated battle
Even at the start of the race, it looked tight and was a nail biter! Over the entire for two laps, Carissa and another competitor battled it out neck and neck, pushing each other to the limits. All she could think of was, “You gotta fight for this! Don’t let her pass!” Carissa’s mental toughness and physical strength took over until finally her competition couldn’t keep up… and the rest is history!!!
Who to thank for the win!
The first person Carissa wanted to thank was her teammate Alli Sullivan, who also raced on the Lake Tahoe Relay team with her. Without her pushing, Carissa admits she wouldn’t be the runner she is today. She also wants to thank her strength and conditioning coach, Everett Goldman. If it wasn’t for Everett leaning on her to lift weights and gain muscle, winning would not have been possible. Last, but not least, a big thank you goes out to Nicki Meira, Carissa’s new team coach for 2017. Coach Meira’s training methods were to the point and helped make sure that Carissa excelled.
With track in the spring and snow falling on the ground, Carissa’s attention is now put on alpine skiing. As in her own words: “It’s Tahoe, am I right? You gotta ski!”
Congrats again to Carissa and we wish her the best in 2018!