Chalk up the North Tahoe girls as a top contender in this weekend’s Division III track and field state championships.
The North Tahoe boys, meanwhile, deserve to be included in the conversation as well.
After competing against many large schools throughout the regular season — and always faring well — the Laker girls flexed their muscles against schools their own size this past Friday and Saturday, as they earned the Northern Division III regional title in Winnemucca.
The Laker boys finished runner-up in the regional meet, led by senior multi-time state champion Noah McDermott, who won all three of his individual events.
North Tahoe’s young girls squad was not to be denied.
The team held its own in the sprints and field events, while it won three out of the four relays and throughly dominated the distance races, sweeping the top three places in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.
A total of 13 North Tahoe girls qualified for state, accomplished with a fourth-place finish or better in each event. North Tahoe girls won six events.
The all-around performance gave the Lakers the girls regional title with 185 points to runner-up Yerington’s 170.5. Incline was third with 115 points, followed by Battle Mountain with 81.5.
Junior Tara Gallant blazed the way for the Lakers. Gallant won both of her signature races, posting times of 5:44.00 in the 1,600 and 13:03.90 in the 3,200, and helped lead the 4 x 400 relay team (4:43.95) to a third-place finish along with Maddie Cleeland, Holly Lewis and Quinn Lehmkuhl.
Lehmkuhl, a freshman, showed why she is the defending cross-country state champion. She claimed the regional title in the 800 (2:37.93), finished second to Gallant in the 1,600 (6:02.00), and was part of the winning 4 x 800 relay (11:32.04) with Ingrid Roske, Kaya Williams and Sophia Tallarigo.
Tallarigo posted impressive results as well. In addition to her role on the winning 4 x 800 squad, the sophomore placed second behind Lehmkuhl in the 800 (2:41.62), finished second to Gallant in the 3,200 (13:50.64) and was third in the 1,600 (6:17.00).
Another member of that 4 x 800 relay, Williams, also a sophomore, finished third in the 800 (2:42.45) and third in the 3,200 (13:51.28).
Senior track veteran Angela Wood won the long jump, recording a leap of 14-06.50, and was part of the winning 4 x 100 relay (54.67) along with Sara Trimm, Allison Wright and Allie Doyle. Wood also placed fourth in the shot put (32-08)
Wright placed third in both the 100-meter dash (13.77) and the 200 (28.15), and teamed up with Trimm, Doyle and Maddie Cleeland on the winning — and defending state champion — 4 x 200 relay (1:56.36).
Sophomore Jordan Briggs continued her strong season in the throwing events, as she placed third in both the shot put (34-03) and the discus (105-2), while Trimm also qualified for state in the discus (96-01) with a fourth-place finish.
Kyla Pierce punched her ticket to state with a second-place performance in the high jump (4-02).
Kristen Gallant narrowly missed qualifying for the 1,600 (6:49.00), placing fifth, and Cleeland was fifth in both the 100 hurdles (19.99) and 300 hurdles (54.53).
Aside from Yerington, the North Tahoe girls should be challenged in the state meet by White Pine, which won the Southern regional with 202 points to second-place Meadows’ 164.
McDermott, Holmes pace Laker boys
McDermott, the two-time defending state champion in the 1,600 and 3,200 — as well as cross-country — enjoyed some familiar company on the podium in Winnemucca.
McDermott and senior teammate Peter Holmes finished 1-2 in the 800 and 1,600, with McDermott winning the races with times of 2:02.11 and 4:39.66, respectively, and Holmes finishing runner-up in 2:03.93 and 4:51.56.
Both runners were part of the winning 4 x 800 relay (8:54.57) along with Brandon Hackett and Julian Bordes. Holmes also helped lead the 4 x 400 team (3:39.20) to victory with Hackett, Alexander Steele and Max Burkhart.
McDermott claimed the regional title in the 3,200 (10:24.0), while teammates Cam Goldstone (10:56.0) and James Palacio (11:13.0) came in third and fourth, respectively.
The Laker boys 4 x 100 relay (47.04), made up of Reed Davis, Steele, Hackett and Nathan Lutz, placed second, and Hackett qualified for state in the 400 (54.22) with a third-place finish.
Bordes (11:23.0) was fifth in the 3,200, barely missing state in the event, Palacio (2:09.31) was fifth in the 800, and Goldstone (5:17.55) was fifth in the 1,600. Jackson Shaw (5:24.58) was sixth in the 1,600.
In the field events, sophomore Nick Joslin came through in the clutch with a fourth-place throw in the discus (109-04), and Burkhart placed third in the high jump (5-06).
North Tahoe’s boys, who qualified 11 athletes for state, posted a score of 104 points. Yerington’s boys won the regional title with 168 points. Battle Mountain was third with 86 and ROP was fourth with 81. White Pine’s boys won the Southern regional with 162 points to Calvary Chapel’s 130.