Noah McDermott’s distance-running competition could only hope he had an off day at the Division III state championship in Las Vegas this past weekend.
He did not.
McDermott returned to North Tahoe with three state titles and one bronze medal to go with all that gold, while he also helped lead his young Laker boys to a third-place finish as a team. The junior distance specialist repeated his 2012 state titles in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, setting a new personal record along the way in the 1,600.
The regional champion North Tahoe girls, meanwhile, were just as good as their male teammates, as they also finished third overall, led by their state champion 4x200 relay squad of Sara Trimm, Allie Doyle, Bridget Schroepfer and Allison Wright.
“The kids did great,” said North Tahoe head coach Skip Piechocinski. “Unreal. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The Lakers earned 18 medals in all, awarded to the top four finishers in each event.
McDermott was a dominant force. Aside from his third-place finish in the 800-meter run (2:06.22), he set a new personal-best mark in his repeat title in the 1,600, posting a time of 4:34.81, while he repeated in the 3,200 in a time of 10:33.52. Mark Waite of Whittell was runner-up in the 1,600, in 4:37.05, and Anthony Escarzaga of Laughlin was runner-up in the 3,200, in 10:41.82.
“He can go for the three-peat next year,” Piechocinski said.
McDermott also teamed up with Brandon Hackett, Peter Holmes and his brother Sean — the only North Tahoe senior at the state meet — to win a state title in the 4x800 relay in state record time. They recorded a time of 8:32.05, which beat the previous state record of 8:32.40, set by Silver Stage in 2008.
“Noah is a special kind of guy,” Piechocinski said. “So is his brother. They both have good work ethic. All these kids do. They wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing without a good work ethic.”
The North Tahoe girls 4x200 relay nearly set a state record in their state title run, as their 1:52.01 was about a half-second off the pace of Incline’s state record of 1:51.31, set in 2007.
Sophomore Tara Gallant earned a couple of medals in the distance events, as she finished third in the 1,600 with a personal-record (PR) time of 5:40.62 and was second in the 3,200 in a time of 12:34.96. Along with Ingrid Roske, Sophia Tallarigo and Kaya Williams, Gallant also helped lead the 4x800 relay to a third-place finish in 11:10.70, which was a new PR as well.
“The girls set a lot of PRs. They really stepped it up,” Piechocinski said.
Tallarigo wasn’t far behind Gallant in the 3,200, as she finished third in a time of 12:53.32. Williams was fifth in 13:37.46.
Among the other relays, the Laker girls 4x100 squad of Trimm, Angela Wood, Wright and Doyle set a new PR and finished third in 53.90, and the 4x400 team of Zoe Anderson, Maddie Cleeland, Abii Johnson and Bozhie Pokorny earned a fourth-place medal while establishing a PR in 4:35.03.
Freshman Jordan Briggs took second in the shot put and fourth in the discus, both with PR throws of 31-02.50 and 89-01, respectively. Trimm also set a PR in the discus with a throw of 88-10, which was good enough for fifth, while Doyle earned a fourth-place medal while setting a PR in the high jump, clearing the bar at 4-09.00.
Haley Perkins was fourth in the 300 hurdles, in a PR time of 51.32, and was fifth in the high jump, at 4-06.00. Wood was fifth in the long jump with a PR leap of 14-06.00, and Tallarigo set a PR in the 1,600 in 5:52.02.
On the boys side, Sean McDermott raced to a second-place medal in the 800, posting a time of 2:05.71, and Peter Holmes was fifth in the race in a time of 2:09.16.
Holmes earned a third-place medal in the 1,600, in a time of 4:51.30, James Palacio received a fourth-place medal in the 3,200, in 11:03.17, Cam Goldstone was sixth in the 3,200, in 11:13.41, and Jordan Holst was sixth in the discus, at 104-02.
“The future looks real bright for the girls and guys. They have good things in front of them,” Piechocinski said.
In the team competition, the North Tahoe girls finished third behind Southern schools White Pine and The Meadows. The Lakers posted 48 points to White Pine’s 69 and The Meadows’ 51. The Incline girls were fourth with 38 points and Yerington was fifth with 30.
The North Tahoe boys were also third behind Yerington and The Meadows, with 36 points. Yerington took the title with 81 points while The Meadows tallied 45.5 points.