The Incline cross-country team got its feet wet — quite literally — in the season-opening Warrior Warpath at Whittell this past Friday.
The annual Zephyr Cove meet features a creek crossing along the 2.75-mile course, forcing runners to splash through the water thigh deep.
The obstacle did not slow the Highlanders, whose girls recorded a second-place finish while the boys finished third among 10 Division III and Division I-A schools.
Senior Evan Vomund led the Highlanders individually, as he finished fifth in a field of 91 varsity boys, posting a time of 17:38. North Tahoe senior Noah McDermott took the win in 15:48, while Daniel Sallee of Spring Creek was runner-up in 17:02.
The defending state champion Laker boys took the team win by sweeping three of the top four spots and placing all five of its scoring runners in the top eight. They secured the victory with a low score of 23 points to Spring Creek’s 40 points and Incline’s 93. The top three were followed by Fallon (122), Dayton (144), Lowry (150), Paradise (189), Wooster (212), Silver Stage (224) and ROP (257).
Incline sophomore Ryan Eppolito finished 17th in a time of 18:46, Dylan Smith was 25th in 19:16, Mitchell Cornell was 27th in 19:19 and Nelson Bedient was 40th in 20:24.
Led by sophomore Hannah Laurie, the Incline girls finished with a team score of 58 points, which was second only to Division I-A Spring Creek’s 27. North Tahoe came in third with 69 points and was followed by Paradise (88) and Wooster (107).
North Tahoe junior Tara Gallant raced to victory in a time of 19:44, while Spring Creek’s Makenzie Whimple was second in 20:29.
Laurie finished eighth in a time of 21:47. Incline’s Stephanie Homola was 11th in 22:56, Meghan Kelley was 14th in 23:16, Sophia Mourelatos was 16th in 23:26 and Kate Ballan was 30th in 24:59.
A total of 51 girls took part in the varsity race.
Incline is scheduled to compete Friday in the annual North Tahoe Kiwanis Invitational in Tahoe City, where hundreds of runners from across Northern California and Nevada will be on hand.