For the first time in five years, a girls cross-country team not from Incline won the Division III state championship.
Southern regional champ The Meadows captured the girls state title at Reno’s Rancho San Rafael Park on Saturday, posting a low score of 32 points to runner-up North Tahoe’s 44 and third-place Incline’s 58.
Incline’s boys, meanwhile, finished a strong fourth, with a score of 86.
No team was able to touch defending champion North Tahoe, as the Laker boys won with a team score of 17 points, which ranks among the lowest in NIAA history. Sierra Lutheran was second with 84, followed by Sage Ridge with 85.
In the girls race, North Tahoe freshman Quinn Lehmkuhl edged The Meadows junior Jeneke Heerema in a photo finish for the individual state title. Both posted times of 20:02 over the hilly, 5-kilometer course.
They were followed by Bailey Gosse (20:34) of The Meadows, while North Tahoe’s Sophia Tallarigo (20:51) and Tara Gallant (21:09), the defending state champ, finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Incline sophomore Hannah Laurie led the Highlander contingent, as she recorded a seventh-place finish in a time of 22:25. Sophomore teammate Stephanie Homola was the next Incline runner across the line, in 10th place in 23:03.
Incline senior Sophia Mourelatos finished 12th in 23:20, junior Molly Franklin was 14th in 23:32 and senior Kate Ballan was 15th in 23:36 to round out the Highlanders’ top five scores. Sophomore Meagan Kelley came in 24th in 24:56.
The North Tahoe boys dominated the competition for the second straight year, as their 17 points is the second-lowest score in NIAA history, behind the Lakers’ own score of 15 from 1996. Last year’s North Tahoe boys won with 19 points. This year’s title marks the 17th for longtime North Tahoe coach Warren Mills, also an NIAA record.
Senior Noah McDermott won the individual state championship for the second year in a row, posting a time of 16:36. North Tahoe’s Shane Christian was second in 17:23, Peter Holmes was third in 17:42 and James Palacio was fourth in 18:00 as the Lakers swept the top four spots. Cam Goldstone was seventh to wrap up North Tahoe’s top five.
Vomund, a senior who’s been the Incline boys’ top runner all year, finished 13th in a time of 18:54, while junior teammate Dylan Smith was 14th in 19:01.
Incline junior Matt Hanna finished 21st in 19:40, sophomore Ryan Eppolito was 25th in 20:00 and sophomore Mitchell Cornell was 30th in 20:17. Owen Skelly (20:53) placed 33rd.