Athlete of the Year | Gallant was a running force for Lakers | SierraSun.com

Athlete of the Year | Gallant was a running force for Lakers

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

Whether racing or training, Tara Gallant knows only one level of effort — 100 percent.

"It's easy to pull back and not push yourself in a workout, especially in distance (running)," said Rob Daniels, head coach of the North Tahoe track and field team. "She will hit her times workout after workout, and while it can be intimidating to some of the younger runners — comparing themselves to her — we as coaches get to use her as a role model."

At a school that prides itself on its rich running tradition, Gallant fit right in. She finished her high school career with 12 varsity letters while helping the Lakers retain their status as a perennial cross-country and track power.

Combined with her success in the classroom, Gallant was an easy choice as the Sierra Sun's Female Athlete of the Year from North Tahoe High School.

"Tara's strength is her work ethic. She's absolutely a work horse," Daniels said.

Gallant's tireless work ethic, athleticism and competitive spirit led her to many impressive results both individually and as a team in her four years with the Lakers.

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Most recently, she capped her high school career with three medals in the Division III state championship track meet last month. She won gold in the 3,200-meter run, silver in the 1,600 and bronze in the 800.

Her times in both the 1,600 (5:27.31) and 800 (2:31.94) were personal records, while her 11:05.30 in the 3,200 at the Norm MacKenzie Classic on May 2 is a North Tahoe school record, Daniels said. Her efforts helped lead the North Tahoe girls to a third-place finish as a team.

Also during her senior year, Gallant raced to a second-place finish in the cross-country state championships and placed sixth in the CNISSF Nordic state championships. North Tahoe's girls won the state cross-country title as a team.

Gallant experienced just as much success leading up to her senior year.

She recorded a runner-up state finish in the 3,200 as a freshman and was fifth in the 1,600.

As a sophomore, she won the cross-country state title and earned three medals at the track and field state championships.

Her junior year she placed seventh at state in cross-country and earned silver medals at the state track meet in both the 1,600 and 3,200.

In addition to her athletic success, Gallant was honored this spring by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) as one of its Top Ten Student Athletes of the Year.

She will graduate from North Tahoe summa cum laude with straight A's.