North Tahoe cross-country | Girls, boys off to Vegas as regional champs | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe cross-country | Girls, boys off to Vegas as regional champs

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

Warren Mills better have his razor handy when the Lakes travel to Las Vegas this weekend.

The longtime North Tahoe cross-country coach shaves his large handlebar mustache every time the Lakers win a state championship, which has become a common occurrence over the decades. Between their boys and girls teams, they own an NIAA record 24 state titles, including two straight by the boys.

Both Laker teams are poised to boost that number after earning Northern Division III/IV titles this past Friday at Reno's Rancho San Rafael Park.

Led by a 1-2 finish by defending state champion Quinn Lehmkuhl and senior teammate Tara Gallant, North Tahoe's girls won the title with a low score of 39 points to runner-up Incline's 54. The Laker girls finished second at state last year.

North Tahoe's boys, who lost one of the strongest runners in Lakers history when Noah McDermott graduated this past spring, placed four runners in the top 10 and all five scoring members among the top 12 to run away with the regional title. They posted a low score of 36 points to Silver Stage's 96 and Incline's 99.

Lehmkuhl knows how to step up for big races. After winning state in a photo finish last year as a freshman, the sophomore claimed the individual regional title with a time of 20:06 over the 5-kilometer course.

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Gallant finished second in 20:51 and was followed by Lakers teammates Kaya Williams in sixth (22:21), Sophia Tallarigo in 13th (23:46) and Jacs Mellor in 17th (23:58) to round out the top five scores. Torrie Goldstone was 20th (24:39) and Camille Syban 27th (25:45). Incline sophomore Urs Volz was third in 21:14.

The Laker girls will have some serious competition in Las Vegas. Defending state champion The Meadows dominated the southern regional championships by sweeping the top five spots, which was good for a perfect score of 15. The next closest team was Lincoln County, with 69 points.

While Silver Stage senior Brandon Perez won the boys individual regional title in Reno last week, North Tahoe's five scoring runners finished fourth, fifth, sixth, ninth and 12th to claim the title.

Freshman JC Schoonmaker led the way, crossing the line in fourth place with a time of 18:41. He was trailed by North Tahoe teammates James Palacio in fifth (18:53), Julien Bordes in sixth (18:56), Cam Goldstone in ninth (19:20) and Austin Nall in 12th (19:37). Jackson Shaw was not far behind in 14th (19:44), and Kobi Hudson placed 26th (20:33).

Perez posted a winning time of 18:12, while Ethan Hardacre of Sage Ridge was runner-up in 18:15 and Whittell's Cole Snyder was third in 18:33.

By comparison, McDermott won regionals on the same course last year with a time of 16:32.