Truckee cross-country | Flora, girls win regional championship | SierraSun.com

Truckee cross-country | Flora, girls win regional championship

Special to the Sun

The Truckee girls cross-country squad successfully defended its Northern Division I-A regional title last Friday at Reno's Rancho San Rafael Park.

While the girls registered the fastest average and overall team time and the lowest point score of the day, across all divisions, Spring Creek finished just one point behind, 39-38.

Along with Spring Creek, third-place Elko also advanced to the state championships next weekend in Las Vegas, where the Truckee girls will seek back-to-back state titles. As is typically the case, Truckee's primary competition will be teams from the Northern region.

Senior Skyler Flora easily won her third individual regional championship with a time of 19:30. She was followed by Gabrielle Rinne in second place (20:08), Carrie Bradley in ninth (21:05), Claire Lang Ree in 12th (21:37) and Syra Fillat in 17th (22:01). Julia Veliquette placed 22nd (22:26) and Olivia Yale was 23rd (23:08).

"What a team race," said Truckee coach Rob McClendon. "We will need to do it again at state next weekend, with a rematch with Spring Creek. To defend our team state championship, it's going to take incredible effort and a little luck. Our one-two duo will be ready to run a fast time on a new and fast course in Las Vegas. Our runners three through seven will have to run as a pack and place themselves in front of Spring Creek's number three runner for the win."

Meanwhile, the young Truckee boys squad missed qualifying for the state championship as a team, placing fifth. Senior defending state champion Noah Oberriter qualified individually by finishing second in 17:32. Elko's Kyler Simpkins won in 17:28. 

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Sophomores Ian Smith (19:35) and Hudson Verbeck (20:03) followed in 27th and 33rd, respectively.

Freshman Tyler Ferrera was right behind Verbeck in 34th (20:08), followed by the sophomore duo of Chris Miller in 41st (20:35) and David Dalicandro in 44th (20:56). Patrick MacAuley finished 52nd (22:19). 

The boys teams from Spring Creek, Elko and South Tahoe qualified for state.  

"What a great season the boys team had," McClendon said. "We have a very young team and are looking forward to getting into the team mix in the future. We will be returning five athletes next season. Noah will be ready for the state meet, ready to defend his state title."

Both Flora and Oberriter are at the top of the statewide Division I-A rankings, while other Truckee girls occupy five of the top 10 spots: Rinne in second, Bradley in fourth, Lang Ree in eighth, Fillat in ninth and Veliquette in 10th. 

The NIAA state championships across all divisions will be held at Sunset Park in Las Vegas on Saturday.