XC Dynasty: Lakers sweep regional titles

North Tahoe athletes continued the school’s cross-country dynasty on Saturday, once again sweeping the Class 2A/1A Northern League boys and girls’ team championships.

The Lakers have swept the boys and girls’ team titles at each of the past seven regional championships.

The North Tahoe girls put together an outstanding performance on the 5,000-meter course at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, posting the four fastest times of the day, and five of the fastest nine times to win the meet by 43 points.

“We have a really good group of girls this year,” said junior Kili Lehmkuhl, who captured the individual title. “We are all super close. We push each other in training.”

Lehmkuhl topped the field of 34 runners with a time of 21 minutes, 7 seconds to claim her first regional championship.

“It means a lot,” she said. “I’ve been trying for two years to be in that top place and this year I did it.”

Junior Alani Powell finished in second place with a time of 23:03. Junior teammate Mera Schoonmaker was third with a time of 23:29. Senior Cami Carter rounded out North Tahoe’s top-four sweep with a time of 23:44. Junior Cindy Leon was ninth with a time of 24:18. Junior Ana Ting Osterhuber was 13th with a time of 25:16, and sophomore Alexa McPherson was 15th with a time of 25:38.

The Lakers finished with a low score of 10 points. Sierra Lutheran was second with 53 points, followed by Coral Academy of Science — Reno in third place with 56 points.

On the boys’ side, the Lakers finished with a low score of 22 points. Incline was second with 57 points, and Silver Stage was third with 58 points.

North Tahoe senior Nickolas Burkhart led the Lakers with a time of 17:54 for fourth place. Junior Etienne Bordes was fifth with a time of 18:02. Junior Phoenix Sanchez was sixth with a time of 18:07, followed by junior Cooper Honeywell in seventh with a time of 18:08. Sophomore Jake Hacker gave the Lakers five finishers in the top nine with a time of 18:19. Sophomore Doug Howie was 15th with a time of 18:58, and junior Connor Johnston was 30th with a time of 20:38.

Sierra Lutheran senior Teagan Hansen won the race with a time of 16:58, followed by Incline junior Niklas Pietzke in second with a time of 17:08. Yerington sophomore Kutoven Stevens was third with a time of 17:39.

The boys’ team will enter next week’s state championship meet at Rancho San Rafael as the seven-time defending state champions; while the girls will come in as five-time defending state champions.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Cross-Country Championships will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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