A lovely day for a grueling trot
Mother Nature cooperated to provide athletes with blue-bird skies and a comfy breeze for the 28th annual Squaw Mountain Run on Saturday morning.
“It was a beautiful day; thank goodness all the smoke disappeared,” said Sally Jones, an event organizer and Nordic program director with Auburn Ski Club Associates.
Jones said about 450 people participated between the flower hike and 3.6-mile run/walk to High Camp, which features 2,000 feet of vertical gain from the 6,200-foot base of the resort.
While wafting smoke from California wildfires has thrown a wrench in the summer race schedule, forcing several cancellations since late June, near crystal-clear conditions greeted runners for the annual fundraiser that benefits Auburn Ski Club’s Nordic programs and Tahoe Forest Hospital Cancer Foundation.
The event also played host to some fast runners from out of the area. Saturday marked the first time the Squaw Mountain Run was incorporated into the nationwide La Sportiva Mountain Cup, as well as the Tahoe Mountain Trail Run series, which includes the inaugural Northstar Nirvana Mountain Trail run on Aug. 16.
Shiloh Mielke, a 28-year-old from Weaverville, N.C., captured the top spot with a time of 28:50.1, edging last year’s winning time of 29:33 set by Galen Burrell San Francisco.
Mielke was followed by Patrick Parsel, 22, of Davis, who finished in 29:18.1, and 23-year-old Drew Casselberry of Incline Village, who rounded out the top three with a time of 30:22.2.
“It was rougher than last year,” Casselberry said after the run. “Those top guys took off. They were hammering the whole way; they didn’t let up.”
Seth Wealing, a professional triathlete who lives in Incline Village, was fourth in 30:43.1 and Bernie Boettcher, 45, of Silt, Colo., placed fifth in 31:28.1.
Taking on the Squaw Mountain Run for the first time, Reno’s Kendall Knowles, 25, won the women’s division and placed 16th overall with a time of 36:28.6.
“It was a brutal course, especially when you’re not used to running uphill,” said Knowles, a former cross country and track athlete at University of Nevada, Reno. “It’s so pretty up here, so it was worth the trek.”
Truckee’s Emma Garrard, 27, finished second among women and 21st overall in 37:12.4, and 30-year-old Meadow Tarves of Arden, N.C., placed third (26th overall) in 38:33.2.
For the third straight year, Del Wichelman of Oakland claimed bragging rights as the oldest competitor at age 85. He placed 330th out of 427 finishers with a time of 1:10:37. Wichelman, who estimates he runs between 100 and 125 miles a month, finished one place behind a 19-year-old racer and one place ahead of 14-year-old. The next-oldest runner was 78-year-old Barney Jones of Truckee, who finished in 1:11:12.7.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum were 7-year-old Owen Elvrum of Truckee, who finished in 2:29:43, and 8-year-old Jane Nall of Tahoe City, who posted a time of 1:17:09.4.
The overall youngest participants in the event were Morgan Lloyd-Tucker, 4, of Menlo Park and Hunter Campbell, 5, of Penryn.
1. Shiloh Mielke Weaverville (N.C.) M 25-29 28:50.1
2. Patrick Parsel Davis M 20-24 29:18.1
3. Drew Casselberry Incline Village M 20-24 30:22.2
4. Seth Wealing Incline Village M 25-29 30:43.1
5. Bernie Boettcher Silt (Colo.) M 45-49 31:28.1
6. Brandon Rieff Reno (Nev.) M 25-29 32:09.1
7. Tav Streit Alpine Meadows M 30-34 33:03.3
8. Terry Daley Portola M 45-49 33:07.1
9. Tom Sullivan Reno (Nev.) M 14-15 33:50
10. John Howard III Sacramento 20-24 34:05.5
11. Mike Sunseri Kings Beach M 16-17 34:19.0
12. Alex Taylor Truckee M 18-19 34:41.7
13. Mark Lantz Gold River M 40-44 34:55.1
14. Andy Tucker Menlo Park M 35-39 35:18.1
15. Piers Stockwell Tahoe City M 30-34 35:49.6
* 16. Kendall Knowles Reno (Nev.) F 25-29 36:28.6
17. Daniel Weintraub Sacramento M 45-49 36:31.0
18. Mark Bretan Novato M 18-19 36:40.9
19. Billthethrill Haupert Tahoe City M 35-39 36:58.2
20. Ben Grasseschi Truckee M 35-39 37:06.4
* 21. Emma Garrard Truckee F 25-29 37:12.4
22. Ron Cross Sparks (Nev.) M 50-54 37:28.1
23. Paul Sweeney Truckee M 40-44 37:47.7
24. Kristin Walstad Alta F 35-39 37:59.0
25. Jeff Schloss Truckee M 50-54 38:09.8
* 26. Meadow Tarves Arden (N.C.) F 30-34 38:33.2
27. Malcolm Ridenour Truckee M 35-39 38:46.0
28. Jason Howard Sacramento M 16-17 38:47.9
29. Matt Nistler Truckee M 18-19 38:49.7
30. Russell Kennedy Truckee M 16-17 38:51.6
* Female runners
– For complete results, visit http://www.squawmountainrun.com.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.