Cross country | Freshman Skyler Flora wins varsity race; Laker boys 2nd |

Cross country | Freshman Skyler Flora wins varsity race; Laker boys 2nd

Courtesy of Richard MallettTruckee freshman Skyler Flora races to a first-place finish at the Sparks Invitational this past Friday. Flora finished more than a half-minute ahead of the runner-up.

Truckee freshman Skyler Flora was far from intimidated by the large field of varsity runners at the Sparks Invitational this past Friday.

In a field of 87 varsity runners, including many from 4A schools, Flora raced to a first-place finish more than a half-minute ahead of her closest competition. She posted a winning time of 19 minutes and 30 seconds on the 5-kilometer course. Runner-up Shelby McIntyre of South Tahoe, a senior, finished second in 20:06.

Flora had plenty of company in the top 10 from teammates and neighboring rival schools, both on the girls’ and boys’ side.

Senior Cassidy Cichowicz of the Sugar Bowl Academy placed fourth in the girls’ race with a time of 20:58, while another Truckee freshman, Gabrielle Rinne finished fifth in a time of 21:04. Truckee junior Ruby Wood also recorded a top-10 finish, placing ninth in 21:34.

Laurel Fiddler of the Sugar Bowl Academy was eighth in 21:32 to help lead her team to a third-place finish out of eight teams. Teammate Lauren Dunn was 17th in 22:32. Damonte Ranch, a 4A school, was first and South Tahoe second. Truckee’s girls did not have enough runners for a team score.

In the boys’ race, North Tahoe sophomore Noah McDermott continued his red-hot season with a second-place finish and#8212; first among the 2A contingent and#8212; in a competitive field of 161 runners. McDermott crossed the finish line in 17:04, which was about six seconds off the pace of Connor Henderson of South Tahoe, who posted a winning time of 16:58.

Combined with the top finishes by North Tahoe junior Patrick McElravey and sophomore Fletcher McConnell, who finished eighth (17:41) and 10th (17:46), respectively, the Laker boys finished second out of 15 teams with an average time of 18:23 to winner South Tahoe’s 18:02.

Truckee freshman Nathan Ariza, whose Wolverines finished eighth as a team, also represented the underclassmen well, as he placed fifth with a time of 17:34.

North Tahoe freshman Tara Gallant led the Laker girls with a 35th-place finish in 24:29.

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