Cross-country | Gallant, Oberriter victorious in North Tahoe Kiwanis Invite
Cars lining both sides of Polaris Road on a Friday afternoon could only mean one thing — the annual North Tahoe Kiwanis Invitational is back.
Now in its 39th year, the historic cross-country meet at North Tahoe High School hosted nearly 900 runners from dozens of California and Nevada schools from middle through high school this past Friday.
The North Tahoe and Truckee varsity teams both fared well, with a number of top finishes both individually and as a team.
While the Truckee girls won the varsity race with a low score of 75 points — competing without defending Division I-A state champion Skyler Flora and state runner-up Gabrielle Rinne — senior Tara Gallant and the North Tahoe girls finished second among 14 schools with a score of 85. Ponderosa rounded out the top three with 113 points.
Gallant took advantage of her home course. She won the race in a field of 122 runners, edging Spring Creek runner-up Julia Mahlke with a time of 25:09.53 to Mahlke’s 25:14.22.
North Tahoe teammate Quinn Lehmkuhl, a sophomore and defending Division III state champion, was third in 25:47.72. North Tahoe junior Sophia Tallarigo was 11th in 27:13.69, Kaya Williams was 25th in 28:46.75, and Camille Syban was 61st (32:16.97) to round out the Laker girls’ top five scores.
Minus Flora and Rinne — one of whom was ill and the other out of town — Truckee sophomore Carrie Bradley led the Truckee girls with a sixth-place finish in 26:34.88. Julia Veliquette and Claire Lang-Ree placed 13th (27:37.02) and 14th (27:53.75), respectively, Olivia Yale was 19th in 28:08.18, and Michaela Welch was 37th (30:07.28).
Freshman Kate Rye led the Incline girls with a 12th-place finish in 27:35.94.
In the varsity boys race, the two-time defending DIII state champion Lakers finished fifth out of 16 schools, one point behind Bret Harte.
The Spring Creek boys took the win with a low score of 71 points. The Spartans were followed by Elko (94) and Atwater (94) rounding out the top three, while Bret Harte had 131 points and North Tahoe 132.
While the Truckee boys did not have enough runners to record a team score, senior defending state champ Noah Oberriter raced to victory in a field of 156 runners with a time of 20:29.81.
Without the graduated Noah McDermott, who dominated the DIII cross-country scene the past two years, junior Julien Bordes led the North Tahoe boys with a 13th-place finish in 22:54.59.
Junior teammate Cam Goldstone finished 16th in 23:03.09 and was followed by freshman JC Schoonmaker in 17th (23:03.81). Jackson Shaw (54th, 24:47.65) and Kobe Hudson (61st, 25:13.24) rounded out the Lakers’ top five.