Incline cross country | Girls second at North Tahoe Kiwanis Invitational

Staff report

The Incline cross-country team did not have to travel far to find some quality competition this past Friday.

The Highlanders were among dozens of schools from across Northern California and Nevada to participate in the 38th Annual North Tahoe Kiwanis Invitational, which features multiple race divisions from middle school through varsity.

Incline’s four-time defending state champion varsity girls were impressive as usual, as they placed second overall behind Division I-A Truckee and first among Division III schools. The girls placed two runners in the top 10 and all five of their scoring runners in the top 37 in a field of 85.

Sophomore Stephanie Homola led the way with an eighth-place finish, posting a time of 26:41.47 over the 3.3-mile course. Sophomore teammate Hannah Laurie finished 10th in 26:47.12, while Incline’s Kate Ballan was 31st in 29:13.66, Sophia Mourelatos was 34th in 29:25.47 and Meghan Kelley was 37th in 29:51.81.

Truckee juniors Skyler Flora and Gabrielle Rinne finished 1-2 in the race, with Flora winning in 23:39.81. North Tahoe junior Tara Gallant, the defending DIII state champion, was third in 25:20.59.

With four runners in the top 10, the Truckee girls took the team win with a low score of 26 points to Incline’s 85 and Atwater’s 93. They were followed by South Tahoe (96), Fernley (110), Ponderosa (121), Notre Dame (139), Wooster (208) and Lowry (224).

Incline’s boys squad led by senior Evan Vomund finished 10th among 17 varsity teams. Vomund was 31st in a deep field of 139 runners, recording a time of 23:34.00.

His teammates finished right on his heels, as Dylan Smith was 32nd in 23:37.69 and Matthew Hanna was 33rd in 23:54.03.

The host North Tahoe boys claimed the team and individual victory, as senior defending state champ Noah McDermott crossed the line first in 20:00.56 while his team landed three runners in the top 10.

As a team the Lakers posted 57 points to runner-up Spring Creek’s 94 and Truckee’s 104. Incline came in with a score of 247.

In the sophomore boys race, Incline’s Ryan Eppolito, Nelson Bedient and Mitchell Cornell finished sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

Incline is scheduled to compete in the Bret Harte Invitational in California on Saturday.

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