JP Donovan, Kara LaPoint earn victories in XTERRA Tahoe City | SierraSun.com

JP Donovan, Kara LaPoint earn victories in XTERRA Tahoe City

Staff report
Athletes walk gingerly as they exit the water at the XTERRA Tahoe City triathlon on Saturday. Due to low water conditions, the swim start and finish was held on a rocky section of beach.
Courtesy Harry Lefrak / Lefrak Photography |

JP Donovan has established himself as a perennial threat to win Tahoe’s uphill mountain races — the Billy Dutton Uphill and Squaw Mountain Run. Now he’s making a case in the Tahoe triathlon scene.

The 27-year-old Incline High cross-country coach raced to victory in the XTERRA Tahoe City triathlon on Saturday, covering the Olympic distance in a time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 48 seconds.

That was fast enough to hold off Reno’s Matthew Balzer, 33, who finished runner-up in 2:41:12. Slater Fletcher, 38, of Irvine was third in 2:48:15.

Donovan was joined in the top 10 by Rob Laurie, 48, of Incline Village, who placed ninth in 2:58:29.

A couple of regular top finishers in Tahoe endurance events posted impressive results on the women’s side.

Truckee’s Kara LaPoint, 28, the women’s age-group champion in the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe this past September, claimed the win while finishing 10th overall with a time of 2:58:48. Genevieve Evans, 41, of Carnelian Bay finished second among women and 14th overall in 3:03:56.

Sian Turner, 33, of Truckee was the third woman across the line, in 3:17:12.

Among other top Tahoe-area finishers, Donatas Ereminas of Truckee placed 11th in 3:01:37, and Paul Roach of Kings Beach was 17th in 3:05:49. A total of 99 athletes competed.

Sixty-two people took part in the sprint triathlon.

Brecon Welton, 25, of Palo Alto took the win with a time of 1:47:16. Riley Howard, 22, of Petaluma was second in 1:51:17 and Justin Riele, 20, of Danville rounded out the top three in 2:01:42.

Thirteen-year-old Cooper Anderson of Carnelian Bay led the local contingent, finishing ninth in 2:12:03, while Madona Casini of Tahoe City placed second in the women’s field and 17th overall in 2:20:28.

Merridy Stephenson, 32, of Reno was the top woman and 13th overall in 2:19:01. Leslie Oley of Palo Alto was third among women in 2:21:02.

Find complete results at bigblueadventure.com and a photo gallery at lefrakphotography.com.