Kiwi wins XTERRA Lake Tahoe triathlon

Staff report

Genevieve Evans of Carnelian Bay bikes on the Flume Trail during the XTERRA Lake Tahoe triathlon on Saturday. Evans finished second among women and 13th overall.
Courtesy Harry Lefrak / Lefrak Photography |

Matt Backler was a long way from home Saturday. Yet he raced through the XTERRA Lake Tahoe triathlon course as if it were his backyard.

The 33-year-old from Tauranga, New Zealand, claimed first place in the annual off-road triathlon, posting a time of 2 hours, 53 minutes, 43 seconds. Matthew Balzer, 32, of Reno, finished runner-up in 2:55:05, and Romolo Forcino, 42, of Oak Hills (Calif.) was third in 3:00:35.

Julie Baker, 37, of Sonora was the first woman and 10th overall in a time of 3:15:31, while a couple of top local triathletes also contended for the women’s win.

Genevieve Evans of Carnelian Bay was second among women and 13th overall, in 3:16:23, and Kara LaPoint of Truckee placed third in the women’s field and 14th overall, finishing in 3:17:30.

The International triathlon began with a swim that included two 750-meter laps off the shore of Village Green in Incline Village, plus a 50-meter beach run. The race then sent participants on a scenic, 22-mile mountain bike ride up and over the Flume Trail before finishing with a 6-mile trail run.

Truckee’s Donatas Ereminas, 31, was the top male finisher from the Tahoe area, as he placed 20th in the field of 113 triathletes with a time of 3:25:37. Lee Collins, 36, of South Lake Tahoe was 27th in 3:33:35, Peter Hanson, 48, of Incline Village was 33rd in 3:39:57, and Leslie Shaw of South Lake Tahoe was 40th overall in 3:47:49.

Among other local finishers, Andrew Ellis of Incline Village placed 44th in 3:50:27, Robert Kronkhyte of Tahoe City was 45th in 3:50:48, Dorea Shoemaker of Incline Village was 46th overall in 3:54:06, Chris Anderson of Carnelian Bay was 57th in 4:03:06, and Meghan Kelley of Crystal Bay was 60th overall in 4:03:56.

In the sprint triathlon — which consisted of a 750-meter swim, the same 22-mile bike as the International triathlon and a 3-mile run — 24-year-old Andrew Jensen of Bend took the win in a time of 2:35:46.

Marc Rancourt, 41, of Incline Village finished second in 2:48:22, Gregory Kenney, 47, of Carson City was third in 2:53:32 and Bradley Haag, 23, of Incline Village was fifth in 2:54:10.

Kim Devine, 47, of Reno placed first among women and 13th overall in a time of 3:20:53. She was followed by Kristen Martin del Campo of Kings Beach, who was the second woman and 18th overall in 3:26:26, and Shannon Wilson of Reno, who was the third woman and 22nd overall in 3:31:35.

Tim Racich of Incline Village was 16th in 3:23:02, Greg Flanders of Incline Village was 30th in 3:45:39, Kristen Morgan of Tahoe City was 37th overall in 4:10:37, and Incline Village’s Duane Andrews (4:16:42) and James Blanc (4:20:51) were 38th and 39th, respectively.

A total of 43 people finished the sprint triathlon. Find complete results at and a photo gallery at

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