North Tahoe boys and girls cross-country win state championships
The North Tahoe Lakers added to the school’s cross-country legacy on Saturday, Nov. 4, with the boys’ team capturing a sixth straight Class 2A state championship. The Lady Lakers then took to the course and put four runners in the top six to win the program’s fourth straight state title.
The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A / 1A State Cross-Country Championships were held at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks, Nev., on a similar course as last week’s Northern Championships, where both Lakers teams captured regional titles.
Senior JC Schoonmaker capped off his high school career with a fourth team championship, and his time of 17 minutes, 24 seconds earned him a second-place finish to lead the Lakers.
“It’s great to be a senior leader and bring these freshmen a championship,” Schoonmaker said. “We’re just a really tight team. We’re all really close, so that’s really what does it for us.”
North Tahoe’s entire team would post a top-20 finish, as the squad finished with a low score of 29. The Meadows finished in second place with 50 points.
Freshman Etienne Bordes raced a pair of teammates, and Incline freshman Niklas Pietzke, down the final stretch to take ninth place with a time of 18:19. The rest of the runners then crossed the line with a time of 18:20. North Tahoe freshman Phoenix Sanchez led the group for 10th place, followed by teammate Alex Whitham in 11th place, and then Pietzke in 12th place.
“They stepped up big time. They ran just the way we planned,” said Head Coach Warren Mills. “I really felt we had five guys better than anyone else’s No. 3 … it just comes down to hard work. These guys are tougher than nails, I’m proud to coach them.”
The race was won by Sierra Lutheran junior Jared Marchegger with a time of 17:04.
The North Tahoe girls then hit the course and put together an impressive showing with a low score of 14 points to win the state title.
“We’ve all known each other for a long time,” said freshman Kili Lehmkuhl on the Lakers winning another title. “We push each other.”
The Meadows finished in second place with 50 points.
Lehmkuhl led the Lakers charge with a time of 20:45 to take second place overall, as each of the team’s runners took a top-16 finish.
“I didn’t go out super fast, but I caught up to everybody as the race went on,” Lehmkuhl said.
Junior Josii Johnson finished shortly after in third place with a time of 21:20.
“It’s awesome,” said Johnson on taking third. “My goal was top three, so it was good to make that goal. But it took a lot of work. It’s a big difference from where I used to be.”
Senior Anna Yamauchi was next in fifth with a time of 21:42. Junior Ella Carr then crossed the line in sixth place with a time of 21:43.
The girls then had junior Jillian Ferre (22:26) and freshman Alani Powell (22:43) cross the line in ninth and 10th, respectively, giving the team six runners in the top 10. Junior Elan Lindsey finished shortly after with a time of 24:16 for 16th place out of 44 runners.
The race was won by The Meadows senior Ellen Hirsberg with a time of 20:30.