North Tahoe cross country | McDermott takes third, Laker boys fourth at state

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Courtesy of David AntonucciNorth Tahoe sophomore Noah McDermott crosses the finish line in third place at the 2A State Championship on Saturday.
David C. Antonucci |

A year after winning the 2A State Cross Country Championship with a talented senior class of runners, the North Tahoe boys proved they did not fall far from contention.

Sophomore Noah McDermott and junior Patrick McElravey raced to third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively, while sophomore Fletcher McConnell was seventh to lead the Laker boys to a fourth-place team finish at the 2A State Championship in Reno on Saturday.

and#8220;We did really well, especially for being so young,and#8221; said longtime North Tahoe head coach Warren Mills. and#8220;It bodes well for the future.and#8221;

In the girlsand#8217; race, another young North Tahoe runner, freshman Tara Gallant, finished seventh to earn a spot on the podium (top seven made podium). The meet was held on the same 5-kilometer course at Rancho San Rafael Park as regionals the previous week.

Senior Nathanael Williams of Sierra Lutheran captured the individual state title on the boysand#8217; side, as he posted a winning time of 16 minutes and 43 seconds to Incline runner-up Spencer Wilsonand#8217;s 17:42.

McDermott finished third in a time of 17:57, while McElravey came in at 18:12 and McConnell 18:34. Sean McDermott was the next North Tahoe finisher, placing 31st in 20:36, and Brandon Hackett rounded out the top five scores with a 36th-place finish in 21:46. Dominic Antonucci was 37th in 21:47.

and#8220;Noah, for a sophomore, had an outstanding time,and#8221; Mills said. and#8220;Those first three are rock-solid. Theyand#8217;re awfully young, but they really finished off the year with a lot of success.and#8221;

Mills said the Laker boys left nothing on the course in their bid for back-to-back state titles, and it took its toll, particularly on Sean McDermott, Hackett and Antonucci.

and#8220;They ran to win. They ran the first mile hard and paid the price. But thatand#8217;s OK. They gave it a good shot,and#8221; Mills said. and#8220;My last three guys were in a world of hurt the last few miles, but they ran all-out, and I couldnand#8217;t be more pleased about that.and#8221;

The temperature also was hovering around freezing, with cloudy skies and a wind chill that made it feel even chillier.

Sierra Lutheran won the boysand#8217; state championship with a low score of 44 points. Sage Ridge was second with 51 points, followed by Incline with 63 and North Tahoe with 71.

Sierra Lutheran also crowned the individual girlsand#8217; champ, as senior Becky Grabow took the win ahead of Inclineand#8217;s Katie Cochran with a time of 20:18 to Cochranand#8217;s 20:32.

Gallant placed seventh in a time of 22:14. She was followed by Laker teammate Taylor Lewis, a senior who placed 22nd in 24:37 in her final high school race, and Dana McConnell, who was 26th in 25:05. Lewis passed two girls in the final 100 yards with a hard kick to the finish line.

and#8220;Taylor Lewis ran all four years, and she had a phenomenal final race,and#8221; Mills said. and#8220;She ran great. Iand#8217;m really proud of her.and#8221;

Inclineand#8217;s girls placed three runners in the top five and five in the top 10 to win the state championship by a landslide, posting a low score of 28 points to Sage Ridgeand#8217;s 70. Laughlin was third with 94. The title marked the third straight for the Incline girls.

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