North Tahoe track and field | Lakers earn 14 medals, six titles at state | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe track and field | Lakers earn 14 medals, six titles at state

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

State championship team results (top 10)

Girls

1. White Pine, 151

2. The Meadows, 147

3. North Tahoe, 101

4. Yerington, 59

5. Calvary Chapel, 56

6. Agassi Prep, 46

7. Incline, 36

8. Pershing County, 34

9. Lincoln County, 23

10. Silver Stage, 21

Boys

1. Yerington, 93

2. North Tahoe, 73

3. Agassi Prep, 71

4. The Meadows, 67.5

5. White Pine, 65

6. Pershing County, 54

7. Battle Mountain, 52

8. Lincoln County, 46

9. Incline, 43.5

10. Silver Stage, 37

Backed by strong tradition, the North Tahoe track and field teams always represent their school well in the state championship meet. This year was no different.

The Lakers returned from the Division III state championships in Las Vegas this past Friday and Saturday with an abundance of hardware. While both teams matched their 2014 results — with the boys finishing second and the girls third — North Tahoe athletes combined to earn 14 medals in individual events or relays, with six state titles.

North Tahoe’s boys posted a score of 73 points, which was second only to Yerington’s 93 and two points ahead of third-place Agassi Prep (71). The girls came in third with 101 points, trailing White Pine (151) and The Meadows (147). The top eight finishers in each event received points for their team.

Senior distance specialist Tara Gallant led the North Tahoe girls with three individual medals — awarded to the top four finishers in each event — and one state title. Gallant won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:47.32. She finished second in the 1,600 (5:27.31) and was third in the 800 with a personal record (PR) of 2:31.94.

Junior sprinter Allison Wright raced to a state title in the 200-meter dash, crossing the finish line in 27.07 seconds. She earned a third-place medal as well in the 100 (13.26).

Wright also was part of the Lakers’ speedy sprint relays along with Sara Trimm, Valencia Covell and Allie Doyle. Thanks in large part to Doyle’s efforts as the anchor, the group won state titles with closely contested finishes in both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays, recording times of 53.11 and 1:51.55, respectively. The state title in the 4 x 200 marked the third straight for the Laker girls.

Junior thrower Jordan Briggs capped a successful season with medal finishes in both of her events, finishing second in both the shot put (33-11.25) and discus (110-09). Junior Kaya Williams also medaled for the Lakers with a third-place finish in the 3,200 (12:39.62). Williams placed sixth in both the 800 (2:36.40) and 1,600 (6:03.84).

Trimm just missed earning a medal in the discus, as she finished fifth with a PR throw of 103-02. Maddie Cleeland finished eighth in the 300 hurdles (56.61), Doyle was seventh in the high jump (4-04), and Kyla Pierce was sixth in the high jump (4-08), seventh in the triple jump (30-00) and eighth in the long jump (13-05).

Laker boys

Competing with half of his beard shaved off, junior Max Burkhart earned the state title in the 400 with a time of 52.79 — just slightly off his PR of 52.75. Burkhart also medaled with a third-place finish in the long jump, with a PR of 19-09.75, and was fifth in the high jump (5-04).

While it wasn’t easy, the North Tahoe boys 4 x 800 relay won the state title for the third consecutive year, this time with James Palacio, Julian Bordes, Jackson Shaw and JC Schoonmaker.

It took an extraordinary effort, particularly on the part of senior anchor Palacio, who edged Yerington’s Kevin Kirk in a photo finish. Momentum from their all-out sprint to the finish sent both runners crashing to the ground immediately after crossing the line, Palacio with an official time of 8:42.572, and Kirk in 8:42.576.

“He (Palacio) was and is an amazing asset to the morale and camaraderie of the team,” said North Tahoe coach Rob Daniels. Palacio also placed sixth in the 1,600 (5:07.23).

Among other relay teams, North Tahoe’s 4 x 400 squad of Palacio, Burkhart, Austin Nall and Alexander Steele earned a second-place medal with a time of 3:36.84, and the 4 x 100 team of Brandon Hayakawa, Reed Davis, Max Kringle and Nathan Lutz earned a fourth-place medal in 46.78. The 4 x 200 team — with the same members as the 4 x 100 — placed seventh (1:39.39).

Junior Cam Goldstone and Schoonmaker, a freshman, helped lead the North Tahoe boys to their second-place finish with their efforts in the final event of the meet, the 3,200.

Entering the event in fourth place as a team, Goldstone passed a runner on the last lap to finish third (10:29.09), while Schoonmaker passed a runner just before the finish line to finish fifth (10:50.57) in a photo finish. Their points helped bump the Laker boys into second place.

Hayakawa narrowly missed a medal finish in the long jump, placing fifth with a PR of 19-04.75, while Nall placed fifth in the 110 hurdles (18.60) and seventh in the 300 hurdles (44.83), and Nick Joslin was eighth in the discus (103-02).