Lakers sweep team titles at cross-country state championships

The most decorated program in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association added to its trophy case on Saturday, sweeping the boys and girls’ Class 2A cross-country state championships at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno.

The North Tahoe boys’ team raced to the program’s eighth straight state championship, while the Lady Lakers claimed the program’s sixth straight state title.

Individually, North Tahoe junior Kili Lehmkuhl took first place, finishing the 5,000-meter course in 20 minutes, 55 seconds.

“It means a lot,” said Lehmkuhl on winning the state title. “I knew that we were going to do really well, and I’m just super proud of everyone.”

Lehmkuhl, who won the regional championship the week before at Ranch San Rafael Regional Park, jumped out to an early lead during the state championship race and never looked back.

“I wanted to race how I did last week,” said Lehmkuhl. “I was kind of trying that same strategy and it worked.”

Junior Mera Schoonmaker finished in third place overall with a time of 22:51.

“It was very unexpected,” said Schoonmaker on taking third. “I just haven’t had a good race this season, and this was my best race. I beat my (personal record) by about 40 seconds.”

Junior Alani Powell was next for the Lakers, finishing in fourth place with a time of 23:15. Senior Cami Carter crossed the line in seventh place with a time of 23:33.

Junior Cindy Leon finished in 13th place with a time of 24:11. Junior Ana Ting Osterhuber was 14th with a time of 24:19, and sophomore Alexa McPherson was 26th with a time of 26:00.

As a team, North Tahoe finished with a low score of 14 points. White Pine was second with 44 points, followed by Laughlin with 51 points. The Lakers also won the academic state championship with a team GPA of 3.79.

On the boys’ side, Incline junior Niklas Pietzke claimed the individual title with a time of 16:55.

North Tahoe senior Nickolas Burkhart led the Lakers with a time of 17:44 for fourth place. Junior Etienne Bordes was next for the Lakers, finishing in fifth place with a time of 17:54. Junior Phoenix Sanchez took seventh place with a time of 17:58, followed by junior Cooper Honeywell in 10th place with a time of 18:19. Sophomore Jake Hacker claimed 12th place with a time of 18:22. Sophomore Doug Howle was 18th with a time of 19:11, and junior Connor Johnston was 30th with a time of 20:38.

As a team, North Tahoe finished with a low score of 16. Incline was second with 41 points, followed by Silver Stage in third place with 43 points.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643,

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