Truckee cross-country | Flora, Clusserath lead young Wolverines at state
Not bad for a bunch of JV runners.
With an overachieving group of mostly underclassmen – with only one senior on each team – the Truckee girls cross-country team raced to a second-place finish at the Division I-A state championship in Boulder City on Saturday, while the boys finished fourth.
As she did all season, sophomore Skyler Flora led the Truckee girls in their bid for the team championship, finishing second to Elko junior Shelbie Dorsa.
The anticipated duel between the top two finishers did not disappoint, as Flora, the regional champ, remained on Dorsa’s heels through much of the sandy, 5-kilometer course. But Dorsa, who sat out the regional championship with an illness, showed no ill effects from the previous week. She pulled away over the final half-mile to earn the individual state title in a time of 19 minutes, 36.9 seconds.
Flora crossed the line about 13 seconds behind, in 19:50.0. Ebonique Diaz of Sunrise Mountain was third in 20:21.0.
Another standout Truckee sophomore, Gabrielle Rinne, finished ninth in a time of 21:10.1, while freshman teammate Hannah Halvorsen was 20th in 22:09.2, senior Ruby Wood was 24th in 22:29 and freshman Kyla Burrill was 25th in 22:31 to complete the team scoring. Olivia Yale (36th, 24:07) and Michaela Welch (37th, 24:11) also raced.
The Wolverines’ top five scores earned them a second-place team finish behind Elko, 41-53. South Tahoe’s girls came in third with 77 points, and were followed by Faith Lutheran (81), Desert Pines (134) and Clark (135). A total of 52 girls participated in the race.
Andrew Clusserath made his first state experience a memorable one.
The Truckee freshman recorded a sixth-place finish in a field of 52 runners, as he hung in the back of the pack for the first half of the race before steadily passing competitors to the finish line. He posted a time of 17:22.4.
South Tahoe senior Connor Henderson claimed the individual title in a time of 16:37.8, while Martin Ponce of SECTA was runner-up in 16:50.8 and Kyler Simpkins of Elko was third in 17:08.8.
Truckee sophomore Noah Oberriter followed up his fifth-place regional performances with a solid eighth-place finish in 17:32.4, while senior Alex Kopytko finished 22nd in 18:06 and Nathan Ariza was 23rd in 18:06.3. Nick Morgan was 29th in 18:21.9 to round out the Wolverines’ top five scores.
Simeon Murphy (45th, 19:37) and Colin Deurlington (50th, 21:19) also competed for Truckee.
Elko’s boys won a close team competition over SECTA, 57-66, to give the Indians dual state titles. South Lake Tahoe and Truckee tied with 67 points, but the Vikings won the tiebreaker based on their sixth finisher.
With state in the rearview, Flora and Rinne plan to continue their seasons by participating in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships West Regional at Mt. San Antonio College in Southern California on Dec. 1. The event is a qualifier for the Foot Locker high school nationals a week later in San Diego.
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