Truckee cross-country | Wolverines open season with fine showing in Sparks |

Truckee cross-country | Wolverines open season with fine showing in Sparks

Special to the Sun
Sophomore Hudson Verbeck, who placed fifth in the JV race at the Nevada Twilight Classic in Sparks last Friday, is expected to be Truckee boys' No. 2 runner behind defending state champion Noah Oberriter.
Courtesy Patrick Flora |

The Truckee cross-country team made its customary debut under the lights at the Nevada Twilight Classic in Sparks last Friday evening. Out of 20 runners, 14 registered personal records (PR) on the challenging 4-kilometer course.

Defending Division I-A state champion Skyler Flora led the way with an impressive showing, winning the race while setting a new course record with a time of 15:03 in a field of 87 racers. Even more impressive, had Flora participated in the collegiate race, the senior would have placed fourth in the field of 47.

Sophomore Kyra Hunsberger of Reno placed second in 15:14, and Lindsey Adams of Douglas — who competed in Truckee’s Firecracker Mile and the Squaw Mountain Run this past summer — rounded out the top three in 15:20.

Truckee senior Gabrielle Rinne recorded a fourth-place finish with a time of 16:01, despite recovering from both an injury and oral surgery the week before. Rounding out the top 20 was sophomore Carrie Bradley, who finished 19th in 17:08.

Other scorers for the team included Olivia Yale in 49th (18:21) and Syra Fillat in 57th (18:50).

While the Truckee girls finished fifth overall in a field of 12 teams, they registered both the fastest overall and average team time.

“You will see Skyler, Gabi and Carrie at the top of the rankings at the end of the season,” said Truckee coach Rob McClendon. “But we will have our work cut out for us to defend our state championship with Spring Creek returning with a solid team.”

Spring Creek finished as the top Division I-A team in third place, with Division I squads Douglas and Galena taking top honors. 

Truckee’s JV team dominated its competition, finishing first with a total score of 38. McQueen was a distant second, with 68 points. In a field of 130 runners, Truckee’s point scorers all placed in the top 20: Julia Veliquette (18:06) fifth, Claire Lang-Ree (18:07) sixth, Amanda Rae (19:11) 11th, Michaela Welch (19:25) 13th and Bella Bono (19:40) 16th. 

“The JV girls ran a great team race, with Julia and Claire run together the whole time,” McClendon said.

Meanwhile, the young boys team also showed great early season promise.

“We had huge improvements on the boys side, with an average improvement of 1:30 for all boys. We are looking to get out of the regional meet this year, which the team missed by just one point last season,” McClendon said. 

Truckee’s defending Division I-A state champion, senior Noah Oberriter, spent much of the varsity race in the lead pack, eventually placing eighth (13:27), just three seconds out of fifth place. 

Senior Kai Benedict of McQueen took the win in 12:56, while senior Kyler Simpkins (13:26) of Elko was the top Division I-A runner in sixth.  

The remainder of the boys team ran in the JV race, placing fifth out of 12 teams. All Truckee runners placed in the top half of the field of 165, the largest race of the evening.

Sophomore Hudson Verbeck was the top finisher (15:20) in fifth place, followed by Ian Smith (16:12) in 12th, Tyler Ferrera (16:23) in 26th, Christopher Miller (16:26) in 31st and Patrick MacAuley (17:42) in 72nd. 

“Hudson ran a great race, improving by 1:40 over last year,” McClendon said. “I am hoping to see him run as our second varsity runner, next to Noah, with Ian, Tyler and Chris to round off a strong and young team.”

Complete results are available at