Truckee track and field | Girls cap season with runner-up state finish | SierraSun.com

Truckee track and field | Girls cap season with runner-up state finish

Special to the Sun
The Truckee girls track and field team celebrates its second-place finish in the Division I-A state championships.
Courtesy Patrick Flora |

Division I-A state championship results

Girls

1. Faith Lutheran, 125 points

2. Truckee, 96.50

3. Spring Creek, 68

4. Sunrise Mountain, 49

5. Sierra Vista, 42

6. Cheyenne, 38

7. Elko, 34

8. Dayton, 34

9. South Tahoe, 32

10. Lowry, 30

11. Mojave, 26

12. Pahrump Valley, 26

13. Sparks, 20

14. Virgin Valley, 18

15. Fallon, 17

16. Fernley, 10.50

17. Boulder City, 10

17. Del Sol

19. Desert Pines, 7

20. Clark, 4

21. Spring Valley, 2

Boys

1. Faith Lutheran, 95.50 points

2. Elko, 75

3. Dayton, 67

4. Desert Pines, 61

5. Fallon, 45

6. Boulder City, 42

7. Moapa Valley, 40

8. Spring Creek, 36

9. Chaparral, 35

10. Western, 30

11. Cheyenne, 26

12. Truckee, 25

13. Del Sol, 22.50

14. Sunrise Mountain, 20

15. Sparks, 19

16. Sierra Vista, 15

17. South Tahoe, 13

18. Fernley, 12

19. Clark, 7

20. Mojave, 4

21. Pahrump Valley, 3

22. Virgin Valley, 2

23. Lowry, 1

The unseasonably cool weather in Las Vegas for the Division I-A state championships last weekend was a good omen for Truckee track and field team.

While it was snowing back home, the girls team placed second to Faith Lutheran for the second year in a row, but by a much closer margin. Truckee’s boys team improved tremendously over last year, scoring nearly three times as many points, finishing in 12th place. 

“I’m so proud of this team, how they performed and how they represented our school and our town,” said Truckee coach Diana Yale. “Everyone gave their best effort. Truckee track and field has made a name for itself in Nevada.”

The boys 4 x 800 relay team, comprised of Eli Yale, Noah Oberriter, Ryan Murphy and Colin Deurlington, set the tone in the first event of the meet by breaking their own school record set just last week at regionals. They finished second with a time of 8:03.53, an astounding eight-second improvement, just two seconds behind winner Faith Lutheran.

“This school record will be hard to take down,” said Truckee distance coach Rob McClendon. 

Later that evening, Truckee seniors Gabrielle Rinne and Skyler Flora celebrated the last meet of their high school careers by earning individual state titles in the 800 and 3,200, respectively. In the 800, Rinne finished with a season-best time of 2:13.36, with Flora in third (2:22.27) and sophomore Julia Veliquette right behind in fourth (2:24.30). 

Flora dominated her competition in the 3,200 for her third straight state title in the event, breaking her own Division I-A meet record set last year in 11:16.30. Flora’s 10:52 in the 3,200 at the Arcadia Invitational earlier this season is the top 3,200 time in Nevada, across all divisions. 

After each racing sub-two-minute splits in the 4 x 800 relay, Oberriter and Deurlington also had individual races to contest. Oberriter placed fifth in the 1,600 (4:38.9) and Deurlington finished eighth in the 400 (2:01.25).

The girls 4 x 400 team of Olivia Yale, Heather Pendleton, Veliquette and Rinne raced in the final event of the evening, placing second to Faith Lutheran with a season-best time of 4:03.89. Faith Lutheran set a new DI-A meet record with their commanding 3:54.16 finish. 

Friday night on the field, sophomore Chloe Wall leaped to a third-place finish in the pole vault (9-00), while Hayley Thomas placed seventh in the triple jump with a personal record (33-04.50), and Tanner Sawyer finished eighth in the long jump (20-03.50). 

The girls 4 x 800 relay team, comprised of Emma Warren, Claire Lang-Ree, Veliquette and Flora, started Saturday’s races off right by successfully defending their state championship, winning with a time of 9:47.35, a comfortable eight-second margin over second-place Spring Creek.  

The girls 4 x 200 relay team had a heartbreaking disqualification due to a baton hand-off lane violation. The young team, made up of Pendleton and three freshmen, Sophie Curtis, Hailey Matosian and Abby Baier, gained valuable experience and will be strong contenders next year.  

The boys 4 x 100 relay team with Gabe Deiro, Teliz Manahan, Carson Cottel and Sawyer had an amazing race, recording the top result out of the Northern region. They placed fifth in 44.78, which was a season-best and the second fastest time in school history. 

Truckee’s girls dominated the 1,600, scoring nearly a quarter of their state meet points in less than six minutes, thanks to Rinne, Flora and Lang-Ree.

Rinne earned her second individual state title in 5:12.05. Flora placed second (5:23.01) and Lang-Ree fourth (5:35.63). Rinne’s 4:57 in the 1,600 at the West Valley Invitational last month is the top 1,600 time in Nevada, across all divisions. 

An hour later, another trio of Truckee girls competed in the 400. Rinne finished fifth (59.57), Veliquette seventh (61.29) and Yale eighth (62.50). Yale also ran the final girls individual race of the meet, the 200, placing eighth (27.89). 

In the boys 3,200, Oberriter finished fifth (9:50.26) and newcomer Zack Barta placed seventh with yet another personal record (10:12.71). Each time Barta ran the 3,200 this season, he set a new personal record. Deurlington finished eighth in a highly competitive 800 (2:01.25), where the top six ran sub-two-minute times.  

Truckee jumpers also excelled on the field Saturday.

Pendleton finished fifth in the high jump (4-10), and freshman phenom Baier placed sixth in the long jump (15-03), a personal record. Like Barta, Baier achieves a new personal record practically every time she competes. 

In the end, the Faith Lutheran girls accumulated 74 points on the track and 51 points on the field for a winning score of 125 points. Truckee earned 82 points on the track and 14.5 points on the field for a final tally of 96.50. Spring Creek’s girls were third with 68 points.

“Taking runner-up for the girls team again is amazing accomplishment,” McClendon said. “Most people think track and field is an individual sport, but at Truckee we’re trying to field the best team across all events to score high in the team standings. We will miss our strong seniors, but our team has improved over this season and we look forward to the new generation of elite runners to step up.”

Indeed, the margin of victory for Faith Lutheran is shrinking, from 47 points last year to 28.5 points this year. The number of Truckee state qualifiers in field events quintupled this year.

This trajectory should continue into the future as a new track and field facility is built on the Truckee campus this summer, thanks to Measure U. This will allow for proper training and regular practices to take place on-site for the first time in the school’s history. 

“With a proper facility, we hope to get more athletes involved in jumping, vaulting and throwing and build a true track and field program for Truckee,” coach Yale said. “The facility will benefit the community as a whole, and we are all very excited about that.”