In the absence of her toughest competitor, Truckee sophomore Skyler Flora left little doubt who was the fastest girl at the Northern Division I-A cross-country championships on Friday.
Flora, a consistent top finisher during the regular season, captured the Northern regional title with ease at Reno's Rancho San Rafael Park, as she finished nearly a minute ahead of the second-place runner in a time of 19 minutes, 39 seconds over the 5-kilometer course.
Dayton's Katrina Breithaupt was runner-up in 20:35, and Spring Creek's Makenzie Whimple was third in 20:46. Elko's Shelby Dorsa, who was expected to contend for the regional title, did not race due to illness.
Truckee's Gabrielle Rinne, also a sophomore, was fourth in 20:59.
Led by their sophomore duo, the Truckee girls recorded the fastest average and combined times among their top five runners (the amount used for the team score).
But it wasn't quite enough. Elko's girls, despite two Truckee runners placing ahead of their top finisher, edged the Wolverines with a low score of 38 points to 43. South Tahoe was third with 66 points. All three schools will represent the North at the state championship, scheduled for Nov. 3 in Boulder City.
The Indians pulled off the regional title with finishes of fifth, seventh, 10th, 11th and 13th, while Truckee posted finishes of first, fourth, 14th, 15th and 16th.
Truckee freshman Hannah Halvorsen was 14th in 22:24, senior Ruby Wood was 15th in 22:25 and freshman Kyla Burrill was 16th in 22:29. For Elko, Christina Rose was fifth in 21:14 and was followed by teammates Katie Howard (seventh, 21:34), Shay Digenan (10th, 22:04), Kayla Carpenter (11th, 22:05) and Caitlin Prescott (13th, 22:16).
Truckee freshman Olivia Yale (21st, 22:44) and Michaela Welch (32nd, 24:02) rounded out the Wolverines' squad.
There were 51 girls total and six schools with full teams.
Led by sophomore Noah Oberriter, the Truckee boys finished third among a tightly packed top-three with South Tahoe and Elko.
South Tahoe won the regional title with a low score of 60 points to Elko's 62. Truckee came in third with 69 to secure a berth in the state championship.
Oberriter finished fifth in a time of 17:41, while teammate Alex Kopytko was 11th in 18:11, Andrew Clusserath was 14th in 18:18, Nathan Ariza was 16th in 18:30 and Nick Morgan was 23rd in 18:40 to round out the Wolverines' top five scores.
South Tahoe senior Connor Henderson won in 17:04 and was followed by Elko's Kyler Simpkins in 17:15 and Fallon's Tanner Boone in 17:35.
Truckee's Simeon Murphy (26th, 19:01) and Colin Deurlington (42nd, 20:27) also competed.
A total of 56 boys and seven complete teams raced.
UP NEXT: The state championship is Saturday in Boulder City.