Historically, the West Valley Invitational in Oroville, near Chico, has been a high point in the season for the Truckee track and field team, with many personal records achieved on the fast Mondo track surface at sea level.
This year was no exception, despite wet and challenging weather conditions. In fact, it could be considered downright historic.
“This was an outstanding meet, and very exciting to watch,” said Truckee coach Diana Yale. “This determined and gutsy team posted 53 personal records and two school records.”
In a highly competitive Northern California field of 25 teams, the girls placed second to host West Valley, while the boys placed 16th.
Defending Division I-A cross-country champion Noah Oberriter distinguished himself on the track by setting a new Truckee High record in the 1,600 with a time of 4:34.28.
“It was just a matter of time for Noah to break a six-year school record in the 1,600,” Yale said. “And with as good as he’s running, there’s little doubt he’ll get the 3,200 record as well.”
Oberriter finished fifth in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200 (9:52.85).
Even more historic was the duo of juniors Gabrielle Rinne and Skyler Flora, who battled it out in the 1,600, both breaking the five-minute barrier in the process, finishing first (4:58.12) and second (4:59.17), respectively. Not only did they both break the Truckee High record, they also bested the stadium record set in 1996, before either of them were born.
“It was very impressive to see Gabi and Skyler both go under five minutes in the 1,600 and to see Gabi break her own school record again this season,” Yale said. “To see two girls break a five-minute mile at the same time is truly extraordinary.”
Indeed, this result catapults Rinne and Flora up state and national rankings: second and third in Nevada, across all divisions, 19th and 25th in California, and 62nd and 72nd in the U.S. in a field of over 25,000 prep female milers. Among high school juniors, they are ranked first and second in Nevada, fifth and sixth in California, and 19th and 25th in the nation.
Meanwhile, senior team captain Quinn Parker won the Athlete of the Meet award with her noteworthy performances in four events.
Parker anchored both the winning 4 x 400 relay (also including freshmen Julia Veliquette, Brenna Wapstra-Scott and Heather Pendleton) and the third-place 4 x 100 relay (Wapstra-Scott, Olivia Yale and Hayley Thomas). Individually, she won the 200 (26.36) and finished second in the 400 (58.88).
“Quinn’s work over the winter in the weight room is paying off in speed, strength and power to be able to compete so well in multiple events,” Yale said.
Parker is looking forward to the next chapter of her illustrious track career: running for NCAA Division I Ivy League powerhouse Princeton University.
Other top finishes by the boys included Colin Deurlington in the 800 (2:05.02), Eli Yale in the 400 (53.99) and 800 (2:07.54), Nathan Ariza in the 1,600 (4:42.72) and 3,200 (10:29.99), Carson Cottel in the 200 (24.77) and 400 (57.58), Simeon Murphy in the 1,600 (4:57.23), Nick Morgan in the 3,200 (10:46.31), Riley Welch in the 110 hurdles (21.08), and Cole Castro in the 110 hurdles (22.10).
Among the girls, other top performances included Wapstra-Scott in the 100 (13.31) and 400 (60.75), Yale in the 200 (28.46) and 800 (2:26.66), Veliquette in the 800 (2:27.54), Claire Lang-Ree in the 400 (64.61), Syra Fillat in the 1,600 (5:29.94) and 3,200 (12:25.45), Carrie Bradley in the 3,200 (12:33.51), Pendleton in the high jump (4-08.00), and Thomas in the triple jump (30-09.50).
See www.athletic.net for complete results.
Truckee will compete in the High Desert Invitational at Reed High School on Friday and the Sacramento Meet of Champions at American River College on Saturday.