History was made Saturday in Winnemucca. For the first time ever, the Truckee girls track and field team returned home as Northern regional champions.
Led by individual victories in every single running event — from sprints to distance races — the Truckee girls claimed the Northern Division I-A title with 154.5 points to runner-up Spring Creek’s 134. The Elko girls were third with 106.5 points and Fallon fourth with 74.
“Our athletes’ hard work had paid off. With a strong team effort, the girls proved their strength and depth in capturing the first ever Northern regional championship,” said Truckee coach Diana Yale, whose girls squad will be represented by nine athletes in the state championship meet this Saturday in Carson City.
The Truckee boys did not fare poorly, either, as they placed sixth out of nine schools and qualified five athletes for state.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the state championship.
Leading the charge at the regional meet was senior team captain Quinn Parker, who won the 100-meter dash (12.82), the 200 (26.11) and the 400 (58.20), as well as junior Gabrielle Rinne, who captured titles in the 800 (2:18.16), 1,600 (5:19.51) and 3,200 (11:39.32). Rinne also placed third in the 400 with a new personal record (PR) of 59.60.
Despite a knee strain, junior Skyler Flora qualified for state in three individual events as well as the 4 x 800 relay. She placed second in both the 1,600 (5:21.76) and 3,200 (11:43) and third in the 800 (2:22.91).
The remaining two individual qualifiers among the girls were both freshmen. Heather Pendleton won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, while Brenna Wapstra-Scott placed fourth in the 400 with a new PR of 60.08. Wapstra-Scott also made the finals in the 100 (13.48) and 200 (27.55).
Both the girls 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relay teams easily made the cut, with first- and second-place finishes in 4:12.09 and 10:01.79, respectively. Sophomore Olivia Yale and freshman Julia Veliquette were the common denominators in each relay, joined by freshmen Claire Lang-Ree and Pendleton in the 4 x 400 and Flora and freshman Syra Fillat in the 4 x 800.
Veliquette also narrowly missed qualifying for the 400, placing fifth with a new PR of 60.80. Other notable finishes by the girls included Truckee’s first pole vaulter, Chloe Wall, who tied for fifth with a leap of 8 feet, the 4 x 200 team of Yale, Veliquette, Lang-Ree and Wall, which placed fifth with a season-best time of 1:51.08, and sophomore hurdler Nicole Rathbun, who was sixth in the 300 hurdles with a new PR of 50.56.
Oberriter 2nd in 3,200
On the boys side, Elko edged Dayton by just two points for the regional title, 148-146. Fallon was third with 143 points, while Truckee was sixth with 40 points.
Truckee junior Noah Oberriter, the defending cross-country state champion, easily qualified in the 3,200 (10:05) with his second-place finish. He narrowly missed qualifying in the 1,600 (4:50.97), placing fifth.
Oberriter also ran the anchor leg of the 4 x 800 relay that also qualified for state. Joining him were teammates Eli Yale, Nathan Ariza and Colin Deurlington, who together placed second with a season-best 8:32.63. Nick Morgan will be traveling with the team as a relay alternate.
Deulington also just missed a qualifying berth in the 800, despite a PR of 2:01.94, which placed him in fifth. Not far behind with PRs of their own were Yale in seventh (2:02.81) and Ariza in ninth (2:04.73). With two sub-2-minute qualifiers, this 800 field was one of the fastest in Division I-A (formerly 3A) history.
It looked as though the boys 4 x 400 relay team of Yale, Deurlington, Tanner Sawyer and Max Barta qualified in fourth in the fast heat with yet another season best of 3:35.57. South Tahoe, however, which won the slower heat, registered a slightly faster time of 3:33.11, knocking the Truckee squad out of contention.
While the combination of elevation and 35 mph wind gusts were not ideal conditions for achieving PRs and season-bests, the Truckee team still managed to register 36 bests. For a complete list of results, see www.athletic.net.
In the state championship, the Truckee girls figure to be tested by defending state champion and Southern Division I-A champ Faith Lutheran, which boasts an enrollment of nearly 1,500 students. Faith Lutheran qualified five runners and three relay teams. However, the Crusaders are also sending seven field athletes compared to Truckee’s one.
“I want to do the absolute best that I can out there,” Parker said of the state meet. “I could go into all the times and PRs I want to get, but in the end I just have to race and leave everything on the track. We’re up against some pretty amazing talent from the South, but our team is strong and has a lot of depth. We just need to go out there are give a strong showing and prove that we are stronger than teams much larger than ours.”