CARSON CITY — Not one to boast, Noah McDermott briefly flashed a middle, ring and pinky finger in the air as he breezed across the finish line of the 1,600-meter run at the Division III state championships Saturday.
The subtle gesture, noticed only upon photo review, marked the extent of the North Tahoe senior’s celebration. Yet he had plenty of reason to exult. He had just claimed his third consecutive state title in the event — a feat matched only by his three straight titles in the 3,200.
“It was my last (high school) race, so I wanted to leave it all on the track,” said McDermott, who won this year’s 1,600-meter title in Carson City with a time of 4:35.83. “It wasn’t my best time, but I ran a lot this week.”
Indeed. McDermott also raced to victory in the 3,200 with a time of 10:10.93, while he also helped lead the 4 x 800 relay to a first-place finish and placed second in the 800.
His performance highlighted a fine all-around state showing by the Lakers, whose boys finished second behind Yerington and their girls third behind White Pine and The Meadows. The Lakers earned 22 medals in all — awarded to the top four finishers in each event — and won state titles in six events.
The boys recorded a team score of 85 points to Yerington’s 106.5. The North Tahoe girls amassed 111 points to White Pine’s 124 and The Meadows’ 114.
McDermott would have won a fourth race had it not been for senior teammate Peter Holmes.
Holmes, who also was part of the winning 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relay teams, edged McDermott for the win in the 800, posting a time of 2:01.26 to McDermott’s 2:01.71.
“It was a really good race. He beat me by two steps,” McDermott said. “But if anybody is going to beat me, I’m glad it was Peter. He worked hard for it.”
Holmes and McDermott raced together for much of the way in the 1,600 as well, with Holmes ultimately finishing third with a time of 4:50.05.
Led by the two senior distance specialists, the Laker boys 4 x 800 team, which also included Brandon Hackett and James Palacio, took gold with a winning time of 8:35.96, while the boys 4 x 400 team of Holmes, Hackett, Alexander Steele and Max Burkhart took the title with a time of 3:37.76.
The North Tahoe boys 4 x 100 team, which was made up of Steele, Hackett, Reed Davis and Nathan Lutz, earned a fourth-place medal with a time of 46.56.
Palacio also was fifth in the 3,200 (11:03.44) and Cam Goldstone was sixth (11:11.83), Burkhart was fifth in the high jump (5-06), Nick Joslin was sixth in the discus (105-08), and Hackett was seventh in the 400 (53.80).
North Tahoe’s regional champion girls, meanwhile, medaled in 14 events, led by the gold-medal performance of Sara Trimm, Maddie Cleeland, Allison Wright and Allie Doyle in the 4 x 200 relay, which won with a time of 1:53.71.
Junior Tara Gallant, who entered state as the top Northern seed in the 1,600 and 3,200, finished second in both events, recording times of 5:30.79 and 12:49.72, respectively.
Sophomore teammate Sophia Tallarigo placed third behind Gallant in the 3,200, in 12:52.39, and Kaya Williams, also a sophomore, was fourth, in 12:57.17.
The Lakers’ young crew of distance runners also fared well in the 800 and 1,600, with freshman Quinn Lehmkuhl finishing fifth in the 1,600 (5:54.71) and Tallargio sixth (6:03.83), and Lehmkuhl (2:35.07), Tallarigo (2:36.79) and Williams (2:36.99) placing fourth through sixth, respectively, in the 800.
Lehmkuhl, Tallarigo and Williams also teamed up with Ingrid Roske to finish third in the 4 x 800 relay with a time of 10:51.64.
In addition to her role on the winning 4 x 200 relay, Wright showed off her speed in the sprint events, as she placed second in the 100 with a time of 13.33 and was third in the 200, in 27.62. Wright also was part of the third-place 4 x 100 relay team (53.16) along with Trimm, Doyle and Angela Wood.
While the North Tahoe girls placed predictably well on the track, they also brought home four medals in the field events.
Sophomore Jordan Briggs earned third-place medals in both the shot put and discus, with heaves of 34-11.75 and 103-07, respectively, while Wood placed fourth in the shot put with a throw of 32-05.25 and Trimm was fourth in the discus with a toss of 91-11.
Wood was eighth in the long jump (14-00.50) and Kyla Pierce placed fifth in the high jump (4-06).