The North Tahoe boys cross-country team did not skip a beat in the offseason.
The defending Division III state champions easily won their season-opening meet this past Friday, beating out nine other schools, including five Division I-A programs, at the annual Warrior Warpath hosted by Whittell.
Led by defending state champion Noah McDermott’s individual win, North Tahoe’s boys swept three of the top four spots while all five of their scoring runners placed among the top eight. That gave the Laker boys the win ahead of Spring Creek, with a low score of 23 points to the Spartans’ 40.
Incline’s boys finished third with 93 points and were followed by Fallon (122), Dayton (144), Lowry (150), Paradise (189), Wooster (212), Silver Stage (224) and ROP (257).
In a field of 91 runners, McDermott took the individual win in a yawner, as he posted a time of 15:48 to Spring Creek runner-up Daniel Sallee’s 17:02.
North Tahoe seniors Shane Christian and Peter Holmes finished third and fourth, respectively, in times of 17:04 and 17:11. The Lakers’ James Palacio was seventh in 17:58 and Forrest Smith was eighth in 17:59.
North Tahoe’s girls did not fair poorly either, particularly junior Tara Gallant, who reminded her competition why she is the defending Division III girls state champion.
Gallant raced to victory in a time of 19:44. Makenzie Whimple of Spring Creek was second in 20:29 and Julia Mahlke of Spring Creek was third in 20:33. Sophia Tallarigo was the next-highest North Tahoe finisher, placing fourth in 21:01.
Despite placing two runners in the top four, however, the Laker girls settled for third place behind Spring Creek, which posted a low score of 27 points, and Incline, which posted 58 points. North Tahoe had 69 points. Paradise was fourth with 88 points and Wooster fifth with 107. A total of 51 varsity girls raced.
Kaya Williams finished 31st (25:43), Holly Lewis 32nd (25:57) and Ingrid Roske 34th (26:24) to round out the Lakers’ top five scores.