The Truckee cross-country team opened its season under a crescent moon and 32 light towers last Saturday night at the 7th Annual Nature’s Bakery Nevada Twilight Classic held at Shadow Mountain Regional Park in Sparks.
The competition included more than 500 high school runners from 26 schools, including most of the large Division I schools in Northern Nevada and a number of Northern California powerhouses. It was held on 4 kilometers of mostly dirt trails around the perimeter of Shadow Mountain. UNR hosted a collegiate women’s race as well.
Truckee junior Gabrielle Rinne led the varsity girls with a fifth-place finish in a time of 16:20. She was the top Division IA finisher, defeating the defending IA state champion, Shelbie Dorsa of Elko, who placed seventh.
Rinne was followed by her teammates Olivia Yale (18:13) and Michaela Welch (20:22). Without the minimum of five runners to comprise a team, a varsity team score was not tallied for the Truckee girls. Douglas won the varsity girls team award.
Freshman phenom Kyra Hunsberger (Reno) made her debut by setting a new high school meet record with a time of 15:29. Not only did Hunsberger outpace the 2011 D1 State Champion Lindsey Adams (Douglas), had she run the collegiate women’s race, she would have placed fifth.
Among varsity boys, junior Noah Oberriter was the top performer with his 13th-place finish in 13:56. McQueen’s Kai Benedict took top honors with a 13:10 finish. Other Truckee results included Nick Morgan (14:44), Ian Wilson (15:16), Simeon Murphy (15:19), and Holden Reed (17:44). Truckee boys placed 12th overall as a team, with Placer taking top honors in the varsity division.
The biggest story of the evening for Truckee was the dominance of its freshmen girls in the JV race. Nine of the 20 Truckee athletes racing were freshmen girls, a number that reflects the unprecedented size and depth of Truckee’s talented freshman class.
National Junior Olympians in cross country Carrie Bradley and Claire LangRee crossed the finish line within one second of each other, placing third (17:41) and fourth (17:42). Teammates Amanda Rae (18:34), Syra Fillat (18:44), and Julia Veliquette (18:48) finished 10th, 14th and 15th, respectively.
Not only did Truckee have five top 15 finishers, they were also the only freshmen in the top 15. Truckee’s JV girls took second place overall. Del Oro (Loomis, Calif.) took top honors, with a team that was triple the size of the Truckee contingent.
See complete results at www.athletic.net.