It didn’t matter how many schools they were matched up against. Noah McDermott and the North Tahoe boys were determined to defend their home turf at the 38th Annual North Tahoe Kiwanis Invitational on Friday.
The reigning Division III state champs won the historic meet with ease in a field of 17 teams, the majority of which were from larger schools.
Led by McDermott’s individual win, the North Tahoe boys posted a low score of 47 points to runner-up Spring Creek’s 84. Truckee’s boys were third with 94 points.
McDermott, a senior and defending individual state champion, claimed victory by nearly a minute over Dayton’s Aaron Elissa, recording a time of 20:00.56 over the forested, 3.3-mile course. Elissa finished in 20:54.18 and was followed by Spring Creek’s Daniel Sallee (21:01.12) and Truckee’s Noah Oberriter (21:06.62).
Three North Tahoe runners finished among the top 10, while all five scoring runners finished in the top 20.
North Tahoe senior Shane Christian was fifth out of 139 varsity boys, posting a time of 21:20.81, and senior teammate Peter Holmes was ninth in 22:14.34. Junior James Palacio placed 17th (22:46.84) and senior Forrest Smith 18th (22:47.09).
After the top three in team scoring, Ponderosa finished fourth with 107 points and was followed by South Tahoe (128), Dayton (201), Colfax (227), Fallon (234), Incline (237), Atwater (243), Foresthill (297), Fernley (297), Bret Harte (321), Lowry (346), Silver Stage (370), Wooster (406) and ROP (457).
While the Laker girls did not have enough varsity runners to record a team score, junior defending state champion Tara Gallant finished third out of 85 runners in a time of 25:20.59. Truckee juniors Skyler Flora and Gabrielle Rinne finished first and second in 23:39.81 and 25:00.72, respectively.
The Truckee girls, with four runners in the top 10, handily won the varsity race with 26 points to runner-up Incline’s 85 and Atwater’s 93. They were followed by South Tahoe (96), Fernley (110), Ponderosa (121), Notre Dame (139), Wooster (208) and Lowry (224).
In other high school races, North Tahoe’s sophomore boys led by Julien Bordes (first) and Cam Goldstone (second) finished first, and North Tahoe’s frosh/sop girls led by Quinn Lehmkuhl (first) and Sophia Tallarigo (third) finished second.