Noble, Incline girls win cross country state championship
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Kira Noble wasn’t worried about winning an individual state cross country championship last weekend, she just wanted to do her best run as fast as she could.
The Incline Village sophomore did her best and ended up beating everybody else.
Noble won the individual title in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A Cross Country Championships at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks and helped lead the Highlander girls’ team to the overall crown, knocking off rival and defending champ North Tahoe in the process.
“I didn’t think going in that I was going to win going into the race,” Noble said. “Whoever wins didn’t really matter, I just wanted to do my best. I felt really happy after crossing the finish line and then I waited and cheered on my teammates.”
Noble stayed with the lead pack on the first lap of the 5,000-meter course, but on the second and final lap, she pulled away.
“We had a plan on how Kira was going to run and she pulled away on the second lap,” said Incline Head Coach Ross McMahon. “She’s got so much speed in track and her kick is phenomenal. We just said run with whoever is in the lead and if you feel good to take off. I didn’t feel like anyone could stick with her.”
Noble finished in 21 minutes, 43 seconds, 51 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor from southern Nevada and was about a minute faster than North Tahoe’s best runner Kalena Steves, who finished third. Noble ran the course 46 seconds faster than she did the previous week when the Highlanders won the regional crown.
Noble’s improvement was actually the least amount of time shaved compared to her teammates.
Catherine Kerrigan finished in sixth with a time of 23:01, 48 seconds faster than the regional meet. Lainey Lowden was seventh and had 1:36 improvement, Adelina Laforge was 11th with a personal best (24:49) which was 1:10 faster and Madison Racich was 13th with a 1:46 improvement.
“The girls all stepped up and improved their times over last week at the same course,” McMahon said. “To have five girls in the top 13, it’s hard to beat. They all ran great and had fun out there. It was great to see after the first lap they all felt good and I felt good after seeing them.”
The girls finished with 21 points, well ahead of second place North Tahoe with 36.
“We didn’t want to just beat North Tahoe, we just wanted to do our best,” Noble said. “The race was pretty hard, but I was motivated by my teammates and coaches. It was the state race, so it had the most pressure which made it hard. Everyone had to pull their weight. We were really positive and encouraging and we worked the hardest for the state meet and that’s why we were so fast.”
It turns out the girls aren’t just fast, they all perform in the classroom. The Highlanders also earned the academic state championship.
Incline boys earn second at state
The Highlander boys won the regional championship the previous week and had high hopes of winning at state as well, but the defending champs from North Tahoe were a bit better.
Incline claimed two of the top three sports, and three of the top seven, but it also unfortunately had a runner miss the race due to COVID exposure.
Noah McMahon has led the team all season and again on Saturday with a second place finish in a time of 17:27. He finished 59 seconds behind the race winner.
Brendan Pietzke improved his time from the previous week and finished third in 18:09.
Josiah McMahon earned seventh place (19:11) and Andrew Duckworth was Incline’s final scoring runner and he finished in 32nd in 21:50.
Said coach McMahon after the event, “I couldn’t ask for anything more of the runners that were there.”
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