The Lake Tahoe School track & field team enjoyed another highly successful track season at the Tah-Neva championships in Carson City on May 14, 2024. The meet consisted of 22 different middle schools from the Tahoe Basin, Carson City, Reno, and other parts of Northern Nevada and California.

The LTS Bobcats dominated the meet and were rewarded for their efforts by claiming three D1 Tah-Neva team championships – 7th grade boys, 8th grade boys, and 8th grade girls. The 7th grade boys and the 8th grade boys not only won the D1 title but were also the championship winners in the entire Tah-Neva League.

Coach Kris Nugent was full of praise for his team: “It’s been a tremendous track season for our Bobcat track team. This is my 15th year coaching track at LTS and I truly believe this is the most talented team I’ve ever coached. We have amazing distance runners, the best hurdlers in the region, our relay teams were fantastic, our throwers really shined, and we set new school and Tah-Neva records with jumps. Just an incredibly well-rounded team.”

There were a number of outstanding individual results at championships.

For the 7th grade girls division, Larkin Schuessler had a great all round meet with a 5th place finish in the high jump, 6th in the 80m hurdles, and 8th in the 200m hurdles. Kylie Mangiarcina excelled in the throws with a 4th in shot put and 6th in discus. 5th grader, Josephine McConnon, ran well against much older competition, with a 10th in the 1600m and 12th in the 800m.

For the 7th grade boys division, there were many standout performances. Ian Kim smashed the Tah-Neva 80m hurdle record on his way to victory, finishing with a time of 12.74. Brooks Erikson ran extremely well and was the 1600m champion, breaking the LTS school record, and 2nd in the 800m. Adan Ayala capped a stellar year by winning the discus, finishing 2nd in the shot put, and 7th in the 80m hurdles. Jenner Piro was dominant with jumps this season, winning the triple jump and long jump at championships and finishing 4th in high jump. Hudson Palmer worked tirelessly this season and was rewarded with great results at championships; 2nd in the 80m hurdles, 3rd in the 200m hurdles, 7th in the 100m, and 10th in the 200m.

The 8th grade girls team finished their LTS careers by winning a fourth consecutive team championship! Team MVP Shelby Erikson was a true leader and had a massive championship meet – 1st place in the 1600m, 800m, and 400m. She also anchored the 4x400m team to win the championship race and set a new Tah-Neva record with teammates Lauren Adams, Alex Oliva, and Isobel Knibbs. Alex Oliva was the 80m hurdle champion and 3rd in the 400m. Lauren Adams had her best meet of the season with a 3rd place finish in the 80m hurdles, 7th in the 100m, and 8th in the 200m hurdles. Isobel Knibbs was also a standout performer winning the 200m hurdles, finishing 4th in the 80m hurdles, and 5th in the 100m. Gisele Francl battled injuries all season long but was able to return for championships to finish 4th in the triple jump and 5th in the 200m.

The 8th grade boys had a dominant year. They were the standout team in the division all year and performed exceptionally well at championships. This team was led by the team MVP Oliver Pietzke. Oliver finished with four gold medals at championships; the 400m, 800m, discus, and was the anchor of the 4x400m team with teammates Joey Jennings, Zak Weimer, and Lachlan McConnon. Joey Jennings had a remarkable meet, winning the high jump with a new Tah-Neva record of 5-08, winning long jump, 4th in the 100m, and anchoring the 4x100m team to a 5th place finish. Lachlan McConnon had a big day of running, finishing 2nd in the 3200m, 4th in the 1600m, and 5th in the 800m. Noah Harssema was close behind his teammate with a 4th in the 3200m, 6th in the 1600m, and 6th in the 3200m.

Coach Kris Nugent reflected on his departing senior class, “It’s been an honor to coach this 8th grade class this year and for the entire middle school career. They are real leaders. They set the tone at every practice and meet. They have set records that may never be broken and won countless championships. I’m really going to miss them.”

The focus for many of these LTS Bobcats will now turn towards preparing for the upcoming USATF and AAU track and field season with the ultimate goal of qualifying for the National Jr. Olympics in College Station, TX, this July, where they will be joined by a number of IHS and IMS athletes. Coach Kris Nugent is looking forward to the summer ahead: “I’m excited to coach many of our LTS athletes along with IMS and IHS athletes this summer for the Lake Tahoe Track Club. We have some amazingly talented track and field athletes in our area and I’m eager to see them compete against the best kids on the west coast and the nation this summer!”