Sierra Lutheran’s Jared Marchegger defends state title |

Sierra Lutheran’s Jared Marchegger defends state title

Falcon harrier Jared Marchegger congratulates other competitors as they finish Saturday at Reed High.
Brad Coman/Nevada Appeal |

Carson High’s Rheanna Fallini-Jackson fifth at state meet

Sierra Lutheran High’s Jared Marchegger successfully defended his 2A/1A division boys title on Saturday at the NIAA Cross Country Championships in Sparks.

Marchegger ran a time of 17:04 over the 5,000-meter course at Shadow Mountain Sports Complex to win the small schools race. The junior was seven seconds slower than his winning time one week before at the region meet on the same course, however, the ultimate goal was achieved.

“I was just excited to win; it was a great way to end the high school season,” Marchegger said. “I wasn’t insanely worried about my time because I thought it would be a lot colder today. I even saw a forecast that called for snow. As it turned out, the weather was perfect.”

Marchegger surged to the lead early and crossed the finish 20 seconds ahead of North Tahoe senior J.C. Schoonmaker in second place. Schoonmaker has finished as the runner-up behind Marchegger at region and state each of the last two years.

Also for Sierra Lutheran, sophomore Teagan Hansen placed fifth in 17:51, an improvement of six seconds from the region meet. Freshmen Andreas Gilson and Jacob Tack finished 31st and 41st with respective times of 20:25 and 21:36, while Zachary Houghton took 47th in 28:00.

Sierra Lutheran finished fourth in the boys team standings with 62 points. North Tahoe won its sixth straight state team title with 29 points.

In the 2A/1A girls race, Emily McNeely and Taylor Davison placed fourth and 12th respectively for Sierra Lutheran. McNeely, a junior, clocked a time of 21:36 and Davison 23:29.

After concluding his race, Marchegger remained next to the finish chute and congratulated other runners as they came through — teammates and opposing runners alike.

“I usually do that,” he explained. “Everybody has worked hard to get to the state meet and they deserve to be here. And it’s always nice to get to know other runners. I’ve met a lot of great people through this sport.”

Marchegger has two postseason races to look forward to, the NXR Nike regional championships on Nov. 18 in Casa Grande, Ariz., and the Foot Locker West Regional on Dec. 2 at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif.