LAUGHLIN — The Laughlin High School girls cross country team has a bright future ahead.
And a pretty bright present, too.
The Lady Cougars recently won the regional title in a Class 1-2A meet at Boulder City, then followed that up with a third-place finish at the state meet in Reno.
At state, which was held at Rancho San Rafael in Reno, the Cougars totaled 51 points. North Tahoe took the title with 14 points and White Pine was second with 44.
Laughlin freshman Leslie Quintero, building on her winning performance at regionals a week earlier, finished second in the girls race in 22 minutes, 27 seconds. North Tahoe junior Kili Lehmkuhl won the 5,000-meter race with a blazing time of 20:55.
Meara Schoonmaker of North Tahoe was third in 22:51 and Alani Powell, also of North Tahoe, was fourth in 23:15.
Laughlin, which had four freshmen and one senior competing in the state meet, had all five runners finish in the top 32. Freshman Alesandra Faccioli was 12th in 24:08, freshman Louisa Chapa was 23rd in 25:43, freshman Hannah Santos was 30th in 26:28 and senior Julia Thomas was 32nd in 26:53.
At regionals, Quintero, Faccioli and Chapa led a 1-2-3 sweep by the Lady Cougars. Quintero won in 23:04, Faccioli was runner-up in 24:19 and Chapa was clocked in 24:27.
Laughlin won with 14 points. White Pine was second with 27 and Needles was third with 43.
Thomas took 10th at regionals with a time of 26:05. Santos was 13th in 27:22.
“The girls deserved the win,” coach Mitch Mulcahy said. “If you look at their practice attendance, it’s almost perfect. When they show up, they show up to work hard. There aren’t many days were I have to get on them to pick up the pace.
“These girls have a drive and want to win. Everyboy wants to win, but these girls want to win and aren’t afraid to put in the time and effort to win.”
Laughlin had two boys compete at state after qualifying at regionals. Freshman Jasiel Trejo placed 29th in 20:29 and senior Osvaldo Castro took 39th in 22:03.
Trejo was ninth at regionals with a time of 20;27 while Castro was 12th in 20:48.
“Osvaldo is prone to injuries and couldn’t showcase his skills last year in track because of it,” Mulcahy said. “This year, he has been battling Achilles issues.
“Jasiel is a great soccer player, which gets him in shape for cross country. During the season, he would run with us, then go to a soccer game. Being a freshman, Jasiel has so much potential.”
Niklas Pietzke of Incline won the state meet with a time 16:55. Teagan Hansen, of Sierra Lutheran, was second in 17:12 and Kutoven Stevens, of Yerington, was third in 17:24.
North Tahoe took the boys team title as well, scoring 16 points. Incline was second with 41 and Silver Sage was third with 43.
At regionals, Lake Mead Christian Academy won the team title with 38 points. West Wendover was second with 61 and Lincoln County had 71 with Needles at 81 and Laughlin at 92.