Fatigue and Dust at the North Tahoe Invitational

Written by Everett Millette, Writer

Photo Credits: Steve Watkins

Lake Tahoe – 13 runners from the Pacific Grove Cross Country Team traveled over 600 miles round-trip in order to participate in the 41st Annual North Tahoe Invitational. The team embarked at 6 AM on Friday morning, ran that afternoon, and spent the night in North Tahoe.


Before the race even began, The Breaker team got a bit of time to enjoy the stunningly beautiful Lake Tahoe area. The sight of a fogless sky and bright sunlight shimmering off the gorgeous lake, made the over 6 hour drive completely worth it for the Breakers. After a bit of time to soak in the scenery, The Breakers set forth towards the North Tahoe High School where they began to warm-up for their races.  


The races were massive, with 183 runners ready to run at the start of the varsity boys race. The start line was incredibly jam packed and when the starter pistol started the race, all 183 varsity boy runners sprinted like never before. The start was extremely crowded as runners darted towards the first turn striving with all their strength to not be shoved behind or fall and be trampled. The Breakers, in the thick of the crowd made it around the first turn, were then spit out at what-felt-like a million miles an hour into a frenzy of speed and dust.


With the first mile completed, the runners fought to keep their place among the competitors for the next 2.3 miles. The dust, no longer in the air, now plagued the runners, who must chug along, up and down hills, among the trees, with dust in their eyes, nostrils, throat and lungs.


The combination of over 5,000 feet of elevation, brutal hills, dry heat, and a longer varsity course than any other cross country course for the Breakers, the North Tahoe Invitational left any decent runner feeling beat down to a pulp. Jacob Hoadley, when asked to describe the North Tahoe course, responded so eloquently with: “it sucks.”


The Breakers fought a hard battle and the varsity boys left Tahoe with a stunning second place plaque. Out of the 18 Pacific Grove runners, 4 of them came home with well-deserved medals. Taylor Biondi ran the 2.8 mile frosh-soph girls race and won a medal for the Breakers with an impressive time of 26:52. Henry Loh, Everett Millette, Jacob Hoadley, Luca Lauritzen, Fiorin Ballerini, Shey Gibson, and Cameron Reeves all competed in the 3.3 mile varsity boy’s race. Henry Loh, at 8th place and a great time of 21:54 was the first Varsity Breaker Boy to cross the finish line.