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Air Guard scores 1st at Tahoe Relay

The Nevada Air National Guard team took first place in the corporate division of the 49th Annual DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relay on June 8. The team included, l to r, Staff Sgt. Joey Hodges, Senior Master Sgt. James Lindsay, Master Sgt. Sean O’Brien, 1st Lt. Masten Bethel, Maj. Jared Brandt, Staff Sgt. Katie Cromeenes and Master Sgt. Chris Barber.  NV ANG photo courtesy of 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron (released).

The Nevada Air National Guard team took first place in the corporate division of the 49th Annual DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relay on June 8. The team included, l to r, Staff Sgt. Joey Hodges, Senior Master Sgt. James Lindsay, Master Sgt. Sean O’Brien, 1st Lt. Masten Bethel, Maj. Jared Brandt, Staff Sgt. Katie Cromeenes and Master Sgt. Chris Barber. NV ANG photo courtesy of 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron (released).

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. -- Despite grueling hill climbs and temperatures in the 90s, the Nevada Air National Guard running team overcame every natural hurdle to take first place in the Corporate Division of the 49th Annual DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relay on June 8.

The team featured seven runners who combined to run 72 miles around Lake Tahoe. The squad included Maj. Jared Brandt, 1st Lt. Masten Bethel, Staff Sgt. Katie Cromeenes, Senior Master Sgt. James Lindsay, Master Sgt. Chris Barber, Master Sgt. Sean O'Brien and Staff Sgt. Joey Hodges.

Overall, the Nevada Air Guard's time of 9 hours, 40 minutes was good enough for 26th out of 120 teams that were able to cross the finish line before the time cutoff.

Temperatures were unseasonably high for early June in the Tahoe area and some runners from other teams suffered heat-related injuries. Through teamwork and training, the Nevada Air Guard team persevered through the elements and finished 37 minutes faster than the second Corporate Division team.

The race is named for Capt. Robert E. DeCelle, Jr., who was killed in Vietnam in 1971.

The 50th annual running of the Lake Tahoe Relay is set for 2014. It's likely the Nevada Air Guard will have multiple teams entered in the historic race.