Norton leads in league finale
Whittell senior Hughston Norton added one more first-place finish in the final Tahoe Basin League race of the regular season at Heavenly on Tuesday.
Norton squeaked out a win by .04 of a second to help lead the Whittell boys to their strongest finish yet, third place. Senior teammate Kody Dangtongdee helped Whittell land in third with a 14th-place finish in 1:05.2.
The South Tahoe boys placed four skiers in the top 10, and took the boys’ team win with 200 points to runner-up North Tahoe’s 196. Whittell picked up third with 168 points, followed by Truckee (154), Douglas (128), Carson (94) and Incline (70). South Tahoe’s boys won the regular-season title, Truckee was second and North Tahoe third.
North Tahoe’s Nico Monforte (52.27) finished runner-up, a split second behind Norton’s 52.23. Truckee’s Scotty Lebel took third in a time of 55.66.
South Tahoe’s Alec Jobbins just missed the podium, cruising in for a fourth-place overall in 56.57.
Teammate’s Connor McKeen (6th, 59.6), Jason Elder (8th, 1:00.7), Connor Henderson (10th, 1:03.6) and Grant Fagen (15th, 1:05.4) made up the top Vikings’ times.
South Tahoe’s Mikaela Clothier led the lady Vikings with a third-place finish in 59.64.
North Tahoe’s Francesca English picked up first, finishing with a two-run combined time of 55.33 seconds to lead the field of nearly 50 racers. Maureen Lebel, racing for Truckee, finished second in 58.98.
Clothier has emerged as one of the Vikings most reliable racers this season.
“All year long she’s been very consistent,” South Tahoe coach Mike Shreve said.
Just how consistent has Clothier been?
She’s turned in top five finishes at every race, which is exactly what Shreve asked of her at the beginning of the season.
Maia Bickert wasn’t far behind Clothier with a ninth-place finish (1:10.5).
A fall in her second run cost Bickert a podium finish. She had to climb back up the hill a few feet to avoid the DNF. Even with the mistake, the speedy South Tahoe skier still finished in the top 10.
Cassidy McDonough (14th, 1:13.5) and Andi Ebright (15th, 1:14.7) rounded out the top times for the lady Vikings.
Whittell’s Michael Gardner turned in her usual speedy runs with a combined eighth-place finish in 1:06. Hot on her heels was teammate Danica Bunnett in 12th (1:12.9).
North Tahoe’s girls won the team competition with 198 points to runner-up Truckee’s 188 and South Tahoe’s 187. The Douglas girls were fourth with 159 points, followed by Whittell (158), Carson (108) and Incline (96), which did not have a full team of girls or boys.
Between their boys and girls combined, North Tahoe won the overall with a score of 394 points. The Lakers were followed by South Tahoe (387), Truckee (342), Whittell (326), Douglas (287), Carson (108) and Incline (166).
South Tahoe won the overall regular-season title, while North Tahoe was second and Truckee third.
Non-state skiers met on the Alpine Slopes on Thursday for a head-to-head division qualifier competition.
Cassidy McDonough stood out among the Vikings, missing the top two spots by a split second.
“Our highlight was Cassidy McDonough, who’s a first year racer, took third,” Shreve said. “Her total differential time in both runs against her opponent, who went on to win, was only .01 seconds. I’ve only seen that happen twice before.”
Luc Daum also made it into semifinals and came away with fourth place.
Bryce Kortge, Trent Leonard and Geddy Miller all made it into quarterfinals.
For the girls, Tegan Grant also made it into quarterfinals.
The race was on Kangaroo Run with perfect course conditions and weather.
Shreve also took a run down the course when the Truckee High School ski coach challenged him to a race.
“Pat Mooney slapped me with the glove, and I took the challenge and had to keep him humble,” Shreve said. “He’s a really good skier. I just happened to ski a little quicker than him today.”
UP NEXT: The state championship races are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 25-26, at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
ST Mikaela Clothier 3 1:08.4
GW Michael Gardner 8 1:06.0
ST Maia Bickert 9 1:10.5
GW Danica Bunnett 12 1:12.9
ST Cassidy McDonough 14 1:13.5
ST Andi Ebright 15 1:14.7
GW Katherine Krolicki 23 1:20.2
GW Skylar Smith 30 1:29.9
GW Hughston Norton 1 52.23
ST Alec Jobbins 4 56.57
ST Connor McKeen 6 59.6
ST Jason Elder 8 1:00.7
ST Connor Henderson 10 1:03.6
GW Kody Dangtongdee 14 1:05.2
ST Grant Fagen 15 1:05.4
GW Logan Manchester 35 1:21.8
GW Matt Davis 36 1:22.0