South Tahoe Nordic team host home race |

South Tahoe Nordic team host home race

Special to the Tribune

South Tahoe middle and High School, along with Incline High, hosted a home race at Kirkwood Cross Country Resort, with this being the first race of the season for the middle school athletes.

Under a bright blue sunny sky, with a trace of fresh snow, racing started at 10:30 a.m., with the high school boys kicking things off racing freestyle (skate) over a fast coursed that covered one lap of Kirkwood Meadow.

When racing was completed, Jordon Mcelroy, from Truckee High had the fastest time of the day, completing the course in just under 11:50 to win the varsity boys race. Kyle Swain led the South Tahoe Vikings with a very competitive time of 13:40 to take second place. Other Viking varsity boys racers included Tyler Myer and Harley Norton.

The open boys race was won by Jack Roten, from Mammoth High, in a time of 14:50. Leighton Cook, Chas Carlson, Goody Walowit, Kellen Gronwold and Branden Newberg competed for the Vikings in the boys open race.

In the girls varsity race, the winner was South Tahoe High’s Lisa Johnston in a time of 15:57. Team mate Christy Walowit’s time of 16:50 put her in second place. In the open race, Annika Winans, of Truckee High was the first finisher in a time of 15:56. Liana Novak was the first Lady Viking to finish the open race, in a time of just under 17:50, good enough for fifth place. The remaining South Tahoe Lady Vikings who competed on the day included Cara Filce, Janelle Spandau-Buts, Rebecca Novak, Zaira Monette, Emily Barnett, and Emma Sower.

Approximately 130 boys and girls, representing South Tahoe, North Tahoe, Alder Creek and Mammoth Middle Schools competed in a three kilometer race. The boys lead off with Harrison Gross from North Tahoe finishing with the fastest time of just over eight minutes. The South Tahoe Timber Wolves were lead by Paul Hoefer, who’s time of 9:06 was good enough for a top twenty finish. Chase Stalter, Orion Maxwell, Brady Mcintyre, Travis Wood, Kyle Ferguson, Max Morgan, and Anthony Wolfe rounded out the South Tahoe Middle School racers.

In the girl’s middle school race, Lizzie Larkins of Alder Creek blazed the course with at time of 8:26 for the win, placing her in the top ten overall with both boys and girls. Ally Swain lead all the Timber Wolf girls by placing forth with a time of 9:06. Other girls who competed for the Timber Wolves at the race included, Kerry Norton, Riley Rettig, Kylee Lyons, Leah Marino, Kristen Calderon, Meg Carlson, Claudia Janese, Sio Cook, and Kamren Gronwold.

A big thanks goes out to Debbi Waldear and the groomers at Kirkwood Cross Country Center for providing an excellent venue for the race, along with the many parent volunteers who gave of their time to assist with set-up, information, food/beverage, course monitoring, transportation and clean-up.

Vikings at Auburn Ski Club

The snow finally arrived, with the South Tahoe High School Nordic team was scheduled to race on Jan. 30. However too much of a good thing created poor road conditions and school closures, resulting in the race being postponed until Jan. 31. The classic (diagonal stride) race was hosted by Nevada Union and Colfax High Schools at the Auburn Ski Club course located adjacent to Boreal Ski Resort on Donner Pass.

With temperatures in the mid 20s and rising quickly, dialing in the correct kick wax was one of the toughest parts of the race. Coaches start out applying colder and harder waxes, and by the time the boys raced an hour later, they were putting on the very sticky high end temperature waxes. At least they did not have to use the dreaded klister waxes that can be extremely messy to apply and even messier to clean up and remove after the race.

The ladies lead things off with a mass start on the hilly two lap 5.4 kilometer course, with the varsity athletes starting two minutes before the open racers. In the varsity girls race, former South Tahoe Nordic skier Cassidy Cichowicz, now skiing for Sugar Bowl Academy took the top spot on the podium, finishing with at time of 20:27. South Tahoe’s lone varsity girl was Lisa Johnston, who finished in 12th place with a time of 27:54. Amanda Kirkeby from Mammoth lead the open field with a time of 22:45. The Lady Vikings were lead by Liana Novak in the open division, finishing in eighth place. Emily Barnett, Cara Filce, Emma Sower, Janelle Spandau, Rebecca Novak, Erin and Bridget Moffa, and Zaira Monette rounded out the remaining Viking racers.

On the boys side, the Vikings three racers for this event all skied in the varsity race. Sam Zabell from Sugar Bowl Academy led the boys field over the same two lap course as the girls, finishing with a winning time of 19:41. First for the Viking boys was Tyler Myers in seventh place with a time of 23:53. Kyle Swain and Harley Norton finished eighth and ninth respectively.

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