South Tahoe, Whittell combine to send three ski teams to state
There were many winners at the Ryan Shreve Memorial High School Race on Tuesday at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
The South Tahoe High Vikings cinched the boys’, girls’ and overall Tahoe Basin Ski League championships at an unusual double-race finale. As a result, both South Tahoe teams will go into the Feb. 20-21 state meet at Mount Rose’s Slide Mountain as No. 1 seeds.
“We started the week with Super Bowl Sunday, then a day of rest and went straight into super Tuesday with the double crown and league title,” said South Tahoe coach Mike Shreve in describing his action-packed sports week.
Whittell High also was a big winner on Tuesday, ending the South Tahoe boys’ team’s string of firsts with an upset win in the GS. The Warriors capped their strong finish by taking second in the afternoon slalom to earn the school’s first trip to the Nevada state meet.
“As soon as they started showing up in full battle array, they became a super power overnight,” Shreve said.
Whittell and Truckee ended the season in a tie for second place, but the Warriors received the league’s second ticket to state based on their winning a race and the Wolverines’ best result a second.
“That was spectacular. A win in that league is huge,” said Whittell coach Patrick Kelly.
Sorting out the league winners and state qualifiers was part of the TBL’s final day of racing. For the first time, a combined trophy was awarded to the top male and female as part of the Ryan Shreve Memorial High School Race. South Tahoe High junior Mikey Suglian edged out Whittell’s Hughston Norton for the male award, while Incline’s Grace Dolan topped teammate Kelsey Higgins for the female honor. Suglian and Dolan also had their names engraved on the perpetual Ryan Shreve Memorial trophy. The race is held in memory Mike Shreve’s son, a former Vikings’ racer who died following a wakeboarding accident.
In the tightly contested girls’ GS, Higgins posted a winning time of 51.73 seconds. Dolan was runner-up in 52.19 and South Tahoe’s Madison Bowman was third at 52.56. Two other South Shore racers made the top 10 with the Vikings’ Ashley Killeen taking fourth and Whittell’s Whitney Gardner placing eighth.
South Shore skiers swept the podium in the boys’ GS with STHS’s Suglian first in 49.64, Whittell’s Austin Norton second at 49.99 and Whittell’s Hughston Norton third in 50.57. The Warriors’ Simon Nikles placed fifth, South Tahoe’s Luca Genasci was sixth and Chris Whatford seventh.
Dolan and Higgins swapped places in the girls’ slalom, with Dolan winning by more than a second. Bowman was again third, with Gardner moving up to fourth and Killeen rounding out the top five. Whittell’s Rachel Laub finished eighth.
In the boys’ slalom race, South Shore racers covered the podium and even grabbed the top-five positions. Hughston Norton took first, Nikles was second and Suglian third. South Tahoe’s Genasci and Whatford were fourth and fifth and teammate Mark Bergsohn was 10th.
Final TBL boys standings, including points, were South Tahoe winning its second straight title with a total of 35; Whittell, 26; Truckee, 26; North Tahoe, 21, Douglas, 11; and Incline, 8. For the girls, South Tahoe earned its first trip to the Nevada state meet with a total of 35, followed by Truckee, 29; North Tahoe, 26; Douglas, 15; Whittell, 13; and Incline, 8.
“More than anything our ladies have skied consistently,” Shreve said. “They’ve made few mistakes and they have definitely matured in their inner game.”
Shreve credited Sierra general manager John Rice and his crew and the race department headed by Sean Warman for pulling off the doubleheader of racing, which was necessary after an earlier postponement at Diamond Peak.
Nonstate qualifiers will compete in an exciting head-to-head format on Thursday at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Qualifying starts at 10 a.m. on World Cup run and will be followed by dual racing, breaking down 32 racers until there is an overall winner.
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