Heavenly sisters take top spots in their divisions
February 28, 2003
On Feb. 23, athletes aged 7-18 competed in a giant slalom “split race”, the third race of the season as part of the Tahoe League Race Series.
The term “split race” means the field was split between two racing locations: half of the participants raced at Northstar and the other half at Boreal. Some 170 athletes raced at Northstar and included teams from Squaw Valley, Heavenly Valley, Truckee, Mt. Rose, Tahoe City and Sage Ridge.
In the girls’ 11/12 and 12/14 divisions, sisters Margot and Celine Cutter of the Heavenly Ski Foundation stole the show by winning both their age categories, as did teammate Lacey Leonard for the girls 14 and up division.
Celine Cutter won the 12/14 class with a combined time of one minute, 22.96 seconds, followed by teammate Elle Vermillion in second place (1:25.10) and Paola Terran of Northstar in third (1:26.14). Natalie Rastello of HSF finished sixth.
Margot Cutter won the 11/12 class by two seconds with a combined time of 1:24.74, with Squaw Valley taking a strong showing of second through fifth place. Squaw’s Sage Clark (1:26.13) and Aly Hammonds (1:27.52) were second and third, Heavenly’s Lindsey Martin and Kelly Treiber broke top ten with ninth and 10th respectfully, followed by Joleen Ferguson with a close 12th.
Squaw Valley took the top honors in the girls 7/8 and 9/10 divisions, landing six athletes in the top five and winning both divisions. Lena Andrews of SVST won the 7/8 class with a combined time of 1:34.17, Bridgette Lebel of Northstar was second (1:26.54) and Leah Feldman of Squaw was third (1:30.89). Heavenly had a strong showing with Whitney Gardner in fifth, Andi Ebright sixth, Hannah Norman seventh, and Jacqueline Dufty ninth. Squaw Valley’s Nicole Swanson and Samantha Hall were first and second in the girls’ 9/10 class, followed by Allison Gerrard of Northstar in third place. HSF had a consistent showing with Whitney Elder placing seventh, Ashley Killeen 12th, Aimee Pitcher 14th, and Sammy Brumbach 16th.
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“The snow was hard, which made the conditions of the course fair for all competitors. It held up for everyone and we had a lot of kids do well,” said HSF coach John Brown.
Heavenly and Squaw battled in out again for top honors in the boys’ divisions, with both teams landing several top 10 finishes. Heavenly 7/8 boys posted the fatalist attack with four boys placing in the top five spots. Hughston Norton led the 7/8 boys with a combined time of 1:27.39, followed by Max Hall of Squaw with 1:28.52, and HSF’s Jason Elder in third with 1:32.78. HSF teammates Wyatt Denny and Jordan Fuller rounded out the top five with fourth and fifth, Connor McKeen was 8th, Kris Digrande finished 12th, and Jack Suglian placed 18th.
But in the boys’ 11/12 division, Squaw Valley had the podium sweep. Squaw Valley teammates Charles Graves, Whatt Daily and Erik Finne took home first through third, with Heavenly’s Derek Holmgren right behind them in fourth place. HSF teammates gave a strong showing with Brian Walker in eighth, Kyle Digrande 11th, Kanan Miller 15th, Jake Manoukian 17th, Cameron Chase 26th, and Robbie Souza 28th.
“The competition was tough; although some of our guys made mistakes, they still gave it everything they had and they came through with consistent results” said HSF coach Rich Elder. “What else could you ask for?”
For the 9/10 boys, the top five finishers were Tim Benton of NSRT in first with a combined time of 1:26.64, HSF’s Mikey Suglian in second (1:27.62), Graham Collins of SVST in third (1:27.94), Charlie Manoukian of HSF in fourth (1:28.38) and teammate Grant Denny in fifth (1:29.49). Heavenly teammates Erin Hardy and Sean Sullivan tied for 12th, with Korey Digrande following in 24th.
But it was Northstar teammates Danny Kruck and Scott Horn who took first and third in the boys’ 13/14 class with HSF’s Tim Suglian squeezing between the two to take second place. The racing continues March 1-2 at Diamond Peak Ski Area with athletes racing side by side in a dual slalom course; proven to be the best spectators’ race.
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