Hoefer, Morgan lead Vikings Nordic skiers in Truckee | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hoefer, Morgan lead Vikings Nordic skiers in Truckee

South Tahoe cross country skiers showed improvement in the second race of the California Interscholastic Ski/Snowboard Federation Nordic season.

Christopher Hoefer was the top finisher for the Vikings boys Friday, Jan. 25, at the Truckee Sprints in Truckee, Calif., while Nicole Morgan set the pace for the girls.

On a perfect day for racing, the competitors battled a physically and mentally tough 1-kilometer course.

Each skier goes all out for the entire loop that includes a short steep climb, some very tight and tricky turns, and then a steep drop back into the Truckee High School's Surprise Stadium.

The kids' hearts are pumping the entire time and a simple mistake or lapse in concentration can cost valuable time.

The competitors first race the course individually in 15-second intervals and based on times the top 36 are placed in quarterfinal heats of six racers each.

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Hoefer and Joshua Novak were the two Viking boys to reach the quarterfinal heats.

Hoefer was second in his heat all the way until the last turn, where unfortunately he caught a ski edge in a snow rut, spun a 360 degrees, lost time and had to settle for third place where the top two finishers advance to the semifinals.

Hoefer finished 12th overall with a time of 1 minute, 52 seconds.

Novak raced well, but was unable to advance to the next round. He finished 15th in 1:57.

All four Lady Vikings made it into the quarterfinal heats.

Morgan grabbed second place in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals. Each round gets tougher and Morgan had her work cut out for her and was unable to produce a top three finish to advance to the final race. She finished 15th.

Also for the Lady Vikings, Melanie Maher was 19th in 2:47, Clarice Ferguson was 21st in 3:00 and Eliana Carney was 26th in 3:33.

"I thought all of the Viking skiers showed great improvement over the past two weeks, and will get stronger each week, as they aim toward the State Championships in early March," Hoefer said.

Top skier for the boys was Nate Cuttler from Sugar Bowl Academy, with a time of 1:36, while Alani Powell from North Tahoe led the girls with a time of 2:00.

The next competition is a Classic race Friday at the Tamarack Nordic Center in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.