Norton, Brooks win Kinder Kup races |

Norton, Brooks win Kinder Kup races

Provided to the Tribune

Last Saturday, thirty-four athletes, ages 6 and below, showed up at Heavenly Valley Ski Resort to race in the annual Kinder Kup.

Both Alpine ski racers and snowboard competitors from around the Tahoe Basin took part in giant slalom race on World cup run.

While some of the competitors have had previous experience in the gates, others had never skied before on their own; some were attached to teachers, led down the course by a parent, which proved to be exciting for spectators.

As the race began, racer biographies were read over the loudspeaker as they approached the finish area. Accomplishments for this ski season ranged from becoming potty trained to skiing down “the Face” at Heavenly. Many athletes had acknowledged the chairlift as being one of the biggest hurdles they face while skiing; their legs are so short that they have to jump up to get on the chair and occasionally they don’t make it on. There were also interesting survivor stories such as falling off the chairlift and falling into tree wells. And one least favorite thing about skiing/boarding is trying to get their clothes off to use the bathroom.

And of course, there was Tahoe Tessie at the finish area to greet the athletes as they came down.

In the Alpine girls’ division, Brooke Norton won with a combined time of 37.49 seconds, nearly 7 seconds faster than her competitors. Lauren Keller placed second with 44.0 and Riley Chapman was third at 44.64.

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The rest of the top 9 in order included Ayden Williamson, Danica Bunnett, Michael Gardner, Alex Holladay, Sarah Smith and Tatum Bunnet. Although Sabrina Greer, Allegra Ziegler-Hunt, Skye Kidd and Aspen Kidd posted fast runs, they were disqualified for having missed gates or didn’t take their second runs, but they did receive participant medals.

Chandler Morgenstern and Julia Mason competed for first place in the girls’ snowboard division, each having won one of the race runs. But it was Morgenstern who sealed her first-place finish with a 5-second lead going into the second run; she won with a combined time of 1:02.07 seconds. Julia Mason placed second (1:05.99), Mackenzi Conrad was third (1:10.08), Taylor Chatwin fourth and Micky Murphy fifth.

For the Alpine boys, the field was just as fierce. Those who were in contention for the podium first run didn’t necessarily end up on the podium following the second run. There were falls, missed gates and simple mistakes that cost the racers just enough to miss the podium. Podium finishers included Austin Brooks in first place with a combined time of 41.02 seconds, followed by Thomas Dolan in second with 42.58 and Julian Ziegler-Hunt in third with 44.09. Following the top three were Michael Edwards fourth, Connor Novak fifth, Chad Kaassamani sixth, Austin Allen seventh, Jonathan Spaich eighth, Matt Newberger ninth, Dykota Lynch 10th and Tyler Martin 11th.

Cole Lyon, Ryo Hasegawa, Payton Norton, Shelby O’Gorman and Dylan Martin all received participant medals. Keyon Heydarian was the only boys’ snowboarder. He won gold with a combined time of 58.90 and welcomes any competition.

The last Kinder Kup Race of the season is March 8 and costs $15. Participants are required to purchase a lift ticket, which is discounted for competitors. Following the race is a barbecue/raffle sponsored by local businesses and parents, along with magicians, face painters and a torchlight parade.

For more information, call the Heavenly Ski Foundation at (530) 541-7354.