South Tahoe strings together national medals |

South Tahoe strings together national medals

The South Tahoe Snowboard Series is on its way toward claiming a second-straight medal count victory after nine local athletes won medals on the first day of the 17th annual USASA National Championships on Monday at Northstar-at-Tahoe.

In the skier boys’ division (11-15), Finn Anderson won gold and Jason Arens grabbed bronze in slopestyle. Kyle Smaine placed sixth in the event.

In the menehune girls (10-11) slopestyle competition, Julianne Bracket won a silver medal, while Shelby McIntyre placed 10th. In skier girls, Shawndrea Wisma placed sixth in slopestyle.

In boardercross action, Donna Vano won gold in kahuna women (50-59) and Dick Schulze placed 10th in kahuna men. In the legend women’s division, Zippy Neil placed fifth, while Mario Mangiaracina placed ninth in the legend men’s division.

In grommet girls (8-9), Taylor Chatwin won a silver medal and Janessa Brackett finished fifth overall. Keyon Heydarian took fifth in the Grommet Boys’ boardercross race.

In halfpipe on Monday, Cierra Xavier won gold in jams women (18-22) and Nancy Ng won gold in master women (30-39). In skier women (16-19), Katie Stewart won a silver medal, while J.P. Bergeron won silver in master men.

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In other halfpipe results, James Strawser placed ninth in senior men (23-29) and Travis Chatwin ninth in master men. In all, STSS won four medals in halfpipe.

In giant slalom races on Monday, Jon Villani placed fifth in junior men (16-17), Adam Neil placed ninth in open class men and Alyssa Radder just missed the podium in open class women with her fourth-place finish.

Only local athletes who finished in the top 10 were listed in this report. Competition continues through March 30 at Northstar. For more information, visit

Several locals shine at gymnastics meet

Tahoe Gymnastics team members Casey Tara, Matt Vane and Marcus Foerschler led five local gymnasts with medalist honor performances at the Hilton Invitational on Feb. 10 at the Reno Hilton.

Tara, a level 6 gymnast, took first on the pommel horse (9.4 points) and parallel bars (8.9), then placed second in rings (9.0) and vault (9.1). With a fourth-place finish on the floor exercise and a decent score on high bars, Tara placed second overall in his division with a score of 51.8.

Vane, a level 5 gymnast, took first in vault (9.5), while Foerschler, a level 4 gymnast in the 9-year-old division, took second in both the pommel horse (8.7) and parallel bars (8.55).

Kyle Hannah, also a level 4 gymnast in the 9-year-old division, took third in pommel horse (8.5) and high bars (8.2) and finished fourth overall in his division with 50.05 points. Griffin Carter, a level 4 gymnast in the 7-year-old division, took first in high bars (8.6) and placed second in both rings (8.9) and parallel bars (8.3). Carter placed second overall in his division with a score of 50.05.

In the final team results, the Tahoe Gymnastics’ level 4 boys placed third at the meet.

Smaine crowned national champion

South Lake Tahoe 12-year-old Justin Smaine was one of eight athletes in the county to win the first-ever Kellogg’s “Earn Your Stripes Award” earlier this month in Killington, Vt.

Smaine competed against some of the nation’s top youth skiers and snowboarders (10-15) in a two-day competition that was held March 3-5. Award winners choose a local charity for Kellogg to donate a one-year supply of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal.

Smaine’s local charity is the South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center, which is dedicated to improving emotional, social and economic conditions for women and families on South Shore.

Brothers collect medals at wrestling event

South Tahoe Wrestling Club members Kody and Boe Griffis combined to win five medals at the 2006 USA Nevada Wrestling Association Tournament in Sparks. The Griffis brothers wrestled in Greco Roman, freestyle and folkstyle disciplines at the tournament.

The boys are part of a fourth generation Tahoe family. Their great grandfather, Domenic, has been in the area since the early 1960s.