South Tahoe takes second at Kirkwood alpine event |

South Tahoe takes second at Kirkwood alpine event

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

South Tahoe High School took second in the Tahoe Basin Ski League varsity alpine competition at Kirkwood Feb. 5 behind a strong showing by STHS skiers Kendall Northrop and Kyle Kracht, and a little team spirit by everyone.

Due to slick conditions, many skiers fell and were disqualified. South Tahoe found itself with with just five boys’ skiers left in the second run of the day. A minimum of four are required in order to score.

“The second run was a pretty tough course and a lot of skiers were falling,” said STHS coach Jim Morgan. “We lost our third skier when he fell and we only had Jacob Hash and Sean Nelson left. We had to put a little pressure on them (saying) even if you have to hold back a little and not go for the best showing, you need to finish the race. They both finished and we ended up beating Tahoe Truckee by one point. It was a tremendous team effort all around by both the boys and girls.”

Whittell High’s team took fourth overall, with skier Holly O’Brien finishing first overall for the girls. North Tahoe won the race, taking the most team points in both boys’ and girls’ divisions for a total of 350. South Tahoe was second with 316, Tahoe Truckee third with 294, Whittell in fourth with 272 and Douglas rounding out the five-team tourney with 199.

“(Fourth place) is where we pretty much end up,” said Whittell coach Mike Kiger. “Basically we’re small, not to make excuses or anything. We go out there, have a good time and enjoy the mountain. We’re proud to put a couple of top 10 finishers in there.”

For the season, North Tahoe is on top of the ski league with 24 points. South Tahoe is second with 19, and Tahoe Truckee in third with 17. Whittell is in fourth place with 12 and Douglas in last place at eight.

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In individual results, O’Brien was first for the girls with a combined time of 1:22.76, followed by Tahoe Truckee’s Brandy Barna with 1:23.12 and South Tahoe’s Northrop with 1:24.73.

“Holly is a super kid and a great skier,” Kiger said. “She’s probably top in the basin, in that league. She is that good.

“We also had James Rastello on the boys side who got a fourth place, so that’s nice for us,” he added.

South Tahoe’s Kristin Royce finished seventh with 1:40.58, Casey Rice in ninth with 1:48.57 and Leanna Apland in 10th place at 1:50.28.

South Tahoe’s Julie Froyum was 12th at 1:57.28, Whittell’s Jannette Bak in 17th at 2:01.21 and Brooke Schussel in 18th with a time of 2:04.03.

“I was very pleased with the girls. They battled to the very end (and) had a shot at winning,” Morgan said. “(Apland and Froyum) did an outstanding job of helping us out and our team captain (Royce) pulled through for sixth place. She was really solid for us.

“And then we’ve got the regulars. Kendall always does well. She’s very reliable.”

For the boys, North Tahoe’s Travis Ganong finished in first place with a combined time of 1:19.41, while South Tahoe’s Kracht was second at 1:23.62 and Douglas’s Bryce Wehan placed third at 1:32.21. Whittell’s Rastello finished in fourth with a time of 1:32.94.

South Tahoe’s Kyle Sullivan finished 10th at 1:45.09, Whittell’s Patrick Flanagan was 16th at 1:51.62, South Tahoe’s Sean Nelson was 17th with 1:52.36 and STHS’s Jacob Hash was 18th at 1:57.73. Whittell’s Jeremy Worley was 20th at 2:01.28.