STHS alpine finishes season in second place |

STHS alpine finishes season in second place

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

The South Tahoe High School Alpine team finished second in a Tahoe Basin Ski League race at Diamond Peak on Tuesday and also placed second overall in the final league standings.

North Tahoe finished the season in the top spot with 36 points, while South Tahoe was second with 29, followed by Tahoe Truckee with 25, Whittell with 18 and Douglas with 12.

One sad note on an otherwise bright season, South Tahoe’s top girls’ skier Kendall Northrop was injured last Tuesday in a freak accident and received a slight tear in her knee, keeping the sophomore out of the upcoming individual championships March 4 at Alpine Meadows.

“I’m feeling pretty good now,” said Northrop, adding that she expects to return to the mountains in about three weeks, despite a slight MCL tear and bone fracture. She explained the nature of the accident that occurred at Heavenly Ski Resort.

“I was training slalom on World Cup and when I came down I collided with a pretty big guy,” she said. “We ran into the fence and my leg got all twisted up. I didn’t think anything was wrong with it, that maybe it was just bruised. But when I got home it was pretty swollen and it was getting really tight. That’s when we decided to make a doctor’s appointment.”

STHS alpine coach Jim Morgan said Northrop’s ability will be sorely missed at the individual championships.

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“She was definitely one of the favorites going into the championships,” said Morgan, adding that individual competition allows team members to show off their stuff without risking their team’s standing.

“They compete all season long as a team, but skiing is an individual sport so we give them a day to shine on their own,” he said. “They don’t have to hold back for the team’s sake.”

In the Diamond Peak race — the final team event of the season — North Tahoe boys and girls placed first with 172 and 176 points, respectively. South Tahoe was second in girls’ racing with 167 points and third in boys with 151. Tahoe Truckee placed second in boys’ racing with 156 points and third in girls with 153.

In the girls’ division, Whittell’s Holly O’Brien finished first with a combined time of 58.91 seconds. North Tahoe’s Jessie Poulson was second at 1:01.61 and South Tahoe’s Lily Palmieri was third at 1:03.61. South Tahoe’s Casey Rise rounded out the top five at 1:06.92. South Tahoe’s Leanna Apland collected a top-10 finish, finishing in the 10th spot at 1:13.76.

In the boys’ division, North Tahoe’s Troy Carson placed first with a time of 58.01, followed in second by teammate Robert Lane at 1:00.77 and Tahoe Truckee’s Josh Benge was third at 1:02.18.

Whittell’s James Rastello finished fourth with a time of 1:03.46.

Top boys’ finishers for South Tahoe were Nick Heng in the eighth spot with a time of 1:08.76 and Alex Yure in ninth at 1:08.91.

Full local race results appear in today’s Scoreboard on page B3.

Morgan said he was pleased with the team’s season and hopes that youth will help propel South Tahoe to a first-place finish in the overall standings next year.

“When I look at the youth of our team, I’d say we had a very rewarding season (this year),” he said. “Next year we definitely want to move into first place. We’re only losing three senior girls and that’s it. So we still have a strong girls’ team, but really I’ll be looking for the boys’ team to step up and really perform next year.”

The STHS Alpine team was missing several athletes at the Diamond Peak event in addition to Northrop. Several girls traveled to Mammoth for Speed Week. Ten STHS team members will travel to Alpine on March 4 for the individual championships, where 50 kids will run time trials (10 from each school in the league). The top 16 will then go on to compete in a single-elimination dual format.