STHS nordic ski team hoping to outdo third at Auburn |

STHS nordic ski team hoping to outdo third at Auburn

Tribune staff report

The South Tahoe High School Nordic ski team is anxious to return to what is left of the winter snow in the basin by competing at Northstar today.

The team missed its last meet Jan. 31 at Tahoe Donner without getting a chance to defend or improve upon its third-place finish at the Auburn Ski Club Jan. 25.

“I’ve never been to Northstar but the kids say that it’s flat, and I think what they’re comparing that to is Auburn,” said STHS first-year Nordic head coach Heather Van Dyke. “They have a few killer hills on that track.”

The Northstar meet is a freestyle race as opposed to the classic style. Freestyle is faster, with a motion similar to rollerblading.

“It’s definitely a faster speed than classic and the kids like it a lot better,” Van Dyke said. “I think we’re all excited to go because it’s been about two weeks since our last meet.”

The distance of today’s meet is 7 kilometers and nine members of the STHS team will race.

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“(Wednesday) we had a great practice at Camp Richardson,” Van Dyke said. “I think we’re starting to get some rhythm and balance down. I think we’re starting to catch on.”

Van Dyke has been particularly pleased with the performance of junior Tyler Rieger, as well as the sole female on the team, Heather Newman, a freshman.

“We have one girl and we call her the princess because she’s the only one,” she said. “She’s doing a lot better.”

The coach is also watching the improvement of the team’s other freshman, Josh Miller.

“Josh and Heather are both new to this whole Nordic world, just like me,” she said.