Vikings finish Nordic season at state championships
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Tahoe Vikings Nordic team battled snowy conditions last month in the state championships and the toughest part, other than the 7-kilometer hilly course, was to wax, not to wax or choosing what kind of wax to use.
The Vikings tried every combination and realized nothing much was working, but that went for all seven teams competing at Auburn Ski Club at Donner Summit.
With snow falling, and about 2 feet of fresh already on the ground from the night before, the Vikings boys’ and girls’ teams each finished in fourth place overall.
“We had prepared the skis for a particular type of wax, but when we arrived at the course, snow conditions were changing as new snow fell,” said Vikings head coach Mark Hoefer. “We tried several wax types, but determined quickly that nothing was working well. So we went with the teams using the waxless, basically touring skis, not exactly fast, but they got them around the course for the first leg. Once skiers exchanged their stride skis for skate skis things went much better and they got around the second lap with much more confidence.”
The race format was duathlon. The athletes would line up for a mass start and race a lap in the classic, stride, style for the first lap and then would switch as fast as possible and use freestyle skiing, skate, for the second and last lap.
The girls started the day and Melanie Maher led the Vikings by finishing in 14th out of 30 skiers in a time of 37 minutes, 3 seconds.
Also for the girls, Eliana Carney was 17th and Clarice Ferguson was 19th.
Nicole Morgan was the Vikings top girls throughout the regular season, finishing in 14th overall.
Also for the regular season, the boys finished in third place and the girls were fourth.
Christopher Hoefer, as he did all season, led the Viking boys effort.
The senior, competing on the same course as the girls, finished 16th out of 44 skiers in a time of 25:42.
“As a coach,” Hoefer said, “I was very pleased at how the athletes performed, both individually and as a team.”