Alpine racers strong against clock, beat incoming storm at Kirkwood
All the skiers in Thursday’s high school alpine slalom race at Kirkwood Mountain Resort were racing against the clock, but also an incoming storm.
There were warm 40-degree temperatures and soft, slushy snow when the race began and then strong wind gusts picked up in the afternoon during the second runs.
The racers beat the storm and South Tahoe did especially well against the clock with both the boys and girls team finishing in third place out of seven teams. Whittell didn’t have its fastest skier but the boys still finished fourth and the girls sixth.
“The Kirkwood crew put on a really nice race,” said South Tahoe head coach Barbra Bedwell. “The course set was turny and challenging, but just hard enough that it provided enough ‘fun’ for all types of racers, from our fastest athletes to our newest ones. It was a nice use of the terrain in the non-optimal conditions.
“There was a nice off-camber knoll with a delay gate and then a steep cranker section that kept everyone awake. We really moved quickly through the start orders as well, they were really efficient at getting everyone lined up and safely down the course. Of course, we were trying to beat the weather.”
South Tahoe’s Mark “MJ” Allen was the fastest South Shore skier, weaving his way through the gates twice in a combined time of 76.38 seconds (1 minutes, 6.38 seconds).
Allen moved fast through the lower angle terrain near the top and then attacked the steep middle section and finished just over two seconds behind the top finisher, Sean Dinkleman, of Douglas, and second place Guthrie Goss, of North Tahoe.
Also for the Viking boys, Logan Langemeier and Aaron Johnson each claimed top 10 finishes in a field of about 40 competitors.
Langemeier stumbled a touch on his first run and he finished it in angry fashion, regaining several seconds with a flawless run through the steep section. He finished about seven seconds slower than Allen in eighth. Johnson was just over a second behind Langemeier.
Cameron Grant finished in 23rd and rounded out the scoring for the Vikings.
Andrew Carlisle led Whittell with a ninth-place finish. Bastion Elkins was 15th, Aidan Rippet was 22nd and Justin Smith was 24th.
The North Tahoe boys claimed first place with 208 points, Douglas had 200, the Vikings finished with 184 and Whittell had 158.
Lyndsey Allen bounced back strong after failing to finish last week on a rutted, slushy course at Alpine Meadows. The South Tahoe senior finished fourth overall for girls about 3.5 seconds behind the winner, Monique Fellows, of Truckee.
Kesley Buckley earned a top 10 spot, finishing eighth, about five seconds behind Allen.
Also for the Viking girls, Carissa Buchholz was 11th and Tyler Pevenage was 16th.
North Tahoe took first place overall with 206 points and was followed by Truckee (192), South Tahoe (189), Douglas (182), Carson (96) and Whittell (33).
Whittell had just two racers compete and Tatum Bunnett was fastest, finishing in 29th to earn 28 team points.
The alpine teams next will compete Thursday, Jan. 25, at Heavenly Mountain Resort.