Heavenly Foundation skiers bring home gold and silver in Tahoe League opener | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Heavenly Foundation skiers bring home gold and silver in Tahoe League opener

Heavenly Foundation skiers with the hardware they collected at the Tahoe League Race Series opener last weekend at Heavenly Mountain Resort.
Courtesy Photo |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A more than three-decade skiing series began anew last Saturday at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Heavenly’s race department hosted the Tahoe League Race Series opener, a circuit that includes developmental alpine ski programs consisting of more than 15 teams with skiers ranging in age from 7 to 20 years old.

With more that 300 racers registered for this race held on Heavenly’s World Cup, the coaches and race crew had their work cut out for them. There were two courses set side-by-side — a stubby course with shorter gates about 2 feet high for the under-12 crowd, and full pole for the skiers 12 years and older.

As it turns out, it was a 13-year-old that ran about 45th from last that set a time that could not be beat. Heavenly junior national team member Gunnar Barnwell ran the course in 27.65 seconds, two-tenths faster than even the U-21 men and women.

Not to be outdone by their teammate, HSSF’s racers dominated the podium with silver and gold. Logan Langemeier took gold for the U-16 boys followed by silver-medalist Luke Allen, with Matt Schick taking silver in the U-14 age group.

“It was great to see our boys go one-two in two age groups,” Heavenly coach Jim Hein said.

“Our Tahoe League TL development racers have had the benefit of training with coach Jim and the other Far West racers,” Tahoe League coordinator and Heavenly coach Alisa Ferrier said, “and we were so happy to see several girls take home silver medals.”

Cypress Sell laid down a great run to take silver in the U-16 girls race as did Ellie LaVoie for the U-12 girls — both were edged off the top of the podium by a few tenths.

“We are so fortunate to have so many young ladies who have joined the team this year,” Heavenly alpine program director Kyle Kracht said, with an emphasis in the 13-14-year-old age group.

Heavenly Foundation also had a handful of top-10 finishers Saturday across various age groups. That group Quinn Skinner, Evan Habaradas, Brodie Skinner, Emma Habaradas, Lyndsey Allen and Agatha LaVoie.

“Rebuilding our program including a new website, new coaches and an emphasis on academic and athletic excellence is really our goal for the Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Foundation,” Kracht said. “We feel that if we give our community’s kids and young adults a positive place to interact — whether it is during our night training schedule during the week or with the ski PE program offered at some schools — the kids will push each other to excel. That clearly showed in all the hardware the kids took home at the race.”

That formula must be working, since the parents’ faces were all smiles Sunday even though the challenging firm conditions produced more than four pages worth of disqualifications. A program that normally would have seen two races — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — was ruled a one-run race.

This decision was made after the U-10 and U-12 racers averaged two minutes per run rather than the normal 30-second intervals needed to run a race with more than 300 entrants. When the first run was still continuing close to 2 p.m., it became apparent that the race department would have to turn on the lights to finish the second run — this meant the awards would have continued well into dinner time.

Nervous parents fending off hungry customers at the HSSF fundraising barbecue were happy to hear run two was canceled after selling out of many items. HSSF can’t thank the community enough for all of the parents, family members and friends that came out to support the event.

The next Tahoe League Race Series is a giant slalom scheduled for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. For more information, visit http://www.tahoeleagueracing.com.

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