North Tahoe boys clinch Ski League title
Whipping down windy, icy slopes at Diamond Peak Ski Area on Tuesday, North Tahoe High’s slalom skiers swept the competition and clinched the Tahoe Basin Ski League title with one event yet to go.
“They’ve clinched first place,” South Tahoe coach Jim Morgan said of North Tahoe’s 10-point lead in the league.
South Tahoe finished second overall, trailing North Tahoe by 57 points. Incline, though, tied the North Tahoe boys, but fell short on the girls after only three racers crossed the finish line. They trailed South Tahoe by only four points.
But if the skiers were battling for gold, silver and bronze, only North Tahoe’s Leslie Marcacci and Michelle Parker would have won medals.
Meredith Bennett of Incline led the women with a combined time of 59.53 seconds. Marcacci placed second with a total time of 1:01.20 and Parker finished with a total time of 1:01.78.
On the boys side, Incline’s Robert Lane finished in the top slot with a combined time of 54.70, ahead of George Whittell’s Sean Weatherston (55.39) and Ben Johnson (56.15).
Four of the top-10 boys’ slots were taken by North Tahoe, five on the girls’ side.
“All their guys are kind of bunched right there (at the top),” said George Whittell coach Mike Kiger of North Tahoe’s team. “They have depth. If we loose a guy we’re kind of out.”
Slalom scoring is based on the combined total of each team’s top four finishers. Each skier is assigned points for their placement, and the winning school is awarded six points in league standing.
Ice on the second run posed a problem for many of the skiers, Kiger said.
“There was a patch of ice about two-thirds of the way down over a knoll and they had to make a turn, and they just lost it,” he said. “Everybody knew it was there, but they were going a little too fast and they couldn’t control it. That happens sometimes.”
Whittell needed four of its eight woman to finish, but only three crossed the line. Incline, Douglas, Whittell and Tahoe-Truckee each finished missing at least one skier from the final tally.
“One of my freshman girls, Leanna Apland, who was coming on fairly strong, was putting on a pretty good second run and she fell in that spot,” Morgan said. “And it was probably the best she’s skied all year. She was pretty upset.”
Going into the final race, North Tahoe leads the league with 30 points, followed by South Tahoe with 20, Tahoe-Truckee with 19, George Whittell with 16, Incline with 13 and Douglas with 6.
Morgan said the other five teams are pretty closely matched.
“Today, we just pulled into second place, so I hope we can hold on to it,” he said. “When my kids set their mind to it, they’re real good about going after it.”
The final race of the season will take place at 10 a.m. Feb. 26 at Heavenly Ski Resort.