North Tahoe finishes ahead of South Shore ski teams
Both of the local prep alpine ski teams beat the storm that blew through the basin late Wednesday night.
But what South Tahoe and Whittell couldn’t do was beat North Tahoe as the Lakers finished ahead of both South Shore programs in a Tahoe Basin Ski League opener at Alpine Meadows.
The Viking girls team carried South Tahoe to a second-place finish, while Whittell finished in fourth place in the first event of the season.
“The girls pulled the bacon out the fire for us today,” Viking coach Mike Shreve said. “The guys are going to have to put on some intense practices before the next race.”
Alpine Meadows got 5 inches of new snow before the race and the resort groomed the slopes, making for a difficult surface to compete on and adjust to.
“It was a weird, grabby kind of snow,” Shreve said. “But our girls adjusted and North Tahoe adjusted, so there’s no reason why the boys couldn’t have as well.”
South Tahoe’s freshman sensation Kylese Zaiger took first, leading a group of four Viking skiers who cracked the top 10.
Lilly Palmieri finished fourth, Alexis Rudd came in ninth and team captain Kristin Royce finished 10th.
Other top Viking finishers for the girls team were Shayna Gianelli (14th), Caitlin Robinson (19th), Grace Harding (22nd) and Julie Froyum (25th).
The boys squad had a more difficult time with the tricky condition as no Vikings were able to break into the top 10.
Drew Ketelsen was the top Viking at 11th, while Toby O’Brien was 13th, Aaron Strickly was 14th and Kyle Kracht came in 15th.
Nick Martin came in 17th, Ryan Hickey finished 26th, Ryan Schue was 29th, Matt Mirell 30th, James Alsbury 34th, Trevor Ricioli 35th and Brennan Davis 37th rounded out the top 40 finishers for South Tahoe.
Although the Warriors finished in fourth-place overall, the boys team took home third place.
Led by the top-5 finishes of Sean Weatherston (fourth) and Ben Johnson (fifth), the Warriors placed five skiers in the top 50.
Brett Schussel finished 20th, while Brandon Lee took 40th and A. P. Faccinetti finished 43rd.
“Mike’s guys have really stepped up to the plate,” Shreve said. “They’re going to dominate this year.”
“I’m really proud with the boys third-place finish,” Warrior coach Mike Kiger said. “Ben and Sean are good little skiers and they proved it.”
The Warrior girls also made a strong showing. Jannette Bak took home the top spot for Whittell at 14th overall. Ashley Daw was 23rd, followed closely by Kim McGlothlin at 24th. Brooke Schussel came in 29th, while Sara Piccola was 31st, Alison Dunleavy 33rd, just ahead Kathy Kiger 34th.
“The girls are a bit young, but we’re still very pleased with the way they skied,” Kiger said. “I think we can improve from this showing.”
Rounding out the Warrior finishers were Nicole Jurzenski 36th, Meredith Shaw 37th and Hayley Shaw at 40th.
Next up for both teams is a night race Jan. 24 at Heavenly Ski Resort.
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