Shreve’s legacy lives on
TWIN BRIDGES – Inside the Aspen Cafe at Sierra-at-Tahoe is a glass case. Inside the case are trophies and photographs and plaques that document the resort’s ski racing history.
One the photographs is of Ryan Shreve, who graduated from South Tahoe High School in 1997 and left this world much too soon. In the photo, he is wearing a yellow racing suit and a white bib with the No. 52 colored in blue.
Shreve died on Oct. 27, 2003, due to complications from a severe head injury suffered during a wakeboarding accident on Folsom Lake. He was 24.
“There’s a lesson to be learned about knowing when to go big and knowing when to go home,” said Mike Shreve, who retired several months before his son’s death as South Tahoe’s longtime Alpine ski coach.
Soon after Ryan’s death, Mike Shreve and the Sierra-at-Tahoe management decided to name the annual Tahoe Basin Ski League race held at the resort in honor of his son. The third annual Ryan Shreve Memorial Race was held on Thursday at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
And although the Vikings couldn’t sweep first-place honors like they did at the inaugural race in 2004, Mike Shreve said his son would’ve been proud of those who raced in his remembrance.
“There’s a lot in this race,” said Mike Shreve, who now serves as an assistant to STHS head coach Todd McIntyre. “It’s emotional and it’s rewarding for the kids because his memory lives on.”
South Tahoe’s Joleen Ferguson finished fourth overall in the slalom and was one of four Vikings to finish among the top 16 as the girls helped South Tahoe finish third in the overall team standings with 297 points behind North Tahoe (327 points) and Truckee (322).
The Vikings were followed in the standings by Douglas (233), Whittell (198) and Incline (176). Ferguson finished with a two-race combined time of 1 minute, 33.23 seconds for South Tahoe, which also saw Kim Smith place 11th, Arana Thomas 13th and Sydney Dufty 16th.
“Our whole team has gotten in the top-10 in a race this year,” said Ferguson, who finished just about 11 seconds slower than North Tahoe’s Jessie Poulsen, who won the race in 1:21.86. “We definitely want to beat Truckee and North Tahoe, so there is a little competition out there.”
Natalie Rastello was the high Whittell female finisher, placing seventh in 1:37.44. Danielle Daly was next with her 19th-place finish.
As solid as the South Tahoe girls have been all year, it’s been an inconsistent season for the boys.
The Vikings’ James Denney placed fifth overall in the boys’ slalom, finishing with a two-race combined time of 1:26.96. Derek Holmgren, who wore Ryan Shreve’s old bib No. 52, and Tim Suglian finished 11th and 12th, respectively.
“We’ve been OK, but it’s just that our whole team hasn’t been showing up all the time,” Suglian said. “When we do show up, we’re doing OK for having such a small team.”
Incline’s Sean Higgins won the race in 1:20.14. South Tahoe’s Marty Harris, who was coming off a third-place finish at a FIS slalom in Wyoming earlier this week, had a ‘DNF’ in his first run. R.J. Gardner was the high Whittell boys’ finisher, placing 10th overall in 1:32.40.
At the inaugural Ryan Shreve Memorial Race in 2004, Harris won the boys’ slalom and South Tahoe’s Courtney Carmichael won the girls’ race. The next league race is Wednesday at Diamond Peak in Incline Village.
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