Slalom race tips wrong way for Vikings: Girls lose by a point to Lakers for second time
North Tahoe High all but clinched the Tahoe Basin Ski League overall championship Wednesday at Diamond Peak in Incline Village, but it wasn’t because of a lack of effort from the STHS girls.
The Vikings placed three girls in the slalom race’s top 10 to finish one point behind the Lakers, 169-168. However, the Vikings still lead North Tahoe for the girls regular-season title, which will be decided Feb. 28 at Kirkwood.
“The girls are doing an outstanding job,” said Vikings coach Mike Shreve. “Today, it was too close. That’s the second race they’ve lost by a point.”
Kylese Zaiger (1 minute, 1.83 seconds) nearly won her second race of the season as the Viking finished runner-up to Truckee’s Stacey Cook (1:00.00)
Diana Higman also laid down two strong runs to finish fifth in 1:04.97. Jenae Apland gave STHS three top-10 finishes by placing ninth in 1:08.89.
The Vikings’ depth continued to come through down the line as Shayna Gianelli came in 12th, Casey Rise 16th, Alexis Rudd 18th and Caitlin Robinson 21st.
Even though Truckee and South Tahoe let North Tahoe get away with the overall title, they still have something to ski for in the final race.
“Our sights are no longer on the overall, unless North Tahoe packs up and goes to Hawaii,” Shreve said. “But we still plan on giving it our all and getting that silver. We’re not going to settle for that bronze.”
The Wolverines and Vikings share second place, with Whittell sitting comfortably in fourth in the six-team league.
South Tahoe’s boys struggled without its top skiers – Chris McKean and Danny Lear. Toby O’Brien drew the first start for the Vikings and ran into some trouble on his first run when he lost his balance on what Shreve called “boarderplate bomber ice.”
“His crash really seemed to rock the team,” Shreve said. “You can tell it sets a pace. If Toby had made it through with a great run, then everybody would have stepped up to the plate.”
According to Shreve, the female racers shaved off 4 inches of groomed snow that was covering ice. By the time O’Brien left the starting gate, ice was beginning to appear in spots. Still, O’Brien stuck it out to finish 29.
The Vikings had no one in the top 10, but four made the top 20: Kyle Kracht in 13th, Drew Ketelsen in 15th, Nick Martin in 17th and Aaron Strickley in 18th.
George Whittell’s Ben Johnson led the South Shore racers with his 10th-place time of 1:02.61. Sean Weatherston was the only other Warrior to crack the top 30 with his 14th-place performance.
Tim Jitloff of Truckee edged Robert Lane of Incline by .11 for first place with his winning time of 57.10.
Whittell’s girls were shut out of the top 25, but the Warriors followed the lead of Alison Dunleavy by taking 26th through 31st. After Dunleavy came Brooke Schussel in 27th, Jannette Bak in 28th, Nicole Jurzenski in 29th, Meredith Shaw in 30th and Kathy Kiger in 31st.
Overall team scores were: Truckee 345, North Tahoe 321, South Tahoe 301, Incline 272, Whittell 186 and Douglas 104.
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