South Tahoe alpine ski opens season in Sierra-at-Tahoe giant slalom
2015-16 Season Schedule
Dec. 9 Giant Slalom (at Sierra-at-Tahoe)
Jan. 7 Giant Slalom (at Mammoth Mountain)
Jan. 14 Slalom (at Alpine Meadows)
Jan. 19 Duals (at Heavenly)
Jan. 25 Duals (at Heavenly)
Feb. 3 Slalom (at Diamond Peak)
Feb. 10 Zone Duals (at Alpine Meadows)
Feb. 23 State Giant Slalom/Slalom (at Alpine Meadows)
Feb. 24 State Duals (at Diamond Peak)
Home events in bold
The South Tahoe alpine ski team opened its 2015-16 season close to home — and delivered strong results. The Vikings boys took third while the girls placed fourth in the first Tahoe Basin Ski League race of the season, a giant slalom event held at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort on Dec. 9.
“The course was challenging for the experienced racers, let alone that it was our first race of the season,” Vikings coach Kristi Leonard said.
South Tahoe’s season opener was originally scheduled to be held at Mammoth Mountain, but after a late cancellation the race was moved to Sierra-at-Tahoe. Due to snow conditions, only varsity racers were allowed to compete — eight racers on each side took two runs apiece.
“There will be a lot of shifting in positions as both our young men and women tap into their potential,” Leonard said. “Many are stepping it up and realizing they are our leaders or, as I tell them our next set of ‘heavy hitters.’”
In the boys event, South Tahoe finished in third place with 176 points — 21 behind first-place North Tahoe. Senior Alec Jobbins was the Vikings’ top finisher, taking second with a time of 1:03.1; Jobbins led after the first run and was only overtaken by Incline’s Winston Pretti.
Junior Tristan Deatherage placed 10th for the Vikings, completing his runs in 1:07.0. Sophomore Weston Swift (19th, 1:21.1) and freshman Luke Allen (21st, 1:12.3) also earned points for South Tahoe in its season debut.
Senior Griffin Hobson (26th, 1:15.3), freshman Aaron Johnson (30th, 1:17.8), junior Lex Merrifield (31st, 1:17.8) and senior Noah Solomon (36th, 1:20.5) rounded out the Vikings contingent at Sierra-at-Tahoe. Forty-seven skiers completed the course in the boys event.
On the girls side, South Tahoe took fourth with 165 points. Truckee won the season-opening event with 204 points, and North Tahoe’s Magnolia Neu took first overall with a time of 1:06.9.
Junior Rose McDonough led the way for South Tahoe, placing sixth by skiing a 1:11.9. Sophomore Lyndsey Allen was the Vikings next best finisher, checking in at 15th with a time of 1:17.15.
Senior Tatum Whatford (17th, 1:20.4) and junior Alle Balme (25th, 1:25.1) also earned points for South Tahoe. The Vikings’ eight included junior Sierra Bedwell (26th, 1:26.3), sophomore Gabbi Fisher (30th, 1:31.6), senior Cassie Flynn (32nd, 1:34.5) and freshman Alyx Carlson (40th, 1:51.3) — Fisher came to the STHS alpine team after years in competitive mogul skiing.
“We have the foundation of commitment and respect for one another to take our team to the next level,” Leonard said. “I look forward to supporting each of us owning what we truly are capable of achieving this season as individuals and as a team.”
South Tahoe has 37 skiers on its 2015-16 team, half of which are returners from last season. Most of its newcomers are completely new to the sport, which means the Vikings plan to use this season to build a core for the future.
“This is a year of working with a great group of young men and women,” Leonard said. “I have high hopes this level of commitment from our group will develop a strong foundation of alpine skiing this season and seasons to come.”
The Vikings return to action on Jan. 7 in a TBSL giant slalom race at Mammoth Mountain. South Tahoe has nine races this season, concluding with State on Feb. 23-24.