South Tahoe alpine ski preps for season |

South Tahoe alpine ski preps for season

Anthony Gentile
The South Tahoe alpine ski team trained at Heavenly Mountain Resort last Tuesday. It was the Vikings’ first time on the slopes prior to the upcoming season.
Courtesy Photo |


Dec. 15 at Mammoth Mountain (GS)

Jan. 8 at Alpine Meadows (GS)

Jan. 15 at Alpine Meadows (Duals)

Jan. 21 at Heavenly (Duals)

Jan. 26 at Heavenly (Slalom)

Feb. 4 at Diamond Peak (Slalom)

Feb. 11 at Alpine Meadows (Regional Duals)

Feb. 24 at Sierra-at-Tahoe (State GS/Slalom)

Feb. 25 at Sierra-at-Tahoe (State Duals)

The South Tahoe alpine ski team doesn’t have a lot of experience — and that makes time on the hill crucial. The Vikings were hosted by Heavenly Mountain Resort last Tuesday, an important practice session six days before the start of their 2014-15 season.

“They had to have it — it was a necessity not only for safety, but because many of our athletes do not have any racing background,” said Kristi Leonard, South Tahoe’s first-year head coach. “Heavenly came through with day passes for anyone that didn’t have a pass — it was a wonderful day.”

South Tahoe typically trains at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, but had to pursue other options with the resort not yet open. That’s when Heavenly came through.

“Most of our kids had not been on the snow yet, so yesterday was paramount to our preparation,” Leonard said.

Away from the slopes, the Vikings have prepped for the upcoming season with dry land training, CrossFit workouts at STHS’ sports medicine facility — and even skating around buckets at South Lake Tahoe Ice Area to build speed and agility. On the first day of practice, South Tahoe hosted a high-profile visitor — Mike Kenney, an assistant coach for the U.S. Ski Team Men’s Alpine program.

“We have more of a developmental team, which is awesome — they’re a great group of kids,” Leonard said. “But it takes time and technique building for it to happen.

“Many of our foundational kids have either moved on, or they’re just competing at such a high level that they are unable to do the high school team.”

South Tahoe enters the season with 30 skiers — including 13 seniors. The Vikings’ senior contingent features Natalie Allen, Austin Allen, Logan Brewer, Justin Cain, Jade Child, Jaedan Clelan, Mikaela Clothier, Dalton Daggs, Teagan Grant, Abi Killebrew, Bryce Kortge, Thorne Saunders and Grant Swift.

The Vikings’ five juniors are Moises Cuevas, Cassie Flynn, Trent Leonard, Noah Solomon and Garrett Knudson. STHS’ sophomores include Caleb Bray, Evan Brewer, Nick Coolbaugh, Jackson Kuzmik, Riley McConoughey, Rose McDonough, Lex Merrifield and Tristan Detherage — freshmen Lyndsey Allen, Logan Longemeir, Foster Saunders and Weston Swift round out the roster.

South Tahoe opens the season Monday with a giant slalom race at Mammoth Mountain, the first of nine races during the season. The Vikings’ Tahoe Basin Ski League rivals include Truckee, Incline, North Tahoe, Douglas (Minden, Nev.) and Whittell.

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