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South Tahoe nordic ski makes season debut

Anthony Gentile
agentile@tahoedailytribune.com
South Tahoe skiers (front to back) Ally Swain, Cara Filce, Tatum Whatford and Emma Sower head downhill at the start of the CNISSF Foothill Classic girls 5K race last Friday at Auburn Ski Club.
Courtesy Ross Kovac |

SODA SPRINGS, Calif. — The South Tahoe nordic ski team made its long-awaited competitive debut last Friday at the CNISSF Foothill Classic — and made a solid first impression. The Vikings’ girls took fourth and the boys placed fifth in the 5K classic race held at Auburn Ski Club.

“The team showed that they have been working hard — we have a ways to go for the season, but they were showing some strong skiing out there,” Vikings head coach Mark Hoefer said. “The lack of snow is definitely making training and conditioning tough.”

South Tahoe’s girls team finished fourth out of seven teams in the season opener. North Tahoe won the event followed by Truckee and Sugar Bowl Academy — racers made two loops on a 2.5-kilometer course.



“For the amount of snow that they had up there, they were able to set a good course — but it was a tough one to make your first race on,” Hoefer said. “Many of the courses at Auburn Ski Club have good variation in terrain — lots of ups and downs and not a lot of good places to catch your breath.”

Ally Swain was South Tahoe’s top finisher in the girls race last Friday, placing 14th with a time of 19:19.8. Cara Filce finished two spots behind Swain in 16th — she completed the course in 19:32.7.



“They were the top ones and they were going back and forth throughout the race,” Hoefer said.

Jessie Brown and Tatum Whatford also scored for the Vikings. Brown, a freshman, took 21st with a time of 22:46.8 and Whatford came in 23rd by skiing a 22:56.1.

Kylee Lyons (27th place, 24:10.6) and Emma Sower (40th, 29:19.6) rounded out the STHS varsity contingent. Grace Rosburg (35th, 26:41.7), Kerry Norton (37th, 27:48.8), Theresa Sandborn (47th, 31:48.3) and Sio Cook (50th, 36:29.3) competed for the Vikings in the open division.

On the boys side, the Vikings came in fifth place. Truckee won the race followed by Mammoth, Sugar Bowl and North Tahoe.

“I think that we definitely will be focusing on putting some of our racers up there toward the front, especially with the boys — they’ll need to work their way up,” Hoefer said.

Orion Maxwell was the Vikings’ fastest finisher at Auburn Ski Club, placing 12th with a time of 16:17.9. Paul Hoefer was next best, finishing 16th by skiing a 17:05.7.

Kyle Ferguson (24th, 18:21.8) and Mario Mangiaracina (27th, 19:03.2) also earned points for South Tahoe. Daniel Sandborn (28th, 19:10.1), Paul Mutz (31st, 19:33.4) and Max Morgan (37th, 21:43.7) rounded out the Vikings’ varsity group.

“We’ll want to push Paul and Orion into the top 10 and hopefully move the rest into the top 15 to 20,” Hoefer said. “We’ll continue to chisel away at the teams that have the depth and work our way up.”

Charlie Filce was the top South Tahoe skier in the boys’ open division, placing ninth and 33rd overall with a time of 20:49.1. JP Embry (35th, 21:25.1), Dillon King (38th, 21:59.2), Dillon Lemons (41st, 22:26.5), David Holmes (42nd, 22:36.8), Matthew Barnett (24:21.4) and Ben Sherwin (49th, 30:07.6) also raced for STHS in the open division.

Last Friday’s race at Auburn Ski Club was the first of the season — South Tahoe was scheduled to host relays at Kirkwood Mountain Resort in December, but the event was rescheduled to inclement weather. That race has been moved to Jan. 30, but Hoefer said not having it to open the season made last week’s race more challenging.

“That gives us an idea of who our stronger skiers are and who we want to put up where on the start line,” Hoefer said.

South Tahoe returns to action Friday in a skate race at Sugar Bowl Resort. The race is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

STMS nordic team begins season

The South Tahoe Middle School nordic ski team also made its debut last Friday at Auburn Ski Club. Eighteen Timberwolves raced on the 2.5-kilometer course — both the girls and boys teams finished third.

“In was their first race out there and the first race ever for a number of them,” Hoefer said. “They hung in there and they did well — just finishing can be an award itself.”


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