South Tahoe Nordic ski races in North Tahoe Pursuit, shows improvement |

South Tahoe Nordic ski races in North Tahoe Pursuit, shows improvement

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe senior Daniel Sandborn takes off on his skate skis in the transition zone at the CNISSF North Tahoe Pursuit race Friday, Feb. 12, at Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area.
Courtesy Photo |

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — In its second-to-last race of the season, the South Tahoe Nordic ski team made its final preparations for the state championships. The Vikings raced on the North Shore in the CNISSF North Tahoe Pursuit at Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area last Friday, Feb. 12.

The race took place on a 3.5-kilometer loop just out the back door of North Tahoe High. For the two-lap race, skiers started with a classic stride lap before entering a transition area and changing into skate skis for a second lap.

Some of the field’s stronger skiers completed both laps on their skate skis, double poling the entire first lap. The technique allowed those skiers to save time by skipping the transition.

The girls raced first, and North Tahoe’s Quinn Lehmkuhl led from start to finish with a winning time of 23.48. South Tahoe’s top racer was senior Ally Swain, who placed 16th with a time of 28.48.

Senior Kylee Lyons was next for the Vikings, taking 18th by skiing a 30:23. Sophomore Jessie Brown finished 21st with a time of 31:53.

On the JV side, sophomore Theresa Sandborn continued to show steady improvement by moving up to 15th with a time of 37:46. Freshman Emily Dilts (23rd, 46:28) and junior Sio Cook (24th, 46:31) rounded out South Tahoe’s JV contingent.

“I have been really impressed with Theresa,” Vikings coach Mark Hoefer said. “She has had strong effort in practices this year, and it is beginning to show up in her racing.”

In the boys race, a strong field was led by Hayden Halvorsen from Sugar Bowl Academy (Norden, Calif.). The freshman completed 7 kilometers in 21:53.

For South Tahoe, senior Orion Maxwell produced the top performance. Maxwell placed 15th with a time of 25:30.

There was a changeup in results for the remaining Vikings last Friday, with senior Daniel Sandborn coming in 21st by skiing a 27:20. Senior Mario Mangiaracina (22nd, 27:30) finished 10 seconds behind him, followed by senior Paul Hoefer (28th, 28:21) and his younger brother, freshman Christopher Hoefer (29th, 28:25).

“I was really happy to see all of the guys, with the exception of Orion, mix it up a bit,” Hoefer said. “They are all coming around well, and will be pushing one another hard when they get to championships.”

The remaining half of the varsity boys team also raced well at North Tahoe, led by freshman Ryan Newberger (34th, 28:56). Junior Travis Wood (35th) and senior Chase Stalter (35th) skied identical times of 30:57 and were followed by senior Paul Mutz (40th, 31:17) and sophomore David Holmes (41st, 31:28).

South Tahoe had four competitors in the JV race, led by freshman Forrest McCann (13th) and junior J.P. Embry’s (14th) identical finishes of 34:27. Junior Matthew Barnett (16th, 35:40) and freshman Devin Adams (27th, 48:26) also raced junior varsity for the Vikings.

“The great thing about having all these boys on varsity and JV is that the program has a good pool of skiers for future years,” Hoefer said. “Now we need to grow the girls group for the next couple years.”

The Vikings conclude their 2015-16 season Saturday, Feb. 27, at the CNISSF State Championships. The race at Auburn Ski Club is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

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