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South Tahoe Nordic teams enjoy successful seasons

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe’s Nordic teams received the right amount of snow for a full schedule of races, finished high in the league standings and capped the season with strong performances in the state championships.

The snow came early, and it was enough to last through January and February, the meat of the schedule.

Enough with a below average snowpack, the California-Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation did not cancel any meets for too little, or too much, snow.

After hosting a race in December and competing in the Foothill Classic in early January, the Vikings competed in four more league races.

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A highlight of the season included a trip to the Mammoth Mountain area for a classic stride race on the trails at Tamarack Cross Country Center.

League competition concluded on Valentine’s day with a freestyle race at North Tahoe High School.

The boys and girls each finished third in the league standings out of nine teams.

The season came to a close in the CNISSF State Championships, Feb. 22, where the Vikings raced against 60 other competitors at Soda Springs, near Donner Summit. Sugar Bowl Academy hosted the event on the trails at Royal Gorge.

South Tahoe was well represented with five boys and four girls in their respective competitions.

The course was 3.3 kilometers in length and skiers had to complete two laps in two different styles. Skiers began with a mass start and the first lap was classic (stride) format. After the first lap, skiers headed into an exchange area where they transition into freestyle (skate) gear, and then re-enter the course.

The Viking boys finished in fourth and were led by Matteus Sokulsky who completed the two laps in 18 minutes, 40 seconds to finish in 12th place out of 42 competitors.

Also for South Tahoe, Lachlan Bray crossed the line second for the team, and in 16th overall (21:04), Milo King was 18th (21:41), Rhys Davies was 29th (24:17), Max Menke ws 30th (24:33), Andre Albanese 31st (24:55), Sam Evans 35th (26:49) and Aaron Moreno was 40th (30:30).

South Tahoe head coach Mark Hoefer is excited because his entire group could be back next season.

“All of these skiers will be around for at least two more years, so I am looking forward to working with them and watching them get stronger each year,” Hoefer said.

Sugar Bowl’s Bjorn Halvorsen won the race in 16:17 and North Tahoe claimed the team title.

The Lady Vikings, led by senior Melanie Maher, earned third place.

Maher capped off her four years of high school skiing by capturing 13th place in 27:35.

She was followed by freshman teammate Emma Waskiewicz who grabbed 16th in 28:15, senior Eliana Carney was 17th in 30:36 and Sierra Dahl was 18th in 30:43.

North Tahoe’s Kili Lehmkuhl made it look easy in winning the individual title and Truckee won the girls’ team title.

“I have really enjoyed working with the girls team this year,” Hoefer said. “But I am sad to see the seniors race their last high school race.”


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