South Tahoe right at home at Sierra-at-Tahoe |

South Tahoe right at home at Sierra-at-Tahoe

Matt O'Neill

The South Tahoe High Alpine ski team definitely used its home course to its advantage in Wednesday’s race at Sierra-at-Tahoe.

In the past, the Vikings have had to run the event as well as race in it, but this year, head coach Mike Shreve had the added advantage of using the resort’s newly created race department.

“They did a fantastic job,” Shreve said. “They had us off the hill at 2:15 p.m. and the equipment was coming into the shed at 2:30.”

As for the competition, the Vikings took care of their end of the deal on both the boys and girls divisions.

Led by the great one-two punch of Danny “Wimpy” Lear and Chris McKean, who finished one-two, respectively, South Tahoe was able to win the boys division for the first time all season.

“The real race was between them,” Shreve said. “Danny had a bobble on the second run and was still able to edge out Chris.

“I told Wimpy, that if he and Chris finished one-two, then I’d get them both a bacon double cheeseburger.”

With the strong run of McKean and Lear, South Tahoe was able to exact a bit of revenge on rival North Tahoe, who narrowly defeated the Vikings a week ago at Heavenly.

Also turning in great performances were Kyle Kracht and Toby O’Brien. Kracht, a freshman, took 12th place while O’Brien, a senior, was eighth.

“Toby’s been our workhorse and he stepped up and proved his title,” Shreve said. “Kyle is our technician and he showed that.”

The girls team for the Vikings again turned in another stellar performance. Led by five girls in the top 10, the girls won the team title. Diana Higman was the top Viking in third, while Lilly Palmeiri was in fifth, followed by Janae Apland in seventh and Kylese Zaiger (ninth) and Caitlin Robinson (10th).

The Whittell Warriors continued their consistent performances with a second consecutive fourth-place finish. Whittell could have finished higher if it weren’t for a few unfortunate falls and miscues.

Sean Weatherston was in position to finish in the top 10 after his first run, but crashed in his second run, tying for the lead.

As it was, the Warriors still had two boys finish in the top 11 in Ben Johnson, who was fifth, and Brett Schussel, who was 11th.

“Brett made a big improvement this race,” Warrior coach Mike Kiger said.

The impressive run of the day came from James Rostello, who finished in 23rd.

“James is really consistent for us,” Kiger said. “We can almost always count on him.”

The Warrior girls continued their consistent performances as they took 22nd through 26th place, as well as 29th.

Ashley Daw led the pack at 22nd, followed by Kim McGlothlin, Jannette Bak, Alison Dunleavy and Brooke Schussel. Kathy Kiger came in 29th.

“We’re right there,” Kiger said. “I think we’ve been improving, that’s what our goal has been this season.”

Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday at Alpine Meadows.

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