STHS Nordic team looks to recapture glory years
Youth and experience – two factors that the South Tahoe High Nordic team hopes to utilize this season.
“This is really a coach’s dream team,” said first-year coach Lynn Campodonico. “The kids have been great. Our fastest skiers are sophomores and I’m looking forward to working with them.”
Campodonico, a 1979 STHS graduate who skied collegiately for two years at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, said she’s eager to restore the Vikings reputation as a “powerhouse” Nordic school, much like when she attended the school in the ’70s.
“Cross-country skiing is close to my heart. I want to build it back up. We live in a winter wonderland and should be producing some top skiers,” she said. “We should be able to put together a 50-person team and out of it we should be able out send some kids to the Junior Olympics, get scholarships and maybe even go to the Olympics.”
The Vikings are getting there. After dryland training at the school, which began in mid-November at the school, the team began snow workouts at Kirkwood before moving to Camp Richardson and Tahoe Paradise Golf Course. Twenty-four boys and girls are out for this year’s squad.
Sophomores Steve Fruitman and Cory Martin return as top prospects on the boys’ side. Both are making pushes for the Junior Olympic team and will be expected to improve on last year’s 23rd and 28th places, respectively, in the state meet. Other returners include: Dan Matzinger, junior, 32nd at state; Ryan Nibouar, sophomore, 13th (JV); Tom Luerken, junior, 20th (JV); Conner Robinson, sophomore; and Forrest Armstrong, senior.
“The neat thing about the boys, aside from the returners, is that there’s a lot of depth,” Campodonico said.
Sophomore Lisa Orr leads the girls returners, having posted a 14th at state last year. Sophomore Mindy Manglinong is back from a 27th place. Campodonico expects big help from newcomers, including junior Nicole Fruitman and sophomore Denise Bogard.
“They’re a really close team and I think we’ll do well in that area,” she said.
The Vikings were first overall in the division last year, with the boys second and girls first. Tahoe’s boys were sixth at state and the girls were fourth.
South Tahoe opens the season on Friday at 10 a.m. at Spooner Summit against Southern Division opponents Rite of Passage, Lee Vining, Mammoth and Incline.
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