Viking Racers Dressed For Success At Alpine Meadows
When South Tahoe High Alpine skiers showed up at Wednesday’s Tahoe Basin League event in team jackets and speed racing suits, they were playfully mocked by their baggy pant-clad competitors for the formality of their outerwear. After all, the Vikings – as the newest members of the TBL – weren’t supposed to be dictating anything, especially slope fashions.
But dictate is exactly what South Tahoe did at Alpine Meadows, winning the top spot in the girls races and finishing second in the boys. Truckee finished third in the girls division and tied for second in the boys races, while North Tahoe ousted the Vikes for a first-place spot.
“It was a really strong team effort that helped us today,” said South Tahoe coach Mike Shreve, whose Vikes made the jump to the TBL this year after three straight CNISF state championships. “I was wondering how we would do in this league. It’s going to be an adventure.”
Excellent conditions – or “18 inches of the best racing snow you ever can imagine” as Shreve called it – paved the way for some great individual finishes. So did the fact that several of the event’s racers are Far West and USSA vets.
South Tahoe’s Christie Higman took second while fellow Vike Jamie Hansen secured fourth place. South Tahoe racers Cory Harris, Danny Lear and Thrace Ramsey paced the boys team with fifth-, seventh- and 12th-place finishes, respectively. Other notable performers include Viking freshman Chris Little, who despite a second-run crash, finished with the second-fastest time of the day.
Though Whittell faces its crosstown rival in very few sports, Wednesday’s head-to-head matchup lacked the same intensity as a more confrontational, team-oriented sport.
“We kind of look toward Incline and Douglas as our bigger rivals,” said Whittell advisor Mike Kiger. “They’re more our size than (South Tahoe) and we’ve been competing against them for a while now.”
“Our racers are mostly going up against the clock and not necessarily another team,” Kiger added.
Despite a few falls and equipment problems, Kiger said he was pleased with his racers’ performances and is eager to follow their improvement throughout the season. Even though official results were not available at press time, Kiger estimated that both Warrior teams placed fourth in Wednesday’s competition, with racers Corky Novotny and Ben Johnson likely top-10 finishers.
The next Alpine event for area schools will be a giant slalom Jan. 13 at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
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