Vikings happy to get on with competition |

Vikings happy to get on with competition

Gary Kank, Tribune staff writer

After its first event of the season was canceled due to heavy snow last Friday, the South Tahoe High Nordic Ski team kicked off the year at Kirkwood Mountain Resort on Wednesday.

“It was so good to get out there,” Viking coach Julia Russell said. “We were really let down by missing our first race, so everyone was excited to get out there today.”

Feeding off the excitement of their debut race, the Viking boys, comprised of Jeff Koeck, Ansel Robinson and Adam Matzinger, finished fourth out of 14 teams.

“That was quite impressive,” Russell said. “A lot of the guys they were competing against were Junior Olympic qualifiers, so it really says a lot.”

Other schools competing at the Kirkwood event were North Tahoe, Truckee, Mammoth and Sierra Mountain.

With each racer making three laps around the 1-kilometer course, the Vikings paced themselves nicely to place in the top five.

On the girls side, official results were unavailable, but Russell said her four girls gave it their all against a strong field of opposing squads.

“There were some very strong programs out there,” she said. “I thought are girls went out there and did their best.”

While the team has competitive goals they are hoping to reach this season, Russell said Wednesday’s event was beneficial just to get some of the more inexperienced kids out on the course.

“We had about four kids out their today that it was their first time skating,” she said. “So right now we’re just getting our skis on and competing.

“With the boys result we know we’re looking good, but with the newcomers and the girls we know what we have to focus on.”

The Vikings will take time off for Christmas break and resume competition Jan. 11 at Mammoth Mountain.

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