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Vikings totally crossed out

Julia Peyser doesn’t know much about skiing.

What she does know is athletics. The first-year coach of the South Tahoe High cross country ski team has a wealth of knowledge and experience at her fingertips in Debbie Waldear, an eight-time world champion, and Lynn Harriman, who was the head coach a year ago.

“I’m really lucky to fall into a great group of people,” Peyser said. “There is a great group of supporters for these kids.”



That group of supporters helped the varsity boys team to a third-place finish in the season opener for the Vikings on Thursday. South Tahoe was led by the fifth-place finish of junior Jeff Koeck.

“It was nice to get the first race under our belts,” Peyser said. “I’m really proud of the way the kids raced.”




Now, comes a lengthy lay off for the squads before the next race at Mammoth Lakes in January.

The layoff should help the team gather itself and get more training in both on the hill and in the gym.

“We’re going to work on strength, stamina and endurance,” Peyser said. “There is one thing I know: The stronger you are, the faster you ski.”

Peyser has a strong group of skiers on her team this year. Joining Koeck on the boys varsity team are junior Adam Matzinger, junior Adam Wolf and seniors Amir Misaghi and Graham St. Michel.

On the junior varsity boys are juniors Ryan McClead, Grant Peterson and Jon Goldman and a pair of freshmen in Chris Detaar and Ansel Robinson.

While there currently isn’t a girls varsity team, Peyser is considering moving up junior Marin St. Michel. But until then, she is on the junior varsity squad with juniors Samantha Urch and Shawna Rogers and freshmen Eleni Monos and Lily Tam.

Peyser said this year’s squad has been able to teach her things along the way.

“They bring the skiing knowledge and I bring the athletic knowledge,” the coach said. “So far it’s worked out pretty well.


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