Vikings win third Tahoe Basin Ski League event
Maybe Tahoe’s schools broke away to form the Tahoe Basin Ski League to promote new math, because two plus two again equaled one for South Tahoe.
The Vikings took second in both the girls and boys divisions of Wednesday’s night slalom at Heavenly, but the points added up to 322, good for first overall for the Vikings. South Tahoe added a point to its overall series lead over North Tahoe during Whittell’s home ski race, finishing first for the third time in three meets.
Racers returned to boost both the home-hill Warriors and the visiting Vikings. Whittell senior Corky Novotny won her second TBSL race in as many tries, with a combined time of 1 minute, 13.96 seconds to lead the girls. Vikings sophomore racer Chris McKean, just back from an International Ski Federation race at Mount Bachelor, Ore., had the best finish for the South Tahoe boys, finishing second in 1:09.68, just under a second off the winning pace Travis Durfee set for Incline. Another FIS veteran, sophomore Diana Higman, finished fourth in the women’s race for the Vikings with a combined time of 1:22.28.
“I felt good,” said Novotny, who also won the season opener, a Jan. 5 giant slalom at Alpine Meadows. “The snow’s a little different because it snowed a lot yesterday, but the course was good.”
Whittell finished fifth in its home meet, with 253 points, behind fourth-place Incline, which had 280. Sean Weatherston had the best finish of the day for the boys team, taking ninth in 1:16.18.
McKean led three Vikings and two McKeans into the top 10. Chris Little, who won the debut GS at Alpine Meadows, was seventh in 1:13.79, and Jon McKean – Chris’s older brother – was 10th in 1:17.16.
Novotny was the only Warrior among the top 10 girls. But Higman and Lilly Palmieri provided crucial points for South Tahoe’s girls with their top-10 finishes.
“I’m proud, but I know I can go faster,” said Higman, who recently returned from a Junior Olympics qualifier in Big Bear, Calif.
South Tahoe’s team entered the third meet of the season with a one-point lead over North Tahoe for first place in the TBSL. The Vikings tied defending champion North Tahoe in the first race, a Jan. 5 giant slalom, and won the second meet by a point over North Tahoe on Jan. 12, with two individual wins – by Chris Little and Cory Harris – aiding them.
With the larger California schools pulling away to compete for the overall title, Whittell still is in the running for the mythical Nevada championship. Whittell trailed Incline by a point after the first two races, but had Novotny back after she missed the second race for a prior ski commitment.
The TBSL combines six schools that compete within the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association in other events, but broke away to form their own, more competitive ski conference. South Tahoe, North Tahoe and Truckee represent California, while Whittell, Douglas and Incline compete for the Nevada championship.
There are four more Alpine meets on the TBSL season schedule, continuing on Wednesday with a slalom at Kirkwood, the home race for Douglas. South Tahoe’s home meet is Feb. 10 at Sierra-at-Tahoe, a rescheduling of the Jan. 12 meet. The season wraps with the TBSL championships beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 29 at Sierra.
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