Warriors track down first TBSL win in years
They must have thought a team ski victory was going to elude them before they graduated. The past three seasons have been fun but winless for the Whittell High boys, but since the 2002 season opened the Warriors have demonstrated that they can no longer be taken for granted.
On Wednesday, the Warriors proved that they are the boys class of the Tahoe Basin League.
Whittell ended a long drought by winning the boys title in a giant slalom race at Alpine Meadows.
“Those guys deserve it. They’ve been working really hard,” said STHS coach Jim Morgan.
“I’ve never heard of us winning,” said Whittell senior Sean Weatherston. “It was fun. It was good that the whole team won, it made it a lot better.
“Coach Mikey (Kiger) and Taylor Bowland deserve the credit. Taylor is the spirit guy on our team and he pumped everybody up.”
A logjam of Warriors at the top ensured that the elusive victory wouldn’t get away. Weatherston earned his first TBSL career victory with a two-run combined time of 53.29 seconds.
“It was edge to edge the whole way down and it was course where you tried to set up for the few turns at the botttom,” Weatherston said.
Only Robert Lane of Incline prevented the Warriors from sweeping the top-3 places as he made it down the mountain twice in 54.09.
Whittell’s Brett Schussel and Ben Johnson continued their season-long top-5 assault by placing third and fourth, respectively. Schussel was timed in 54.45, with Johnson close behind at 54.61.
“They’ve worked hard for four years,” said WHS coach Kiger. “It’s a great win for them.”
Whittell compiled 171 points and was followed by North Tahoe with 162 and Truckee with 148.
South Tahoe’s Danny Lear was denied his third win of the season. He led by 1.5 seconds after the first GS run, but had difficulty with a transition section on his second run and didn’t finish.
“Danny’s not the kind of kid who is going to hold back so he can finish. Danny’s going to go for it,” Morgan said.
Coupled with two other top-level skiers who weren’t able to finish, STHS finished fifth out of six teams. Kyle Kracht and Drew Ketelsen led the Vikings with 11th- and 14th-place finishes.
James Rastello of Whittell also cracked the top 20, placing 17th in 58.60.
Meanwhile, the South Tahoe High girls made the best of a tough situation, placing third overall. With several of their teammates training for an upcoming Far West super-G, Casey Rise, Kristin Royce and Jenae Apland kept the Vikings in the title chase with top-10 performances. Rise was seventh in 1:00.23, Royce was eighth in 1:00.26 and Apland 10th in 1:00.40.
North Tahoe’s Leslie Marcacci was No. 1 in 56.82, helping the Lakers to 176 points and the girls team title. Truckee was second with 161 points, with the Vikings third at 156.
Caitlin Robinson and Leanna Apland also skied into the top 20, with Robinson coming in 15th and Apland 20th.
Ashley Daws and Jannette Daw led the fourth-place Warriors with 19th- and 23rd-place showings, respectively.
North Tahoe also was the overall champion, which takes into account boys and girls team scores. STHS was third and Whittell fourth.
The league is scheduled to compete in slalom Tuesday at Diamond Peak in Incline Village.