Whittell alpine ski finishes 5th in Alpine Meadows GS | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell alpine ski finishes 5th in Alpine Meadows GS

Anthony Gentile
Whittell freshman Payton Nortonleans around a gate during a run at the TBSL giant slalom race last Thursday at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. Norton was the Warriors' top boys finisher, placing third overall.
Courtesy Harry Lefrak / Lefrak Photography |

ALPINE MEADOWS, Calif. — A lack of early-season practice time has made things challenging so far for the Whittell alpine ski team. The Warriors’ boys placed fifth and the girls took sixth in the Tahoe Basin Ski League giant slalom race last Thursday at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, combining for a second straight fifth-place finish.

“We haven’t had much training time this season to evaluate racers and work on things — but all the kids came out and raced really well,” Warriors head coach Patrick Kelly said. “It was a challenging course with a couple delays in it and the kids had to adjust to a few things.”

The Whittell boys team scored 149 points to place fifth overall, 48 points behind race winner North Tahoe. Freshman Payton Norton came in third overall with a time of 1:03.93 over two runs — his first run of 31.51 was the best of the day.

“He has been racing well all year for us so far,” Kelly said. “He was having a really good (second) run, then he clipped the last gate pretty good and ended up with a welt on his arm — it slowed him down.”

Junior Matt Davis was Whittell’s second-best finisher on the boys side, placing 19th with a time of 1:11.56 — he was in the top 15 after the first run. Senior Logan Manchester (24th place, 1:14.72) and sophomore Kaven Peck (33rd, 1:18.33) also earned points for the Warriors on Kangaroo.

Seven skiers raced for the Warriors’ boys team at Alpine Meadows. Junior Gabe Rusk (39th, 1:24.08), freshman Andrew Carlisle (41st, 1:25.58) and junior Hilton Atherton (45th, 1:32.99) rounded out the group from Whittell.

On the girls side, the Warriors took sixth with 128 points — they finished 84 points behind first-place Truckee. For the second straight race, sophomore Madison Idso was Whittell’s top finisher — Idso took second with a time of 1:07.32 and led after the first run.

“She had another really good race and is skiing tremendously well this year,” Kelly said.

Junior Kate Krolicki was the Warriors’ second-fastest skier last Thursday, completing her runs in 1:17.28 to finish 20th. Juniors Cameron Ceglia (36th, 1:34.88) and Jade Louis (42nd, 1:51.21) also earned points for Whittell at Alpine Meadows — the team competed without senior Michael Garnder, who finished seventh overall at Mammoth Mountain in the first race of the season.

“On the girls end we’re doing okay so far — we just need to get some more top scores in there,” Kelly said.

Whittell returns to competition Thursday at Alpine Meadows for a duals race scheduled to start at 10 a.m. The Warriors have practiced at Heavenly Mountain Resort multiple times this week in advance of their third race of the season.

“We’re reinforcing some basic principles of ski racing and letting the kids work through some things as we’re going down the hill,” Kelly said. “We’re looking forward to a marked improvement in the next couple weeks — hopefully get some better scores in our races and do a little bit better as a team.

“It’s tough because we haven’t had that many training days out there — a lot of kids are learning on the fly at this point, but they’re doing pretty well.”

See more photos from last Thursday’s race at http://www.lefrakphotography.com.

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