Whittell alpine ski finishes strong at state; Norton wins giant slalom | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell alpine ski finishes strong at state; Norton wins giant slalom

Anthony Gentile
Whittell freshman Payton Norton navigates the course during the TBSL state championships duals race at Heavenly’s World Cup last Wednesday. Norton took third in duals a day after winning the giant slalom event.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

The Whittell alpine ski team delivered quality results on the hill despite a lack of quantity throughout the 2014-15 season — and ended its campaign in similar fashion. Five Warriors competed at the Tahoe Basin Ski League state races last week at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Heavenly Mountain Resort, highlighted by freshman Payton Norton winning the boys giant slalom race.

The TBSL state championships were contested in three disciplines over two days at two different locations. The giant slalom and slalom races were held at Sierra-at-Tahoe last Tuesday, Feb. 23 with duals at Heavenly’s World Cup concluding the season the following day.

Norton wins giant slalom, Warriors’ girls deliver pair of top-eight finishes at Sierra-at-Tahoe

In the boys giant slalom event at Sierra-at-Tahoe, Norton won an individual state title by skiing a 1:08.14 over two runs. The freshman’s runs were the top two of the event that he won by nearly two seconds.

Sophomore Kaven Peck was the only other Warriors’ skier to complete the event, taking 23rd in giant slalom with a time of 1:25.82. After a disqualification on his first run, Matt Davis skied a 41.76 — the 22nd-best time of the second round.

In the girls race, Whittell’s duo of sophomore Madison Idso and senior Michael Gardner each finished in the top eight — Idso came in fourth by skiing a 1:13.30 and Gardner placed eighth with a time of 1:16.40. Incline’s Belle Johnson won the event with a time of 1:10.50.

Idso and Gardner also finished in the top eight in the slalom event at Sierra-at-Tahoe. Idso took seventh with a time of 1:07.37 while Gardner came in one spot behind by skiing a 1:07.44 — Johnson completed a first-day sweep by winning the event in 58.90.

In the boys slalom, Davis was Whittell’s top finisher — he took 14th with a time of 1:09.73. Norton rebounded from a 27th-place ski on the first run to take 15th overall with a time of 1:10.01 while Peck placed 18th by skiing a 1:18.11.

Norton reaches podium in duals at Heavenly

In Wednesday’s duals held at Heavenly’s World Cup, Norton finished his freshman season in style. The second-seeded Norton delivered a third-place finish, beating top-seeded Harrison Goss of North Tahoe to reach the podium.

Norton made it to the semifinals before falling to South Tahoe’s Austin Allen — Allen lost to North Tahoe’s Lucas Earley in the finals. Whittell’s next two skiers were each eliminated in the first round — the 31st-seeded Davis was ousted by Norton while the 23rd-seeded Peck also suffered an early exit.

In the girls bracket, Idso reached the quarterfinals after earning the sixth seed — she picked up two wins before losing to Incline’s Annika Hansen, the eventual third-place finisher. Gardner earned the eighth seed and won one race before being knocked out in the second round.

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