South Tahoe Nordic ski team competes in Truckee Sprints |

South Tahoe Nordic ski team competes in Truckee Sprints

Viking senior Max Morgan chases down a skier from North Tahoe and Truckee in a quarterfinal round of the Truckee Sprints.
Courtesy Mark Hoefer |

Sometimes too much snow can be as hard on a Nordic ski season as too little. Just ask the South Tahoe Nordic team.

Awesome snow storms over the past month have brought near record amounts of snow, along with school closures. Both have resulted in missed practices and two canceled races for the Nordic team.

However, all the snow did allow the second race of the season, known as the Truckee Sprints, to actually take place at Truckee High School. The last time this occurred was back in 2011. The venue was Surprise Stadium, and the course was a short 1.2-kilometer figure-eight loop that included some sharp turns, and a short steep descent back into the stadium area before a quick three-quarter loop around the football field to the finish.

Sprint races first involve an individual time trial. Skiers leave the start 15 seconds after each other and race the same loop. The skier’s time represents his or her seating in the remaining sprint races. The top 36 racers make it to the quarter finals. The boys raced first and the South Tahoe Vikings placed six skiers in the quarter finals, while the lady Vikings saw seven girls make it.

In the quarter final rounds there were six heats of six skiers each racing head to head over the same 1.2 kilometer course. The top two from each heat moved onto the semi-finals. The Viking skiers raced very strong and when the snow settled, the Vikings had one skier advance to the semi-finals.

For the lady Vikings, junior Jessie Brown moved on to face the top 12 skiers in two heats of six racers. At the end of the day, the sprint king and queen were North Tahoe’s JC Schoonmaker, with the fastest time of the day; covering the course in 1 minute and 43 seconds (1:43). For the girls, it was Lexi Madigan, from Sugar Bowl Academy, who conquered the course with a time of 2:00.

For the Viking boys, Christopher Hoefer put in the strongest performance of the day in the varsity event, placing 15th with a time of 2:09, followed by Josh Novak (20) 2:13, Freeman George (21) 2:13, Ryan Newberger (29) 2:20, David Holmes (35) 2:27), Forrest McCann (38) 2:34, and Charlie Filce (39) 2:34.

In the open event, the Vikings were led by Max Morgan’s third place (3) finish in 2:20, followed by JP Embry (8) 2:42, Clyde Rypins (10) 2:44, and Ben Sherwin (12) 2:46.

For the Viking varsity girls, Jessi Brown had the top performance, skiing a lap time of 2:37 and placing 12th. She was followed by teammate Theresa Sandborn (21), 3:02. In the open event, the Vikings were lead by Hannah Trew (5) 3:07, followed by Nicole Morgan (6) 3:09, Melannie Maher (11) 3:40, Fabienne Dbner (16) 4:05, Briyona Ziegler (17) 4:07, Anika Johnson (19) 4:13, and Emily Dilts (21) 4:21.

Mark Hoefer is a South Tahoe High School Nordic coach.

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