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Whittell grad, state champ, Barnwell selected for Far West Pace Team

After a rocky end to the last ski season that was cut short before Nationals due to COVID-19, officials, athletes and parents are all looking forward to a much different type of FIS season.

With historical races all over Europe being canceled this year, The Sugar Bowl Academy has placed two of its elites on the Far West Pace Team.

Ryan Herhusky, winner of the Bobby Mehrhof award for outstanding performance last season, is the youngest member of the team. Herhusky has also been honored by Far West for his outstanding academic performance as a student at Sugar Bowl Academy.

Gunnar Barnwell, Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association slalom champion and George Whittell High School graduate, were both selected to the elite squad of six, that includes three international competitors and one collegiate racer, Harrison Goss, who made the NCAA skiing Championships in 2020 which was also canceled due to COVID.

Barnwell received a scholarship to help attend the prestigious race academy at Sugar Bowl this season and last year was fortunate to qualify, also through a scholarship, to race for Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

Barnwell was also fortunate last season that a close family friend allowed him to stay at a condominium all winter in Sun Valley free of charge.

“Ski racing definitely takes a village, and we are so fortunate our village now extends all over the west,” said Tina Barnwell, Gunnar’s Mom. “When you see people you have never met embrace your son, take him in, feed him, and even cloth him so they can attend a fancy party in Sun Valley, quite frankly you are just stunned.”

As Gunnar has gotten older, he understands the effort made by his parents to get him to where he is today.

“The Far West Pace team has been a goal of mine ever since I began to realize the sacrifice my parents made just to get me to the race let alone pay for the lift ticket,” said Gunnar Barnwell.

The Far West Pace Team is designed to encourage low points racers to attend Far West/U.S. Ski races. An athlete may be a member of both the FWST and the FWPT. The FWPT has a maximum size of 12, for the 20-21 season there will be six men and six women.

The rewards for achieving this status for the racer and supporters is immense, including: free lifts at all U.S. Ski/Far West races; Free entries at all U.S. Far West races; FWPT Pass for free skiing at all participating Far West Ski areas for training; and FWPT members will receive a day for day credit for races attended from designated U.S. Ski or Far West Divisional FIS races, towards entries to the Western Region FIS Elite Spring Series.

Being selected for Nationals this season will be highly competitive due to COVID with selections being cut in half.

LTCC soccer to start in January; Players won’t lose year of eligibility

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The soccer season is a go for the Lake Tahoe Community College Coyotes.

The California Community College Athletic Association on Friday, Nov. 6, reaffirmed its decision to move all sports to the winter and spring and will also not charge players with a season of eligibility during uncertain times.

The CCCAA Board of Directors had a lengthy discussion and voted to move forward with its contingency plan it originally approved in July. The contingency plan is CCCAA’s framework for a return to competition this spring while also providing decision-making guidance for institutions.

LTCC’s boys’ and girls’ soccer programs may start practicing on Jan. 18, 2021 according to the plan with the first competition being allowed a few weeks later, on Feb. 5. The end of the regular season will be April 6 with the regional playoffs starting a few days later on April 10. The end of the season will be April 17. The maximum number of games played will be 22 according to the plan.

Normally, the soccer season runs from mid-August to November, depending on how much success the teams enjoy the season could last until about Thanksgiving.

“Everything in the last six months or so has been different, so it’s not a surprise that our soccer season will be different,” said Jeremy Evans, head coach for both the boys’ and girls’ teams. “In the grand scheme of things, with people getting sick and losing jobs and losing loved ones to COVID-19, sports are unimportant. At the same time, I am relieved that a return to competition has been approved and is moving forward in California.”

The CCCAA board also requested its COVID-19 Work Group to determine opt-in/opt-out dates for schools to indicate participation for the spring while understanding that extenuating circumstances may arise that may lead institutions to opt out at a later date, said a press release.

It’s possible some schools will opt out and the schedule will be constant work in progress. Whatever make-shift Golden Valley Conference schedule Evans gets, he’s going to want to win everyone of them, but he’s more focused on keeping his players safe. His Lady Coyotes are the 3-time defending league champs and haven’t lost to a league foe in that span. They’ve made back-to-back appearances in the state semifinals and reached the title game in 2018.

“As always, both teams are planning to compete for a conference title and that will remain a goal of ours as long as I am coaching both teams,” Evans said. “But winning and losing, however, is not as important as keeping our athletes as safe as possible and making sure they are progressing toward their degrees during the 20-21 academic year.”

Starting in January at Lake Tahoe will provide challenges, most notably is how the school will keep the field clear for practice and maybe some games if the snow begins to pile up. As of now, Evans said there are no home games until the spring but he plans to practice daily and that may require the field needing to be plowed.

And the option of practicing indoors, in the gymnasium, can’t happen because it currently serves as the only full-time COVID-19 testing facility in El Dorado County. Even training, even in the middle of the day as is the plan, will likely be cold.

The CCCAA board also passed a motion to provide “student-athletes a waiver for any CCCAA competition during the 2020-21 athletic year in order to support the success, safety, and well-being of student-athletes.”

A freshman playing this winter/spring, will still be considered a freshman next fall if the seasons go back to normal. A sophomore this year would still be eligible for another year under the new rules.

“Our teams have always been gritty and tough, and there’s no doubt our players and coaches will have to be again to pull off a winter-spring season, which for Tahoe, is entirely a winter season,” Evans said. “Our school has a snow removal plan and that alone is something I am grateful for. I will ask my athletes to be flexible with access to the field because we have no idea if it will be a light or a heavy winter, we just know it will snow at some point and that will present challenges. I am extremely thankful that we have the ability to have a season at all and that our president (Jeff DeFranco) and athletic director (Steve Berry) are as supportive of the soccer program as they are.”

Local MMA pro Church fights Tuesday on national TV for possible UFC contract

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Local professional mixed martial artist Cameron Church will be looking for a life-changing performance tonight on national television.

Church, who lives in South Lake Tahoe, will fight as the co-feature against Sherrard Blackledge in Las Vegas. Both fighters are 4-0 and both are looking to impress Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White in his contender series.

The five-fight card begins at 5 p.m. on ESPN-Plus.

If the fighters can impress White, they may receive a UFC contract that could potentially change their lives.

Dan White’s Contender Series has run for four seasons and has helped launch the careers of several fighters, 16 have signed contracts.

Church was scheduled to fight several weeks ago but had to withdraw, but announced he would get another shot.

The 29-year old lightweight hones his skills at Escobar Training Grounds and has been fighting professionally for about a year. He dominated the amateur ranks and held several title belts before turning pro to try and make some money for getting in the ring. He has a 100% finish rate.

ESPN-Plus is available on all major mobile and connected TV devices, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs and XBox One. 

The cost is $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, with no contract required.

Far West Masters scholarship applications now open

Scholarship applications are now open for Far West Skiing athletes ages 13 through 20.

The scholarships, awarded by Far West Masters, will be awarded based on a combination of work ethic, academics, citizenship, financial needs, and race results.

“Even with the uncertainties due to the pandemic with what will happen in the upcoming ski season, we plan to go forward with this program,” said Eddie Moze, chairman Masters Scholarship Fund, in a statement. “We will be flexible with regards to funding and athlete requirements based on the expected updates of schedules and programs.”

Applications are due Oct. 12, and winners will be announced in late November. Far West Masters Scholarship Program has been raising funds for alpine skiers since 1992.

In 100th start, Werenski claims first PGA Tour win

In his 100th PGA Tour start, Richy Werenski finally tasted victory.

Werenski closed today’s final round at the Barracuda Championship at Old Greenwood Golf Course with 13 points under the modified Stableford scoring format to edge the leader going into today’s round, Troy Merritt, by one point with a total score of 39.

“I guess I’m still kind of shocked. It just happened so fast, making eagle on 16,” said Werenski, who claimed $630,000 of the $3.5 million purse. “I knew where the leader was, but right after I made that eagle we started doing the math, and I was like, we’re kind of right back in this thing. It was pretty crazy, but I’m super excited about it. Been playing well the last couple weeks and months, so it’s nice to finally get the win.”

Werenski knocked in an eagle on the par-4 16th hole, sinking a chip shot from off the green. He then went on to finish the par-71, 7,390-yard course by sinking a birdie putt on the par-4 18th hole, recovering for positive points after his drive went into the trees.

“I’m standing on 12 tee and I knew I wasn’t playing great. I wasn’t having like the best day. I didn’t feel like I was really swinging that well. After I kind of lipped out and hit the low edge on 12 for eagle, I was like, darn it, because that would have been big,” said Werenski.

“But I was kind of like, all right, let’s just go make as many birdies as we can and we’ll just see what happens. Like I said, I wasn’t really thinking about winning at that time, but it was funny because we were standing in the fairway on 16, and I was like, well, how about we just make it, and it ended up going in, so I guess that’s kind of funny.”

Werenski nearly won the Barracuda Championship in 2017, but was defeated in a three-way playoff. He’s also the fifth straight player to earn his first PGA Tour win at the Barracuda Championship. The win gets Werenski into the U.S. Open, The Players Championship next year along with Sentry Tournament of Champions.

“Yeah, it’s awesome,” added Werenski, who now sits at No. 34 in the FedExCup standings. “I’ve played two or three majors in my career, and to be able to play the PGA and U.S. Open again, it’s just incredible. There’s nothing like it. Super excited about that. And obviously Tournament of Champions, never played there, so it’s going to be really cool.”

The leader entering today’s round, Troy Merritt went scoreless on his back nine on the way to a tournament total of 38 points.

“We knew what we had to do,” said Merritt. “Hit a lot of quality shots today, hit a lot of greens, just couldn’t find that one birdie on the back side.”

Merritt, who finishes runner-up after holding the 54-hole lead/co-lead for the second consecutive year, still earned a spot into the U.S. Open.

Argentina’s Fabian Gomez finished in a tie for third place after scoring 16 points today to close the tournament with 37 points.

“The putter the first two days wasn’t that hot like today, but today before the round I felt something on the putter, so I got a lot of confidence, so I putted really well today,” said Gomez.

Austria’s Matthias Schwab also finished with 37 points following a 13-point round today.

“I think I got off to a bad start, made bogey on the 1st hole, but got it right back on the 2nd hole and I just kind of hung around, made a few birdies and then really got the round going on 12 with an eagle hole-out from the bunker, which was great, and then another birdie on 14,” said Schwab, who will make his first major appearance next week at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. “Unfortunately, yeah, towards the end the putts didn’t want to go in anymore.”

Aaron Wise, 24, had the top score of the final round with 19 points. He finished the day with a career-best 10 birdies to end the tournament in eighth place with 33 points.

“I think everyone who plays here knows that if you get it in the fairway, you’re going to have a bunch of looks for birdie, and I did today, it was just a matter of making the putts,” said Wise. “My speed was kind of off the first couple rounds. Yesterday, I putted amazing but I didn’t hit it very good, and today I was kind of able to put it all together. I hit it great, was able to leave myself in good spots and then was able to roll in the birdie putts.”

Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Golf Course played host to the 22nd annual Barracuda Championship for the first time in tournament history. The tournament had been played the previous 21 years at Montreux Golf & Country Club in Reno.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

Old Greenwood hosts 22nd annual PGA tournament: FedEX points, U.S. Open qualification on the line

The 22nd annual Barracuda Championship is underway at Old Greenwood, marking the first time the Tahoe Mountain Club is hosting the tournament after 21 consecutive years at Montreaux Golf and Country Club in Reno.

Play began Thursday on the par-71, 7,390-yard course, bringing some of the top up-and-coming players to the region.

“It’s nice to be playing in my home state of California,” Sahith Theegala said during a Wednesday press conference. “I’ve always loved the Tahoe and Reno, Truckee area.”

Theegala, who was a member of Pepperdine University’s nationally top-ranked team, received a sponsor exemption to play in the tournament. Theegala was Pepperdine’s first National Player of the Year. In his final collegiate year he won the Southwestern Invitational, Alister Mackenzie Invitational and the Australian Master of Amateurs. In four playing seasons over five years, he ended with the best scoring average (70.61) in Pepperdine history.

He said that after his first couple of PGA events, he’s beginning to settle in and find his groove.

“I’m transitioning pretty well. I feel like my game is coming along pretty well, and I’m starting to get really comfortable being out here, and that was a big thing … the first couple of weeks I was too excited,” said Theegala.

“Just the first couple of weeks, seeing guys like Rory, DJ, Brooks. Seeing them in person it’s like, ‘Wow, I grew up watching these guys, and they’ve been dominating and all of a sudden I’m competing against them’ … the star-struck part of it definitely took a little bit to get over.”

scoring system offers go-for-it payoff

Coming into the event, Theegala said the layout at Old Greenwood along with it being the only event to use the Stableford scoring format, suits his style of play.

“I’m a cutter of the ball so this course really sets up well for me because I can hit 12, 13 cuts off the tee, which is awesome,” said Theegala.

“Pretty much every par-5 is reachable and a couple of drivable par-4s, so it’s definitely exciting.”

Under the Stableford format, instead of counting the total number of strokes taken, a Modified Stableford involves scoring points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole.

For example, a player receives eight points for a double eagle, five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie, and zero points for par. Players lose a point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey. Once a player has taken two strokes more than par, they may pick up their ball as three points is the most each golfer can lose on a given hole.

The format is designed to incentivize risk taking due to potential for large payoffs by knocking in an eagle or double eagle.

Will Gordon played in the Barracuda Championship last year under a sponsor exemption and finished in a tie for 31st place.

“I think it was my first PGA Tour event, and I was in the mix going into the last day, late in the third day, and I think that provided me a lot of confidence moving forward,” said Gordon during Wednesday’s press conference. “I tell (tournament director) Chris Hoff that all the time, that he gave me a great opportunity early to help me set up the success I’ve had this year. This format sets up really nice for me, so continuing to be aggressive, and just knowing that birdie outweighs a bogey this week is kind of an exciting opportunity to play free and really enjoy yourself.”

Gordon said the course at Old Greenwood lends itself well to the Stableford format, adding that the layout provides more options to be aggressive than in previous years at Montreaux.

“Yeah, I think out here, like I said earlier, off the tee here, you want to kind of hit more drivers out here and be a little bit more aggressive off the tee, and I think that provides a little bit more opportunity,” said Gordon. “There’s a couple drivable holes here, too, and Montreux had one of those, but out here you’re kind of off the tee able to kind of dictate how you want to play it a little bit more than Montreux. Montreux kind of had everybody hitting to similar spots, so I think this week is just going to be a really exciting fit for the Stableford format.”

‘BALL GOES FOREVER UP HERE’

Another top collegiate player who received a sponsor exemption, Peter Kuest, also teed off, making his Barracuda debut.

“The course looks awesome,” said Kuest during Tuesday’s press conference. “It looks really cool, tree-lined and the ball goes forever up here, so it should be really fun.”

Kuest finished his award-winning collegiate career at Brigham Young University as a PING First-Team All-American, and is one of the most accomplished golfers in school history with 10 tournament wins. Kuest also recorded the best single-season stroke average in school history with a 69.42, beating his own record from last season (69.79). He was a final watch list honoree for the Haskins Award, named the Ben Hogan Award October Golfer of the Month as well as West Coast Conference Golfer of the Month for September.

He capped off his final collegiate year winning the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate, Saint Mary’s Invitational and finishing as a runner-up at the Nick Watney Invitational. Kuest also made his professional debut at the Travelers Championship and is now playing in his fifth PGA event.

“I’ve kind of gotten behind in tournaments at the start and trying to have to catch up in events,” he said. “So this week hopefully I can start making birdies early and then just keep it going and just keep the foot on the gas and just have fun. That’s what I’m trying to do each and every day is have fun and learn and see what happens.”

62 PGA TOUR WINNERS TO TEE OFF

While players like Kuest are just beginning their PGA careers, other more established players are looking to further their position in the FedExCup points race.

Second-year player Lanto Griffin, 32, comes into the weekend as the highest ranked player in the FedExCup standings, sitting at No. 10. The winner of the Barracuda Championship earns 300 cup points, and given the changes in the schedule with the U.S. Open and other tournaments, there’s a chance to earn a spot into the U.S. Open with a top-10 finish this weekend.

“I won’t be thinking about it on the course so much,” said Griffin on qualifying for the U.S. Open. “I’ll be thinking more FedExCup — my main goal right now is to get as high as I can going into East Lake. If I can somehow be in the top 10 and get 3-, 4-, 5-under par starting that week, that’s my main goal, and then my second goal is the Wyndham Rewards, obviously, and then the U.S. Open.”

Starting this season, players are vying for a chance to be part of the new Wyndham Rewards Top 10 — a $10 million bonus that will be split between the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup top-10 regular season finishers.

“I want to come out here and have some fun, prepare for the PGA next week, try and get some feels and try and get into a little bit of a groove with my swing since I’ve made some changes,” said Griffin. “And if I play great, obviously I’ll be happy, and if not, hopefully I found something this week that’s going to lead me into the PGA next week down the road.”

Other notable players include Si Woo Kim, Martin Kaymer, Sebastian Munoz, and 2011 FedExCup champion Bill Haas. The field includes 62 PGA Tour winners, accounting for 127 wins.

The winner of the tournament will receive $630,000 as part of a $3.5 million purse. The first player to post a double eagle on the 12th hole in each round will receive a $100,000 charitable donation in his name. Half of the money will go to local charities and the other half will be directed to a nonprofit of the player’s choice.

Players will tee off at 8 a.m. for the final two rounds of play. Though the tournament is closed to public attendance due to COVID-19, The Golf Channel will provide coverage of the event.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

PGA comes to Tahoe region this week with Barracuda Championship

Some of the top golfers in the world will be teeing it up at Old Greenwood next week as the PGA Tour makes a stop in Truckee for the annual Barracuda Championship.

The 22nd annual tournament will take place Thursday through Sunday and will be played at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Golf Course where the tournament length is set at 7,390 yards with a par of 71.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 there will be no spectators at the event. Live television coverage will be provided by The Golf Channel.

Thursday’s opening round will mark the first year Tahoe Mountain Club has hosted the Barracuda Championship. In past years the tournament was held at Montreux Golf & Country Club in Reno.

“In our search for a new PGA Tour tournament venue, the Old Greenwood Golf Course at Tahoe Mountain Club stood out from the beginning, which says a lot about the location and the course,” said Barracuda Championship Tournament Director Chris Hoff in December when Old Greenwood was announced as the tournament site. “We are truly looking forward to this new chapter. Old Greenwood is the perfect fit with a challenging Jack Nicklaus signature course and an ownership group and community that recognizes the value and prestige that comes with hosting a PGA Tour event.”

The tournament will be the only event on the PGA Tour to use the Modified Stableford scoring format. Rather than counting the total number of strokes taken, a Modified Stableford involves scoring points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. For example, a player receives eight points for a double eagle, five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie, and zero points for par. Players lose a point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey. Once a player has taken two strokes more than par, they may pick up their ball as three points is the most each golfer can lose on a given hole. The format is designed to incentivize risk taking due to potential payoffs for large payoffs by knocking in an eagle or double eagle.

The tournament is set to get underway on Thursday and will be aired on The Golf Channel.

The purse is set at $3.5 million and 132 PGA Tour players are expected to be in the field. The tournament will be worth 33 FedEx Cup points. After Friday’s round the field will be cut to 65 players. Golfers announced to be playing include three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, Charley Hoffman, Pat Perez, and tow of this year’s top ranked collegiate players, Pepperdine University’s Sahith Theegala and Brigham Young University’s Peter Kuest.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

Local teachers win 15th Tahoe Bike Challenge

STATELINE, Nev. — During the month of June, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition teamed up to lead the 15th annual Tahoe Bike Challenge.

Over 300 Tahoe residents and visitors took the challenge and biked 45,442 miles, a distance just shy of circling the Earth twice, according to the organizers.

“Congratulations to all of the winners and riders,” TRPA Transportation Planner Kira Smith said in a press release. “Although this year looked a little bit different, we hope the challenge inspires people to bike and walk through the rest of the year.”

The basin-wide challenge is a friendly competition that encourages individuals and teams to track trips and miles on their bikes. For the 15th anniversary, the event expanded to include the entire month of June instead of just the first two weeks of the month.

South Lake Tahoe kicked off this year’s challenge with the annual bike path cleanup. Almost 50 volunteers picked up 750 pounds of trash along a three-mile section of bike path in the city of South Lake Tahoe. The physically-distanced event was organized by The League to Save Lake Tahoe, Clean Tahoe, and the Bike Coalition to provide clean and safe paths throughout the challenge.

The new Tahoe Bike Challenge website www.lovetoride.net/Tahoe helped participants log their trips and miles during the month-long competition. Winners received prizes including a snowboard donated by Jamie Anderson, Vail Resorts ski lift tickets, passes to Blue Granite Climbing Gym, gift certificates from more than 15 local businesses and biking accessories. All of the rankings and photos of people’s experiences are at lovetoride.net/tahoe/event_results.

In the team category, a group of South Tahoe Middle School teachers won the challenge by racking up a combined 3,660 miles.

“The silver lining of the COVID pandemic was our ability as teachers to ride whenever and wherever we wanted and we crushed the Challenge,” said Beth Aiton, captain of the South Tahoe Middle School team.

There were also several individual winners, including new riders who don’t ride regularly, or are returning to the sport after a hiatus. “A special thanks to the Tahoe Bike Challenge for helping me get back into outdoor biking! It started as a competition with friends from work and that was what got me back into a regular routine. Now I’m hooked!” said Cindy Richter, overall winner in the new rider category. “It’s a great way to live a healthy lifestyle and also enjoy a little competition. I can’t wait for the next challenge,” Richter emphasized.

The 15th annual Tahoe Bike Challenge was made possible by sponsors from Vail’s EpicPromise program, Kiwanis Club of Tahoe Sierra, Kiwanis Club of North Lake Tahoe, Thompson Smith Studios, Jamie Anderson, Grass Roots Natural Foods, Shoreline of Tahoe, Olympic Bike Shop, Sierra Ski and Cycle Works, and Bike the West.

Lake Tahoe Bike Challenge organizers hope to see people continue to bike, walk, and ride transit this summer. TRPA and its partners maintain a website dedicated to information about getting around Tahoe without driving at www.LinkingTahoe.com.

An interactive bike map can be found at www.tahoebike.org/map and paper maps can be found at bike shops and visitor centers throughout Tahoe and Truckee.

The Tahoe Bike Challenge will return in June 2021.

America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, Tour de Tahoe postponed to 2021

The 29th annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, that was rescheduled to merge with the 18th Annual Tour de Tahoe on Sunday, Sept. 13, has been postponed to their traditional dates in 2021 due to COVID-19.

The annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride is scheduled for Sunday, June 6, 2021. Both events traditionally provide over $5 million in economic benefits to Lake Tahoe communities and over $35,000 in donations to many local nonprofit organizations.

Bike the West monitored reopening phases and developed rules of the road and rules of the ride for all participants to comply with all COVID-19 protocol restrictions, but mass participation sports events or gatherings of 50 or more persons will be the last in Phase and Stage 4 and in the order of reopening by California and Nevada.

“After nearly 30 years of producing our Lake Tahoe bicycling events, it is disappointing for Bike the West as well as for the thousands of loyal participants that traditionally attend,” said Curtis Fong, event director, in a press release. “This includes both The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training and the National Psoriasis Foundation’s National Fundraising Team, which depend on raising funds for their organization. We feel this is the responsible and right decision to make for the health, safety and welfare of all participants, our volunteers and the local community’s surrounding Lake Tahoe.”

“As a health-based organization that serves a community of immunocompromised patients, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society supports Bike the West’s postponement decision and taking proactive action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Amy Moore, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s national director of event strategy, in the release.

“We are thankful for more than two decades of valued partnership with Curtis Fong and Bike the West,” said Kris Brockmier, director of field operations for the National Psoriasis Foundation. “LLS and our Team In Training teammates look forward to returning to America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in 2021, and adding to the more than $105 million raised to support LLS’s investment in groundbreaking research to advance blood cancer cures, and its first-in-class patient education and services, including financial support and clinical trial navigation.”

Individuals who still plan to head to Tahoe are welcome to keep their booking at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The resort will honor the special room rates offered to Tour de Tahoe guests.

The resort will also assist those who prefer to cancel or rebook their rooms for 2021. For any questions or changes to current reservations, please email sales@hrhctahoe.com or call 775-589-7666.

All pre-registered participant registration fees will be transferred to ride both events next year, offering a two for one value as refunds are not possible.

For more information visit: www.bikethewest.com.

46th annual Ponderosa Ridge Run set for Saturday

In a year when most annual events have been postponed or canceled entirely, the 46th annual Ponderosa Ridge Run will go on as scheduled Saturday, July 4.

The 9.5-mile trail run covers a course that extends from Spooner Summit to Kingsbury and starts at 10 a.m. from the Spooner Summit Maintenance Station on U.S. 50. The finish line is at the end of Andria, located off Kingsbury Grade.

The course on the fire access trail starts at an elevation of 7,300 feet and climbs nearly 2,000 feet in the first 4½ miles to its summit near Genoa Peak.

Rick Gentry set the course record of 1 hour, 1 minute and 23 seconds in 1986. Carla Pittelkow holds the female record of 1:15.39 set in 1982.

A $2 donation is asked from participants. Survivor ribbons and cold drinks will be waiting runners at the end of the point-to-point race. The race features steep hill climbs, no aid stations, no pre-race sign-ups.

Call Austin Angell at 530-541-5224 for information.