Garret Driller was on his game Monday — just as he was in last year’s NIAA Tahoe Basin Ski League Championships.
The North Tahoe senior defended his titles from a year ago in both the slalom and giant slalom races at Squaw Valley, which helped lift his Laker boys (329 points) to wins in all three events and the overall team championship ahead of Truckee (294) and South Tahoe (274).
Driller then finished third in the individual dual races the following day at Alpine Meadows.
Maia Bickert of South Tahoe, meanwhile, swept all three races in the girls competition to help lead the Vikings to the girls’ overall championship, with 302 points to runner-up Whittell’s 279 and Incline’s 232 (only the top three teams from the regular season competed for team titles).
Truckee’s Addison Dvoracek claimed the individual duals title and finished runner-up to Driller in the GS to lead the Wolverines, while teammate Cheyenne Brown finished third in all three races to lead the Truckee girls. Truckee’s Max Wingard also earned a top-three finish, placing third in the slalom.
The championships began with the GS on a pleasant Monday morning. Driller just edged Dvoracek — also a rival on the Far West circuit — as he posted a two-run combined time of 1:21.75 to Dvoracek’s 1:21.95.
North Tahoe junior Lucas Earley finished third with a time of 1:26.37, and Wingard was fourth in 1:26.96. They were followed by South Tahoe’s Connor McKeen (1:28.20) and Austin Allen, Truckee’s Colin Gerrard, North Tahoe’s Harry Goss, Truckee’s Mitchell Osborne, and North Tahoe’s Austin Carr rounding out the top 10. Drew Austin of North Tahoe was 11th.
With each team placing four racers in the top 10, the North Tahoe and Truckee boys tied for the GS title with 114 points apiece. South Tahoe’s boys were third with 100 points.
Driller had an easier time winning the slalom. He was the only racer to eclipse the 1-minute mark, recording a combined time of 57.88 seconds between his two runs. McKeen of South Tahoe was second in 1:00.13, and Wingard was third in 1:02.46.
North Tahoe’s Ryan Connor finished just outside the top three, placing fourth in 1:03.01, and was trailed by Grant Dunkelman (1:03.44) of Douglas, North Tahoe teammates Rudy Arnston and Goss, Tyler Cottrill of Douglas, and Truckee’s Gerrard and Osborne.
The Laker boys took the slalom team title with 118 points. Truckee’s boys were second with 101 points and South Tahoe third with 86.
In the girls GS, Bickert won with a time of 1:28.92 to Whittell runner-up Madison Idso’s 1:30.38 and Brown’s 1:31.27. Emily Donahue (1:32.39) led the Incline girls in fifth place, while Emma Sproehnle led the Laker girls in eighth, Truckee’s Hailey Perkins was ninth and Incline’s Laurel Taylor 10th.
Bickert then narrowly beat South Tahoe teammate Mikaela Clothier, 1:01.20 to 1:01.49, in the slalom. Brown posted a time of 1:04.57 for third place, Donahue was fourth in 1:08.71, Perkins was sixth and North Tahoe’s Johanna Gur 10th.
Racing moved to Alpine Meadows for the exciting dual races on Tuesday.
In the boys race, Dvoracek advanced through all the preliminary rounds before beating Dunkelman to the finish line in the final. In the semifinal heat, Driller defeated Grant Fagen of South Tahoe to take third place.
North Tahoe’s boys won the duals with 97 points. South Tahoe’s boys were second with 88 and Truckee third with 79.
Bickert beat Whittell’s Michael Gardner to the finish in the girls final, and Brown beat Carson’s Erna Knobel in the semifinal round.