Truckee High snowboarders saved their best performance for the event that mattered most.
After cruising mid-pack through the regular season, trailing Placer, Davis and Nevada Union in the Central II overall standings, a lean crew of just six Wolverines cleaned up at the CNISSF state high school snowboard championships at Northstar this past Wednesday and Thursday.
Truckee — the defending overall champion — brought home two of three state championship banners in the team competition, claiming the boys state title and the overall boys and girls combined title among a field of 25 schools. Truckee’s girls finished sixth.
“I am really proud of our team. Given the winter, or lack thereof, they rode really well this year,” Truckee coach Eniko Kuch said. “Since we only had three boys and three girls, and the top three scores count for each, there was a lot of pressure for all of them to do their best and not make any major mistakes.”
Teams were allowed five riders in each race —Wednesday’s giant slalom and Thursday’s slalom — with points from their top three finishers counting toward the results.
Truckee’s trio of boys came through in the clutch. They won both races, recording third-, fourth- and sixth-place individual finishes in the GS and second-, third- and fourth-place finishes in the slalom to capture the state championship with 704 points to runner-up Colfax’s 670. Placer’s boys were third with 639 points.
Quinntin Butler led the Wolverines in the GS on Day 1, as he finished third in a field of 79 snowboarders with a two-run combined time of 2:12.84. Davis Alexander of Ponderosa won the race in 2:10.00, while Kyle Bryant of Colfax was second in 2:12.22.
Butler’s Truckee teammates didn’t finish far behind, as Casey Curtis was fourth in 2:13.87 and Ryan Murphy was sixth in 2:16.48. With all three scoring racers in the top six, the Truckee boys took the win with a score of 350 points to Colfax’s 346 and Placer’s 329.
The Truckee boys elevated their game even higher on Day 2. Curtis finished a close second in the slalom race, posting a combined time of 51.44 to Bryant’s 51.00, while Murphy finished just behind in third place, in 51.60, and Butler was fourth in 52.30.
The three top-five finishes easily gave Truckee’s boys the team win, with 354 points to Colfax’s 324. El Dorado rounded out the top three with 321.
All three Truckee boys were recognized on the All-State top 10, with Curtis finishing second in the state with 236 points, Butler finishing third with 235 and Murphy fifth with 233. Bryant topped the list with 239 points.
Among the North Tahoe contingent, Brandon Hayakawa led the way with a 24th-place finish in the slalom with a time of 56.65, while Simon Wyss was 61st and Chase Rodriguez 71st. Rodriguez was 60th in GS, Wyss was 63rd and Omar Cerda 76th. The Laker boys finished 16th in the slalom and 18th in the GS.
Meanwhile in the girls competition, the Wolverines opened the state championship by winning the GS race, placing all three of their racers among the top eight.
Claire Roberts finished fifth in a time of 2:21.49 and was followed by teammate Sofie Maciel, who was sixth in 2:21.50, and Nichole Graham, who was eighth in 2:26.88.
Fleur Connolly of Mammoth easily took the win with a time of 2:07.59. The closest finisher was Celine Holland of Nevada Union, who posted a time of 2:10.62.
The Truckee results were good enough to top the field, with 344 points to runner-up Nevada Union’s 325 and El Dorado’s 320.
The following day did not go as smoothly for the Truckee girls. Competing on an icy course that caused a delayed start, two of the three Wolverines went down and had to hike back to the gates to record official finishes.
Roberts (1:07.11) placed 20th, Maciel 37th and Graham 48th, which resulted in a 12th-place team finish with 258 points. Holland won the race in 50.50 to help lead her Nevada Union girls to the team win with 336 points, while Connolly was second in 50.77. The Mammoth girls were second as a team with 326 points and El Dorado girls third with 314.
With her fifth- and 20th-place finishes, Roberts placed ninth in the overall state combined with 217 points. Connolly won with 239 points and Holland was second with the same point total but a slightly slower combined time.
The Wolverines’ captured the overall title by a landslide, as their boys and girls teams combined for 1,398 points to runner-up Colfax’s 1,273. They were followed by Placer with 1,251 points, then El Dorado (1,239), Mammoth (1,149), Nevada Union (1,119), Shasta (1,115), Pleasant Valley (1,041), Davis (1,008) and Ponderosa (1,007) rounding out the top 10 schools.
The Wolverines will look to win a third consecutive state championship next year, as they return five of the six racers who represented the team at state — losing only Roberts to graduation.
Click here to view a photo gallery from the state championship races.