Blue sky greets Nordic opener |

Blue sky greets Nordic opener

Mark Nadell/Provided to the SunAdam Wright of Truckee and Miles Heapes of North Tahoe battle for positioning during the first race of the CNISSF High School and Middle School race series at Auburn Ski Club on Friday.

Frigid cold. A biting wind that finds its way into every crevice of your clothing. That was so “last year.”

Many who came to the first race of the CNISSF High School and Middle School race series Friday at Auburn Ski Club remembered the conditions from the same race last season, and it was with a huge sigh of relief that a picture-perfect, windless, blue-sky day greeted racers, coaches and spectators alike for the 2007-2008 edition.

Instead of a wind chill below zero, fantastic ski-racing weather greeted the CNISSF Relays, and the 160-plus young athletes took full advantage of what was, for many, their first-ever ski Nordic ski race.

In the high school girls division, it was once again Truckee High School asserting its dominance, and serving notice that ” even without two of its top varsity athletes away at the Super Tour races in Utah for the weekend ” it is still the team to beat.

Truckee’s No. 1 team of Angela Raso, Robyn Bath-Rosenfeld and Annika Taylor found it a close race for awhile, with Bernie Nelson of Truckee Team No. 2 setting the initial pace. But they eventually pulled away from the field, led by Taylor’s lightning-fast anchor leg. The mixed-school team of Nelson, Laura Rodrigues (Nevada Union) and Rachell Nadell (Truckee) cruised to a comfortable second-place finish, while North Tahoe’s Morgan Paulson, Emily McNair and Sage Clark narrowly held on for third place.

In the boys race, it was once again Truckee’s day ” even with its depleted ranks of skiers ” following the same style of win as the girls’.

While Miles Heapes of North Tahoe set the fastest time of the day skiing the first (“scramble”) leg of the relay, the team of Adam Wright, Ryan Zusy and Drew Deurlington was slowly able to reel them in, with Deurlington finally catching the Laker team on the third lap and pulling away for the win.

Heapes, along with teammates Logan Greenwood and Matt Steffy, took second place, while the North Tahoe No. 2 team of Clark, Carabetta and Hoffman took the bronze.

At the middle school level, even though it was considered a “practice” event with no points being scored, the competition was fast and furious.

In the girls division, it was Alder Creek Middle School (ACMS) showing both its speed and depth, taking the first two spots and seven out of the top eight teams. The ACMS team of Harris, Duner and Meng was the fastest on the day, while the ACMS team of McDaniel, Riggs and Richey were second, and North Tahoe’s team of Nall, Foster and Lancaster third.

In the boys division, the North Tahoe team of Driller, Deniz and McElravey was the fastest around the 1.5-kilometer course, with Alder Creek’s Bockius, Cutler and Kamenetsky taking second and the ACMS team of Goodpaster, Buschmann and Thomas coming in third.

For complete results and schedule, go to

The CNISSF Race Series takes a break for the holidays before resuming its schedule on Jan. 11 at Royal Gorge.

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