Nordic teams continue winning season | SierraSun.com

Nordic teams continue winning season

Mark Nadell, Special to the Sun

On yet another great day for ski racing, with sunshine and sugary snow, Kirkwood Cross Country ski area hosted the first points race of the 2003-2004 high school nordic racing season.

In five out of six races on the day, Truckee team racers once again proved their depth by winning each division – in high school varsity and junior varsity and middle school.

While a few of the top older juniors were back East for the US Cross Country Ski Championships in Rumford, Maine, some of the younger skiers showed that they are every bit as fast on the 6K course.

In the girls’ varsity division, last year’s state champion, Maisha Goodpaster of Truckee, was able to squeak out a narrow win, with a time of 16:56, over teammate and fellow Junior Olympian Whitney Prosor (17:02). Sara Violett of Nevada Union was able to nab the third-place spot with a time of 18 minutes.

In the boys’ division, Matt Gelso of Truckee (another former state champion) toyed with his competition on the first loop and then pulled away to win with a time of 14 minutes and 13 seconds over teammate Owen Wright (15:05). Another Truckee athlete, Alex Taylor, took the third spot with a time of 15:47.

When asked about his tactics, Gelso said, “I took the first lap pretty easy, just waiting for the hills on the back loop to make my move. It was definitely a fun course.”

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In the girls’ JV races, Loren Oxford of Mammoth scored the only win for a non-Truckee team, by easily winning with a time of 18 minutes and 56 seconds over North Tahoe’s Dani Griffo (19:50). Truckee’s Katy Jones took third (20:11).

For the boys, it was a clean Truckee sweep, with Ben Van Blarigan (16:11), Tyler Wright (16:24) and Ben Kantz (17:05) securing the top three spots.

The middle school races were also won by the Truckee schools, with Sierra Mountain Middle School’s Bernie Nelson taking top honors in the girls’ division, with a time of 7:38 on the 3K loop, winning comfortably over rival Dayna Stimson of Mammoth (7:49). The Mammoth girls took the next two spots, with Sophie Leonard nabbing third place with a time of 8:49.

The boys’ division was an all-Sierra Mountain affair at the top, with Daniel Gelso skiing away from the field with a time of 7 minutes and 26 seconds. Will Prosor (7:53) and Russell Kennedy (8:11) were second and third, respectively.

The CNISSF schedule takes a week off for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and then it resumes with the first classic-technique race of the season at Tamarack Lodge in Mammoth Lakes.

Mark Nadell is the Far West Nordic Administrator. The Mammoth event, featuring a 3K and 6K Classic, will take place Jan. 23, starting at 11 a.m.