Truckee ski team stacked with talent
Despite losing a couple of its top dogs to graduation, the Truckee High Alpine ski team boasts more than enough depth to remain a formidable threat in the Tahoe Basin League.
“We didn’t lose that many from last year, so we have a strong team,” said Paul Smith, co-head coach of the Wolverines. “We have a lot of young, very strong racers. This team is continuing to grow.”
While the Wolverines did not lose a significant amount in terms of quantity, they took a hit in the quality department with the absence of 2007 standouts Brandie Macken and Danny Kruck, who helped guide Truckee’s boys and girls teams to Tahoe Basin League titles last season.
Led by Macken and Shelby Macrorie, as well as returners Michelle Delumyea and Terra Maher, the Truckee girls went on to sweep four of the top five spots individually and capture the NIAA State Alpine Skiing Championship. The boys, led by Kruck and returning senior Max Salinger, placed second to Incline in the state championship.
This season, Smith expects his boys squad to be even stronger than last year. The catch: He also expects Incline’s boys to be improved.
“Their boys can give us a problem,” the coach said of the Highlanders. “They’re probably the most competitive (in league).”
In addition to Incline, Smith said South Tahoe should be a force to be reckoned with ” both its boys and girls. And traditional power North Tahoe can never be overlooked.
Smith has yet to see all his girls race this season, as many were competing at Mammoth Mountain for their Far West team when the preseason giant slalom went down at Alpine Meadows on Dec. 17. Nevertheless, he is confident the Wolverines will fare well when the regular season opens on Jan. 9.
“When we have all our girls we should dominate,” Smith said.
A little practice time on the gates ” which has been scarce thus far in the early season, Smith said ” should help the Wolverines hone their touch on the snow. And with the season in full swing after the holidays, Truckee will have ample time practicing four days a week at Alpine Meadows and competing on the fifth day.
Smith said he and fellow Truckee coach Pat Mooney are grateful to have the support of Alpine Meadows, as the resort has gone out of its way to accommodate the young skiers.
“(Alpine Meadows) has been fabulous to us. They treat us extremely well,” Smith said.