Locals show strong in Xterra competition
As the pro and amateur athletes gathered on the shores of Lake Tahoe Sunday for the second annual Nissan Xterra USA Championships, the crowds gathered to cheer them on. But in most cases the crowd wasn’t there to cheer for the professionals, but rather for their hometown amateurs.
Considering the large number of Tahoe locals committed to off-road triathlons Sunday’s weather was the picture perfect reward for a summer full of training.
Big Blue laid down in complete obedience as the local men and women prepared to capitalize on their home court advantage.
The South West Regional Champion in the 25-29 age group and Truckee-resident, Conrad Snover, set a goal in the beginning of the year to stand on the platform at the USA Championships and he did just that.
Snover finished third in his age group, fifth amongst all amateurs and 20th overall.
“It’s the best of the best from around the country, so I was really happy with my finish,” Snover said.
Finishing the course ten minutes faster and one place ahead of last year’s performance Snover said, “it was a huge improvement.”
“It was the hardest race I’ve done recently,” he added.
Snover dropped six minutes in the 20-mile mountain bike portion of the race that contained 2,000 feet of climbing.
Snover will rap up his race season at the Xterra World Championship Oct. 26 in Hawaii.
“I’d like to repeat and finish in the tip three,” Snover said.
Last year at the race Snover suffered a sliced tire and managed to finish but not place.
“I guess my first goal is to finish, second is to have another top finish,” Snover said.
Another Truckee-resident, Zach Beekler, made his way to the shores of Lake Tahoe on Sunday to compete.
In the 40-44 age group Beekler took second place. Earning a podium finish also earned Beekler and Snover the title of National Champions.
“The venue is so incredible,” Beekler said. “The water was like glass. You couldn’t ask for a better swim.”
During the race Beekler found himself riding and running along side the top pro women.
“When you’re riding with the pro women you know you’re having a good race,” Beekler said.
Beekler will also wrap up his season in Hawaii.
Looking back on a summer on training with the other local triathletes, Beekler added, “all these people are so encouraging. You do it for yourself, but it’s a family and all these people inspire me.”
After a long summer of training Truckee-resident Greg Christman decided to take a different approach to his competition.
“I took the race for fun, and went out there and had a really good time. I had a great experience,” Christman said.
“It was great the amount of people we knew there (at the race). It was a good season,” Christman said.
Christman finished 11th in the 25-29 age group after bouncing back from a flat tire.
In the 30-34 age group, South West Regional Champion and Incline Village-resident Ross McMahan took fifth place in his age group.
“I had a really good race, I didn’t 100 percent but everything went really well,” McMahan said.
“This year the competition was up an notch from last year,” McMahan said.
“Overall it was a much better season than last year. My course times and placements improved and I met most of my goals this year” he added.
McMahan will also end his season at the World Championship in Hawaii. Snover, Beekler and McMahan all qualified for the World Championship together at Big Bear this spring.
Also in the 30-34 age group was Truckee-residents Michael Jacob, Samantha Shields and Incline Village-resident Dave Noble. Jacob took 13th in the age group, Shields finished ninth and Noble placed 18th.
From Tahoe City, Richard Silver captured second place in the 55-59 age group.
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