All together now: Alpine team posts season high
Given setbacks and an inconsistent roster, the Tahoe-Truckee Alpine ski team depends on divine intervention to win the overall championship in terms of points, according to Truckee Coach Pat Mooney. Despite it all, though, the team has proven that when it’s together, it is virtually unbeatable.
“At this point it would take an act of God for us to take the overall championships to win the league,” Mooney said. “But, the boys’ team is leading in their standings and if we can get the boys to finish with clean runs, we should be able to come home with a boys’ champion trophy.”
That’s what he said following the meet held at Kirkwood on Feb 2, when the Truckee team finished with an overall third place finish. The boys finished second behind South Tahoe and the girls finished third behind South and North Tahoe.
“We hoped to finish this race with a strong showing,” Mooney said, “and while many racers skied exceptionally well … we were unfortunately plagued with DSQ’s (disqualification) and DNF’s (did not finish). One of our top girls DSQ’d her first run and three of our top boys DNF’d. Those kinds of setbacks make it hard to win races.”
Stacy Cook claimed the first individual first place finish of the season for the Wolverines at the race, but more was yet to come.
On Feb. 8, Truckee claimed its first overall win of the season, accumulating 337 total points, the most earned by any single team this season.
“I’ve known all along that if we had most of our racers at the race and they all finished, that we could win big,’ Mooney said.
The boys finished 20 points ahead of the next team, South Tahoe, and placed four racers in the top ten. Gary Cook finished the race in first place, John Parker finished in fourth, Mike Thomas finished in sixth place and Tim Jitloff finished the race in seventh place.
Gary came from behind in the second run to beat Incline’s Travis Durfee by .015 seconds. Durfee had been dominating the boys’ league until then.
Gary was joined by his sister in the winners’ circle as Stacy who, with a run 2.5 seconds faster than the second place competitor, claimed her second consecutive win at the event. Also placing high for the girls were Kendra Windham, who finished sixth, Heidi Henderson in seventh and Kim Smith who finished in 23rd.
“The girls’ team,” Mooney said, “wich has been struggling all season, had its best day of the year with its second place finish. Exceptional runs by Stacy, Kendra and Heidi pushed the team towards the top, while strong support by Kim Smith, Natalie Bergman, Katie Heckendom, Emmy Ferneyhough and Chelsea Horvath locked in their second place finish and the overall win.”
The Truckee boys finished first in the competition and the girls finished in second.
The team will compete in the state championship Tuesday, Feb. 29, at Sierra-at-Tahoe, starting at 10 a.m.
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