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Alpine ski team gets second place

Matt Brown, Sierra Sun

The Truckee High School alpine ski team placed second in its home event at Alpine Meadows on Feb. 11, the third Giant Slalom event of 2003-2004.

This marks Truckee’s best outing through five events. But the lack of first-place finishes might be because Truckee’s entire team is not on the course at each event.

“It’s the nature of high school ski racing that it’s hard to get all the kids at the races,” said Pat Mooney, the Truckee alpine ski team head coach for the last 11 years. “That’s kind of what’s been hurting us, primarily because we don’t have all the people there.”

Mooney said that high school racing is not the top priority for the area’s top juniors because, besides school honor, there is nothing at stake in the high school races. But other races, like those in the Far West division of the United States Ski Association (USSA) and Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS), offer juniors more opportunities.

Truckee’s Brandy Barna is one of those skiers, who has only attended one race this season – a first-place finish at Heavenly on Jan. 20. Truckee’s alpine team has sorely missed competitors of Barna’s stature.

“Brandy is in a league of her own,” Mooney said. “(Kids like Brandy) are trying to make the U.S. teams and eventually make it to the Olympics. The high school races are pretty much recreational and for fun, and they aren’t really a stepping stone to anything.”

In fact, the Tahoe Basin Ski League was created some time before Mooney took over Truckee’s program so that junior skiers could compete in associations like Far West and still compete in the high school events. Otherwise, state rules would not allow the intermingling of disciplines.

On Wednesday, a second place boys’ finish (153 points) allowed Truckee to finish second overall by a 19-point margin over South Tahoe. Josh Benge finished third on two combined runs of 1:17.89.

Miranda Funston (1:22.69) continued her stellar season, finishing second for the second time this year to lead Truckee girls.

With the runner-up finish, Truckee took over sole possession of third place in the TBSL standings with one event to go.

The Diamond Peak event, starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25, concludes the regular season. The state championships take place at Alpine Meadows on Tuesday, March 2, at 10 a.m.


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