Alpine skiers come in third in first race of the season |

Alpine skiers come in third in first race of the season

Erich Sommer, Sierra Sun

The Wolverines alpine ski team, whose season only lasts for six fast and furious weeks, kicked off the 2002 campaign with a third-place finish on Tuesday in six-team GS competition at Alpine Meadows.

Rival North Tahoe took first-place honors, edging out second-place Incline.

Truckee managed to capture the bronze despite the absence of several of the team’s top racers in the boys’ division, including top guns Tim Jitloff and Shane Collins.

While their return should enable the team as a whole to improve in the standings at their next race Monday at Sierra-at-Tahoe, North Tahoe seems to have the girls’ division well in hand, placing seven racers in the top ten.

Thirty-nine racers competed in the girls’ division, 47 in the boys’.

A noticeable exception to the Lady Lakers’ dominance was Wolverine freshman Brandy Barna.

Barna took fourth, followed by fellow Wolverines Jenna Lowrance (11th) and Andrea Roegiers (19th).

On the boys’ side, Joe Auckenthaler (8th), Tommy Rosario (13th) and Derek Phebus (18th) led Truckee.

But forget about the final results for a moment.

After all, skiing is supposed to be fun. And that’s why most of the racers are out there. While the talent abounds in Tahoe Basin Ski League, the races are refreshingly devoid of egos.

The attitude may be a by-product of the format.

Medals are given to teams rather than individuals.

“It’s really a team event,” said coach Pat Mooney.

Therefore the most important hardware is the overall trophy, won each week by the team with the best combined top four girls’ and top four boys’ scores.

After Tuesday, the Wolverine alpine team will have only four races left before the championships in late February.