Alpine skiing | Lakers dominate state championships for second consecutive year
At this rate, the Lakers might need a bigger trophy case in the near future.
North Tahoe trounced its competition for a second consecutive year in the Tahoe Basin Ski League state championships this week, winning a total of five state titles as a team in the two-day event at Alpine Meadows.
Combined with their six titles from last year’s championships and#8212; a clean sweep and#8212; the Lakers have now hoarded 11 of 12 possible state title awards in the past two seasons, a feat that has the North Tahoe athletes beaming with school pride, said coach Scott Everist.
and#8220;Absolutely,and#8221; Everist said. and#8220;That was pretty terrific. I think the kids are into it and they are having fun doing it, and it gives them a good overall goal. And now that they’ve done it, they don’t want to let anyone else take it.and#8221;
In the team competition, North Tahoe’s boys swept the slalom, giant slalom and combined titles, while the Laker girls won the GS and combined championships but came up three points short to South Tahoe in the slalom.
Individually, Lakers senior captain Nikki Caravelli shared the combined title with Maia Bickert of South Tahoe, as the pair swapped 1-2 finishes in the slalom and GS, while North Tahoe junior Nico Monforte finished runner-up on both days to win the boys’ combined title.
The Truckee boys, who came on strong late to win the regular-season title, finished runner-up to North Tahoe in the combined.
and#8220;They were super disappointed,and#8221; said Truckee coach Paul Smith. and#8220;But they had a good year. They came on at the end of the season and wound up winning the league, but they couldn’t quite do it for states.and#8221;
Racing in a snowstorm that reduced visibility in Monday’s slalom, Monforte finished runner-up to Hughston Norton of Whittell, posting a two-run combined time of 1:17.16 to Norton’s 1:17.01.
and#8220;We call him Mr. Toad, for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,and#8221; Everist said of Monforte. and#8220;We’re always holding our breath. But he always does an amazing job and holds it together.and#8221;
Monforte then backed up the performance with yet another runner-up finish in Tuesday’s GS, this time to sophomore teammate Garrett Driller, who claimed the victory with a time of 1:03.18 to Monforte’s 1:04.02. Driller missed Monday’s race due to a Far West conflict, as did several other top racers.
Freshman Lucas Earley came through with a consistent two days of racing to help lift North Tahoe to victory, as he finished third in the slalom in a time of 1:22.23 and was fifth in the GS in 1:04.97. Ryan Faye (1:30) placed 11th in the slalom and Ryan Conner (1:31) was 13th to round out the Lakers’ top four scores and#8212; the amount used for the team result and#8212; while in the GS, Faye (1:08) was the fourth Laker in 13th place.
For the Wolverines, senior Zac Bush led the way in the slalom, as he posted a fifth-place finish in a time of 1:24.72. Truckee teammate Will Clausen finished eighth in 1:29.62, Nico Kuyper was ninth in 1:29.77 and Noah Oberriter was 15th in 1:32.
Truckee’s Patrick Romano, who also skipped Monday because of a Far West race, led the Wolverines with a fourth-place finish in the GS in a time of 1:04.59. He was followed by two other teammates in the top 10, Kuyper (1:05.23) in sixth and Wes Harrington (1:05.53) in seventh, while Colin Gerrard (1:07) was 12th.
and#8220;I told them at the top, and#8216;The win is yours for the taking. All you have to do is ski well,’and#8221; said Smith, referring to Tuesday’s GS. and#8220;And they did. They couldn’t believe they didn’t win. The kids from North Tahoe just nailed the second run, and that was enough to do it for them.and#8221;
North Tahoe’s boys tallied a winning score of 175 points to Truckee’s 167 in the slalom and 183 to points to Truckee’s 175 in the GS to take the combined title over the Wolverines by a score of 358-342. South Tahoe came in third with 326 points in the combined (167 in slalom and 159 in GS).
In Monday’s snowy slalom race, Bickert of South Tahoe edged Caravelli with a two-run combined time of 1:23.44 to Caravelli’s 1:24.98 to earn the win.
Caravelli flipped the script the following day, however, as the senior captain posted a time of 1:05.4 to beat out Bickert, who finished in 1:06.18. With a first- and second-place finish apiece, the two were named co-champions in the combined.
and#8220;She’s definitely at the top of her game,and#8221; Everist said of Caravelli.
North Tahoe freshman Johanna Gur finished fourth in the slalom in a time of 1:37, while teammate Sydney Lancaster (1:52) was 12th and Kami Abi-Nader (1:55) was 13th for the Lakers’ top four scores. Regular top finisher Francesca English, a freshman, did not finish her first run, nor did Audrey Johnson on her second run.
The Vikings, meanwhile, landed all four of their scoring racers in the top 10 to earn a three-point win over the Lakers, 176-173, in the slalom. Whittell was third with 169 points.
and#8220;It was a pretty rough day Monday for the slalom. The visibility was bad, and with the new snow we had a couple of blow-outs,and#8221; Everist said. and#8220;But that’s ski racing.and#8221;
Sophomore Hailey Perkins led the way for the Wolverines in the slalom, finishing fifth in a time of 1:38, while teammate Chelsea Mohun was 15th in 2:02, Zoe Willis was 21st and Betsy 23rd.
The Laker girls bounced back beautifully on Day 2, as they placed all four scoring racers among the top seven. Following the winning Caravelli was North Tahoe sophomore Bozhie Pokorny (1:07.1) in fourth, English (1:07.28) in fifth and Gur (1:08.07) in seventh. Johnson earned a respectable 11th place.
For Truckee, Perkins again led the way with an eighth-place finish in a time of 1:08.26. Mohun finished 21st, Willis 22nd and Valerie Vajgrt 27th.
With their slew of top finishes, the Laker girls easily won the GS with 187 points to South Tahoe’s 166 and Whittell’s 162, while also winning the combined with 360 points to the Vikings’ 342 and the Warriors’ 331. And that was without another of their top racers, junior Jessica Tidd, who was out with an injury, Everist said.
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