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Alpine team faces long shot

BAY KELLEY, Sierra Sun

Showing improvement in its last meet, a night slalom race held at Heavenly Valley Wednesday, Jan. 26, the Tahoe-Truckee alpine ski team must rely heavily on strong performances in the next three races and sub-par performances from the leading division teams in order to win the overall standings.

Truckee took a second place overall finish at last Wednesday’s meet, but did not improve its overall third place standing behind the North Tahoe and South Tahoe teams.

In order for the Wolverines to finish at the top of the field, they must claim first place, a feat not yet accomplished this season, in all of the next three races and South Lake Tahoe, ranked first, must have (at best) two third place finishes and one second place finish.

“While this is a long shot, it is still very possible,” Truckee Head Coach Pat Mooney said, “Especially if we can get all our racers at a race. [For the Heavenly race] We were missing Bryan Richmond, John Parker and Heidi Henderson, who were all off at Far West races. Having a full roster at a race will make a huge difference.”

Despite the gaps in the roster, the boys finished with three racers in the top six claiming a first place finish. Tim Jitloff, according to Mooney, had two “exceptional” runs. Gary Cook, who had trouble with the first run, recovered with his second run to claim fifth place. Mike Thomas had two solid runs.

“Mike can almost always be counted on to put together two flawless runs,” Mooney said.

Tyler Zarubin was Truckee’s fourth skier. While he had some trouble on his first run, he “played it smart,” according to Mooney, and put together a fast but conservative second run to give the boys enough points to win.

Girls in third place

The girls’ team finished in third place.

“Many girls from the other teams fell,” Mooney said, “so our strategy was to get everyone through the finish safely to accumulate as many points as possible.

Even with this conservative approach, Stacey Cook still finished in a very close second place. Kendra Windham had some trouble on her first run, but did well her second run to finish in eighth place.

“The boys finished with three in the top six,” Mooney said. “While this isn’t surprising, it does demonstrate the strength of the boys’ team. If we can put four in the top ten, we should be able to get an overall win.”

The team’s next race was at Kirkwood on Wednesday, but the results were unavailable at press time.


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