Barna takes first place at Alpine Ski Championships
A little nervous energy, an icy and tight course and nine mistake-free runs was all freshman Brandi Barna needed to capture first place at the Tahoe Basin Ski League Championships Tuesday at Alpine Meadows.
“She made nine runs and didn’t make any mistakes,” said Truckee Wolverine Head Coach Pat Mooney. “She is a successful [United States Ski Association] Far West racer, but I think that today she was as nervous as she gets before any race. But she was real fast today … She won it all.”
After qualifying for the single elimination championship tournament, Barna beat four of the top 16 racers in the league, then defeated North Tahoe’s Michelle Parker in the finals.
It was the second week in a row that Barna was tops in her division.
Last week, in the final team race of the season at Heavenly Ski Resort, she posted the best time among all skiers, boys and girls.
Tuesday’s championship consisted of one qualifying run for each racer in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions on a Giant Slalom course.
The skiers with the top 16 times in each division then moved on to a head-to-head, single elimination tournament.
Each pair of skiers took two runs, with the best-combined time moving on.
“The state championships are an individual event,” Mooney said.
Also qualifying for the tournament were Wolverines Miranda Funston, Andrea Rogiers, Jackie Schwartz and Jenna Lowerance.
In the boys’ division, Richard Home, Joe Aukenthaler and Tommy Rosario qualified. Rosario made it to the quarterfinals, and appeared poised to move on the semis.
“After the first run he was ahead of the other guy, was in the lead on the second run and it looked like he was going to move on the semi finals, but about three gates from the bottom he went wide around a gate and sat down and was disqualified,” Mooney said.
While Mooney said he was proud of the five girls that made it into the championship tournament, the seeding ended up pitting several of the girls against each other.
“It was a bummer that two of our girls eliminated each other,” he said.
Schwartz and Lowerance were eliminated in the first round by Barna and Funston, with Barna later eliminating Funston in the quarterfinals.
After the race, Rosario and Lowerance received all-league honors for total points accumulated over the course of the season.
Lowerance was fourth among a field of nearly 50 girls from six schools, while Rosario was 10th in total points in the boys’ division.
In overall team standings, Truckee tied South Tahoe for second, while North Tahoe went undefeated.
But with many of his top racers returning, Mooney was already thinking about next year.
“We expect to come back with a very strong team and with the ambition to defeat North Tahoe,” he said. “But although it’s very competitive, there is nothing at stake except school pride. It’s a fun and lighter atmosphere, and we hope to keep it that way.”
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.