Bonneville brings Truckee a pair of state snowboarding silver medals
When Forest Charter sophomore Caleb Bonneville looks down from atop a giant slalom course his mind is already racing.
“Go fast, don’t fall, don’t make any mistakes,” Bonneville tells himself before tearing down the racecourse.
It’s only Bonneville’s second season racing gates, but the sophomore, who races for Truckee High School, has already emerged as one of the best riders in the California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation, also known as CNISSF, snowboard division.
“I’ve seen a lot of improvement,” said Truckee Head Coach Eniko Kuch. “Having raced once only last year here he was new to the concept. He’s improved dramatically this year.”
At last week’s CNISSF snowboard state championships at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Bonneville posted the Wolverines best results of any competitor over the two days of racing with a pair of silver medals in giant slalom and dual slalom.
Bonneville opened the championships on March 7, and posted a total time of one minute, 24.07 seconds in giant slalom for second place. He then followed that performance up with a second-place finish in dual slalom the next day. Bonneville finished the two courses with a combined time of 55.31 seconds, and narrowly missed out on the slalom state title and overall state championship when, according to his father Doug Bonneville, the Truckee snowboarder made a mistake on a rough section of the course near the bottom of his final run, causing him to lose a substantial lead and allowing Chico senior Flynn Davis to finish more than a second faster in the event. Bonneville was also a runner-up to another senior, Placer’s Troy Sheldon, in giant slalom. And while Bonneville said he was happy with his performance at state, he certainly isn’t satisfied.
“I was kind of bummed to get second but still grateful at the same time,” Bonneville said. “It just pushes me more to know that there are still lots of faster kids out there.”
Bonneville said he first began snowboarding at the age of two by simply refusing to let his parents head to the slopes without him.
“Apparently I’d get super mad when they’d go without me, and just stand on their boards,” he said.
Later he competed in snowboard cross in the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA), with his best result coming at the national championships where he placed fourth. Upon entering high school, Bonneville said he joined Truckee’s team to beef up his college resume, “and to get out of school … just something to do as a team because I’m not really on any teams.”
After two seasons on the team he’s emerged as the top rider on the Wolverines’ small contingent of snowboarders. Bonneville’s year included a first-place finish in giant slalom at Northstar California Resort, a first in giant slalom at Auburn Ski Club, and a trio of second-place finishes. His worst finish of the season was a fourth place in slalom at Auburn Ski Club.
As a whole, Truckee had a solid year on the slopes. Morgan Just led the girls’ squad with a fourth-place finish at state in dual slalom, and finished eleventh in giant slalom after going down during one of her runs. Just’s season included a win in slalom at Alpine Meadows and a win in giant slalom at Northstar. Cassiopeia Dalsey also competed for Truckee, finishing 46th in giant slalom and 49th in dual slalom.
On the boys’ side Zac Kuch took a 15th, and Benjamin Torney took 22nd at state in giant slalom. Kuch was 25th the next day in dual slalom and Torney was 29th. As a team, Truckee’s three snowboarders finished in third place overall.
“They did quite well for only having three of them,” said Kuch. “There were some little mistakes but overall no big ones … it was a great performance. I was really happy with their third-place finish. I consider that a win for just having three boys.”
From North Tahoe, Nina Burt had a strong showing at the state championships with a third place in dual slalom and a fifth in giant slalom. Baiely Hass took 32nd in giant slalom. Cami Carter took 36th in dual slalom and in 57th giant slalom. Paige Battaglia raced to a 48th place for the Lakers in dual slalom.
Cali Vail led the Lakers boys with 12th place in dual slalom and a 16th in giant slalom.