Boys’ X-C wins sixth-straight title
With “superb” performances from Louis Van Blarigan (third), Nick Sterling (fifth) Josh Bennett (sixth) and Chris Waller (ninth), the Tahoe-Truckee High School boys’ varsity cross-country ski team captured its sixth-straight state title in a 7K classic race at Auburn Ski Club Saturday.
The junior varsity boys’ and girls’ squads also won their sixth-straight championships, helping Truckee win five of six races.
In the boys’ race, Truckee easily outdistanced rivals North Tahoe (second place) and Nevada Union (third place).
The nine-point win against North Tahoe (269-260) was the largest margin of victory of any of the boys’ races this season.
In doing so, the boys won the two most important races of the season: the all-league midseason skate championship and the state championship.
Justin Popov (11th) Jesse Steverman (12th) and first-year skier Brian Beno also medaled for the Wolverines, which took seven of the top 15 medal spots.
In the girls’ varsity race, North Tahoe completed its perfect undefeated season by capturing its first-ever state title. North Tahoe’s win ended the Truckee girls’ five-year state title winning streak.
“We knew coming in that North Tahoe was virtually unbeatable,” said Truckee coach Olof Carmel. We were hoping to close the gap and we did with excellent races from Betsy Van Blarigan (fourth), Elia Burrill (seventh) and Shannon Lankenau (eighth).
Dawn Vanscoy was 13th, Allison Bergen 14th, Kelly Collins 15th, Jana Bergen 16th and Justyn Cooper 17th.
“Although overshadowed by North Tahoe, the girls had a very good season in their own right; 11 of the top 23 times of the day were from Truckee girls,” Carmel said.
Scoring for the JV girls’ squad were Kaitlin Steverman (second), Amber Johnson (third), Courtney Burton (fourth), Brooke DeScryver (13th) and Alissa Bjerkhoel (15th).
Jeremy Popov (second), Daniel Coombs (fifth), Brendon Harry (sixth) and Willie Saltenberger (seventh) led the way for the victorious JV boys’ team.
“We’re proud of the whole team,” said Carmel. “There’s a lot of pressure on state championship day and everybody responded in a big way. With few exceptions, everybody matched or bettered their best races of the season.”
In the intermediates category, Sierra Mountain Middle School boys skied their way to their sixth-straight state title (North Tahoe and Truckee tied in 1997), while the girls took their second-straight championship.
Andrew Van Blarigan won the boys’ race and Kara LaPoint completed an undefeated season by winning the girls’ race. Also scoring for SMMS were Ryan Popov (second), Joaquin Goodpaster (third), Kyle Kelly (fifth), and in the girls’ race Catlin Oats (second), Michelle Dorwart (third) and Whitney Prosor (seventh).
Tom Hill (first) and Benji Van Blarigan (third) led the guest class.
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The two-time defending state champion Truckee baseball team opened league play in style last weekend, taking a three-game sweep of Sparks.