CNISSF Nordic skiing | Truckee boys, Sugar Bowl Academy girls open season with wins |

CNISSF Nordic skiing | Truckee boys, Sugar Bowl Academy girls open season with wins

Courtesy of Mark Nadell / www.macbethgraphics.comTruckee's Jordan McElroy races to a first-place finish in the Sugar Bowl Uphill Challenge last Friday. Find more photos from the race at

An easy little warm-up race this was not.

Thanks to a little help from an alpine venue, the CNISSF Nordic ski season finally kicked off last Friday with the grueling Sugar Bowl Uphill Challenge, which sent high school skiers climbing Nob Hill run after a long preseason of dry-land training.

and#8220;I think everyone was really excited to finally get the CNISSF race season going,and#8221; said Jeff Schloss, head Nordic coach at the Sugar Bowl Academy. and#8220;It was impressive to see the effort that all of the racers put out on a course that climbed almost a mile up a downhill slope and gained over 400 feet of elevation.and#8221;

Led by Laurel Fiddler’s individual win, the Sugar Bowl Academy varsity girls dominated the team competition, sweeping the top four spots to claim the win ahead of second-place Truckee, 56 points to 17. North Tahoe’s girls were third with nine points, followed by Incline with seven points and Presentation (out of San Jose) with five points.

On the boys’ side, Truckee’s Jordan McElroy took the win to lead his Wolverines to first place over North Tahoe, 39-33. The Sugar Bowl Academy boys finished third with 20 points, followed by Incline (14) and South Tahoe (9).

and#8220;I thought our team did exceptionally well considering the circumstances they’ve faced so far this season,and#8221; said North Tahoe head coach Kara LaPoint. and#8220;The kids have really stayed focused and maintained great attitudes through this difficult training period. They did the same thing on Friday. They showed up enthusiastic and confident, despite less-than-ideal preparation.and#8221;

LaPoint was particularly pleased with the performance of Shane Christian, who finished runner-up to McElroy, posting a time of 5:14.4 to McElroy’s 4:54.9, as well as Peter Holmes, who was fifth in 5:31.3.

Evan Vomund of Incline rounded out the top three in 5:16.7, while freshman Sam Zabell of the Sugar Bowl Academy was fourth in 5:18.5. Another Sugar Bowl Academy freshman, Peter Carroll, finished eighth in 5:43.7.

and#8220;I am really pleased with the Sugar Bowl Academy women, who are clearly very strong, but I was also pleased with our two freshman boys who both finished in the varsity top 10,and#8221; said Schloss.

Truckee’s Alex Kopytko finished sixth, while Eli Yale was eighth overall and first in the open (junior varsity) division and Truckee’s Brandon Deeter was ninth.

Fiddler placed 10th overall and first among varsity girls in a time of 5:57.6. Sugar Bowl Academy teammate Katrin Larusson was second in 6:06.7, Danielle Nivinski was third in 6:22.4 and Cassidy Cichowicz fourth in 6:23. Racing varsity, Truckee’s freshmen duo of Gabrielle Rinne and Skyler Flora finished fifth and sixth, respectively, with times of 6:38.3 and 6:46.9.

and#8220;We only have two varsity skiers, and they both skied great,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Jon Halvorsen. and#8220;I’m super happy with that result and it shows that we have a strong future ahead of us. The experienced Sugar Bowl Academy girls were impressive, but I think they saw clearly that our girls will be keeping them on their toes all season.and#8221;

North Tahoe freshman Tara Gallant also turned in an impressive performance, finishing in the top 10 among varsity girls in her first high school race. Truckee’s boys and North Tahoe’s girls captured wins in the open division.

and#8220;Friday’s course was quite challenging, but I think it was a great way to kick-start the season and really get the kids fired up,and#8221; LaPoint said. and#8220;Just knowing there was a race last week, my kids definitely had a lot more and#8216;spark’ at practice, having something to strive for on Friday. I am extremely proud of the effort they put out at the race, and what they’ve been putting into this sport all season, and I hope they will be rewarded with more snow, skiing and racing soon.and#8221;

The first two races of the season were canceled due to a lack of snow on the cross-country trails.

Find more photos from Friday’s race at

The Truckee Sprints scheduled for Friday have been canceled. Instead, Auburn Ski Club is tentatively scheduled to host a 3-kilometer classic race on Monday, Jan. 23.

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