Cross country team conquers illness | SierraSun.com
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Cross country team conquers illness

LARA MULLIN, Sierra Sun

The Wolverine cross country ski team struggled to field a team at the All League Skate Championship at Auburn Ski Club Saturday, Jan. 20 with 19 athletes missing.

Several athletes also raced in spite of colds, aiding the notoriously strong team in capturing 17 individual medals and four All League trophies.

The lady Wolverines pulled out another impressive race, remaining undefeated this season thanks to third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place respective finishes by Kara LaPoint, Lindsay Collin, Betsy Van Blarigan and Rory Bosio. The varsity girls team easily captured a first place team trophy over North Tahoe, backed by skiers Catilin Oats and Kelly Collins, who both received individual medals for their outstanding performances.

The junior varsity girls secured enough points for a third place team trophy despite the absence of 14 out of 16 skiers due to illness. Kayla Evans placed second and Natasha Heckendorn finished in the top ten, both earning individual medals for their performances.

Nick Sterling and Andrew Van Blarigan grabbed second and third place for the boys team, but the Wolverines fell just short of a first place team trophy by a margin of three points behind the Lakers. Justin Popov and Daniel Coombs both placed in the top ten for Truckee, helping to secure the Wolverines second place team trophy.

Equally plagued by winter illness woes, the junior varsity boys had only three skiers in the race: Ryan Popov, Brett Poulin and Doug Coombs. All three received individual medals for their performances and captured a third place overall team score.

“The team did fantastic considering more than half the team was sick, staying healthy for State Championships on Feb. 10 is our priority right now, I am hoping that more of our athletes will receive the recognition they deserve there [States],” said Coach Nancy Gordon.

The Wolverines will host the next race at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Center on Friday, Jan. 26 starting at 10:30 a.m.

Saturday’s All League Skate race was also one of the four races in which skiers could qualify for the Junior Olympic team. Skiers must qualify in three out of the four races, or petition to be added to the team. After this weekend’s Skate, Far West skiers Nick Sterling, Phillip Violett, Andrew Van Blarigan, Laura Spohr, Kara LaPoint, Natalie Joffe and Lindsay Collin have all qualified for the team.

The last qualifying race will be Feb. 4 at Tahoe Cross Country.


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