High school Nordic skiers Cuneo, Lehmkuhl remain unbeaten after two races
Steffen Cuneo (Truckee) – 11:35.3
Matt Seline (Truckee) – 11:37.2
Phoenix Sanchez (North Tahoe) – 11:42.6
Cooper Honeywell (North Tahoe) – 11:45.9
Bjorn Halvorsen (Sugar Bowl) – 12:20.7
Kili Lehmkuhl (North Tahoe) – 12:59.9
Lily Murnane (North Tahoe) – 13:02.3
Hayden McJunkin (Sugar Bowl) – 13:09.8
Mera Schoonmaker (North Tahoe) – 14:12.2
Alani Powell (North Tahoe) – 14:17.3
High school Nordic racing continued on Friday at the Sugar Bowl Freestyle, bringing racers from the California-Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation to Donner Summit’s cross-country trails for a 5-kilometer race.
Truckee senior Steffen Cuneo remained unbeaten on the season as he outpaced a field of 42 other skiers to claim first place with a time of 11 minutes, 35.3 seconds.
Due to conditions on the course, Cuneo fell behind during the mass start, but managed to pick off the field one by one until taking the lead.
“The grooming had super soft snow at the start so the lighter kids cruised over the soft stuff and got ahead,” said Cuneo, who had six skiers in front of him roughly 1 kilometer into the race.
“At this big hill, I decided to pull a Hail Mary, go for it … and gain enough of a lead on the guys who can outsprint me at the finish.”
For the second week in a row, Truckee sophomore Matt Seline took second place, finishing with a time of 11:37.2.
North Tahoe junior Phoenix Sanchez was third, reaching the finish line in 11:42.6, followed by teammate Cooper Honeywell in fourth place with a time of 11:45.9. Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy’s Bjorn Halvorsen finished in fifth place with a time of 11:45.9.
As a team, the Wolverines edged out North Tahoe by two points to take first place. Truckee also had Mathew Deluna finish in eighth place with a time of 13:00.9. North Tahoe had Nikolas Burkhart finish in sixth place with a time of 12:38.1, Koson Verkler in ninth place with a time of 13:01.2, and Jake Hacker in 10th place with a time of 13:10.5.
Sugar Bowl finished in third place with 24 points, and had Bodhi Kuzyk finish in the top-10, claiming seventh place with a time of 12:55.8.
Lady Lakers dominate again
The North Tahoe girls raced to a second consecutive team win on Friday, outpacing rivals Truckee by 12 points.
Junior Kili Lehmkuhl remained unbeaten on the season with a time of 12:59.9 to finish in first place. Junior teammate Lily Murnane finished as runner-up for the second week in a row, posting a time of 13:02.3. Sugar Bowl sophomore Hayden McJunkin broke up the run of Lakers finishes with a time of 13:09.8 for third place.
North Tahoe also had Mera Schoonmaker claim fourth place with a time of 14:12.2, and Alani Powel take fifth with a time of 14:17.3.
Truckee was led by Sonny Strusinski, who finished in sixth place with a time of 15:06.2. The Wolverines also had Petra Kidd in eighth place with a time of 15:19.1, Annalea Rost in ninth place with a time of 15:27.5, and Mia Jones in 10th place with a time of 16:12.8.
The high school racing season will have a break in action this week before resuming on Jan. 31 with the 5-kilometer Mammoth Classic.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643.