Nevada racers duel for win on Presidents Day
Special to the Sun
These were the descriptions elicited from racers at Tahoe Donner Cross Country on Presidents Day, after fast snow conditions broke the all-time record for speed on the 15 kilometer course around the trails of Euer Valley.
After a night of unexpectedly chilly temperatures, racers on Monday were greeted to sparkling sunny skies and firm but very edgeable snow conditions for one of the highlighted races of the local Nordic season. A total of 152 competitors showed up to test themselves on one of the most scenic race courses to be found in the Sierra.
In the end, it was two Nevadans ” one familiar and another name new to the area ” who broke away from the pack to create their own duel to the finish.
Tav Streit, the winner of this event two out of the past three years, is the former head Nordic coach for the University of Nevada, Reno. Now finishing his studies for Physical Therapy, Streit came out Monday hopeful of winning back-to-back Cups for 2006 and 2007.
Jonathan Pluvinet is a former top Junior racer from France, who has come to the University of Nevada to race for that college’s Nordic team next season. In the meantime, he is training with the team, and competing in local Nordic races to keep sharp. He was more than sharp on Monday.
“I really thought I could take him in the sprint,” Streit said after the race. “But he was able to cut inside and take the faster line around the corner, and I just couldn’t get my skis out in front.”
The two were neck-and-neck around the finish corner before their all-out sprint to the line, which Pluvinet won by a matter of inches. Their time of 31 minutes, 58 seconds was a course record, more than five minutes faster than the times from last year and seven minutes faster than the year before!
Behind them was a group of 10 racers vying for position before the last climb out of Euer Valley to the lodge was able to break up the pack and spread out the field. In the end, it was junior Carl Reid from Palo Alto getting the best of the rest for third place with a time of 33:04, 15 seconds ahead of Truckee’s August Brautigam.
In the women’s division, it was yet another broken record, in more than one meaning of the term. In addition to breaking the record for women’s time, it was just another day at the office for Palo Alto’s Beth Reid. The winner of every Nordic race she’s entered this year, Reid, the former Olympic and world champion speed-skater, cruised the early part of the race before turning on the after-burners and rocketing up the final climb to a finish time of 34:53, good enough for 13th place overall on the day.
Another former Olympian, Kristin Krone of Truckee, was a couple of minutes behind, finishing with a time of 37:16. The next woman finisher on the day matched her older brother for third place, with 14-year-old Joanne Reid getting the best of the rest of the ladies’ bracket, finishing at 37:59.
In the smaller field of the 7-kilometer junior division (given that most local juniors already raced twice in the CNISSF Championships this weekend), it was Ruth Anderson taking the overall honors with a time of 21:26. Truckee’s Jordan McElroy was first for the boys, and second overall, in 23:49.
Check out http://www.farwestnordic.org for complete results and information for all the races.