Nordic skiers eyeing state title |

Nordic skiers eyeing state title

Matt Riddle

They’ve got the power, the numbers, the coaches and the talent to take state this year in Nordic skiing.

Truckee High School nordic and alpine skiing Coach Nancy Gordon said she plans to race all 43 skiers in Wednesday’s 6K classic in Mammoth including five newcomers. The race takes place after the Sierra Sun deadline.

“We have a really good group,” Gordon said. That includes beginners to junior Olympians. “It’s a hard sport, but because it’s social, they enjoy it.”

Last year, the girls pulled ahead with the title, but the boys, thanks to a wrong turn on the course, came in second. But that won’t likely see a repeat.

“Will we win the state championship?” asked Gordon. “Yes.”

And boys and girls compete and travel together, so of course the high school kids like it.

With that many kids, Gordon had to recruit extra coaches. She’s brought in Olof Carmel, Larry Leatherman, Bill Sterling, Dan Hill and alumnus Betsy Van Blarigan.

For the boys, the team will be led by captain Andrew Van Blarigan, Joaquin Goodpastor, Matt Gelso and Sam Sterling.

“I should be doing pretty good as long as I train smart,” Goodpastor said. Predicting he could finish in the top three of most of the races. “It could happen. My skate technique’s gotten better.”

For the girls, it’ll be captain Caitlin Oats, Maisha Goodpastor, Lindsay Collin and Kara LaPoint fresh off of the Chevy Truck US Cross-Country Championships in Rumford, Maine.

“I’ll be top three in all the high school races,” Collin said. “Keeping the title is good.”

The kids that make the varsity cut are ready.

“Anyone that makes varsity is up there,” Gordon said. “With 43 on the team, the competition is pretty fierce.”

What’s this year’s goal? The championship, of course. The teams are eyeing the title of 2002-2003 California-Nevada Interscholastic Nordic Skiing State Champions.

The next race the team hosts will be freestyle sprints at Tahoe Donner Cross-Country Friday Jan. 24 starting at 4 p.m. It’s the first league race in format and time. It will be the team’s first race held under lights.

Then on the next day, they’ll be at the Auburn Ski Club for an invitational freestyle championship. That race starts at 10 a.m.

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