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Nordic team is state champions

LARA MULLIN. Sierra Sun

Truckee Tahoe High School’s cross country team is officially the state champion.

The Wolverines dominated the 2001 California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation Nordic State Championship Race on Saturday, Feb. 10 at Auburn Ski Club.

The grueling 7-kilometer classic race was held amidst the onslaught of last weekend’s snowstorm and posed the greatest challenge to the Wolverines’ young racing careers.

Ninety-four skiers from nine schools participated in the competition, and when it was all over Truckee walked away with first place overall and 22 individual medals.

After a whirlwind season of domination, the Wolverines can now revel in their titles of State and All League Champs.

Freshman Kara LaPoint, who has led the pack throughout much of the season, clenched first place for the Lady Wolverines, aiding in their considerable victory over second place North Tahoe by a margin of 22 points.

Medaling for the girl’s varsity team were Betsy Van Blarigan in second place overall, Lindsay Collin in sixth, Shannon Lankenau in ninth, Caitlin Oats in eleventh and Whitney Prosor in thirteenth place.

The boy’s team, led by Nick Sterling with a solid fourth place performance, also defeated North Tahoe to grab the overall title. Andrew Van Blarigan, Justin Popov, Brian Beno, John Coombs and Daniel Coombs also medaled, all finishing among the top 15 racers.

Following the lead of the varsity girl’s team, the junior varsity team also delivered a swift and crushing performance to claim first place overall. Michell Dowart crossed the line a full minute before the next skier, easily winning first place honors amidst the pack. Also medaling for the JV team were Kayla Evans, Kati Clark, Kate Rose and Olivia Rassuchine.

Taking second to a Mammoth team that placed all of its skiers in the junior varsity race, the Truckee boy’s junior varsity team finished second overall over the third place Lakers. Tom Kleffman, Ryan Popov, Brett Poulin, Doug Coombs, Joe Raso and Wes Ajari all took home medals in this division.

In addition to the State Champions honor, the Wolverines were awarded the designation of All League Champs for being the top scoring team in overall standings for the entire 2000-2001 season. Individual honors for first place Nordic All League Champions also went to skiers Nick Sterling and Kara LaPoint.

“Being first is sweet! Sweeter still is returning State and All League Championship trophies to Truckee after an awesome season,” said Nordic Coach Nancy Gordon.

The Wolverines’ race season will end with a skate relay race at Northstar-at-Tahoe on Feb. 28 starting at 10:30 a.m. This final race is not included in the final CNISSF league standings, but will be one last opportunity for the team’s six graduating seniors to ski with their team.


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