Nordic teams take 3 races at meet
The Tahoe-Truckee High School nordic ski team started its season last Friday with three of four race wins and strong showings in the fourth.
It was, as coach Olaf Carmel had earlier indicated, the girls’ teams which proved strongest in the 4K classic meet, held on a blustery and bitterly cold day at Auburn Ski Club.
Nevada Union High School from Grass Valley and North Tahoe provided the competition in the Truckee home meet.
On the girls’ varsity squad, Jenny Rassuchine took first place with a 15:59.50 time.
Rassuchine’s closest competitor was Truckee’s Kristie Davis with second place 16:50.90.
Christina Harvey finished in fourth at 17:17.00; Elia Buril finished sixth at 18:13.10; Kim Collins placed seventh at 18:19.20; Justyn Cooper came in eighth at 18:49.00.
Kari Weller was 11th at 20:00.50; and Kelly Bush finished 12th among 19 competitors at 20:33.10.
In girls’ junior varsity, “sweep” was the key word.
Of 15 skiers, the top nine finishers were Truckee girls. Kelly Watson took first with a 19:48.50 showing, followed by Courtney Burton with an even 20 minutes at second place.
Susan Linglebach turned in a third place finish at 20:15.80; Amber Johnson took fourth with 20:51.00; Dawn Vanscoy was fifth at 21:50.50; Jana Bergen was sixth at 22:17.20; Chrissy Working finished seventh at 23:53.70; Kelly Collins came in eighth at 23:58.50; and Lili Meslis shut all but one Nevada Union racer out of the top 10 with a 24:26.90 ninth-place finish.
In the boys’ race, it was Nevada Union racers Ian Case, Phil Salter and Zach Violett who took the top three places, but they are not without their own Truckee connections.
Ian Case started his high school nordic racing career at TTHS before moving down below two years ago.
The other Nevada Union racers have previously worked with Carmel through Far West race team training.
Jesse Steverman was the first Truckee finisher with a fourth-place 14:17.80, less than nine seconds behind NU’s Violett.
Spencer Archer came in fifth at 14:27.10; James Beauchamp was seventh at 14:52.80; Louis Vanblarigan was ninth at 15:11.20.
Josh Bennet posted a 12th-place 15:41.00; and Zachariah Silver came in 22nd at 18:33.00, more than a minute and a half ahead of the 23rd-place skier.
In boys’ junior varsity, there was once again a Truckee-dominated result card. Of the 28 racers, 16 were Truckee skiers, eight of whom garnered top 10 finishes.
Jesse Jones took the win at 16:14.70. Josh Andresen came in third at 17:08.80; Joe Jones was fourth at 17:21.30; Brendon Harry was fifth at 17:28.80; John Coombs finished sixth at 17:31.50; Brian Jitloff was seventh at 17:35.50; Justin Popov was eighth at 17:40.00; and Daniel Coombs rounded out the top 10 with a 17:42.90 time.
In 11th place was Anders Odell at 17:44.00.
Willie Saltenberger was 13th at 18:15.40; Jeremy Popov was 17th at 18:41.60.
Anthony Radford finished in 21st with 20:16.90; Russ Shady was 22nd at 20:30.30; Thomas Godino came in 23rd at 21:33.40; Jeff Sheltren was 24th at 21:51.30; and Bobby Bousquet came in 27th at 22:56.30.
Carmel said he was impressed with the meet’s results, particularly considering the conditions. Due to granular snow, creating cluster conditions, the skiers used a harder wax than usual which can be time-consuming and messy.
He said the boy’s team is somewhat disappointed in their own finishes, but the meet should only serve to motivate them for future meets.
“This was the first time in three or four years we’ve lost a varsity boys’ meet, but they’re going to train over the holidays. Maybe they feel like they let the team down a little, but they will respond to that,” Carmel said.
Carmel had nothing but praise for the Nevada Union boys’ team.
“I give them a lot of credit,” Carmel said. “If anybody deserves this success, they do.”
The coach said he was encouraged by the results of the JV boys’ race, and insisted 1997-98 was not a rebuilding year.
“We may only have six of 23 (boys) from the previous year, but still, if you look at the JV results, the whole team is focused and eager to train,” Carmel said. “This is a good bunch of kids to be around.”
Carmel said Jenny Rassuchine, first-place girls’ finisher, was a model athlete with a bright future.
“She goes out there and trains by herself, when its raining. In skiing time trials against the UNR team, Jenny came in third overall,” Carmel said.
“I’m so happy to see so many kids enthusiastic about this sport. There’s more depth to both teams than ever before.
“We may not have won boys’ varsity, but we still have potentially one of the strongest teams ever,” Carmel said.
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