North Tahoe’s Anderson, Murnane win high school Nordic opener at Sugar Bowl
The California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation Nordic season got underway at Sugar Bowl Resort on Friday, bringing roughly 350 athletes to compete in the 5-kilometer mass start Sugar Bowl Freestyle.
North Tahoe skiers put together an impressive display during the morning, finishing the day with the boys and girls’ individual winners, while also picking up team wins on the boys and girls’ side
Cooper Anderson led the Lakers boys, racing to a first-place finish with a time of time of 12 minutes, 25.5 seconds. Anderson and Truckee’s Steffen Cuneo were in a tight race as they made the final turn, but Anderson was able to pull away over the final meters to capture first place in the season opener.
“(Anderson) is really fast,” said Cuneo. “Cooper is good … the course was a little small, so it was hard to pass. I couldn’t pass him there’s no moves I could make. I tried to make a couple, but they just didn’t work out.”
Cuneo would cross the line shortly after Anderson for second place with a time of 12:25.7.
“I’ve been training a lot and working on my skiing,” he said. “It really showed today.”
North Tahoe’s Phoenix Sanchez was next with a time of 12:52.6, followed by teammates Etienne Bordes (12:53.7) and Cooper Honeywell (13:17.1). Truckee’s Matt Seline (13:29.8) was seventh. North Tahoe skiers Jake Hacker (14:00.5) and Koson Verkler (14:04.6) were eighth and ninth, respectively.
The Lakers finished with a low score of 13 points to take the win. Truckee was second with 34 points, followed by South Tahoe with 71 points.
Lady Lakers place four in the top five
After the boys’ race concluded, the girls took to the start line for their event. The Lady Lakers put the league on notice with an impressive showing, taking four of the top five places.
North Tahoe’s Lily Murnane captured first place on the day, cruising through the finish line ahead a trio of teammates in the top five.
“Today’s race really amazing, the grooming was very good,” said Murnane. “The race mostly consisted of flats, so you really had to use your technique.”
Murnane finished the course with a time of 14:09.3. Teammate Kili Lehmkuhl was close behind, taking second place with a time of 14:12.3.
“Up the hills you just wanted to get as much speed as you could,” said Lehmkuhl on the key to being fast at Sugar Bowl. “Especially going up the first hill.”
Sugar Bowl’s Hayden McJunkin was third with a time of 14:15.7, followed by the Lakers’ Alani Powell in fourth with a time of 14:29.0, and Mera Schoonmaker in fifth with a time of 15:06.9.
Local skiers finished the morning with nine of the 10 fastest times. Sugar Bowl’s Samantha Swan (15:27.6) was sixth. Caitlin Smith (15:31.6) led Truckee with a seventh-place finish. Sugar Bowl’s Sami Samuels (15:57.5) was eighth and Truckee’s Annelise Cuneo (16:38.9) was ninth.
North Tahoe took the team win with 12 points. Sugar Bowl was second with 35 points, followed by Truckee with 39 points.
High school racing will continue next week Auburn Ski Club with the annual Foothill Classic on Friday, Jan. 18.