North Tahoe’s Johnson wins snowboard GS at state championship
North Tahoe High snowboarder Lauren Johnson won the women’s individual state title in Giant Slalom and helped lead her Laker team to a sixth-place finish overall in the California-Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation (CNISSF) State Championship at Mt. Shasta ski resort last Monday and Tuesday.
Johnson, a senior, took fourth place individually after finishing 10th in Slalom on the second day of competition. Johnson’s combined time of 124.78 in GS was more than two seconds faster than that of second-place Hannah Sandy of Shasta High School (126.92).
North Tahoe’s women’s team placed third overall out of 28 schools ” determined by a combined point total between slalom and giant slalom ” while the men were 12th out of 34 schools, according to http://www.cnissf.org, the CNISSF’s official Web site.
The Shasta High women took first with 730 points, and were followed by Mount Shasta (715), North Tahoe (709), El Dorado (708) and Placer (699). Rounding out the top-10 were Nevada Union (657), Mammoth Lakes (644), Ponderosa (631), Oak Ridge (504) and Rim of the World (500).
Individually on the women’s side, North Tahoe senior Kendra Haskell placed 10th in GS, 12th in Slalom and ninth overall. Heather McKenney was 11th in GS and 23rd in Slalom.
El Dorado (756 points), Mount Shasta (712), Yreka (705), Pleasant Valley (693) and Shasta (679) took the top five spots on the men’s side, while Nevada Union (627), Etna (613), Chico (577), Red Bluff (571) and Placer (570) rounded out the top 10. The Laker men collected 542 points.
Junior Tyler Turpin led the Laker men with an eighth-place finish in Slalom, 12th place in GS and ninth place overall.
For the overall team competition, El Dorado took the top spot with 1,464 points. Mount Shasta was second (1,427), Shasta third (1,409), Nevada Union fourth (1,284), Placer fifth (1,269) and North Tahoe sixth with 1,251 points.
” Staff reports
As opposed to many of the top snowboarders in the state championship who used specialized race boards and hard boots, Johnson competed on a borrowed freestyle board and soft boots.
Riding the board since the beginning of the season, Johnson has racked up an impressive list of wins on it for her North Tahoe team, as well as in USASA competitions and in pro races. She also rode the board at the Jabra X Jam competition at Sugar Bowl, where the 17-year-old qualified as an alternate for the X games in boardercross.
Racing since the age of 10 under coach Mort Nyberg of Squaw Valley ” also head coach of the North Tahoe snowboard team ” Johnson has frequently been a top-20 nationally ranked USASA competitor in GS, Slalom and Halfpipe. She has added boardercross this year to her list of competitive events and has begun to compete in her first pro races.
Johnson also rides horseback and competes in three-day eventing on her horse, Cheyenne.- Referred to as “the little engine that could” by her friends and family, Johnson rides a 1,300-pound thoroughbred jumper in both the show arena and on the cross country course.
“She looks like she belongs on a pony but she’s got a big person’s guts, strength and determination,” said Christie Nunick, Johnson’s coach. “She’s a tough competitor.”
” Provided to the Sun
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