President’s Cup, Relays at Tahoe Donner |

President’s Cup, Relays at Tahoe Donner

With tons of new snow, the largest race of the year and two events in as many weeks, it is not surprising that Far West Nordic Administrator Mark Nadell dubbed Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski area the “center of the Nordic universe.”

The local breeding ground for some of the nation’s best young cross country skiers hosted both the President’s Cup 15 km race on Feb. 19 and the Tahoe Donner Relays on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Both races were integral stops on the Far West schedule as components of the season-long Sierra Ski Chase and Fischer Cup multi-race standings.

The beautiful Euer Valley trails at Tahoe Donner witnesed a local triumph as the top four skiers had distinct University of Nevada, Reno connections. Tying for first place with a time of 47.47 were UNR Nordic Assistant Coach and Olympic hopeful Tav Streit and current UNR coach Kim Mustonen, a former top Finnish skier.

Third place honors went to UNR skier Eric Wieman, who was exactly one minute behind the leading pair. Close on his heels was UNR’s Katerina Hanusova, possibly the top collegiate skier in the country. Following the leaders, local juniors Ian Case, Scott Hill and Dana Mosman raced in for the next three spots.

The women’s division was headed by Truckee’s Debbie Hakansson, who finished behind Hanusova with a large margin over Karen Radebold and Laura Stern. The 7.5 km junior race was won by Sugar Bowl Academy’s Phillip Violett with a time of 26.02 over Truckee’s Andrew Van Blarigan and Joaquin Goodpaster.

UNR’s Jessica Ford took top honors for the junior women, over Kara LaPoint and Laura Spohr. This race was the largest race thus far this year with more than 150 skiers and an additional 38 participants in the kid’s short course divisions.

Changing the pace a little last weekend, the Tahoe Donner Relays provided the chance for skiers to compete in a less serious format. The 2.5 km course race focused on fun more than competition and was designed as a “tune-up” for the more serious races to come. Featuring 100 racers in three-person teams (one classic leg with two freestyle legs), the relay was divided into men’s, women’s and mixed team divisions.

Sweeping the men’s division, the “Beefy T’s” team of Nick Sterling, Tav Streit and Ian Case rocked to the finish in a time of 55.30. Just behind this crazy threesome were teams of “Over the Hill Brothers” of Tim, Dan and Stan Hill and Mark Nadell, David Zischke and John Woods.

Leading the women’s category, the team of Anna Sterner, Sally Jones and Katerina Hanusova formerly known as the “Illegal Aliens” breezed through the course in 1:03.00. These ladies were followed by the “Piglets” (Debbie Hansson, Susan Reynolds and Karen Radebold). The top mixed team was “Team #20” consisting of Tony Bozzio, Dana Mosman and Jessica Ford.

“Losers and Slackers” did not quite live up to their namesake, winning the junior division thanks to its members Andrew Van Blarigan, Joaquin Goodpaster and Phillip Violett. The “Flaming Dames” team of Kara LaPoint, Lindsay Collin and Natalie Joffe took the day for the junior girls.

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