Streit-away win at Summit-to-Shore
“Don’t look back – someone might be gaining on you.
Tav Streit took Satchel Paige’s timeless advice to heart Sunday, as the University of Nevada, Reno, Nordic skier refused to take a peek over his shoulder during the kayaking leg of the Summit-to-Shore race en route to his second consecutive victory.
“I didn’t want to waste any time looking back at the other racers,” said Streit, 22, who finished in 1:07:07, comfortably ahead of second-place finisher Mike White. “Actually, I felt good in the boat today. I wasn’t as stressed as I’ve been in the past.”
Streit built a huge lead over the other competitors over the first four legs of the race, which started with downhill and Nordic skiing at Donner Ski Ranch and then transitioned with a bike leg down Highway 40 and a run through the neighborhood around West End Beach before concluding with a paddling leg on Donner Lake.
“I tried to build a big lead because I know kayaking is my weakest leg, so that pressure pushes me throughout the whole race,” Streit said.
Streit’s effort was remarkable in the fact that he defeated all but one team in the competition, even after starting two minutes behind the team race.
“Working hard on my weakness, kayaking, before the race was the key,” Streit said.
Another collegiate Nordic skier, Anna Sterner, won the women’s division, covering the course in 1:25:17. After having narrowly lost last year’s race by only a few seconds, Sterner was highly motivated for this year’s race.
“I was not going to lose by nine seconds like I did last year,” said Sterner, 22, a sophomore at UNR.
Like Streit, Sterner expected the competition to close in on her during the kayaking portion of the race.
“I was looking for Julie Oldham in the water because she had a fast boat,” Sterner said. “But my boat worked well and everything else went pretty good, even though I was getting tired paddling.”
Sterner said multi-event races are a good way for her to keep in shape during skiing’s off-season.
“I’m going to go to Sweden this summer and do triathlons,” Sterner said. “These type of races are good training for skiing.”
The race for second place in the women’s division was one of the best of the day, as Truckee’s Debbie Hakansson was able to outsprint Julie Oldham to the finish line by six seconds.
Other Truckee racers turned in good performances, including: Mark Nadell, fourth overall in open competition, Olof Carmel, fifth in open competition, Jen Rassuchine, first in the women’s junior division, and Elizabeth Eddins, fourth in women’s open competition.
In pairs competition, Truckee’s Carl Schmitt and Jean Claude LeGras had the fastest time of the day with a 1:09:07. The fastest team time was turned in by “The Earl Sleads Junkyard” with the time of 1:05:39. Tahoe-Truckee High School students Rita Moring, Kari Weller, Kelly Bush, Kim Collins and T. Schegg teamed to win the junior girls’ team title.
Race organizer Jeff Schloss said the Summit-to-Shore conditions were much better than last year, when gusty winds hampered kayaking times.
“We were lucky in that the wind stopped right as the paddlers entered the water,” Schloss said. “The course changes each year so we don’t have all-time records, but Tav really had an awesome race; his paddling has really improved.”
More than 150 participants competed in this year’s race, which was a fund-raiser for the Far West Junior Nordic Ski Program and the UNR Nordic Ski Team.
(Complete results appear on Page 3B.)
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