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This Streit is paved with gold

Mark Nadell, Special to the Sun

Well, it had to happen sooner or later this year.

In a season where so many races have occurred in near-perfect weather and fast conditions, the President’s Cup 15K race at Tahoe Donner on Monday featured that very special Sierra Nevada snow condition – rain. Not just any old rain event, however; this race had the added attraction of an overnight new snowfall turning to sticky slush the next morning, the perfect condition for realizing just how slow your fancy racing boards with the $30 wax job can be.

Even those that meticulously prepared were confused after the race, wondering why some skis were performing so well in those conditions, and others, waxed and prepared exactly the same, felt like 2-by-4s with a curved tip.

Needless to say, the results list turned out a bit topsy-turvy, with a few racers breaking into the top 10 for the first time this season. What was typical, however, were the men’s and women’s winners for the event.

Tav Streit won his fifth major race of the season with a time of 44 minutes and 36 seconds, showing that the University of Nevada, Reno Nordic ski team is coached by a man who still knows how to win a ski race. To illustrate how slow these conditions might have been, Streit’s winning time was over 5 minutes slower than last year’s winner, and a full 7 minutes behind the 2002 course record of 37:37 (set by this year’s fifth place finisher Tim Hill).

Other top finishers for the men included second-place finisher Rick Reynolds of Truckee and third-place finisher David Bailey of San Francisco.

Top women’s finisher Beth Reid of Palo Alto is also no stranger to the winner’s podium this year, notching her third major win of the season with a time of 45 minutes and 25 seconds, good for eighth place in the overall tallies.

“My skis just felt really good today,” Reid said. “I was gliding along in places some of the others were having to push hard.”

Judy Rabinowitz of Larkspur (Marin) and junior racer Natalie Joffe of Kentfield rounded out the top three spots.

In the 7K junior event, the Reid family made it clear that mom isn’t the only family member with fast skis. Garrett Reid took top honors in the boys’ division with a time of 23 minutes and 23 seconds, ahead of younger brother Carl (24:35) and Alex Taylor of Truckee (25:04).

For the girls, Kati Clark of Truckee sped away from the field with a time of 27:57, followed by Maisha Goodpaster of Truckee (28:12) and Gabrielle Joffe of Kentfield (30:01).

In addition to being a major stop on the Far West Nordic racing schedule, the President’s Cup was also the third event in the prestigious Fischer Cup race series, with both Streit and Reid cementing their top spots in the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively.

Mark Nadell is the Far West Nordic Administrator. The next stop on the schedule is the Tahoe Donner Relays at Tahoe Donner Cross Country on Feb. 22. Full results and standings can be found at http://www.farwestnordic.org.


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