Truckee, North Tahoe snowboarders claim 6 podium finishes at state championships
Gold - Caleb Bonneville (Truckee)
Bronze - Zach Kuch (Truckee)
Silver - Morgan Just (Truckee)
Boys’ giant slalom
Silver - Caleb Bonneville (Truckee)
Bronze - Cali Vail (North Tahoe)
Girls’ giant slalom
Silver - Nina Burt (North Tahoe)
Truckee and North Tahoe snowboarders battled fog and tough course conditions earlier in the week at the California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation state championships at Mount Shasta Ski Park.
Through two days of competition, local riders racked up six podium finishes, including Truckee junior Caleb Bonneville’s state championship in slalom and runner-up finish in giant slalom.
The state championships began Monday under heavy fog as the giant slalom competition got underway.
“The (giant slalom) day was horrible,” said Truckee Head Coach Eniko Kuch. “You couldn’t see 10 feet in front of you. It was so foggy … they had such a hard time on that first run of the course. Conditions were miserable.”
Bonneville navigated the course to a second-place finish in giant slalom, leading the Wolverines effort during the day with a combined time of 1 minute, 50.39 seconds. Bonneville was also runner-up at last year’s giant slalom state championships.
Colfax rider Tyler Suddjian won the giant slalom state title with a time of 1:48.86. North Tahoe’s Cali Vail landed on the podium with a combined time of 1:52.94 for a third-place finish. The Lakers also had Tavo Sadeg finish 14th with a combined time of 2:03.67.
On the girls’ side, North Tahoe junior Nina Burt raced to second place, finishing with a combined time of 2:02.21. Shasta’s Sage Will won the race with a combined time of 1:53.71.
Liliana Hosefros led Truckee with a combined time of 2:22.40 for 19th place.
Riders returned to the mountain the following day for the slalom state championships. Conditions were a little better, according to Kuch, but instead of fog, athletes had to contend with heavy, wet snow and a course that quickly became rutted.
Bonneville found the fastest way down the course to capture his first individual state title, topping the field by more than a second to win slalom with a time of 1:15.72. Bonneville took second at last year’s slalom state championships.
Colfax’s Suddjian was second in slalom with a time of 1:17.07.
For the combined state title, Bonneville and Suddjian finished tied for first place with 239 points apiece, however, Suddjian was awarded the state championship based on his total time for slalom and giant slalom of 3:05.93. Bonneville’s total time was 3:06.11.
Truckee’s Zac Kuch raced to a podium finish in slalom, claiming third place with a time of 1:22.23. Vail led the Lakers with a time of 1:25.73 for 11th place in slalom. Vail led North Tahoe in combined with a fourth-place finish.
On the girls’ side, Truckee junior Morgan Just finished with a time of 1:56.19 to take state runner-up in slalom. Shasta’s Will won the race with a time of 1:49.73 to complete a sweep of the slalom and giant slalom events at this year’s state championships.
For North Tahoe, Burt finished just off the podium in fourth place with a time of 1:56.95. Burt finished in second placed in combined with 236 points. Shasta’s Will won the combined title with 240 points.
Going into next year, Kuch said local high school riders are already recruiting snowboarders to join the teams in an effort to provide depth and create more opportunities to score points.
“North Tahoe and Truckee teams displayed OUTSTANDING sportsmanship and support for one another!,” said North Tahoe Head Coach Jessi Ernst in an email to the Sun. “It was so special seeing our teams interact so positively and cheer on not only our (two) teams but all of the other teams at states. I’m beyond proud of them!”
This year’s four-day trip to Shasta gave athletes from the two schools, which are typically rivals, a chance to bond as they look to grow snowboard racing in the area.
“The kids hang out with each other,” said Kuch. “It’s really cool, they’ve become like this family when we’re there. Now they’ve made their own Snapchat group for snowboarding.”
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.