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Truckee XC team is season’s best

by staff

A bevy of recognition was given to the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines nordic ski team at Saturday’s state championship race and California Nevada Interscholastic Ski Federation awards ceremony, but one award eluded it.

The Tahoe-Truckee team has won all but two races this season. In most instances, it flat out ran away with the victory, far and away defeating the opposition. One race determined, though, that they are not the state championship team.

The North Tahoe Lakers stripped the title, winning by two points over the Wolverines, 117-115, at the State Championship race held at Auburn Ski Club this weekend. As a consolation, Truckee’s dominance during the season was recognized and the team claimed first place in the CNISSF 1999-2000 Team League Championship.

The seven kilometer race held at Auburn, was contested under snowy skies favoring racers with endurance and technical skill and skiers that are light on their skis. Edged skis sunk deep into the accumulated powder on the course, taxing less proficient skaters. If waxed properly, a flat ski was definitely a faster ski.

The star performance of the day came from Louis Van Blarigan who blitzed the course in 26:54.9. The win afforded Van Blarigan first place, 19 seconds ahead of second place finisher Ian Case of Nevada Union and 43 seconds ahead of third place finisher Scott Hill of Prosser Creek Charter.

“I’m very happy for this moment of glory which Louis deserves,” Truckee coach Nancy Gordon said. “He has been chasing Ian all season and having to settle for second place. By pushing himself to the max, he accomplished a remarkable feat. He got out in front and stayed there to the finish line. Louis must feel great satisfaction with his first place finish in the state championship race.”

Receiving state championship medals at the CNISSF awards ceremony was Truckee’s Chris Waller who placed eighth, followed by John Coombs (ninth) and Nick Sterling (11th).

Receiving medals for individual league standings based on the best four of five races during the regular season were Van Blarigan (first place), Nick Sterling (third), Andrew Van Blarigan (eighth), John Coombs (ninth), Justin Popov (10th), Brian Beno (13th), Chris Waller (15th) and Daniel Coombs (20th) out of a field of 40.

Betsy Van Blarigan led the Truckee varsity girls to a 2nd place finish in the state championship race with a strong third place finish and a time of 32:05.8. Also medaling in the race were Caitlin Oats (ninth) followed by Kelly Collins and Kaitlin Steverman, placing 11th and 14th, respectively.

Truckee girls also placed second in the CNISSF 1999-2000 Team League Championship.

Receiving medals for individual league standings were Betsy Van Blarigan (fourth), Shannon Lankenau (sixth), Caitlin Oats (seventh), Abbey Grimmer (ninth), Kaitlin Steverman (12th), Kelly Collins (13th) and Chrissy Working (14th).

Truckee Junior Varsity placed first in the CNISSF Team League Championship. Receiving medals for individual league standings were Ian Bottomley (second), Tom Kleffman (third), Ryan Popov (seventh), Brendon Harry (eighth), Lyle Poulin (10th), Willy Saltenberger (12th), Anthony Radford (13th) and, tied for 14th place were Kyle Kelly and Doug Coombs.

Wolverines qualifying for the Junior Olympics in Jackson, N.H., from March 6 through 11, are Louis Van Blarigan, Nick Sterling, Andrew Van Blarigan, Betsy Van Blarigan and Shannon Lankenau.

“It’s fantastic to have so many skiers from Truckee qualify to compete in the Junior Olympics,” Gordon said. “These skiers have trained long and hard to achieve this honor and I’m very proud they are being recognized for their dedication to excellence.”

The Wolverines will conclude the season with a 3 km skate relay on an obstacle course (with jumps) held at Tahoe Cross Country Center in Tahoe City tomorrow.


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