Truckee’s Cuneo, Sugar Bowl’s Sanchez win Nordic state championships |

Truckee’s Cuneo, Sugar Bowl’s Sanchez win Nordic state championships

Truckee's Steffen Cuneo stands atop the podium after winning the CNISSF Nordic state championship at Auburn Ski Club.
Courtesy photo

The California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Nordic State Championships were held Saturday at Auburn Ski Club amid stormy conditions.

Sugar Bowl Academy senior Sofia Sanchez took first place in the 7.5-kilometer skiathlon by nearly two minutes; while on the boys side Truckee junior Steffen Cuneo captured this year’s state championship.

Sanchez crossed the finish line with a time of 25 minutes, 4.8 seconds and was followed by a trio of teammates in the top eight, propelling the Sugar Bowl girls to the program’s first team championship since 2014.

Last year’s state Nordic champion, Sugar Bowl senior Kianna Mullings was fifth with a time of 28:07.9, followed by teammate Samantha Swan in sixth with a time of 28:33.8. Sugar Bowl’s Sami Samuels was eighth with a time of 31:23.7 to round out the academy’s scoring skiers.

Lily Murnane led North Tahoe to a runner-up finish as a team, finishing in second place overall with a time of 26:52.3. Teammate Kili Lehmkuhl was third with a time of 26:53.7, followed by Truckee’s Caitlin Smith in fourth with a time of 27:31.7.

North Tahoe’s other scoring skiers were Mera Schoonmaker (30:11.2) in seventh and Syd Whysler (34:28.9) in 13th place.

The Lady Wolverines finished the year in third place as a team. Truckee’s other scoring skiers were Annelise Cuneo (31:34.9) in ninth, Sonny Strusinski (31:55.9) in 10th, and Petra Kidd (32:04.3) in 11th.

On the boys’ side, Truckee’s Cuneo continued what’s been a stellar season of biathlon and cross-country racing, capturing his first state title with a time of 21:31.9.

Sugar Bowl’s Nate Cutler was runner-up this year with a time of 21:55.1, improving on his third-place finish at last year’s state championships.

From there, North Tahoe skiers took over. The Lakers boys would post the next four fastest times to bring the program its third consecutive state championship.

Phoenix Sanchez led the way for North Tahoe with a third-place finish, crossing the line with a time of 22:26.8. Cooper Anderson was next with a time of 22:33.1, followed by Etienne Bordes with a time of 22:43.1, and Nikolas Burkhart with a time of 23:09.0.

Truckee was second as a team. The Wolverines other scoring skiers were Matt Seline (24:21.5) in 10th, Aaron Bronstone (25:23.6) in 11th, and KC Larkins (25:26.7) in 12th.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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