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TTHS hopes to reclaim and repeat

BAY KELLEY, Sierra Sun

The Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines’ Nordic Ski Team wants to repeat and reclaim its state titles this year.

The Wolverines’ boys’ team has been dominant throughout the 1990s, successfully defending its Nevada state titles for the last six seasons. The girls’ team, despite having 11 of the top 23 finishers in last season’s state race, lost to the North Tahoe Lakers and relinquished the title they had held the previous five seasons.

The Truckee boys won the title by defeating the Lakers, 269-260 – the largest margin of victory for the boys last season.

Louis Van Blarigan and Nick Sterling, Truckee’s two top finishers in last year’s state final (finishing third and fifth, respectively) will be returning this season. Also returning are Justin Popov, Brian Beno, Daniel and John Coombs, Andrew Van Blarigan, Kellen Babb, Brendon Harry, A.J. Manetta, Michael and Ryan Ochoa, Lyle Poulin and Anthony Radford.

“The team is looking strong for taking the boys’ varsity and junior varsity state championships,” new Truckee Head Coach Nancy Gordon said.

The girls also have strong returners.

Betsy Van Blarigan was Truckee’s highest finisher in the 1999 state tournament, finishing fourth. Shannon Lankenau, also returning, finished eighth. Kaitlin Steverman, Chrissy Working and Abbey Grimmer will help make the girls’ team competitive, but according to Gordon, they will have their work cut out for them if they want to return the state championship to Truckee from the dominant North Lake Tahoe team.

New to the high school team this year are Doug Coombs, Kyle Kelly, Tom Kleffman, Karsen Koehncke, Caitlin Oates, Ryan Popov, Brett Poulin and Shea Putman.

Former coach Olaf Carmel will be helping whenever his new fatherhood duties permit. Also helping the team are Gary Collins, Gary Schmitt and Lisa Furr.

The team began practice Nov. 22 at the Auburn Ski Club. Since Monday, Dec. 6, the team has been practicing at Tahoe-Donner Cross Country Ski Center. Practices begin at 3 p.m. and last until 4:30 p.m.

The first race of the season is a relay at Kirkwood tomorrow. It is a classic race consisting of teams of three skiers each skiing three kilometers.


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