Whitell senior Payton Norton dominates at NIAA Alpine State Championships (updated)
Whittell senior Payton Norton made it a clean sweep at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Tahoe Basin League Alpine State Championships on Wednesday, Feb. 28, with a first-place finish in giant slalom at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
Norton took home the slalom state title the day before, and then followed that performance with a win in giant slalom, finishing with at total time of 1 minute, 5.12 seconds. Douglas’ Sean Dunkleman was second with a time of 1:06.16, followed by South Tahoe’s Luke Allen with a time of 1:06.43.
“It feels good,” said Norton. “It’s my senior year so it’s nice to go out good, but really I was just out here to have fun. It’s my last year ski racing.”
Norton said he plans on attending Utah State University in the fall and plans on earning a degree in aviation.
Wyatt Peek (1:22.78) was Truckee’s lone skier.
The North Tahoe boys capped off an undefeated year with the team win, beating out South Tahoe first the team giant slalom state title.
On the girls’ side, North Tahoe sophomore Aliza Neu captured her first alpine state championship with a total time of 1:06.87 seconds.
“It’s a lot of pressure being in first place at the top,” said Neu on her second run. “I just knew get down to the bottom, ski like you know how to, and keep pushing all the way down.”
Neu threw down the day’s two fastest times on the course to outpace Truckee’s Susie Greeno, who finished in second place with a total time of 1:08.39. North Tahoe’s Maya Wong was third with a total time of 1:09.22, followed by Truckee’s Monique Fellows in fourth with a total time of 1:09.87.
“My sister won it sophomore year, so my goal was winning it too. If she won it could win it too,” said Neu. “She’s pretty much my biggest inspiration. I try to keep up with her and beat her on some races.”
Neu’s sister, Magnolia Neu, captured the slalom state title the day before, and finished in fifth place (1:09.89) in giant slalom. Aliza Neu walked away with the combined title. Magnolia Neu was second, followed by Ferre, Madeleine Roberts, and Wong as North Tahoe claimed the top five combined times.
As a team the Lakers girls followed up their slalom state championship with the giant slalom crown. Jillian Ferre (1:10.42) was North Tahoe’s other scoring skier. The North Tahoe girls were also the academic champions with an overall GPA of 3.89.
Truckee finished the day in second place and also had Danielle Dolan (1:10.91) and Whitney Wingard (1:11.91) as the team’s scoring skiers.
“I have no words,” said North Tahoe Assistant Coach Gretchen Sproehnle. “These girls are awesome and boys come out and slay it every week too. It’s been such a fun season, and I’m so in awe of our team.”
Staff Writer Justin Scacco can be reached at 530-550-2643 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* This post was updated to include information on academic champions and combined champions