Wolverines place first in opener | SierraSun.com

Wolverines place first in opener

Betsy Van Blarigan led the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines’ nordic ski team to a first-place finish in the premiere race of the season held at Kirkwood this past Friday.

Truckee skiers Abbey Grimmer, Kaitlin Steverman and Van Blarigan took first place with a combined team time of 48:19. Van Blarigan skied the last leg of the relay race – a style in which individuals on a three person team take turns skiing a complete lap on the cross-country course before ‘making a tag’ in a designated zone, prompting the next skier to make a lap – in 14:22, overtaking six competitors on her run. The team time was 35 seconds better than that of the defending state champion North Tahoe Lakers, who finished third with a combined time of 48:54.

Truckee’s Shannon Lankenau (14:54), Caitlin Oates and Chrissy Working finished in fourth place with a time of 50:44.

The Wolverine boys, Louis Van Blarigan, Nick Sterling and Justin Popov, fell just 20 seconds shy of first place finish with a combined time of 34:31. The team securing first place comprised members from more than one high school. Nevada Union High School took third place and Truckee’s Daniel Coombs, Andrew Van Blarigan and Brian Beno took fourth place with a time of 37:35.

Teams from Truckee, North Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, Nevada Union, Rite of Passage, Mammoth, Colfax, Lee Vining and a couple of Bay area high schools compete in the California Nevada Interscholastic Nordic Ski Federation Races. As the season progresses, the races get longer, and skiers must compete in both skate and classic Nordic ski races.

“It’s great to do well in our first race,” Truckee Head Coach Nancy Gorden said. “I’m proud of all our skiers.”

The team’s next race is a 5 km skate race with a mass start at Tahoe City Cross Country on Friday, Jan. 7. The girls’ race starts at 10:30 a.m. and the boys’ race at 11:15 a.m.

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