XC boys on top
Few emerged unaffected by the massive pileup around the first bend of Friday’s cross country race held at Northstar-at-Tahoe.
It happened seconds after the gun fired and the boys’ varsity racers had taken off in the race’s mass start. Darting around the first bend, somebody fell. The domino effect took hold and only the front-runners came away unaffected. Six skiers instantly gathered close to a minute’s advantage on the rest of the pack.
Of the six, two were from Tahoe-Truckee high school. Louis Van Blarigan and Nick Sterling blasted out of the start and with the first turn behind them, could only speculate on what happened to the other racers.
Van Blarigan finished the 5 km track in second place with a time of 15:15, seven seconds behind the race’s winner, Ian Case of Nevada Union. Sterling finished with a time of 15:45, claiming sixth place.
Several other Truckee racers placed high. Chris Waller finished in ninth place at 16:48 and John Coombs finished in 11th place nine seconds later. Andrew Van Blarigan and Brian Beno finished in 13th and 14th place, respectively, and Daniel Coombs finished in 17th. Justin Popov finished in 20th.
The finishes contributed to a first place team finish for the Wolverines’ boys’ team, which accumulated a score of 192 points, 16 points more than second place North Tahoe. South Lake Tahoe finished in third place with a cumulative score of 163.
The girls finished in second place, 16 points behind North Tahoe.
North Tahoe had the top two finishers, Emily Robbins and Laura Spohr, in a field of 16 racers. Betsy Van Blarigan was Truckee’s top finisher, claiming fourth place with a time of 16:32.
Caitlin Oats claimed seventh place for the Wolverines while Chrissy Working, Kelly Collins and Kaitlin Steverman finished in ninth, 10th and 11th place, respectively.
The junior varsity boys’ team also finished in second place, narrowly missing first by a cumulative four points to North Tahoe.
The boys were led by Brendon Harry, Anthony Radford and Tom Kleffman.
The California Nevada Interscholastic Ski Federation will sponsor the California State Championships on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Auburn Ski Club. The 7 km skate race will feature a duel interval start, with two racers going every 30 seconds. The varsity girls race will start at 10:30 a.m. and the varsity boys will start at 11:15 a.m.
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