The Nevada Union girls snowboard team overcame adversity at the California-Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation State Championships at Northstar to claim the girls division title.
The Lady Miners’ top qualifier, Faith Robichaud, was first out of the gates at the event but suffered a devastating crash that removed her from competition, said NU head coach Don Farber.
“When Faith went down I wasn’t sure how the team would respond,” he said. “They all wanted to be with her, be by her side, but I said ‘no. I would be with her and her parents would be there with her.’ ”
The Nevada Union boys and girls teams then dedicated their effort to Robichaud.
“It was the most remarkable team effort that I’ve ever been a part of, coaching or competing,” Farber said. “They didn’t falter or slip. It was one of those warm and fuzzy moments.”
Celine Holland set the tone for the girls team in the giant slalom event, finishing second with a two-race combined time of 2 minutes, 10.62 seconds. Michaela Haemmig then placed 13th in the giant slalom with a time of 2:28.30, and Sofie Smith placed 23rd with a time of 2:43.36.
After the giant slalom portion of the competition the NU girls team was in second place behind Tahoe-Truckee.
Holland then turned in another amazing performance, finishing first in the slalom event with a two-race combined time of 50.50. Smith placed 12th and Haemmig took 14th to win the event for NU and effectively clinch the overall girls competition for NU; the Lady Miners’ second-straight state title.
“To win it back-to-back, to repeat with Faith down is just amazing,” Farber said. “The kids were just incredible.”
Nevada Union scored 661 points in the two events, topping second place El Dorado by 25 points.
Mammoth Lakes placed third, Pleasant Valley (Chico) took fourth, Chico was fifth, Tahoe Truckee was sixth, Red Bluff placed seventh, Placer took eighth and Colfax finished ninth.
Holland and Haemmig were both named to the All-State Snowboard team.
In the men’s competition, NU’s Alex Fitanides led the way placing 19th in the giant slalom with a two-race combined time of 2:25.62. Bradley Carrion finished in 33rd with a time of 2:31.54, and Luca Innocenti placed 39th with a time of 2:34.59 in the 79 person event.
In the slalom event Fitanides was 32nd, Carrion was 38th and Innocenti was 43rd.
Colfax’s Kyle Bryant placed first in the slalom (51.0) and second in the giant slalom (2:12.22) and was named to the All-State Snowboard team.
The NU boys finished in 10th as a team in the 25-team field.
Tahoe-Truckee won the men’s competition.
In the men’s and women’s combined team event NU finished sixth.