Bruins, Miners to carve up Mt. Shasta
It will take 3 hours and 15 minutes for the skiers and boarders from Nevada Union and Bear River high school to reach the top of Mt. Shasta and whoever races down the mountain with the fastest time will be state champion.
The Miners will travel with 10 snowboarders and 11 skiers, while the Bruins will have five skiers in the starting gate, all who are looking for two perfect runs down the mountain for the annual California-Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation state championships March 7-11.
The 11 NU skiers who qualified to battle the mountain on March 7-9 are Kendra Green, Marnie McDowell, Quinlan Grim, Eric Green, Patrick Chapple, Mac Lujan, Scott Valentine, Eric Green and Brian Biersdorf, all of whom will compete in both the giant slalom and the slalom. NU’s Olivia McDowell, Marybeth Mondock and Robert Sekerek each qualified in the slalom.
“Chapple and Lujan push the envelope. They ski very hard,” NU ski coach Ken Ramirez said. “Valentine is a graceful, technical skier. I expect all of them to ski to their potential and ability. We are in contention to win state.”
“The Nevada Union ski team holds more titles than any other sport at the school.”
Ramirez feels that Colfax has the top three boys racers and if they have good runs they are the team to beat, while the Placer girls will be tough to beat.
“We are competing for best girls team, best boys team and the most-coveted, the combined,” Ramirez said. “Everyone gets two runs and times are combined, so you can have a really good run and then catch an edge on your second and you could be out of contention.”
In 2009, the Miners ski team brought home fourth place from Mammoth Mountain, in what Ramirez called one of the most competitive championships he has been a part of in his 19 years with NU.
Mount Shasta was first with 1,300 points, Davis High second with 1,291, El Dorado third with 1,200, followed by NU with 1,189 and Colfax rounded out the top five with 1,182.
Returning Miners who placed in ’09 at the state meet are Chapple, who finished in 12th, Valentine 19th, and Lujan 44th for the boys. For the Lady Miners, Marnie McDowell who finished in 15th, Kendra Green 33rd and Marybeth Mondok placed 34th.
In the slalom for the girls, McDowell was 26th, Green 28th and Mondok 60th.
The lone NU boy to place in the slalom was Eric Green, who took 23rd.
“We were in contention for second last year,” Ramirez said. “And we have prietty much the same crew.”
Bear River is returning two Lady Bruin skiers to the state championships meet in 2010.
Katie deLaveaga, a senior, is finishing her fourth season on the ski team.
“I hope she does well, being her senior season and all,” Bear River ski coach Janis Seranno said. “She has finished in the top 20’s all season.”
The Bruin skier out in front, is three-year team member, Kaitlyn Dwelle.
“She consistently finished in the top 15 during the season and just missed making all-league,” Serano said.”They both should do well at states.”
Seranno’s boy skiers are freshmen first-year racers Scott Dwelle, Tyler Craig and Tyler Marshall.
“They have improved consistently during the season,” Serano said. “I have high hopes for all of them in the coming years.”
NU snowboard coach Samson Smith is taking six boys and four girls to the state meet, and the riders who have earned the opportunity to shred the Mt. Shasta March 8-11 are girls team members Drew Bernadette, Paige Lampert, Autumn Meinke and Lizzie Edwards,; and boys team members Kolby Olson, Lucas Price, Jeff Murray, Tyler Guenter, Ryan Zink and Zach Curtaccio.
“Our guys team is very strong,” Smith said. “Olson finished eighth in combined last year at state and Price has been our most consistent (boarder). He comes into the championships as a five seed in the giant slalom and seventh in the slalom.”
“On the girls side we have Bernadette, who is seeded seventh in the slalom. She could do real well and she is only a freshman.”
The snowboard team, under the guidance of Smith, has returned from the State meet finishing among the top three five times in the last 11 seasons.
Scott P. Hopper is a sports writer for The Union. Contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 477-4231.
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