NU posts strong performances after storm-induced delay
Special to The Union
Despite a major storm passing through the Sierra Nevada this weekend, the California/Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation (CNISSF) State Championships for cross country skiing went ahead as scheduled.
Held at Auburn Ski Club atop Donner Summit, Friday’s classic race marked the final league race as well as the first race of the State Championships.
Unfortunately, due to a Winter Storm Warning issued by the National Weather Service for the western slope of the Sierra, the Nevada Union Nordic ski team was prohibited from traveling to the race.
Prior to the race, Nevada Union’s girls had accrued 488 points over five races, putting them in fifth place in the league in the Open Girls category. Nevada Union Boys scored 245 points, placing third in the league.
In individual results, Kelsey Brennan was ranked sixth, Peggy McBride-Henslee ranked 14th, Tess Engel was 22nd, Kirstie Williams was 26th, Molly Hardesty-Moore was tied with NU’s Cecillie Larsen for a 28th place ranking, Katelyn McGee ranked 32nd, Heather Foote ranked 34th, Kelsey Parker, Devon Kelley and Jacquelyn Day ranked 36th, 37th and 38th respectively; Amy Engel was ranked 41st and Caitlin Morris was ranked 43rd in Open Girls CNISSF High School Overall League standings.
The Nevada Union boys were ranked as follows: Joe Rodrigues ranked eighth, Cole Paquette and Hirofumi Suwa tied for 18th, Kyle Riordan ranked 22nd, Gunnar Wambaugh ranked 25th, and Peter Roediger ranked 28th in Open Boys CNISSF High School Overall League standings.
Coaches Adam Lawrence and Derek McKay, feeling frustrated by the winter travel restrictions, watched the weather closely to see whether restrictions would be lifted in time for travel to Saturday’s skate ski races.
As dawn broke, so did the storm; the restrictions were lifted and Lawrence and McKay rallied the team for day two of the State Championships.
Skating through two laps of Auburn Ski Club’s hilly terrain, Nevada Union skiers made a fine showing in their final race of the season. Vying against 50 girls in the 5-kilometer race, junior Kelsey Brennan came in 31st with a time of 20:48.0. Finishing a couple of minutes behind, exchange student Cecillie Larsen (22:26.40) finished in 34th place and junior Peggy McBride-Henslee (22:41.0) finished 35th. Coming in a few seconds apart, Katelyn McGee (25:46.5) and Kirstie Williams (25:49.3) finished 43rd and 44th, respectively.
Senior Devon Kelley (26:05.1) took 45th, Heather Foote (26:07.5) finished 46th, Kelsey Parker (27:32.3) was 47th, Jacquelyn Day (29:23.9) was 49th and Caitlin Morris (31:44.8) finished 50th.
With the weather alternating between snow flurries and sunshine, the high school boys’ races followed the girls. Junior Joe Rodrigues (16:05.4) skated to a 16th place finish and exchange student Hirofumi Suwa (23:16.6) finished 34th.
Coach Lawrence congratulated his skiers on both their racing accomplishment and on their willingness to be ready for the race at a moment’s notice.
“Both Coach McKay and I were surprised at how many of the kids were willing to get up early Saturday morning without knowing whether we’d be able to travel to the race,” Lawrence said. “And it turned out pretty well despite our missing Friday’s race. Kelsey Brennan still earned an eighth place medal in Open Girls league standings and Joe Rodrigues collected an 11th place medal for the Open Boys category of our CNISSF League.
“The boys also took home a plaque for their third place finish in the league and I think they can be very proud of that accomplishment. We’re looking forward to next year’s ski season. Most of the team learned how to ski this year and they’ve made incredible progress, so we’ll be building on that base.”
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