NU sprints to finish at Truckee
Special to The Union
In the final race before the State Championships, California/Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation (CNISSF) Nordic skiers gathered at Truckee High School Feb. 12 for a set of sprint races. Nevada Union racers competed against junior cross-country skiers from across the Sierra: Truckee, North and South Tahoe, Colfax, Mammoth, Incline Village and Sugar Bowl Ski Academy High Schools were all represented.
With plenty of snow to work with, the course was laid out so it began and ended on the Truckee High School football field, giving race spectators a view of the start and finish. Adding to the excitement, a section of the one kilometer course re-entered the stadium from the field above, unlike the gradual hill leading racers out of the stadium the return path dropped steeply back into the south end of the stadium. Unaided by the metal edges of downhill skiing, racers were called upon to navigate the drop on the skinny sticks of cross-country skiing.
In the initial sprint, skiers were started at 15 second intervals, racing the one kilometer course against the clock to establish ranked times. The top 32 girls then raced against each other in four quarterfinal heats to establish the final eight contenders of the girls’ final heat. The fastest 32 boys then competed in their own quarterfinals and final heats to establish their champions.
In the preliminary races, two Nevada Unions girls placed in the top 32, qualifying for the quarterfinals: Kelsey Brennan (3 minutes :14 .9 seconds) placed 10th in Open Girls Division, 26th overall, and Tess Engel (03:28.4) placed 16th in Open Girls Division, 32nd overall. Also competing in Open Girls for Nevada Union, Peggy McBride-Henslee (03:52.1) finished 25th, Heather Foote (4:09.0) finished 27th, Amy Engel (04:42.3) finished 29th, followed by Devon Kelley (04:45.9) in 30th; Katelyn McGee (05:16.2) placed 32nd; Kelsey Parker (05:23.9) placed 33rd and Jacquelyn Day (05:38.4) placed 34th.
The boys racing heats alternated with the girls’ races. Two Nevada Union skiers qualified for the quarterfinals in the preliminary races: Joe Rodrigues (02:59.1) finished in 15th place in the Open Boys Division, 28th overall; and Hirofumi Suwa (03:25.0) finished 19th in Open Division, 32nd overall. Finishing just behind in 20th place, Cole Paquette (03:53.1) was followed by Peter Roediger (03:59.1) in 21st place and Kyle Riordan (04:03.4) took 23rd place.
The final team results for the race are not yet available. Check the Far West Nordic website at http://www.farwestnordic.org
Nevada Union Nordic ski team races next at the two-day CNISSF State Championships on February 26 and 27 at Auburn Ski Club on Donner summit. The first race on Friday begins at 1 p.m. and is a 5 km classic race. Racers then gather on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for a 5 km pursuit skate race to determine overall California State Championship standings.
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