The Davis High School ski team capped off its season at the state championships by bringing home plenty of hardware: first place for the girls, fourth place for the boys and third place for the team overall. The 14 Davis racers who qualified to compete at the state level raced last Wednesday and Thursday, at Mt. Shasta Ski Park, against the best racers from 30 teams around California.
“Third in the state is quite an achievement,” said assistant coach John Wolfe. “We were hoping to win it all, and we came close. Davis has a lot of great racers, including several who deserved to go to the championships but didn’t get to because of league maximums. We have more depth than anyone.”
The depth of the Davis team made a difference. The team scores were based on the finishes of the top three racers in each category. Some racing mishaps meant that racers not expected to score ended up making a significant impact on the final outcome.
Coach Bob Brewer added that he’s “very pleased with how the team performed. I wasn’t surprised that our girls are the best in the state, but for our young and developing boys team to take fourth place, that’s a good sign for next year’s team.”
The racing conditions were less than ideal. The week began with poor quality snow that was thin enough for dirt and rocks to be visible. The two feet of new snow that arrived Tuesday night created additional problems. The new, soft snow had to be pushed off the race course with the assistance of nearly 200 racers and coaches before the competition could begin. The course remained very soft and rutted quickly.
The championship title is decided based on two races — the giant slalom and the slalom. Due to the required extra race course preparation, the racers had time to complete only one run on the giant slalom course. Natalie Serdahl made the most of her run and took fourth place for Davis girls, in 58.78. Teammate Lily Wolfe completed her run in 1:01.20 and came in sixth. Alix Graves came in seventh with a time of 1:01.80, followed by Clara Goin in 11th with a time of 1:04.50.
Derek Pleasants was the first racer in for DHS boys in the giant slalom. He finished 11th with a time of 59.08. Daniel Safford placed 28th with a time of 1:03.40, Miles Wong followed closely in 30th place with a time of 1:03.80, Jack Beckman came in 46th in 1:07.70, Mark Unger was 52nd in 1:09.00 and Kian Tanner placed 54th in 1:10.30.
Graves took third place in the girls slalom race, completing two runs in a total time of 1:24.00. Serdahl was right behind in sixth, with a total time of 1:24.30. Shannon Segall placed 16th in 1:34.90. Two racers were unable to finish both runs: Wolfe lost a ski during her first run and Goin missed a gate.
In the boys slalom race, Pleasants came in seventh, with a two-run combined time of 1:22.20. Reno was 12th in 1:24.00, Tom Bergamaschi came in 30th in 1:31.4 and Beckman was 32nd in 1:32.10. Daniel Safford lost a ski and was unable to finish his two runs.
The season’s top 10 racers in California are recognized as members of the all-state ski team. Members this year from Davis were Natalie Serdahl, Alix Graves and Derek Pleasants.