Tricky gate placement, icy patches and several falls resulting in “hikes” back up and around missed gates made Monday’s slalom race at Alpine Meadows challenging for the Davis High ski team. Add in some of the team’s top performers recording a “did not finish” for their two runs, and hopes of a win seemed unlikely.
Yet DHS came out on top, scoring 501 points, compared to 489 for Nevada Union High School, 421 for Colfax High School, 382 for Del Oro High School, 211 for Quincy High School and 139 for Tahoe Expedition Academy.
Said coach Bob Brewer of the day’s outing, “The team did well today, especially the girls, and they continue to rise to the challenge of this dry winter. The warm weather makes racing different from one hour to the next. … Ice followed by slush causes the course to change continually.”
Leading the way for Davis varsity girls was Alix Graves, who placed third overall with a combined two-run time of 1:39.60. Aina Smart was second in for the Blue Devils, finishing sixth overall in 1:53.05. Two other racers scoring points for DHS girls were Miranda Steidler, placing ninth overall (1:59.63), and less than a second behind, Nina Shields in 10th place (2:00.22).
Top finishers for junior varsity girls began with Maddie Asta, who completed her two runs in 2:06.76. Next in for DHS was Serena Roberts (2:08.04), followed by Helen Porterfield (2:18.03) and Laura Hiller (2:24.23).
First in for DHS varsity boys was Justin Bier, who came in a personal-best fifth overall with a combined time of 1:50.73. Also scoring points for the Blue Devils were Kian Tanner (1:52.54), landing at eighth overall; Tyler Powell (1:53.56) in 10th place overall; and Kian Reno (1:53.63), 11th overall.
Junior varsity boys were led by Noah Fisher (2:09.45), achieving a personal-best ranking of first overall. Newcomer to the team Jake Griffiths was next in for DHS, ranking second overall in 2:11.24. Also achieving personal-best finishes were Evan Wetzlich, third overall in 2:12.10, and Thomas Hart in fourth (2:15.25).
The team’s final giant slalom of the season is Monday at Squaw Valley, weather permitting.
Monday’s slalom race at Alpine Meadows had a special guest in attendance: Davis High School’s principal, Will Brown.
When longtime ski team coach Bob Brewer saw Brown, he sincerely thanked him for making the trek. “You are the only principal in (my) 12 years to come to one of our races!”
The racers were also very enthusiastic to have Brown on the sidelines. Many of them gave broad smiles as they crossed the finish line and heard their principal cheering them on.
When asked what motivated him to make the two-hour journey, Brown said, “I come to see our kids in everything they do. It’s like being a parent with 1,800 kids … even at 32 degrees!” he joked.
Continued Brown, “Davis kids are successful in the classroom and on the fields. I mean, there are 70 people on this team, our kids travel the farthest” to train and compete. “And we are the state champions year after year! We’re awesome!” Brown said.
— Tanya Perez is an associate editor at The Enterprise. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @enterprisetanya