Wehan, Cohee qualify for Junior Olympics

Carson Valley residents Nick Cohee and Bryce Wehan have qualified for the Western United States Junior Olympics in alpine skiing.

The event will be held March 21-24 in Mt. Hood, Ore. Cohee and Wehan ski for the Kirkwood Mountain Resort and the Kirkwood Ski Education Foundation, also known as KSEF.

Cohee, a Carson Valley Middle School eighth grader, and Wehan, a Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School eighth grader, were named to the Junior Olympic team after nine days of qualifying in the slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom in the Far West Regionals at Snow Summit, Sugar Bowl and Mammoth.

"Nick and Bryce just plain got the job done," head coach Tim Kawcek said. "The pressure of having to perform at the Junior Olympic qualifiers is enormous -- over 70 very good racers from all over California and Nevada, all vying for 24 spots.

"You have to make it happen at the right time and these two local racers did just that."

Cohee and Wehan will compete in the J3 division. They were two of just eight skiers who made the team as first-year J3 competitors.

Cohee and Wehan will travel to Oregon on March 19, joining their teammates for five days of coaching, training and Junior Olympic racing in the slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom. Among other local skiers to qualify for the Junior Olympics were Carson City's Corrinne Rotter and Devon Anderson. The Far West team is one of the strongest ever assembled.

"Just to make the team is a tribute to Nick and Bryce's dedication over the past several months," said Liza Bitton, KSEF program director. "Hours and hours of training, staying fit, tuning, juggling school -- it's a commitment few kids at this age are willing to make."

Carson Valley resident and Kirkwood racer Holden Sapp narrowly missed making the team, but is expected to do well in the season's finale, the Far West Championships in April at Mammoth, as well as being a favorite to make the 2003 Junior Olympic team.

"Holden had an excellent Junior Olympic qualifying performance, finishing among the top 15 of the first year J3s," Kawcek said. "He has worked as hard as anyone and his results are his best ever.

"We're counting on him to help KSEF be among the top five teams at this season's Far West Championships."


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