DHS ski team ends season
The Douglas High School ski club team concluded its season Tuesday at Alpine Meadows with four entrants battling it out with other top regular-season performers in the Tahoe Basin Ski League championship.
Rory Marenco and Adam Finch represented the boys team, and Kelsey Newell and Mishon Mauk represented the girls team in the head-to-head, single-elimination tournament. Only the top 16 racers, who accumulated points based on their finishes over six regular-season meets, earned a berth into the championship.
“We have a pretty modest goal to get people into the top 16. If we do that, we’re doing pretty well,” Douglas co-coach Hal Starratt said. “It’s a modest, but very significant, accomplishment.”
Mauk, who was seeded No. 16, turned in perhaps her best performance of the year in the first round and knocked out the No. 1 seed. She was, however, eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Newell, who also races for Kirkwood in the prestigious Far West League, came in seeded No. 14, but was eliminated in the first round by the No. 3 seed.
Finch led his first-round opponent after the first run, but he missed a gate in the second run and was eliminated. Each round of competition featured one run on the blue course and one run on the red course. The times were then added to determine the faster of the two skiers.
Marenco was also eliminated in the first round.
All in all, it was a highly successful season for the Tigers. About 40 kids started the season and 32 competed in the last meet (Feb. 25 at Alpine Meadows). The team usually had somebody finish in the top 20 in each of the six league meets.
Other top performers this season were: Kristen Gillies, who was a medalist in one junior varsity meet before moving up to compete on the varsity squad; Kelly Morris, who finished five races; Amber Huddin, who earned a spot on the varsity team in just her first year of racing; Casey Condron, who kept the team’s energy level up with his light-hearted antics; Stephanie Haws, who beat out everybody in push-ups and sit-ups during dry-land training; and Lyle Turnbeaugh.
The regular season consisted of three slaloms and three giant slaloms, with each competitor getting two runs per meet. Douglas traditionally finished fourth in the five-team meets.
“The kids really need more time on the snow to be competitive,” Starratt said. “Our goal is to climb up there. We’re knocking on the door right now.”
Douglas, which calls Kirkwood home, competes against Tahoe-Truckee, North Tahoe, Incline and Whittell in the TBSL. Leigh Luce is the other co-coach for Douglas.
One source of pride for the Tigers this season was their use of helmets. The coaching staff enforced the rule from day one, and now other coaches around the league may follow suit.
“Over the course of the year it proved to solidify our togetherness,” Starratt said. “It was the best show of support.”
At meets, each team was allowed to officially enter eight varsity and eight junior varsity competitors on both the boys and girls sides. Members of the varsity boys team included Rory Marenco, Adam Finch, Andre Hafele, Lyle Turnbeaugh, Brett Marenco, Nick Gillies, Casey Beres and Zac Beres. Members of the varsity girls team included Kelsey Newell, Mishon Mauk, Kelly Morris, Amber Huddin, Whitney Reagan, Kristen Gillies, Stephanie Haws, Jennifer Reagan and alternate Laura Alvin.
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