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Douglas skiers finish 5th

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas ski team finished fifth overall on Wednesday at Alpine Meadows in the first Tahoe Basin Ski League race of the season.

Angie Bommarito took fifth place overall to lead the Tigers to a fourth-place finish in the girls’ team standings at the giant slalom race.

“There’s a lot of new girls and I wasn’t sure how much competition I would have,” said Bommarito, whose best showing last season was a second-place finish in a GS race. “I didn’t ski as well as I wanted to. Sometimes you’re just off a little bit. There were some bobbles. I know I can do a lot better.”

Kelsey Newell finished 12th, Arielle Finch was 17th and Meghan Stice was 28th for the Tigers.

The top four finishers from each team earned points that will determine the boys’ and girls’ individual champions at the end of the season.

Zac Beres finished 15th overall to pace the DHS boys. Last year, the Tigers’ best finish by a male skier was 21st.

“I wasn’t too sure what to expect because we haven’t been able to practice our gate training too often,” said Beres, who added that the Tigers had three on-snow training days before their first race. “We worked on skiing skills first and racing skills after that. And I think that’s the way it should be.”

Beres, though, estimates he’s been skiing 30 times on his own already this season.

“I thought I did pretty good,” he said. “I’m happy with how I raced.”

Douglas’ Derek Dimitri finished 28th overall, Zaq Rosenbloom was 32nd and Mike Morris finished 37th.

Tigers’ team captain Ben Dykes earned a spot in the varsity lineup with his performance in the junior varsity race on Wednesday. Douglas coach Bob Bytheway told Dykes, who wasn’t able to complete two runs at a race last season, that if he could post a better time than any of the varsity racers he would ski with the varsity at the team’s next race. Dykes’ combined time in two giant slalom runs was faster than three DHS varsity racers.

North Tahoe won the team title Wednesday with 338 points. South Tahoe was second with 315 points, Tahoe-Truckee finished third with 301 points. Whittell was fourth with 260 points and Douglas finished fifth with 220 points. Incline rounded out the six-team event with 196 points.

South Tahoe’s Kylese Zaiger won the girls’ race. Mike Thomas, of Tahoe-Truckee, finished first in the boys’ race.

Along with beating Incline for the first time in two years, Bytheway said another highlight for the Tigers was the fact that every Douglas varsity and junior varsity skier completed both runs Wednesday.

“That’s something that’s going to give them a lot of confidence,” the coach said. “They can build on that. I know it.”

The second Tahoe Basin Ski League race of the season will be held under the lights at Heavenly on Wednesday, Jan. 24, beginning at 5 p.m.

“As a team, we’re just looking for better placement each time,” Bommarito said. “If we can improve just a little bit every time, that will be awesome.”