The slalom portion of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Tahoe Basin League Alpine State Championships were held at Alpine Meadows under blue skies on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
The North Tahoe girls threw down a performance for the ages with a sweep of the podium and the day’s four fastest total times.
On the boys’ side, Whittell senior Payton Norton’s lean and subsequent crash across the finish line was enough to edge Douglas skier Sean Dunkleman by 0.07 seconds.
Senior Magnolia Neu led the Lakers charge with the day’s two fastest times for the girls on a course slowed by a reported 17 inches of fresh snow before race day. Neu finished with a total time of 1 minute, 25.33 seconds. Neu also won a state title in 2016.
The North Tahoe skier's finish came nearly two seconds ahead of teammate Jillian Ferre (1:27.17). Neu’s younger sister, sophomore Aliza Neu, claimed third with a total time of 1:27.37, and was followed by the Lakers’ Madeleine Roberts with a time of 1:27.72.
As a team, the Lakers earned the highest score possible, placing each of their scoring skiers in the top four.
In boys’ racing, South Tahoe’s Luke Allen set the standard with a first-run time of 43.81, but his final run of 40.68 dropped him into third place. The race came down to the smallest of margins as Norton leaned across the finish line before going down in a cloud of powder, crossing the line with a total time of 1:23.61 to edge Dunkleman (1:23.67). The win marks the second state championship of Norton’s career.
The North Tahoe boys had the best performance of the teams competing, with six skiers finishing in the top ten. Junior Thomas Mercogliano led the Lakers with a total time of 1:25.10.