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State championship challengers from Quincy at North Star on March 2 are from left, coach Elliott Smart, David Leonhardt, Sabina Winter, Emma Leff, Sam Lawson, James White and coach Max Egloff. Photo by Suzi Brakken

Quincy skiers finish season at state championships

The ski season finished with plenty of snow in the higher elevations of the Sierra.

In a field of 80 challengers, the Quincy skiers came off the hill uninjured as they competed in the California-Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation 2020 State Championship on March 2 and 3 on the runs of Northstar-at-Tahoe.

Skiers took the hill to race against a field of approximately 80 competitors in each category of slalom and giant slalom. The girls and boys competitions are separate. The racers have the opportunity for two runs and the times are combined.

The five members of Quincy’s team competed against racers from 25 other high schools, turning in near perfect runs.

Quincy skier Sabina Winter had a combined time of 2:58:86 in the giant slalom, which earned her 34th place in a field of 78 racers.

First year racer Emma Leff had a combined time of 3:39:61 to place 70th. Completing the run without falling or a disqualifying loss of a ski or other mishap is at least half of the challenge. Even the best racers are knocked out of competition unexpectedly for random mishaps, opening up the field to challengers.

Competing against 81 boys in the giant slalom, Sam Lawson had a combined time of 2:47:21 to earn 26th place.

First season racer David Leonhardt’s times totaled 3:13:43 for 64th place.

Seasoned QHS ski team member James White had one of those mishaps when one of his skis popped off during his second run and therefore was disqualified.

James had better luck in the slalom. In a field of 81 racers he came in 55th with a combined time of 2:21:16.

Sam Lawson faced challenges on his second slalom run by coming very close to the racer in front of him, who had stopped to hike back after missing a gate. Lawson could have opted to rerun the course, but instead chose to continue down after the skier while avoiding a collision.

“It was a pretty exciting way to end my racing career,” remarked Lawson who graduates in June. He came in 35th place out of 81 racers with a combined time of 2:00.94.The ladies competition had 75 racers and Quincy’s Sabina Winter placed 18th with a combined time of 2:00:28. Emma Leff completed her run and timed 2:54:94 to earn 67th place.

“There’snothing better than being on a mountain in the sunshine watching them ski,” said ski mom Jamie Winter. “But it’s really nerve wracking, too!All their effort comes down to 60 seconds. I just want them to get down the hill safely. It’s so exciting when they get done and they’re getting cheered by the crowd at the finish line.” Winter added, “I also enjoy watching them interact as a team and to see the camaraderie they share.”

Coaches Max Egloff and Elliott Smart are planning one last recreational ski trip with the team at Diamond Peak sometime this month.

State Championship runs

Giant Slalom (78 racers)

Sabina Winter 34th

Emma Leff 70th

Giant Slalom (82 racers)

Sam Lawson 26th

David Leonhardt 64th

James White DQ

Slalom (75 racers)

Sabina Winter 18th

Emma Leff 67th

Slalom (81 racers)

Sam Lawson 35th

James White 55th

David Leonhardt 64th

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