Colfax crowned at Northstar

By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The Colfax snowboard team left Northstar Tuesday night with some loot, namely its first California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard State championship banner ever. The Falcons dominated on the slopes, sweeping the top spots in giant slalom and slalom for the boys, and in slalom for the girls. Colfax senior Austin Leal had the fastest times for the boys, with a combined time of 2 minutes and .0378 seconds in Monday’s GS race and 1:17.11 in Tuesday’s slalom. Fellow senior Evan Kaiser also blindsided the competition, taking second place in the GS with a 2:10.82 and fourth in the slalom with a combined times of 1:23.39. Kaiser said this year’s course at Northstar made for a different experience than that of Mount Shasta last year. “I like the course a lot more than last year,” Kaiser said. “It’s less icy.” Colfax’s Nick Ash took fourth place in the GS, rounding out the top five for Colfax in a race that featured well over 100 competitors. He was disqualified in the slalom for missing a gate. For the girls, Colfax’s Nelly Steinhoff, who has earned first place in nearly every race of the season, proved consistent. While Steinhoff’s time of 2:30.80 earned her an unfamiliar ninth place in Monday’s giant slalom, she came back full force on Tuesday to take first in the slalom with a combined time of 1:19.78. While Steinhoff said it was exciting, her opponents were intimidated by her skills on the slope. “When I saw (Steinhoff) coming down the hill I was trying not to look because last time I fell,” said Pleasant Valley snowboarder Amanda Rolfe, who finished third in the slalom. Colfax sophomore Brittany Thomas made her debut at state this year. While she placed 37th and 48th, she said she was glad to have the exposure to the higher level of competition. “It’s a lot different,” Thomas said. “There is a lot more competition and it is a lot bigger of a deal.” The Placer snowboard team finished ninth place in the state overall. Top finishers for the Hillmen included seniors Pete Porata and Emma Obray. Porata took 21st in the boys slalom and 30th in the GS. Obray represented for the girls with a 16th place finish in the GS and 13th in the slalom. Placer boarder Colton Davenport placed 22nd in the slalom, while he took 20th in the GS. “We didn’t do too bad,” said Placer sophomore Jacob Peek. “We did better today than yesterday. It’s been pretty fun.” Colfax claimed several all-state awards, which go to the top eight finishers in each event. Kaiser was named No. 1 and Leal took No. 3. Leal won both events despite a five point penalty for being on the course earlier than the allotted time for inspection with a coach from his Squaw Valley snowboard team, according to Colfax coach Jack Morgan. Colfax boarder Isaac Merritt was No. 7 in CNISSF state rankings. Steinhoff was the only girl from Colfax to earn the honor at No. 4. Morgan, who helped start the Colfax snowboard team, said the state title was perfect way to end his last season as part of the coaching staff. “It was exciting because it gets to the point where you just don’t know,” Morgan said. “It takes your breath away. We have worked hard for this. They were already celebrating just coming to state. I’m really proud of them. What a fitting au revior for me.” Reach Sara Seyydin at