Neither slushy snow nor a lost pole stopped sophomore Luca Procida from earning eighth place overall at the California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation (CNISSF) State Championships.
The CNISSF State Championships were held at Northstar California from March 6-9.
Skiers Procida and senior team captain Daniel Hernried competed on March 8 and 9, and senior snowboarder Aidan Cunningham raced on March 6.
Procida and Hernried qualified for both the Giant Slalom and Slalom races. In Giant Slalom, Procida and Hernried finished 10th and 23th of 66 racers, respectively. In Slalom, Procida placed 17th and Hernried 32nd of 67 racers.
Cunningham qualified for Giant Slalom and finished 65th of 84 racers.
Procida said he was happy with his placing and glad his hard work was rewarded. However, his performance in the second Giant Slalom run was hurt by his losing a pole as he came out of the start gate.
Hernried said he was excited about his placing in Giant Slalom.
“I am competing against some of the best high schoolers across the state who have trained for years,” Hernried said. “I have had no training in this sport whatsoever, so for me to be placing higher than people who have trained is an underdog story.”
On the other hand, Hernried said he was dissatisfied with his performance in his first Slalom race. But he channeled his disappointment about the previous race and the fact that it was his final high-school race into his second and last run, he said.
Procida and Hernried said the snow was hard and compact in the morning, but as the weather warmed up, it became slushy.
“I’d describe (skiing in slush) as playing a game of tug of war with someone who is twice your size,” Hernried said.
As a result of the warm weather, the conditions at the top of the Giant Slalom course were deemed unsafe, and the run was shortened.
The awards ceremony was on March 9 at Alder Creek Middle School in Truckee.
Placing eighth overall, Procida qualified for the CNISSF All-State Ski Team, an honor awarded to the top 10 skiers in the state.
Procida said he enjoyed the ceremony because he was able to see the teams he raced against and have the chance to meet new people from around the state who are equally dedicated to skiing.
—By Larkin Barnard-Bahn