Athlete Spotlight: Quinn and Kili Lehmkuhl
A (Lehmkuhl) Family Affair
Nordic skiing at Tahoe XC can be a family affair. That is certainly true for Quinn and Kili Lehmkuhl and their parents Scott Lehmkuhl and Rebecca Gordon. Quinn and Kili were active members of Strider Gliders from preschool through 5th grade. They both went on to race successfully in high school and, now for Quinn, in college. Scott and Rebecca both have spent over a decade as Strider Glider coaches, and Rebecca also took on a stint as a North Tahoe High School coach. Not only does the family still ski together, the parents are so fast they can even keep up with the kids.
Now, Quinn and Kili are both in their senior years: Quinn at University of Colorado, Boulder, and Kili at North Tahoe High School. I remember Quinn and Kili as quiet, cheerful Strider Glider kids who always made their way to the front of the pack.
“Strider Gliders was super fun. I ended up knowing the Tahoe XC trails so well. I loved the games we played and laughing at the boys and the crazy things they would do,” said Quinn.
Through middle school Quinn raced in both downhill and cross-country ski events, but then slowly began liking Nordic skiing more and fully transitioned in a big way by the time she got to high school. She joined the Tahoe XC Junior Development Team, which helped her become a standout racer, leading to a state championship in her senior year at NTHS. Upon graduation she applied for and was awarded the Kevin Murnane Scholarship and headed to one of the best Nordic skiing programs in the country.
About her University of Colorado, Boulder team, Quinn says, “I really like the coaches. The training is awesome, and I’m motivated by the whole team.”
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kili Lehmkuhl (right) has had a very different senior year at North Tahoe High School than her older sister, Quinn (left). As of this writing, it is uncertain whether there will be a high school race program this year.
Regardless, Kili has been training with Far West at the Auburn Ski Club, where she joins a group of lifelong friends and friendly competitors from North Tahoe High School including Lily Murnane, Alani Powell, and Mera Schoonmaker. These North Tahoe girls have traded the top spots at races over the last several years, and Kili pulled out first place in the State Championship last winter.
As with all our Strider Gliders who learn Nordic skiing and continue to grow into the sport, we are proud whenever we see the Lehmkuhl sisters and their family skiing on our trails.