The Class of 2021 Remembers Kevin

Lola, Lily and Annika skiing when kids

Lola Tieslua, Lily Murnane, and Annika Johnson as Pee Wee Trailblazers

A Truly Special Connection

While it’s a tradition for school principals at graduation to say that every class is special, when it comes to Nordic skiing and a connection to Tahoe XC, the NTHS class of 2021 truly is a special one. The Class of 2021 includes a large group of close friends who have been cross-country skiing together since they were the Pee Wee Trailblazers, a group started by their parents when they were little tykes. This group is now chock full of top notch cross-country ski racers including Kevin’s daughter Lily.

For more mature individuals (old dudes), six years is a drop in the age bucket, but for these kids a third of their life has gone by since Kevin passed away. Life changes a lot between 12 and 18, but they still have fond memories of Kevin and the impact he has had on their lives. I reached out to a few of them for their recollections and here’s what they had to say:

In Their Words

The feeling of all those who knew Kevin was encapsulated by Nate Whisler who said, “He was such a rad dude that brought the community together. I remember him as a hard worker, who always put in the effort to make everything better.”

Lola Tieslau has a specific memory of Kevin helping when she hurt herself while biking at Tahoe XC. “I wasn’t able to walk real well, and Kevin was in the lodge and stayed there with me until my parents could pick me up. He gave me ice cream.”

Lily Murnane (right) appreciates that her father was always involved with her friends and their skiing. “He really loved watching us grow as skiers,” Lily said. His goal was not for them to win races as much as to enjoy the fun of the sport. “He would say once you finished that if you had fun out there that was the best part,” said Lily.

Lily Murnane

A highlight of Koson Verkler’s memories was the time he got to join Kevin and Kai Murnane for a night in the grooming machine. “It was my first time in a groomer and he showed us everything about the machines and he may or may not have let us steer it. Kevin was a kind-hearted person who cared about everyone he met. His calm demeanor made him very easy to talk to and fun to be around. I miss him dearly.”

Let's Keep the Memories Going

Please share your own memories of Kevin with us at Tahoe XC and with your friends while skiing, biking, running, or snowshoeing on the trails. Now is also the time you can give a boost to some of these great Tahoe kids, who are about to set out to achieve their college dreams, by contributing to the Kevin Murnane Student Scholarship & Coaches Grant Fund.

Student Scholarship applications are due March 31st. Coaches Grant applications are due every May 1st and November 1st. Click here for application details.