Nordic skiers finish strong
SSWSC grabs top podium spots
Steamboat Springs — A strong finish to the season landed a number of local Nordic skiers atop the podium at last weekend’s USSA Junior Olympics in Truckee, Calif.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club qualified 11 athletes to the event, a group that was led by Michaela Frias.
Frias scored three separate podium finishes, crossing the line second in a 5-kilometer skate-skiing race, 8th in a 5K classic event and third in the classic team relay.
“She’s been very consistent,” Winter Sports Club Nordic coach Brian Tate said. “We had a pretty strong inkling she was going to do well.”
Frias was only narrowly denied a national championship in the 5K skate race, where she was second.
She finished two seconds behind Crested Butte’s Hannah Smith.
She overcame a nasty fall in the 5K classic race for the eighth-place finish.
“She is very strong willed and will push harder than your average kid,” Tate said. “She seems to just have a little more pain tolerance.”
Max Scrimgeour finished in the top 20 of each of his races, a performance that was highlighted by a 10th-place finish in the J2 5K skate-skiing race.
Katherine Ingalls earned a place on the podium after a long period of rehabilitation for injuries she sustained colliding with a semitrailer in July 2007, while bicycling on Routt County Road 129.
Ingalls was the division’s top racer in the 1K-sprint race, then finished 10th in the J1 5K classic race.
She was recognized in the event’s closing ceremonies with the Dave Quinn Award, which was meant to honor her strong weekend, her sportsmanship and perseverance.
“She’s a very determined young woman,” Tate said.
Peter Daley also grabbed a 10th-place finish, capping his third season in the sport with a strong showing in the JO 15K state-ski race.
“His finish was absolutely shocking considering the strength of the competitive field,” Tate said. “He’s been at it three years now, and he was up against kids who have been skiing for 10 or 12. He was the top finisher from the Rocky Mountain Division.”
Haley Piske and Betsy Neal also logged top-20 finishes in three different races.
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