Sailors ski team opens season in Vail |

Sailors ski team opens season in Vail

— Vail Mountain and Summit high schools looked like the teams to beat following the first ski races of the season Friday in Vail.

But all Steamboat Springs coach Jessica Gray could see at the meet was the potential of her own team.

“We skied very well,” Gray said. “It’s still early, and our skiers are only going to get faster as we go through the season.”

Summit County edged Vail Mountain to win the 5-kilometer boys classical race, which was dominated by Aspen’s Noah Hoffman in 18 minutes, 44 seconds. That time was nearly two minutes faster than the second place finisher in the race.

The Steamboat team was led by Bryce Gordon’s 26th place finish. Gordon completed the course in a time of 25:03. Peter Daley was the second Steamboat skier to cross the finish line in 38th place at 26:46 and Kris Allen was 51st with a time of 30:38.

Vail Mountain’s Karlie Moore led the girls’ field with a time of 23:02. The first-place showing helped lift the Vail past Summit for the team title.

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The top Steamboat finisher was Katherine Lynch in 28th place with a time of 31:04. Cameron Osteen finished 31st at 31:18 and Michelle Lichtenfels was 33rd at 31:41. Other Steamboat finishers included Lexie Rupple in 39th at 34:29 and Jennifer Peterson in 45th at 37:23.

Following the race, Gray was more interested in talking about where the team is headed than where it finished.

She said the team was without several top skiers who missed the meet for various reasons, and she also thinks the skiers who raced are going to get faster with more time on the snow.

The team will head to Summit County on Thursday for the second race of the season.