Steamboat boys Nordic skiers win at home, as girls finish 4th
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Most of the finishers at the high school nordic race at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center came across the line exclaiming how fun the course was. Except for one spot. Right before the final lap behind the main building, skiers had to navigate a slight downhill and a sharp right turn. Then, heading into the lap was another tight right turn.
While others only had a warm-up to figure out the tricky section, the Steamboat Springs High School skiers knew exactly what to do.
“We practiced today and all week, so it was pretty easy to go around,” said sophomore Catcher Weynand. “Start out wide, then cut in and double pole before you think you need to. That’ll help you go around.”
Thanks to their familiarity on their home course, the Steamboat girls finished fourth overall, while the boys won the classic competition on Saturday, Feb. 15. The race concluded the regular season. A large portion of the team will compete at state on Feb. 27 and 28 in Vail.
After Weynand completed the “stadium finish” lap and sped over the line, she collapsed in the snow, catching her breath while lying on her back. In arguably her best finish of the year, the Sailor finished 13th with a time of 24 minutes, 55.7 seconds. Senior Maggi Congdon had her best race of her skiing career, taking fifth with a time of 23:08.4.
“Maggi did a little better than I expected,” said Steamboat Nordic head coach Jesse Wilkins. “That’s definitely her best results. She’s never been in the top five before. So, that was really good.”
Finishing 21st was Claire Redfern, who was the third Sailor across the line, so the last point-earner for the team. Thanks to Congdon, Weynandn and Redfern, the Steamboat girls finished fourth with a team score of 150, just one point out of third and four out of second.
The Sailor boys won with a total of 167, while Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley earned second and third, respectively. The Steamboat boys are the No. 1 team in the state in both classic and skate after a dominant performance over pursuer, Middle Park.
Individually, Steamboat junior skiers Sumner Cotton and Wyatt Mortensen are No. 1 and No. 2 in both disciplines. Fittingly, they finished in that order on Saturday. Cotton crossed the line with a time of 17:48.1, while Mortenson trailed two seconds behind. They had a 30 second lead over the third-place skier from Eagle Valley.
Steamboat won big over the Middle Park skiers to move into the top spot in the state in classic skiing.
“We kind of expected those guys were gonna win, and we kind of expected we were gonna win for the day,” said Wilkins. “What was in doubt was how well we were going to do against Middle Park, if we were going to make up enough points to win classic for the league. Turns out we did. We needed one other guy to step up.”
That skier was Steamboat junior Jaydon Fryer. He was the third and final pointer earner for the Sailor boys, taking 13th with a time of 19:39.9.
“This is his first year skiing, too,” said Wilkins of Fryer. “I don’t think he realized how good of an endurance athlete he was. He brought that fitness over from cross country running, and we just had to teach him how to ski.”
Saturday, Feb. 15.
5-kilometer classic race at Steamboat Ski Touring Center
Girls team scores: 1. Battle Mountain 170. 2. Middle Park 154. 3. Poudre 151. 4. Steamboat 150.
Top 3: 1. Samantha Blair, Eagle Valley, 22:22. 2. Samantha Lindall, Battle Mountain, 22:36.1. 3. Elona Greene, Lake County, 22:47.9.
Steamboat finishers: 5. Maggi Congdon 23:08.4. 13. Catcher Weynand 24:55.7. 21. Claire Bohmer 26:16.1. 25. Anne Hager 26:37.7. 35. Emma Stewart 27:53.4. 42. Margaret Redfern 28:30.2. 45. Emilia Cooper 28:40.4. 49. Ella Schrook 28:57.4. 63. Kendra Solars 31:31.6.
Boys team scores: 1. Steamboat 167. 2. Battle Mountain 160. 3. Eagle Valley 158.
Top 3: 1. Sumner Cotton, SS, 17:48.1. 2. Wyatt Mortenson, SS, 17:50.6. 3. Ferguson St. John, Eagle Valley, 18:22.3. Steamboat finishers: 13. Jaydon Fryer 19:39.9. 18. Chase Weynand 20:07.5. 20. Noah Mortenson 20:17.4. 23. Mitch Meissner 20:25.2. 24. Alex Colby 20:28.4. 25. Caleb Haack 20:30.3. 26. Gabe Rabanal 20:47.8. 43. Xander Dalke 21:43.8. 44. Alden Wade 21:45.3. 73. Jack Cashen 23:33.1. 83. Grady Piva 24:34.9. 90. Robert Rusher III 24:56.2.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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