Steamboat cross-country skiers start fast on fresh snow
Steamboat Springs — A long trip to West Yellowstone, Montana, has become as regular a Thanksgiving Day tradition as turkey for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Nordic skiers, but a week out from their journey, it looked like warm weather might change the team’s plans.
One big storm changed all that, however, and last week, a pack of 21 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes took to the fresh snow on the Montana trails, training and racing and coming away with a series of strong results.
The 21 skiers represented the largest contingent Steamboat’s ever taken to the festival. They trained for five days then raced in a series of events Friday and Saturday to cap off the week.
There, Wyatt Gebhardt and Daria Kuznetsova helped lead the way, each winning the U18 division of Friday’s freestyle skate skiing races. Gebhardt and the boys went 10 kilometers. Jimmy Colfer placed fifth and Tyler Terranova seventh in the U18 division.
Nick Sweeney was ninth and Evan Barbier 10th in the U20 class.
Sadie Cotton was in behind Kuznetsova for second place in the U18 girls division. Avery Harrington then placed 10th.
Cotton and Kuznetsova switched roles in Saturday’s classic skiing races. Cotton won the U18 division with Kuznetsova placing third. Meg Anderson was seventh at the U20 level, just ahead of Anna Burkholder, in eighth.
On the boys side, Noel Keefe was second in U18, Gebhardt third, Terranova eighth and Colfer 10th. Chase High was fourth among the U16 boys while Cooper Jones and Kieran Hahn were sixth and seventh. Sumner Cotton also raced well, skiing away to win the U14 division.
“If the first races of the season are a barometer,” coach Brian Tate wrote in an email, “the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s XC team has a lot to look forward to in 2016-17.”
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