Steamboat Nordic skiers post historic finish
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — For the first time in program history, the Steamboat Springs High School boys Nordic skiing team won, while the girls team finished in the top three.
In the past, the girls team has won while the boys earned second or third, but according to head coach Jesse Wilkins, this is the first time the boys team was the victor since the program’s inception.
The Sailor boys had four skiers in the top 10 of the skate 5-kilometer race. Junior Sumner Cotton won while Hayden High School junior Wyatt Mortenson followed in second. Junior Alex Colby and senior Chase Weynand rounded out the top 10 in ninth and 10th respectively.
“Alex is brand new to Nordic skiing this season, so a top-10 finish is outstanding and completely unexpected,” said Wilkins in an email. “Alex is a talented runner who has been working hard on his ski technique since we started skiing on Bruce’s Trail in October. His hard work has paid off, and I expect him to continue to improve as the season progressed.”
Gabe Rabanal, Mitch Meissner and Caleb Haack all cracked the top 30, while Jeremiah Kelley finished 31st, and Noah Mortenson earned 47th.
Eleven members of the boys team finished in the top 45%, good for a state qualification. Xander Dalke barely made the cut, coming in 58th. Sophomore Bowden Tumminello finished one spot below the cutoff, one second behind the competitor in front of him.
The girls took third behind Battle Mountain and Aspen and were led by senior Maggi Congdon. Congdon earned ninth, her first-ever top-10 finish on skis, but Wilkins said it more than likely won’t be her last.
Behind her, Catcher Weynand crossed the finish line in 14th, and Anne Hager took 18th. Anyone finishing 45th or better could head to state, including Jade Henderson and Emilia Cooper. In 48th, Emma Stewart barely missed the cutoff.
The race was an individual start, which is easier for beginner skiers, but harder to determine where you stand compared to other competitors. Wilkins said his team took the first lap easy, so they didn’t suffer at 10,000 feet elevation, but finished strong.
“This race was our best performance of the season, one of the best performances of the four years I have coached the team and one of the best performances in program history,” said Wilkins.
Alpine skiers compete at Copper
On Friday, Jan. 24, the Steamboat Alpine ski team competed at Copper Mountain. Five girls finished in the top 15, while Kia Scott took third in the boys race.
The girls were led by Alex Blair, who finished fourth, Eliza Fox in eighth and Ella Pietras in 10th. Emily Schneider and Annika Ort came in 11th and 12th, respectively.
Sam Clyncke was the next-best finisher in the boys race, taking 18th.
Friday, Jan. 24
Top three: 1. Charlie Olson, Aspen, 40.65. 2. Noah Forman, Aspen, 43.4. 3. Kia Scott, Steamboat Springs, 43.35.
Steamboat finishers: 18. Sam Clyncke 48.51. 24. Dawson Holmes 40.95. 26. Thomas Niedermeier 50.15. 31. Bryce Zetzman 52.58. 33. Finn Dresen 53.96. 42. Pete Wichelhaus 58.72. 46. Kyle Nilsson 1:02.27. 47. Chase Weynand 1:02.47.
Top three: 1. Berit Frischholz, Battle Mountain, 1:24.26. 2. Cate Simpson, Aspen, 1:25.16. 3. Jenna Sheldon, Summit, 1:25.61.
Steamboat finishers: 4. Alex Blair 1:26.65. 8. Eliza Fox 1:28.35. 10. Ella Pietras 1:28.77. 11. Emily Schneider 1:29.69. 12. Annika Ort 1:30.13. 33. Sophia Gowdy 1:42.07. 38. Allie VanNess 1:44.8. 42. Caroline Bauer 1:46.98. 46. Nora Pietras 1:49.41. 49. Tess Clyncke 1:50.68. 59. Greta Schmitz 2:00.94. 61. Ari Sharman 2:03.34. 63. Allie Keefe 2:08.21. 65. Caelan Daly 2:09.96. 66. Caroline Henniger 2:22.18. 67. Maggie Wilson 2:22.24. 69. Rebecca Bonebrake 2:24.9.
5K skate at Tennessee Pass
Girls team scores: 1, Battle Mountain 169. 2, Aspen 160. 3, Steamboat Springs 151.
Top 3: 1. Grace Johnson, BM, 16:50.9. 2. Elliot Pribamsky, Vail Mountain, 17:42.5. 3. Samantha Blair, Eagle Valley, 17:54.5.
Steamboat finishers: 9. Maggi Congdon 18:45. 14. Catcher Weynand 19:10.2. 18. Anne Hager 19:37.9. 21. Jade Henderson 19:58.7. 35. Emilia Cooper 20:44.4. 48. Emma Stewart 22:19. 54. Elise Colby 23:14.3. 60. Margaret Redfern 23:55.3. 89. Skyler Cason 30:56.4.
Boys team scores: 1. Steamboat Springs 171. 2. Middle Park 160. 3. Battle Mountain 152.
Top 3: 1. Sumner Cotton, SS, 14:15.2. 2. Wyatt Mortenson, SS, 14:43.4. 3. Ferguson St. John, Eagle Valley, 15:11.2.
Steamboat finishers: 9. Alex Colby 15:46.6. 10. Chase Weynand 15:53.2. 18. Gave Rabanal 16:17.5. 24. Mitch Meissner 16:40.4. 26. Caleb Haack 16:44.5. 27. Jaydon Fryer 16:46.9. 31. Jeremiah Kelley 17:07. 47. Noah Mortenson 17:49. 59. Xander Dalke 18:12.3. 61. Bowden Tumminello 18:22.5. 71. Max Hamilton 18:47.8. 76. Ely Cariveau 19:12.5. 81. Jaxson Fryer 19:39.3. 93. Grady Piva 20:37.3. 106. Jack Cashen 22:09.9. 112. Robert Rusher III 22:39.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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