Steamboat Nordic skiers rip on home snow |

Steamboat Nordic skiers rip on home snow

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Hundreds of young Nordic skiers swarmed over Howelsen Hill and Steamboat Springs over the weekend as Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club played impromptu host for a nationals junior qualifying race that was originally scheduled for Park City, Utah.

Suddenly competing on home snow, plenty of Steamboat Springs athletes took advantage, several winning their divisions in the event and many more racking up high finishes in what were massive competitive fields.

At the top of the list were U16 boys Wally Magill and Sumner Cotton, who went right down to the wire in two furious days of competing.

On the first day, Magill shined the brightest, winning the U16 division of a freestyle sprint interval start event on Friday.

Cotton wasn’t far behind, placing seventh.

A day later, it was Cotton on top, though that wasn’t initially clear even to those standing at the finish line of the Classic skiing mass start race on Saturday.

Magill led for much of the course, but Cotton, Magill and Durango’s Wiley Corra all came around the course’s final bend together and they charged side by side for the finish line, in Romick Rodeo Arena at the base of Howelsen Hill.

Cotton crossed first, winning the photo finish by a 0.1 seconds.

Corra was third, 0.3 seconds back.

Other top finishers on the weekend included Jimmy Colfer, fifth in the Classic mass start event’s U20 division; Sven Tate, eighth in that race; and Cooper Jones, 10th.

Sadie Cotton was second in the U18 women’s division of that event, just ahead of teammate Dariya Kuznetsova, who was third. Sidney Barbier was fifth at the U16 girls level.

Griff Rillos was seventh in boys U14; Ben Barbier second and Henry Magill sixth in boys U12; Nikita Andre, fourth, and Grace Olexa seventh and Alena Rossi 10th in the girls U12 girls. Tristan Thrasher was second in the boys U10 class and Peter Cooper sixth. Shea Rossi won the U10 girls class with Shea Sias right on her heels in second place and Antigone Loomis in fourth.

Colfer was fourth, Tate fifth and Kieran Hahn ninth in the freestyle sprint race. Kuznetsova was third, Saddie Cotton fourth and Avery Harrington fifth in the U20 women’s race. Rillos placed third in the U14 boys division, then Ellery Hodges first, Grace Zanni third and Heidi Andre fifth in the U14 girls class.

Ben Barbier was second among the U12 boys and Henry Magill sixth. On the girls side at U12, Nikita Andre was sixth, Grace Olexa eighth and Rossi 10th. Tristan Thrasher won the boys U10 race with Collin Fergueson second, Arthur Tirone sixth, Nathan Rind seventh and Charlie Gunn ninth. Shea Sias won the girls U10 division. Ella Wilson was fourth, Eva Minotto fifth, Loomis sixth, Dixie Barnes ninth and Rae Olexa 10th.

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