Steamboat skiers finish strong at state championships
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs High School Alpine and Nordic teams concluded competition at the state skiing championships at Beaver Creek and Maloit Park on Friday, Feb. 28.
The Alpine team began the day with slalom races, while the Nordic squads wrapped up the events with an individual start skate race.
Aspen claimed both team titles. Team points were based on the results of all Nordic and Alpine races.
With strong day two performances, the Steamboat Sprigs girls moved from eighth to fifth. The Sailor girls were 3.5 points out of fourth and 31 out of third. The boys finished in fourth, just 24 points behind Middle Park in third.
According to the unofficial results on live timing, Steamboat Springs senior Alex Blair was 0.32 seconds away from a podium finish in the state slalom championship.
Blair had the ninth-fastest first run and the second-best second run at 42.21 seconds. She ended the competition in fourth.
“My first run, I did have a big mistake that definitely cost me some time,” said Blair. “Going into my second run, I was pumped and ready to throw down.”
This was Blair’s first year skiing with the high school program rather than the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Blair said ending her skiing career with the Sailors was such a fun, positive atmosphere.
“It was nice to see her finish in that top group,” said head coach Mike Farny. “I’m happy to see her go out with a strong second run.”
With a combined time of 1:26.89, Emily Schneider finished 12th, while Annika Ort and Eliza Fox earned 17th and 19th, respectively.
Ella Pietras could have potentially finished in the top 10, but had a mishap on her first run that bumped her out of the running. In her first run, she was flying, to the point that she could have had one of the fastest runs, according to Farny.
Kai Scott was the best performer for the Sailor boys, taking 14th with a combined time of 1:26.52. Farny said he could have skied a little cleaner, but 14th was an incredible finish.
Freshmen Erik Sandvik was two seconds behind in 16th, while Dawson Holmes was just out of the top 20, earning 22nd with a time of 1:30.85. Farny said he was impressed with how the 14-year-olds competed against the older competitors.
“It was kind of weird racing against them,” said Sandvik. “Some of them have beards, and I don’t.”
Sam Clyncke, a potential top competitor for the Sailors boys, didn’t finish his second run. He sat in 16th after the first run, setting himself up for a top finish.
“He just got hooked up and lost his ski halfway down,” said Farny. “That’s just the nature of the sport.”
Friday didn’t go quite as well as the Steamboat Springs High School Nordic team hoped. The boys came in with high expectations on their shoulders, and with that weighing them down, the top performers fell a little flat.
Sumner Cotton finished ninth with a time of 13:25.6. Nine seconds later, Wyatt Mortenson finished 12th. Rounding out the Sailors point-earners, was Alex Colby in 17th with a time of 13:53.5.
“Sumner and Wyatt both knew they had slow races,” said head coach Jesse Wilkins. “To me, it looked like they were skiing good, but they said they weren’t feeling well.”
Wilkins said the steep downhills followed by tight curves at Maloit Park was what caused his skiers the most trouble.
The mid-range skiers had an excellent day, though. In his first year cross country skiing, Colby cut time in almost every race.
“Every race he gets stronger and stronger because he gets more comfortable on skis,” said Wilkins. “That result I’m really happy to hear. For a new skier to ski a course like this, that fast, that’s awesome.”
Senior Maggi Congdon was the one Sailor girl to finish in the top 20. She earned 18th with a time of 16:41.3. Sophomore Catcher Weynand was at her heels, taking 24th in 17:03.9.
Wilkins was happy with how Congdon and the other seniors wrapped up their skiing careers. Gabe Rabanal was 27th, right behind Caleb Haack, while Chase Weynand earned 30th and Mitch Meissner took 33rd, right behind Jaydon Fryer.
“The good thing is, I think everyone had a good time, which is what we were looking to do,” said Wilkins. “I think, for the most part, we skied well.”
Friday, Feb. 28
Alpine – Slalom
Girls: 1. Olyvia Snyder, SUM, 1:22.12. 2. Berit Frischholz, BM, 1:22.61. 3. Stella Sherlock, A, 1:23.49. 4. Alex Blair, SS, 1:23.81. 12. Emily Schneider, SS, 1:26.89. 17. Annika Ort, 1:29.91. 19. Eliza Fox, SS, 1:31.17. 48. Audra Gowdy, SS, 1:40.77. 54. Allie VanNess, SS, 1:42.23. 57. Nora Pietras, SS, 1:43.29. 70. Margot Schmitz, SS, 1:47.41.
Boys: 1. Charlie Olsen, A, 1:20.6. 2. Will Bettenhausen, BM, 1:21.57. 3. Toby Scarpella, D, 1:22.08. 14. Kai Scott, SS, 1:26.52. 16. Erik Sandvik, SS, 1:28.88. 22. Dawson Holmes, SS, 1:30.85. 41. Tomas Niedermeier, SS, 1:41.37. 42. Luke St. John, SS, 1:41.88. 46. Bryce Zetzman, SS, 1:43.15. 57. Kyle Nilsson, SS, 1:52.88. 59. Brodie Skinner, SS, 1:56.53.
Nordic – Skate
Boys: 1. Anders Weiss, A, 12:17. 2. 2. Taiga Moore, A, 12:35.9. 3. Ferguson St. John, EV, 12:38.7. 9. Sumner Cotton, SS, 13:25.6. 12. Wyatt Mortenson, SS, 13:34.8. 17. Alex Colby, SS, 13:53.5. 26. Caleb Haack, SS, 14:15.4. 27. Gabe Rabanal, SS, 14:16. 30. Chase Weynand, SS, 14:33.1. 32. Jaydon Fryer, SS, 14:33.8. 33. Mitch Meissner, SS, 14:35.3. 35. Noah Mortenson, SS, 14:42. 64. Xander Dalke, SS, 15:45.5. 71. Jeremiah Kelley, SS, 16:05.1.
Girls: 1. Elsie Weiss, A, 14:43.5. 2. Lola Villafranco, CR, 14:45.1. 3. Emma Barsness, A, 14:52.3. 18. Maggi Congdon, SS, 16:41.3. 24. Catcher Weynand, SS, 17:03.9. 32. Anne Hager, SS, 17:39.6. 49. Claire Bohmer, SS, 18:44.7. 51. Jade Henderson, SS, 18:52.7. 54. Emma Stewart, SS, 19:08.9. 56. Emilia Cooper, SS, 20:03.7.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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