Steamboat Springs cross-country ski teams continue to shine

Steamboat Springs ski racers Tanner Richard, Matai Curzon , and Mitch Meissner compete at the Vail Nordic Center last weekend
Photo courtesy of Nora McKay

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — For the second race in a row, the Steamboat Springs High School Nordic teams continued to impress. This time during a 5-kilometer freestyle race at the Vail Nordic Center.

“The girls had the best day as a team, placing fourth overall and only 6 points away from winning,” coach Jesse Wilkins said. “We were also only one point away from Battle Mountain, which beat us by 13 last week. That tells me a couple of things — one we are improving, and two, we’ve got a really, really good shot at a state championship.”

But the girls fourth-place performance wasn’t the only thing the Sailors had to celebrate Saturday. The boys finished sixth in the most competitive event of the season so far.

“We faced some huge, talented fields and raced on a really flat course, which is a little different than we’re used to,” Wilkins said. “With all those things considered, I think we did really well, even relative to last week.”

Wilkins said the field for the race, which was hosted by Battle Mountain, included several top club racers, who were off thanks to a break in the USSA schedule. Wilkins said many of those top juniors normally compete in higher level regional races.

Despite many of the schools loading their race lineups, the Steamboat girls team remained competitive finishing just six points behind Aspen and Vail Mountain, which tied for the top position with 160 points. Battle Mountain was third with 155 points, and Steamboat was fourth at 154 points.

Annika Malacinski led the Steamboat girls with a fifth-place finish and a time of 15 minutes, nine seconds. Her teammates Winter Boese was seventh at 15:19, and Zoe Bennett-Manke placed 17th at 16:57 to round out the Sailors point total.

Claire Bohmer was 45th (19:00) for Steamboat, Emma Stewart was 54th (19:57), Maggi Congdon was 56th (20:07), Shilo Lottes was 58th (20:10), Macayla Scheidt was 59th (20:15), Claire Traverse was 62nd (20:56), Thyme Zuschlag 68th (21:34) and Sarah Axtell was 76th (26:32).

The boys race was also very competitive with Vail Mountain skiing to the win with 172 points. Summit was second with 168 points, and Aspen was third at 162 points. Steamboat placed sixth in the 14-team competition with 135 points.

The Steamboat team was led by Wyatt Mortenson in 19th at 14:23, Chase Weynand in 20th at 14:25 and Tanner Richard in 29th at 15 minutes flat.

Matai Curzon was 30th (15:02) for Steamboat, Gabe Rabenal was 32nd (15:14),  Mitch Meissner was 34th (15:17), Tracy Jameson was 35th (15:17), Quinn Wellman was 45th (16:00), Andrew Henderson was 55th (16:31) and James Bradley was 60th (16:43).

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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