Steamboat Springs High School girls ski team races to 4th at state championships |

Steamboat Springs High School girls ski team races to 4th at state championships

Steamboat Springs High School junior Ella Pietras speeds down the course during a high school race in February at Howelsen Hill. (Photo by Leah Vann)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Bolstered by top finishes from cross-country skiers Winter Boese and Zoe Bennett-Manke as well as Alpine skier Ella Pietras, the Steamboat Springs High School girls ski team raced to a fourth-place overall finish at the Colorado State High School Ski Championships in Durango on Friday.

The Nordic team placed third in Friday’s skate race and fourth in Thursday’s classic event. The team totals are based on the squad’s finish in the Nordic and Alpine events. All of the events were held Thursday and Friday in Durango.

“The girls were third, and the guys were fifth in Friday’s skate race,” head coach Nordic Jesse Wilkins said. “That’s is actually the best that we have done at state in all the years that I have coached. I think last year we were fourth and sixth, but we were not racing with all of our girls.”

Boese was the top individual skier from Steamboat placing fifth in the classic race and sixth in Saturday’s skate race with a time of 19 minutes, 56.1 seconds.

“She has been our top skier all season,” Wilkins said. “If you get in the top five at state championships, you win a CHSAA award, and she got that in classic, and she was one away in the skate. But in skate, she won a league award because she was in the top five for the skate in all of our races.”

Teammate Bennett-Manke was ninth at 20:17.3, and Maggi Congdon, who just joined the Steamboat team last year, placed 21st in 21:54.8. Margaret Redfern placed 32nd in 23.15, Catcher Weynand was 40th in 23:35.7, Anne Hager was 41st in 23:38.1, Macayla Scheidt was 45th in 23:55.6, Claire Bohmer was 54th in 24:36.5, and Emma Stewart was 56th in 25:42.1.

For a second day, Pietras, a junior, led the way on the Alpine course placing fourth in the slalom with a two-run time of 48.19 seconds. She was ninth in Thursday’s race. Teammate Annika Ort was 20th in 52:15, Kendal Flake was 22nd in 52:36, Sophia Gowdy was 28th in 53:46, Annmarie Hackworthy was 31st in 53:60, Bryn O’Neil-Eliaso was 47th in 56:51, and Caroline Baur was 53rd in 57:05.

Battle Mountain took top honors on the girls side, collecting 676 points in the giant slalom, slalom, skate and classic races combined. That team was followed by Aspen with 643 and Summit with 597. Steamboat collected 578 points in the four events.

The Steamboat Springs High School boys team was led by Wyatt Mortenson — who followed up his 11th-place finish in the classic race with 11th in Friday’s skate race — and Kai Scott, who placed 16th in the slalom. Steamboat placed ninth in the overall team results.

Mortenson’s 11th-place finish in the skate race was the top result for the Steamboat boys team. He finished with a time of 17:01.5. Teammate Gabriel Rabanal was 22nd in 18:17.4, Mitchell Meissner was 25th in 18:33, Quinn Wellman was 43rd in 19:31.6, Chase Weynand was 52nd in 19:57.7, Nathaniel Swindle was 71st in 21:20.4, and Jeremiah Kelley was 75th in 21:34.1.

Aspen won the boys title with 675 points, followed by Battle Mountain in second with 578 points and Vail Mountain in third with 563 points.

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

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