White again Colorado’s top double-threat skier at state finals
Steamboat Springs — The names that had surfaced all season long as Steamboat Springs High School ski team’s frontrunners once again led the Sailors, this time on Colorado high school’s biggest stage.
Seniors like Natalie Bohlmann, Meg O’Connell and Peter White might have not produced enough results to get Steamboat into the top of Nordic and Alpine team scores, but their individual performances were noticeable at the state ski meet Thursday and Friday at Eldora.
In Thursday’s Nordic classic final, Bohlmann was the Sailors’ top finisher, placing 10th in 20 minutes, 40 seconds. O’Connell was 14th in 21 minutes, 12 seconds.
In the boys classic, White was Steamboat’s only top-15 placer, grabbing 11th. Steamboat’s other top boys contender, Andreas Foulk, had trouble both days in the state finals, crashing a few times and finally bowing out to injury before his races were over.
Bohlmann followed up her Day 1 performance by narrowly missing the podium in the skate ski finals Friday. The sophomore finished fourth behind a pair of Summit skiers and a Maddie Donovan, of Vail Mountain.
O’Connell slipped slightly into 21st in the Nordic skate final, and right behind her in 21st was teammate Eliza Leeson. Steamboat’s Linnea Zink finished 26th.
White, who coach Emily Lovett said admittedly was a little gassed from doubling up in the state Nordic and Alpine finals, finished 19th in the Friday’s skate race. Tristan Fischer was the only other Sailors skier to compete with Foulk out, finishing 37th on Friday.
Despite being a little shorthanded, Steamboat finished fifth in the boys combined team points for Nordic and Alpine, behind Aspen, Battle Mountain, Summit and Evergreen. The Sailors girls finished in sixth place as a team out of 13 schools.
“It was great to see them all out there,” Lovett said. “For Natalie to compete with them both days was awesome for her. It was great. A lot of the Aspens and Summits, they just have really deep teams. Their club and high school is all one team. They dominate for sure.”
In Thursday’s and Friday’s Alpine state finals, White again was Steamboat’s top boys finisher.
For his eighth-place finish in Thursday’s giant slalom final and seventh-place run in Friday’s slalom, White was named Colorado’s top ski meister for the second straight year. The award goes to one of the few Colorado high school skiers who can manage to compete in all four state skiing events for Nordic and Alpine divisions.
“I think Peter as the ski meister competitor was really skiing his heart out and having a good time,” Lovett said. “He skied really well in all the races he did. He was being who he is. He just goes 100 percent and doesn’t get too stressed out.”
Behind White in Thursday’s giant slalom was Danny Kramer (15th), Rio Graab (20th), Rick Walters (22nd), Riley Brodie (39th) and Micah Gibbons (54th). Seamboat’s Aidan Gibbs did not finish his first run, and Foulk recorded a DNF and DNS in his two runs.
On Friday, Riley took 17th, Walters was 19th, Gibbons was 28th and Gibbs took 48th. Kramer did not finish.
Given the nature of the competition, which draws most of Colorado’s top prep Alpine and Nordic skiers into one venue, Lovett was impressed with the team’s resiliency against the state’s elite.
“It sets the bar high, but that’s good for us too,” Lovett said about the state finals. “I don’t think it’s unfair. It’s good for us. We’ve got to step up and it shows who’s been working hard.”
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Both voluntary and mandatory seasonal closures for big-game winter range began Tuesday and are in place until April 15 in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.