Young skiers take to trail
Anna Anderson was tired.
The Steamboat Springs junior is competing for the Skimiester award again this season, so Friday was a busy day.
“I want to go home,” Anderson said, standing at the finish area of Friday’s cross-country ski race at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center.
Anderson’s competition day began at about 9:45 a.m. with the first run of the high school slalom race. She had to be at Howelsen Hill much earlier to warm up. After her second slalom run and a top-15 finish, Anderson hurried to the Steamboat Ski Touring Center for the 5-kilometer freestyle cross-country race that was supposed to begin at 3 p.m.
“I got here 15 minutes before the start,” said Anderson, who finished in 25 minutes, 36.17 seconds as the clock neared 4 p.m.
Last year, Anderson got “third, fourth or fifth. I don’t remember,” in the annual Skimiester competition that awards high school skiers who compete in both Alpine and Nordic racing.
“You have to be at all the races, and then it adds up,” she said. “I started cross-country skiing last year, and it’s pretty hard. It’s fun to hang out with everyone on the team. It’s kind of like cross-country (running) in the fall.”
Anderson is the only member of the Steamboat Springs High School ski team who is up for the Skimiester award. She has had two races this season, so it’s too early to tell where she’ll finish, but she isn’t the only Sailor who is relatively new to the sport.
Coach Barry Smith has inherited a young group of skiers — in age and experience.
“We’ve been skiing and giving them tips as we go,” said Smith, who also coaches with Pat Gleason. “Whichever race is coming up, we’ll work on that technique.”
Friday’s race was done in waves for the boys and the girls. The race begins with a classic start on a straightaway to try to separate the skiers.
“The beginning was fast,” freshman Bryce Gordon said. “You come around the corner, and everyone was so close.”
In the girls’ race, Michelle Lichtenfels led Steamboat with a 20th place finish in 24:32.34. Cameron Osteen was 23rd in 24:53.96. Anderson was 26th. Holly Hillenbrand was 29th. Cierra Lorenz finished 31st, and Megan Lucas was 45th.
Summit’s Hanna Hausman won in 20:17.80.
Gordon led the Steamboat boys, finishing 22nd in 20:23. Peter Daley was 28th in 20:47. Jack Serhant placed 59th in 29:01, and Sean Hill was 62nd in 32:04.
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