Lake County Nordic Team Opens Season Strong
The Lake County Nordic Team opened its season with two races last weekend. On Friday Jan. 10, the team had a classic race at Gold Run in Breckenridge, and on Saturday the team participated in a skate race in Frisco.Caroline Benney (center) led the team with her 19th place finish. Photo: Vicki Koch.
Friday’s race took place in what could best be described as a blizzard. The visibility was minimal and strong gusts of wind pushed the racers around. However, the Lake County skiers were up to the challenge.
In the high school women’s race, the team of Kimberly Vierczhalek, Hannah Lufkin, and Whitney White placed 6th. Vierczhalek led the way with a 16th place finish and Lufkin was close behind in 20th. White had an excellent debut as a freshman in 34th, placing all of our skiers in the top half of the field.Joe Koch (right) gets after it for the middle school boys race season opener. Photo: Vicki Koch.
The high school men were 8th as a team, paced by Charlie Koch’s 23rd place finish. Ryan Morrison was 29th and Andrew Coffin was 36th to round out the team scoring. Also racing were Ethan Greiner who placed 57th as he works his way back into shape after a few weeks of illness and Trevor Kerrigan right behind in 62nd. Simone Baccialle, who has never Nordic skied before this year, skied very well to place 76th out of the 96 skier field.
The middle school girls were 3rd. Caroline Benney led the team with her 19th place finish. Courtney Crenshaw and Hannah Holm both had excellent races for their first year of skiing by placing 30th and 36th respectively.Travis Kerrigan skates hard in the Nordic season opener in Frisco. Photo: Vicki Koch.
The middle school boys, the largest group of starters, were 4th. Joe Koch was the first finisher in 20th, followed Matthew Seibel in 28th and Sam Frykholm in 31st. Zach Coffin was close behind in 37th. Zayden Tufte, Conner Lenhard, Travis Kerrigan, and Matt Koch rounded out the team in 39th, 40th, 41st, and 42nd.
Saturday’s race had opposite weather, with blue skies and warming temperatures throughout the day.
Vierczhalek led the high school women again, placing 25th, but Lufkin was only a few seconds behind in 29th. Both secured qualifying spots for the state meet in both classic and skating. White was 41st, rounding out the team scoring for the panthers, who placed 8th.
Ryan used a strong start to power himself to 26th, guaranteeing his qualifying spot in the state meet as well. Coffin and (Charlie) Koch stayed close together and placed 45th and 46th to secure Lake County’s 8th place finish as a team. Greiner was next across the line in 57th, followed by Kerrigan in 73rd.
Benney led the middle school girls for the second day, placing 23rd. Molly Lenhard was close behind in 25th, and Hannah Holm rounded out the team in 27th. The team was 3rd overall.
Joe Koch had a strong race in the middle school boys and placed 15th. The rest of the Lake County skiers skied together and finished in a group, which Travis in 22nd, Matthew Seibel in 23rd, Zach in 24th, Matt Koch in 25th, Frykholm in 26th, Tyler in 27th, and Lenhard in 28th. Lenhard had an exciting finish as he outsprinted a Summit skier.
Coach Jeff Spencer noted that, “The kids had an excellent attitude for their first race, despite the challenging weather on Friday, and I am proud of how well everyone did this weekend.”
The teams will travel to Aspen for a duathlon tomorrow Saturday, Jan. 18 which involves racing both classic and skate back to back.
Ski Cooper offers new Kids “Grizzly Bears” Program
If you are looking for a winter adventure and learning experience for your kids check out Ski Cooper’s “Grizzly Bears” Kids Ski Program This season’s multi-week kids program offers a great experience that promotes social growth, team building and a lifelong love for winter sports.
This new program is designed for those kids who already enjoy skiing Level III GREEN RUNS. That means that if your child has enjoyed skiing enough to learn to ski under full control, make round turns unassisted and ski with continuous motion down the slope without stopping every four or five turns, then this program is a great opportunity for your young skier to quickly start meeting goals and expectations in reaching a higher level of ability in the journey of a lifetime of skiing adventure.
The Grizzly Bears program starts February 1 and more details can be found HERE.