Panther Pride Continues Through Nordic Season
On January 24, the Lake County High School and Middle School Ski Teams headed to Maloit Park in Minturn, Colo. for a Nordic race. The homologated courses at Maloit Park provide climbs, descents, and turns that challenge even the best skiers in the state.
The middle school skiers competed in a 3-kilometer classic race. The boys finished 5th out of 9 teams and were led by Conner Lenhard, who was 44th. Matt Koch and Sam Frykholm skied much of the race together and placed 52nd and 53rd, respectively. The girls were 6th out of 12 teams. Abby Holm placed was 25th, and Hannah Holm was close behind in 28th. Neva Sunday was 37th in an excellent race debut.
“It was good skiing from all of our skiers today,” noted Coach Jeff Spencer. “We worked on hills a lot this week and it definitely paid off.”
The high school skiers had two races in one day – a same day pursuit. They raced in a 3-kilometer classic race in the morning, followed by a 3-kilometer skate race in the afternoon.
Ethan Greiner led the boys through the high school boys through the classic portion, placing 20th. Taylor Stack was a few places behind in 27th. During the skate race, they swapped, with Stack notching a 19th place finish and Greiner coming in 26th. Russell Orris was caught up in traffic during the classic portion of the race, placing 44th, but he passed a dozen skiers during the skate portion, and placed 30th. These three boys led the team to 7th place finishes in both races.
Joe Koch placed 47th, during the classic portion of the race, missing qualifying for the state meet by less than 2 seconds. He fought through the skate portion to place 65th. Brandon Hanson completed his first set of races in great form, placing 78th in the classic race and then 67th in the skate. Zayden Tufte showed his skate speed by moving from 91st in the classic race to 80th in the skate portion. Zach Coffin notched an 84th in the classic race and then a 91st in the skate race.
Jayde Daigle, a skimeister who competes in both alpine and Nordic races, led the Lady Panthers in both races. She was 29th in the classic race and then 28th in the skate race. Caroline Benney had her best classic race of the year and placed 46th, but just like Joe, missed qualifying by one place. She also had a strong skate race to place 50th. Molly Lenhard had a 51st place finish in the classic race, and then skied an agressive skate race to place 46th, again just missing qualifying.
These three girls helped the team to place 7th overall.
Lara Lufkin placed 48th in classic and 52nd in skate as she took it easy this week in preparation for later races. Harper Powell, a first year skier from Salida, placed 64th in both classic and skate – a stellar finish from a first time racer. Alissa Kuster placed 84th in classic and followed with an 85th in the skate race. Courtney Crenshaw was 85th in classic and then 93rd in the skate race.
Coach Karl Remsen remarked after the races, “Molly, Caroline, and Joe have all had great races as freshman. It’s a bummer they all just missed the qualifying line in their races today. We do have a couple more races, though. I think they can make the cut in those.”
Winter Bike Kicks Off Leadville Bike Series in the Snow!
The first race of the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series was held last Saturday, Jan. 24 at Copper Mountain Resort. This series is sponsored and produced by Leadville’s local bike club, the Cloud City Wheelers and a slew of volunteers, including some “amazing work from all the people at Copper,” according to race organizer Sterling Mudge.
This first race, formerly known as En Fuego, was re-named Winter Bike at Copper Mountain this year. It also saw some course re-configuration. Both of those changes were well-received by fat-tire enthusiasts and a record 171 racers showed up for the 2015 season kick-off of the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race in the series.
“It went great,” said Mudge,indicating that the series continues to grow in notoriety and popularity. In fact, fat-tire winter riding is the fastest growing segment of the mountain bike sport overall, according to industry experts. Maybe that explains the 1,000+ demo rides provided Leadville’s Cycles of Life at the event.
“That got a lot of people introduced to this awesome sport,” said Mudge.
And if you’re looking to do just that, then mark the calendar for the second race in the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series, it’s the local’s favorite. The Tennessee Pass Night Jam will be held on Saturday, February 7 at 6 p.m. out at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center, adjacent to Ski Cooper. Oh, and Sterling said something about some live music after the race, so it sounds like a good-old, mountain-biking-riding jamboree! For registration information or to volunteer, connect HERE.