Hiccup in Nordic Race, Panthers’ Results On-Hold
The Lake County High School Nordic ski team headed to Maloit Park in Minturn on Saturday, Feb 4 to take part in a same-day pursuit race. The race had the skiers complete a 2.6 kilometer loop in the morning using classic technique, then race the same loop in the afternoon with skate technique.
Panther Zayden Tufte pulls ahead at the Minturn Nordic Race. Photo: Suzi Benney.
Joe Koch was the first boy across the line in both races, skiing solidly to 21st place. Brandon Hanson was right behind on both sections and placed 26th overall. Zayden Tufte notched an important qualification for the state meet in classic and was 31st on the day. The trio led the Panthers to a 7th place finish on the day.
The rest of the boys team had a challenge with the start of the skate race, as the officials began to send off skiers before everyone was in the correct position. As of press time, there was still some confusion about the actual places in the skate race and race officials were working to clean up the results.
In the unofficial results, Sam Frykholm was 70th overall after what he described as the “best skate race of my life.” Conner Lenhard lost a pole in the classic portion and worked his way back from dead last to 76th. Jan Birk was 79th, followed immediately by Matt Koch in 80th and Matt Seibel in 82nd. Zach Coffin was 87th and Jarrett Rongstad skied faster than he ever had to place 99th.
“The boys looked as strong as they have all year,” mentioned assistant coach Andrew Coffin. “They should be proud of how they skied today despite the confusion and stress of the start.”
Caroline Benney led the girls team in both the classic and skate portions of the day to place 13th overall. Ariel Benney fought back from an early tumble in the classic leg to place 21st. Whitney White skied consistently to place 25th. Molly Lenhard had a great classic leg and was 32nd overall, and Jackie Williams was close behind in 40th. Abby Holm had her best race of the season, in particular her skate leg, and was 56th overall. Abby Ceglowski was 77th overall, and right behind her was Hannah Holm in 85th. The girls placed 6th overall as a team.
Coach Karl Remsen remarked, “we had a solid day, even though a few of our skiers were disappointed afterwards. I think we learned a few lessons about skiing in a crowded race and keeping our composure under stress.”
Next Saturday, the regular season races will wrap up at the Frisco Nordic Center with a mass start classic race. Most of the team will also be participating in the Leadville Loppet on Sunday.
New Principal Hired at Leadville’s Elementary School
The Lake County School District announced the appointment of Amanda Stewart to be the next principal of West Park Elementary School. After a comprehensive search, three candidates participated in an in-depth interview process for the position. Superintendent Wendy Wyman offered the position to Stewart because of her demonstrated track record of leading students to high levels of academic achievement, as well as her reputation for building strong relationships and positive culture in schools.
Stewart currently serves as the Assistant Principal of DCIS-Ford elementary school in Denver. The school has a demographic profile similar to Lake County, with 92% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch and 55% English language learners. During Stewart’s tenure, the school has received accolades for strong academic achievement.
Stewart has strong family ties to Leadville, as her grandparents lived here for many years. She and her family have already spent a great deal of time in Leadville, making it easier for them to imagine themselves living here. Her family will relocate to Leadville with her this summer.
“I am grateful and beyond excited to continue my leadership journey at West Park Elementary,” said Stewart. “I can’t wait to work with the group of educators at West Park and help the school go from good to great.”