Leadville News – January 26

The Winter Fun Has Begun in Leadville Today

Mass Start Leads Nordic Team News

The Lake County High School Nordic ski team had their second meet of the season on January 20 at the Vail Nordic Center. The five kilometer course meandered around the Vail Golf Course and offered little climbing, which is often a strength for the Panthers.

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Lake County Panther Ariel Benney rounds the corner in the Nordic Ski Race in Vail on January 20. Benney led the girls team again this week with a 19th place finish. Photo: Neva Sunday

This was the first mass start race of the season, and with a full field of competitors it was very crowded off the line. All the skiers had to fight for position throughout the race and find places to pass when they could.

Joe Koch led the charge for the high school boys by placing 25th. Sam Frykholm was next across the line in 48th, with Zayden Tufte right behind in 49th. These three skiers all qualified for the state meet in skating with their performance.

Matt Koch was one place away from qualifying for the state meet by placing 62nd. Conner Lenhard took a hard fall in the chaotic start (where 136 high school boys started at once), but recovered well and was able to move all the way up to 65th. Camden Gillis, who attends Salida High School but skis for Lake County, completed his first nordic ski race in 80th. Coming off a week of illness, Jarrett Rongstad was able to ski smoothly and place 93rd.

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Lake County Panther Joe Koch led the charge for the high school boys by placing 25th. Photo: Neva Sunday.

“It was crazy out there. Kids were going down every minute!” Gillis noted afterwards about the crowded race. As a team, the boys placed 7th.

Ariel Benney led the girls team again this week with a 19th place finish. Molly Lenhard had arguably her best skate race ever and was close behind Benney in 29th. “I wish there had been more hills,” Lenhard noted afterwards. “I passed so many kids on the one uphill!” Both Benney and Lenhard qualified for the state meet in skating.

Abby Holm was 53rd and Hannah Holm was 71st to round out the girls team, which was a little small due to recent illnesses. The girls were 8th overall.

 “We had some good performances, but I think we also learned a lot today, Coach Karl Remsen commented after the race. “The field was crowded and this course was hard for us to ski fast on. I’m excited to help the skiers learn from their mistakes and continue to improve throughout the season.”

This Saturday, Jan. 27, the team will have another mass start skate race at Snow Mountain Ranch outside of Granby. The team is excited to race on familiar terrain, since this is the area where the Panthers go for their annual Thanksgiving Camp. Go Panthers! 

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Molly Lenhard (left) positions herself to take the lead in last Saturday’s Nordic race in Vail. Photo: Neva Sunday.

Middle School Panther Skate Well in Vail

By Jeff Spencer, MS Nordic Coach

Last Saturday, Jan. 20 both the Lake County middle school boys and girls Nordic team competed in their first skate race of the season at Vail Nordic Center.  Both teams performed well against a large and competitive field and had the opportunity to put their skate ski technique to the test on a fast and flat course. 

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Elona Green (front) with the Lake County MS Girls Nordic ski team digs in for a strong push at the mass start for the Vail race on January 20, 2018. This week the Panthers head to Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby. Photo: Jeff Spencer.

The races got off to an exciting mass start, with teams jockeying for position before the first turn off the start.  Jace Peters for the boys and Elona Greene for the girls, led the Panthers out from the start in great position.   Peters also led the boys team into the finish with a 12th place result in a field of 73 skiers.  He was followed up  by followed up by teammate Roan Varble, who finished in 19th place.  In their first Nordic skate races ever, Matt Cairns and Josiah Horning finished in 30th and 55th place respectively. 

In the girls race, Adele Horning was the first Panther finisher, placing 13th overall in a field of 49 skiers.  Less than 15 seconds later, teammate Elona Greene finished in 14th place.  Morgan Holm, the Panthers third finisher, came in 21st place and, in her first Nordic skate race ever, 6th grader Brynna Lenhard finished in 46th.  Both teams came in 4th place overall, behind the competitive mix club teams of Aspen, Vail, and Summit County.  The boys team finished just 6 points out of third place behind Aspen.  

The Nordic team will compete this Saturday, Jan. 27 at Snow Mountain Ranch outside of Granby.  This race will be a mass start skate race on a rolling course. Go Panthers!

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Jace Peters with the Lake County MS Boys Nordic ski team leads the pack at the mass start for the Vail race on January 20, 2018. Photo: Jeff Spencer

Loppet Race Discount Before February 1

The 2018 Leadville Loppet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17 and includes freestyle and classic styles for a 44k, 22k, 10k, and fun, costumed 5k. Registration for the Leadville Loppet can be found on their website, or stay connected with race update through their Facebook Page. If you plan on joining the fun this year, be sure to register in the next week, as the price goes up February 1.


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