Nordic Panthers Skate Strong Through Season
Long overdue bluebird skies are expected again today, but more snow is in the forecast for the weekend. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg.
The Lake County High School Nordic team competed at their first skate race of the season on Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. The team was excited to race on their home terrain and see how they stacked up in skating after their classic debut last week.
The groomers and staff of the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center did an excellent job preparing the race course, even after weeks of snow. The track was firm and the skating fast. The course climbed for much of the first four kilometers before descending back from the high point at nearly 11,000 feet. As an individual start race, the skiers had to race the clock rather than other competitors.
The high school girls continued to show they are one of the fastest squads in the state this year by placing 3rd as a team. Harper Powell led the team with her first top ten finish in a skate race, placing 9th. Whitney White was just a few seconds behind in 12th, an excellent start to her racing season after missing last week’s race. Caroline Benney was the third scorer in 18th.
Ariel Benney had another solid finish by placing 25th. Jackie Williams was close behind in 29th, which was her best skate finish ever. Molly Lenhard was the next Panther finisher in 33rd. All of the six top skiers for Lake County notched their skate qualifying mark. Abby Ceglowski finished her first ski race ever in a very respectable 71st. The freshman duo of Abby and Hannah Holm were 82nd and 84th.
“The girls had a good day,” said assistant coach Andrew Coffin. “The course had a lot of climbing, but they stayed focused and proved that they can handle a tough course.
Sam Frykholm digs in for the uphill climb last year. Photo: Vicki Koch.
The high school boys improved on their 8th place finish from a week ago and placed 7th as a team. Brandon Hanson was the first Lake County skier with his 20th place finish. Joe Koch was next in 26th, and Cheyenne Mendoza was the third scorer in 47th. Zayden Tufte was close behind in 51st, which means that he (and the other three) qualified for the state meet. This is Tufte’s first time qualifying after barely missing last year.
A quartet of new skiers was next for Lake County. Conner Lenhard was 61st, Jan Birk finished his first race in 64th, Matt Koch had a fantastic race to place 69th, and Sam Frykholm was 71st. Zach Coffin rounded out the team in 94th.
“The boys had a good day, but I think we still have room to improve,” mentioned head coach Karl Remsen afterwards. “Specifically, I think all four of the new skiers have a chance to sneak in a state qualifying race on the right day.”
The team will have two weeks of training before their next competition on January 28 in Minturn.
The Tennessee Pass Nordic Center is located at the foot of Ski Cooper, on US-24. Photo: Leadville Today/ Brennan Ruegg
Food Bank of Rockies in Leadville Today
The Food Bank of the Rockies is at St George Church in Leadville Today. Distribution begins at 8 a.m. at the corner of W. 4th and Pine Streets. Let’s hope the food truck semi can navigate the snow-piled Leadville streets.
Next Stop in Pedal Power Series: Winter Tri in Leadville
This Saturday, Jan. 21, Aria Club and Spa Winter Tri will be held at the CMC campus in Leadville. Last year saw an encouraging increase in participation with 31 competitors taking on the individual and team challenges, and this year should be even bigger. The race consists of a 5K snowshoe, 10K snow-bike and an 8K skate-ski competition. This is the third event of the 2015/2016 Pedal Power Winter Race Series. The non-profit series, now in its 21st season, benefits local charities in Lake and Eagle Counties.
Snowshoe racers lined up for the first Pedal Power competition at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center on December 10. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/Leadville Today
Registration for this event is $35. Registration is also possible for $45 on the day of the event at the race start. Participants can save time by pre-registering directly online at or by phone with a credit card for an additional $2.00 per race: (970)845-0931.
Following up the Winter Tri in the Pedal Power race series will be the Eagle-Vail Metro District Snow Bike on Saturday, Feb. 4., followed by the 5k/10k Colorado State Championships at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center and Cookhouse on March 4. Visit the race series website for more information on Pedal Power and previous years’ results, where Leadville names have consistently shown.