The Lake County High School Nordic team traveled to Spring Gulch outside Carbondale last week for its first race of the season. The Spring Gulch race course consisted of long gradual climbs and descents that looped through open meadows and scrub oak forests.

Conner Lenhard was the fastest Panther on the boys’ team, placing ninth; Jace Peters was right behind in 11th. Matt Koch placed 30th and Matt Cairns 37th. Desmond Sandoval fought through a crowded start and some pushy competitors to place 61st. All five of the boys who raced qualified for the state meet by placing in the top 45% of the 148-skier field.

The boys’ team placed sixth overall, only a few points out of fourth place.

“Our boys were quite impressive,” noted Coach Karl Remsen. “They had a great start and all skied in the top half of the field for the whole race.” Remsen thinks that consistent training on the Mineral Belt and Colorado Mountain College trails, with terrain similar to that of Spring Gulch, helped the team to be ready to race well.

Adele Horning led the girls’ team with a stellar third-place finish. Elona Greene was close behind, finishing 12th. These two racers qualified easily for the state meet. Just missing qualifying were Abby Holm in 61st and Morgan Holm in 64th. Hannah Holm, recovering from a cold, placed 101st.

The girls placed fifth overall as a team.

“It was fun to see Adele and Elona skiing with the top skiers in the state,” said Remsen. “They both have put in a lot of work training over the summer and fall and you could see it pay off today.”

The Nordic team will next be racing on Jan. 25 at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center in an individual-start skate race.

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