Members of the Lake County High School Nordic ski teams participated in the Colorado High School Ski League’s relay championship on Saturday. The event was hosted under sunny skies in Leadville at the Timberline campus of Colorado Mountain College.
The event consisted of a 4x3-kilometer relay where four skiers from a team skied one after another. Lake County fielded one team in the men’s A relay and one team in the women’s A relay. In addition, the Panthers had two teams in the mixed B relay, where teams could field men or women who could race classic or skate.
Clara Kirr led the women’s relay to start the day. After fighting through a stretch of crowded scrambles, she tagged off to Indigo Olsen, who passed a few teams, making up ground on the leaders. She then tagged Violet Hill, who charged out of the stadium. Although no times were taken on the day, Hill probably had the fastest third leg split of any team since she passed at least five teams, said coach Karl Remsen. Susie Bullock skied the anchor leg and clinched the Panthers’ finish in fifth place for the day.
“The girls’ team held their own against a number of stacked programs,” said Remsen. “It was great to see the team using their home field knowledge of the course to move efficiently through the transitions.”
Matthew Wilson skied the first leg of the men’s A relay for Lake County. He had one fall that cost him some time after his ski was caught in the powder, but he got back up and skied in to tag off to Izayah Baxter, who made his way through the hilly terrain, charging on the uphills and trying to stay upright on the sharp corners. Izayah Baxter then tagged Henry Greene, who kept the Panthers moving up in the field, catching teams who had stacked their fastest skiers on early legs. After Greene, Raymond Harvey skied the anchor leg, using the V-2 technique throughout much of the course and finishing in 10th for the day. The V-2 technique involves a double-pole push on each skate and is commonly deployed on flat terrain.
After a four-minute coaches’ relay that featured several falls and collisions, over thirty mixed technique and gender teams lined up for the mixed B relay. Lake County fielded two teams. The first saw Bullock and Hill doubling back for a second leg of the day along with Trice Missey and Orion Baxter. All four skated well in the crowded field and placed 22nd. The second Lake County team was all classic skiers. Tal Sheleg led off, followed by Logan Charles, Amara Olsen and Aimee Lenhard. The team was 28th overall, but was second among teams with only classic skiers.
The final state qualifier race of the regular season for the Panthers will take place on Thursday, Feb. 9 at Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge.
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