The Lake County High School Nordic team traveled to Steamboat Springs Touring Center last Friday to compete in their final regular season race. They participated in a 5.6 km individual start race on a course that looped past trophy homes of Routt County. Three other high school teams joined the Panthers at the meet: Poudre, Summit and host Steamboat Springs.
The girls team continued their strong season by placing second to Steamboat Springs by a point. They were led by Rose Horning, who captured the individual victory. She started 15 seconds behind Zoe Bennett-Menke of Steamboat and chased her the entire time.
“She stayed 15 seconds in front of me the whole race,” Horning explained. “I was trying hard to catch her but I couldn’t.” In the end, Horning made up a few seconds on Bennett-Menke and squeaked out a victory.
Elona Greene was the next finisher for Lake County, placing fifth. Brynna Lenhard continued her remarkable freshman campaign by finishing in ninth. Violet Hill skied steadily to finish 21st, Keira King came in 31st and Avery Milne placed 38th. “The girls did well to be close to Steamboat Springs, who typically ski very well on their home course,” Nordic Coach Karl Remsen said.
Jace Peters led the boys team with his third place finish, just one second off of second place. Matt Cairns had his best Nordic race of the season and was sixth. Josiah Horning placed 19th to round out the scoring for the Panthers, who placed third, just a point behind Summit County. Also racing for Lake County were Elijah Wilcox, who finished in 25th, Izayah Baxter in 49th and Desmond Sandoval in 51st.
“It was another good day for the skiers,” commented Athletic Director Mike Vagher after the race was over. “They skied hard and competed well, although I think our wax team could have put some structure on the skis to speed them up on the first part of the course.”
The Nordic team will be participating in a number of championship events in the next two weeks. On March 6, the top skiers in the state will gather for the CHSAA State Championships at Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge. Lake County will send eight skiers to compete.
And on March 9, seven Lake County skimeisters will participate in the Skimeister Championships in Steamboat Springs, a test of endurance where they will do all four events (skate, classic, giant slalom and slalom) in one day. Finally, six Panthers will ski in the junior varsity championships on March 12 at Snow Mountain Ranch.