Photo by Ben Cairns

The Lake County High School Panthers take time to free ski off the Continental Divide to celebrate a season of skiing. Pictured left to right are: Cassidy Gillis, Gemma Nagel (middle school), Avery Milne, Jace Peters, Lily Leddington, Maya Nagel, Matt Cairns, Josiah Horning, Kiera King, Troy Baker and Clara Kirr.

The Lake County High School Alpine team traveled to Loveland March 2 for one last slalom scrimmage before state championships on the same hill March 11-12.

A small group represented the Panthers, but those who showed skied well. Senior and state qualifier Cassidy Gillis led the group in fourth overall. Also earning spots in the state championships, Kiera King and Maya Nagel finished 10th and 13th respectively. Lily Leddington will serve as an alternate for state and finished 16th. Clara Kirr finished 21st in the first run but skied out in the second. Avery Milne finished out the pack in 24th.

On the boys side, Jace Peters, a state qualifier, led the team in seventh, and Josiah Horning, a state alternate, finished 12th. Matt Cairns, who already qualified for state, went for the win and had two very fast half-runs before crashing in both runs. Troy Baker, the newest boy to racing, missed some gates in the first run, but finished the second run in 17th.

“Overall it was a great day for those who came,” said Lake County High School Alpine Coach Ben Cairns. “The course set was very tough. It was an advanced set by the Loveland U-19 FIS coach and the athletes had to work hard to ski fast and finish. It was also a great day to get a preview of the hill for state championships next week.”

This week was the culmination in racing for Panther skiers. The Nordic state championships took place Saturday, March 6 at Gold Run in Breckenridge. The skimeister championships (those who ski alpine and Nordic disciplines) took place at Howelson Hill in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday, March 9. The alpine state championships will take place at Loveland Ski Area, with boys on Thursday, March 11, and the girls on Friday, March 12.

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