Panthers Nordic Strong at State Meet, Benney Leads
The Lake County Nordic team traveled to Aspen on February 25 & 26 to compete in the Colorado State Championship meet at Aspen High School. The team consisted of eleven skiers who had qualified for the races, the highest number in the past decade.
The first day was a classic race on the hilly five-kilometer race loop. It was a warm, bluebird day, and the tracks alternated between icy and slushy. The skiers had to contend with washed out corners, slushy berms, and changing conditions.
Caroline Benney led the Panthers with her best finish all season in a classic race in 19th. As has been the norm, the rest of the team was close behind. Harper Powell had a strong race to place 26th and Ariel Benney powered to 27th. Whitney White was 30th and Molly Lenhard had her best classic race of the season to place 31st. Phoebe Powell was 39th, fighting back after a tough fall early on, and Jackie Williams was 41st. The girls were 6th overall on the classic day.
“The girls had great races today, and we really demonstrated our depth by placing five in the top 31,” mentioned Coach Karl Remsen after the girls’ race.
The tracks were slicker in the boys’ race, making the rolling hills more challenging. Taylor Stack was 22nd to lead the boys. Joe and Charlie Koch both recovered from rough tumbles and placed 39th and 42nd respectively. Brandon Hanson skied an excellently paced race to place 50th. The boys were 9th as a team.
The second day of races consisted of mass start skate races. The sun was out again, and the course alternated between icy and slushy.
The Lake County girls once again finished close together. Phoebe had a strong race from start to finish to place 22nd. Caroline passed a dozen people over the last two kilometers and was 25th. Whitney skied aggressively and was 29th, and Molly was right behind in 31st to complete her best race weekend of the season. Harper was next across the line in 33rd and Ariel Benney rounded out the team in 39th. The girls were 7th as a team, just a few points out of 6th.
Taylor improved on his placing in the classic race and was 13th in crowded skate race. Joe fought back from an early tangle to place 44th. Charlie rounded out the team in 53rd place, securing an 8th place finish for the team.
“We had a good weekend against some tough competition,” Coach Remsen noted. “If you combine the scores of the two teams on both days, we placed 7th overall as a Nordic program.”
The future of the team looks to be in good hands, as well, with almost all of the skiers returning for next year.
Knock-Out Nordic Sprints Return for Ski Joring
This weekend in conjunction with Leadville Ski Joring March 5 & 6, Leadville Nordic presents the annual Knock-Out Nordic Sprints.
According to organizer Karl Remsen with Leadville Nordic, the event will pretty much go on as usual with the fun starting this evening, March 4 at 7 p.m.
By this time the ski joring course has been set up and skiers will take full advantage of the opportunity to race on historic Harrison Avenue, usually marking the last race of the season. The competition has a double elimination with two skiers starting, and the fastest racer advancing to the next round of competition. $3 Entry. Prizes, Excitement, Spills. Registration at Melanzana, 716 Harrison Ave in downtown Leadville.
Mayhem Puts Fat Tires to Ski Joring Course & MBT
By Brennan Ruegg, Leadville Today Contributor
Moving closer to the heart of Lake County, the third race in The Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series coincides with Leadville Ski Joring weekend.
The Mineral Belt Mayhem on Saturday, March 5 is another nighttime race on Leadville’s 11 mile recreation path, renowned for its steep grades, winding access to mining ruins and views of Leadville as a bell in a jar. Check-in/registration begins at 4 p.m. at Cycles of Life, 309 Harrison Ave. with the race set to begin at 6 p.m. Hard to resist those Ski Joring ice jumps, riders will cruise down the avenue, and the head east onto 7th St. where they will link up with the MBT.
This race will once again take place under clear night skies and competitors who have taken part in each race thus far will mark milder conditions as winter has begun its long withdrawal. Town will be brimming with visitors so expect a massive crowd of onlookers. The biggest yet in the series this year, it builds to the climactic East Side Epic, the final race on April 23.
The Cloud City Wheelers support education and advocacy to help promote a more bicycle friendly environment and a more livable community for members, bicyclists, and the community at large. For more about them and the Winter Bike series visit their website or Facebook page and offer to help out with the remaining races, as volunteers are always actively sought.
Brennan Ruegg has been a contributor for Leadville Today for over a year.