Twin Lakes Blanketed in Winter’s White
Cross Country Season Underway for Student Athletes
While most of Leadville and Lake County was digging out from the first big winter storm of 2017, the Lake County Panthers were taking advantage of all that fresh snow as their 2017 Cross Country Season kicked off this weekend in another part of the state. Here’s the Leadville Nordic report from Panther Coach Karl Remsen:
The Lake County High School and Middle School Nordic teams had their first race this past weekend at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby. The temperatures were cold, but the skiing was excellent with plenty of fresh snow and beautiful tracks.
The course started with a quick funnel that led to a long, gradual climb. The trail then descended before one final climb led to a final kilometer of slight downhill into the finish.
The first off the line were the high school boys. A trio skied within sight of each other. Joe Koch led the pack in 25th place, and Cheyenne Mendoza was right behind in 28th. Brandon Hanson rounded out the group of three in 34th.
Conner Lenhard and Sam Frykholm proved that even as freshman they were ready to compete at the high school level. Conner placed 43rd and Sam was close behind in 47th. All five of these skiers placed in the top 45% of the 110 finishers, which qualifies them for the state meet in later February.
Zach Coffin had a strong race after a tangle up at the start to place 76th. Matt Koch fought through having cold hands to place 102nd. Overall, the boys placed 8th of the 13 teams.
Next up were the high school girls. Caroline Benney led the charge for the team with her top ten finish in 8th. Harper Powell was a touch behind and placed 12th. Ariel Benney was next across the line in 14th. Molly Lenhard and Jackie Williams both moved up throughout the race and ended up placing 25th and 29th respectively. These five girls all earned a state qualifying spot. Abby and Hannah Holm had excellent races for their first high school start, placing 72nd and 87th.
The girls as a team had one of the strongest showings in recent years, taking 2nd among the 12 teams by edging Summit and Aspen. The skiers were excited about their team ranking and are hoping for more good results throughout the season.
“It was a good day for all the skiers. I was impressed with how well they skied,” noted assistant coach Andrew Coffin.
The team will have a chance to test their skate skiing prowess this coming weekend at the next competition at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center.
Middle School Nordic Skiers Off to a Strong Start
By Jeff Spencer, Coach Middle School Nordic team
This past Saturday, the Lake County Middle School Panthers competed in their first Nordic event. The race take place on at Snow Mountain Ranch outside of Grandby. The course was relatively flat; however, frigid temperatures still made the skiers work for their glide.
The boys 3 kilometer race was first. Seventh grader Jace Peters got off to a great double-pull start, starting the race off in the top ten. Jace slipped a few positions back during the race, but still had an outstanding 13th place finish out of over 60 racers. Jace reported “I had a strong double-pull and double-pull kick, but I lost a little ground with my diagonal-stride.” In the same race Panther sixth-grader Dakota Hanson competed in his first ever Nordic event. Dakota raced hard and almost finish in the top half of a 7th and 8th grade dominated field.
Up next was the 3-kilometer girls race. The girls got off to a great team start; all three racers double-poling in unison took command of a lane off the finish line. Elona Green was the first Panther to come in with a strong top-ten finish. Less than a minute behind Elona, Mitchek double-pulled across the line, finishing in 13thplace, followed by Morgan Holm finishing in 21st place. Together, these three girls had an outstanding 3rd place finish, only a few points behind the 2nd place East Grand team. Middle School Parent Jamie Peters said “It will be exciting to see how this group of girls competes together in future races.”
The Middle School Panthers next Nordic race is their home race of the season at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center taking place on Saturday.