Winter Sports Report from Leadville Today
Thanks to local event and race organizers taking on the challenges that COVID-19 public health restrictions continue to throw at them into 2021, February’s winter sports updates are stacking up as hearty as the snow storms that continue to roll in, leaving behind that precious white gold.
When it comes to school sports, Mother Nature joined the efforts of student-athletes, their coaches and parents to set up what has turned out to be a pretty decent turns on the slopes. Here’s the latest in pictures and team results. Go Panthers!
Season Closer for Middle School Racers
By Patti Nagel, Leadville Today Contributor
Bright sunshine, clear skies, cold temps and low winds delivered a great day of ski racing on Wednesday, February 24 for the Lake County Panthers Middle School team. Alpine racers closed out their racing season with a slalom event at their home mountain of Ski Cooper on Black Powder. Competitors beside the host team included Vail Mountain School, Summit County and Clear Creek School Districts.
A smooth and fast course set allowed for optimal runs and very few disqualifications. Both boys and girls Panthers finished second in the team results. School racing results are unique in that points are calculated for teams based on placement of individual finishers. Every racer has the opportunity to help contribute points for their teams as well as to work on their individual times and personal bests. Team results were first place, Vail Mountain School; second, Lake County; third, Summit County and fourth Clear Creek.
- Slalom Middle School Men’s Results – February 24
- Slalom Middle School Women’s Results – February 124
The fastest girl’s time was 42.63 and the fastest boy’s time was 41.38. Both winners hailed from Vail Mountain School. The three fastest girls for Lake County were Kasey Glaser with a time of 48.14 (fourth overall); Gemma Nagel with a time of 48.45 (fifth overall) and Layah Foley with a time of 48.63 (sixth overall) only hundredths of a second separating the three. Top three fastest boys for Lake County were Jacob Cairns (fifth in boys overall) with a time of 51.24; Max Fiedler (10th in boys overall) with a time of 1:01:34; and Raymond Harvey (12th in boys overall) with a time of 1:02:62.
“We’re just really thankful that given the craziness of the past year, that we were able to pull off a great racing season,” said coach Kurt Glaser. “I am very proud of the entire team and all of their accomplishments both as a team and as individuals.”
“As much of the team is in eighth grade and moving on to high school next year, we’re just looking forward to growing the sport and love for ski racing in our young athletes. So much of it is character building that will guide them well throughout their entire lives,” said Glaser.
If you are interested in introducing your child to the sport of alpine ski racing, check out www.cloudcitymountainsports.org to see how to get started with club and/or school races.
High School Slalom Race at Cooper
It may have been a very cold day on the slopes, but the calm winds made for great skiing as the latest high school slalom race played out at Ski Cooper on February 18. The Lake County High School (LCHS) Panthers took on teams from Summit, Nederland, and Durango. With two fast course sets for the slalom, the student-athletes could ski “full gas,” resulting in the first race for LCHS with 100% finishers.
“It felt great to have most of our team together for the last home race of the season,” stated LCHS Ski Coach Danielle Ryan. The next Slalom Race is at Loveland next Tuesday, March 2; it’s the final race before State Championships. Go Panthers!
Students Enjoy Winter Snow
The Lake County School District students have been getting out and enjoying the February snow from the youngest snow angels to LCHS seniors getting prepared to graduate.
“You can scream as loud as you want to out here,” one teacher from Pitts Elementary/The Center told a young boy as dozens of school children ran free in smaller groups outside at the nearby snow-laden ball fields.
A bit further west at the Lake County Internediate School, Ms. Finck’s 5th grade class enjoyed their lunch outside along with a special treated earned by a student’s good behavior. Snowcat driver Toby Tekansik and wife Emma, both LCHS graduates (!), gave guided tours to their son Logan’s classmates on Thursday. Toby grooms local winter trails used by snowmobilers, skiers and snowshoers all throughout Lake County. The outside program allowed the curious to get an up-close look at the machine and how it operates.
Wintertime Learning and Fun With Friends
Throwing Stones at 10,200’
The Cloud City Curling club wrapped up their 2021 Tournament earlier this month. The league saw a record number of teams – 13 – take to their special rink adjacent to Huck Finn Ice Rink in Leadville.
In the end of the icy competition it was team, “Oops, I got it in the Button” that took the top spot on the leaderboard for their 1st place win. The “Leadstones” took 2nd place in the popular winter sports tournament that seems to have raised-the-bar in certain terms this season.
“Yeah, some of the teams are stepping it up this year with top-of-the-line equipment and matching jackets, reported by one veteran stone-thrower. “I just go to hang out, and have a good time throwing some stones.”
While the sport been around for more than 500 years, curling’s popularity is has been gaining speed in recent years with the United States Curling Association now claiming almost 25,000 curlers nationwide, making up more than 185 curling clubs.
And that includes the Cloud City Curling Club in Leadville Today. This club’s roots can be found in 2014 when $3,000 in donated stones and brooms, along with a how-to curling class, struck a chord with many Leadvillites. Now seven years later, the league has grown, for a record total of 13 teams for the local curling 2021 season.
Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series
More than halfway through the season, the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series continues keeping those fat-tires spinning, albeit it a different gear, this year! Next up is the Mineral Belt Mayhem running from Saturday, March 6 – Sunday, March 14.
The tweaked 2021 Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series has been running virtually this year, with a self-reporting challenge that has engaged more than a couple hundred racers so far. The self-timed arrangement is allowing a lot of new riders (and some snowshoers and skiers) that are normally a bit shy of the typical mass start, to get out there and be competitive by themselves.
“It’s always great to see new faces out on the trails even if they have masks on, you can tell they’re smiling while enjoying our Leadville trails,” said Sterling Mudge, Cloud City Wheelers Executive Director.
The Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series is typically the largest fundraising event with 100% of the proceeds being put directly back into the Lake County trails community. So please support them through this season. All the details and registration HERE. Kudos to the local bike club for keeping ‘em spinning through the snow this winter. 2021 RACE RESULTS (so far).
Go On, Git! Parder!
Looking ahead, Leadville Ski Joring (LSJ) is a giddy-up-and-go-away event for 2021, as county officials have allowed the annual event to continue its 73-year-old traditional take place next weekend, albeit it in a more reined-in manner.
LSJ organizer Duffy Counsell’s idea to slide the racecourse off Harrison Avenue down to McWethy Drive was finally approved on February 2 Senior Director Anne Schneider with the Lake County Land Use and Building Department. Word on the curb is that this year’s LSJ competition will be broadcast so that fans can still watch live results in real-time. No details were available at the time of this post.
An Ode To Jody!
This time of year, thoughts turn to the Granddaddy of ‘Em All, Leadville Ski Joring. There are many legends that have kept this tradition alive since 1949, like Jody Manly. Joe was responsible for designing and building the racecourse (with help from CMC team) on Harrison Avenue for years. Here’s a tribute video from the LT archives. #GiddyUp