WINTER PARK - This just in ... Vail Mountain School girls Nordic team is actually mortal.
The Gore Rangers finished second at Thursday's state freestyle race, falling just four points short of Aspen, 169-165, in Winter Park on Day 1 of the state meet, ending a streak of four years of Nordic state titles.
This is not noted as a criticism. No school can own the title forever. It is noted because VMS' ability, as the second-smallest school in the state to field a ski team (Colorado Rocky Mountain School), to dominate year after year.
It's not like anything went "wrong" Thursday for the Gore Rangers. Katie Scruggs flew to third place in 16 minutes, 44 .8 seconds. Annie Blakslee punched in at sixth with a time of 18:09.1. Clare Baker cracked the top 10 in ninth (18:23.1). Finishing 2-6-9 is only a problem when Aspen goes, 1-5-8.
No matter. VMS gets another crack at it today with classic.
In the meantime, Summit County's boys lead the overall with 328 points. Evergreen is technically second (304), but is not strong enough on the Nordic side to compete for a state title. Aspen holds down third with 297. The girls' race is tighter with Aspen leading Summit, 316-303.
Defending giant-slalom champion, Battle Mountain's Kendall VanHee, took fifth in GS Thursday. She helped the Huskies girls to take third in alpine on Day 1. Caroline Byrne took 12th and Allie O'Brien was 20th.
Ella Guzik led Eagle Valley in 36th.
In the boys' GS, the Huskies were fifth, led By Kevan Aubel (16th), Stefan Sortland (24th) and Umberto Ricci (28th). For VMS, Harrison Alonzo was 20th, Billy Mitchell in 30th and Caleb Chicoine 33rd. Eagle Valley's lone state qualifier, Matt Genelin, finished in 25th.
The Eagle Valley boys finished third as a team on the Nordic side. Michael Niemeyer, Nathan Maddox and William Thrasher did the damage, going 11-12-13. Battle Mountain's Cameron Moore made it a local's affair, finishing 14th. But the Huskies' Joe Barrett bested them all, with a fourth-place finish (14:53.2).
The Devils girls took fifth, led by Samantha Maddox in 13th and Nikki Cunning in 18th. Battle Mountain's top performers were Delaney McCabe (17th) and Emily Cope (22nd).
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.