MINTURN — Huzzah to Battle Mountain’s Cameron Moore and more huzzahs to Eagle Valley in general.
The Devils Nordic team made itself feel right at home on Saturday at Maloit Park in Minturn in the final skate of the regular season. The Eagle Valley boys won the race with 168 points, outdistancing Aspen (165), Steamboat Springs (162) and Battle Mountain (154).
This could very well be the first time that the Devils have won a high school meet. It certainly hasn’t happened recently — Eagle Valley has been third or second numerous times. Whether it is a first or not, the Devils will be going into next week’s state meet in Eldora brimming with confidence.
Of course, it always helps when a team smashes in three guys into the top 10 like the Devils did on Saturday. Will Thrasher was fourth (15 minutes, 56.9 seconds), followed by Nathan Maddox (15:57) in fifth and Michael Niemeyer (15:58) in sixth. Apparently, the pack strategy works well on snow in Nordic as it does on dirt during the cross-country season in the fall. (Eagle Valley cross-country coach Melinda Brandt and track coach Jeff Shroll are smiling while reading this.)
Lots of Huskies have won ski races this year, but Moore’s the first to do so in Nordic. Moore conquered Saturday’s Minturn skate race in 15:33, 2 ticks ahead of Aspen’s Ben Belinski.
Huskies Skimeister candidate Quinton Cook was an impressive 12th and Franklin Reilly cracked the top 20 in 19th for Battle Mountain’s scoring.
Back to the Devils, Isaac Yoder finished 11th, but didn’t score for Eagle Valley. That’s not a knock on him. It’s a compliment to Eagle Valley’s depth. Brandon Sheard (24th) and Tyler Willoughby (32nd) also were within the state time, as was Battle Mountain’s Koby Simonton (26th).
Constien leads ladies
Steamboat Springs’ Natalie Bohlmann took top honors on the girls’ side, finishing in 17:43
Val Constien had the top local finish in fifth (18:47). With Steamboat winning with 172 points, the Huskies were third in 159, followed by Eagle Valley in fourth (153).
With Constien setting the pace for the Huskies, Battle Mountain’s scoring also came from Delaney McCabe in ninth and Megan Rossman in 11th. Battle Mountain didn’t stop there — Emily Cope (13th), Molly Phannenstiel (15th) and Allie Sands (21st) give the Huskies six state qualifiers.
Nikki Cunning (seventh) carried the torch for Eagle Valley, followed by Rose Sandell (16th) and Michaela Mitchell (20th).
Huskies crush Loveland
With recent weather issues, Thursday’s high school slalom at Loveland was a full-field race — instead of in divisional pairings — and it turned out to be a nice dress rehearsal for state.
Battle Mountain pounded the field with 175 points, well ahead of second-place Evergreen (159).
The Huskies Quintin Cook was first in 58.44 seconds, followed by teammates Sands Simonton in second (59.36) and Keenan Zopf in fifth (1 minute, 2.91 seconds). Battle Mountain’s Kevan Aubel was 15th, Michael Barrett 27th and Cain Gipson 31st, all within the state cut. Vail Mountain’s Caleb Chicoine and Billy Mitchell were 10th and 20th, respectively.
For the ladies, the sun rose in the east, and Battle Mountain’s Haley Frischholz made the podium. She was third with Nicole Affleck in ninth.
As of press time, results from Friday’s giant slalom in Ski Cooper were not available.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.