ELDORA — It is, unfortunately, a familiar story for Battle Mountain skiing.
The Huskies boys alpine team crushed the giant slalom on Day 1 of the state ski meet at Eldora, while the Nordic team had a tough day in classic on Thursday, leaving Battle Mountain in third place, with 302 points, behind Summit County (317) and Aspen (315).
Focusing on the positive, the Huskies have two GS state champions in Sands Simonton and Haley Frischholz.
“It’s a pretty good feeling. I like it,” Simonton said. “I kind of expected a good result, but it’s different because it’s state.”
Yes, it is the state meet, but Battle Mountain’s boys have been doing this all season on the slopes. Simonton knocked off Aspen’s Luca Woehrle by 2.09 seconds, and the Battle Mountain junior had Huskies behind him. Keenan Zopf and Quintin Cook tied for fourth with the exact time of 1 minute, 40.57 seconds. (Who says ties in alpine are only for the Olympics?).
That gave the Huskies an easy GS win with 173 points, ahead of second-place Aspen (160), and, more importantly, Summit County (142). Unfortunately, those Tigers went 1-2-5 in the classic and Aspen was also able to jump over the Huskies on the Nordic side.
No Strangers to Podium
Like Battle Mountain’s boys alpine, Frischholz has been no stranger to the podium this season. She bested Summit’s Anne Parker by 0.98 seconds. Ironically, while times were faster on the first run, Frischholz liked her second run better. She hadn’t skied at Eldora since she was a tyke and needed to get a little more comfortable on Thursday.
“It’s a really nice course, but I felt like with all the pressure and just knowing it’s state, I went out of my comfort zone,” Frischholz said. “The second run, the way the course was set was more turny. You had to arch your turns and be ready. The tactics changed a lot and I felt like I handled the second run a bit better.”
Battle Mountain’s girls were sitting in fourth with 298.5 points. Huskies girls alpine was third with 154 points, while Nordic was fifth (144.5). Battle Mountain did get a big performance from senior Val Constien who was fifth in the classic.
On the boys’ side in the classic, Eagle Valley was the top Nordic squad from the local schools. Will Thrasher (ninth), Nathan Maddox (16th) and Michael Niemeyer (21st) all added up to a strong finish. Battle Mountain’s Cameron Moore was 10th and Franklin Reilly 29th. Battle Mountain’s third was Cook in 45th.
In fairness to Cook, he is competing for Skimeister and that challenge is magnified during the state meet. Having to compete in both alpine and Nordic is tough during the regular season with races usually on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s even more difficult at state when one has two races in one day.
While the Huskies trail, nothing is over at state until the last racer is done. A missed gate in alpine or bad wax in Nordic can jumble the standings in a hurry.
The state meet concludes with slalom this morning and freestyle Nordic in the afternoon.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.