Devils boys Nordic wins in Eldora |

Devils boys Nordic wins in Eldora

Special to the DailyThe Eagle Valley Nordic team celebrates at Eldora Saturday. The boys won the race, the first victory in the history of the program

ELDORA – The Eagle Valley boys Nordic team won Saturday’s classic meet in Eldora.

As longtime baseball announcer Mel Allen used to say, “How about that?”

It should be noted that a lot of club racers, who also compete on the Colorado High School Ski League, were in Utah for a Junior-Olympic qualifier this weekend, but the Devils have come so far in such a short time that it remains quite an accomplishment.

“I believe that this is the first time ever that we’ve won,” Devils coach Sean Kerrigan said. “This team is super-excited. I’m thrilled for them. I’m proud of them. They’ve come a long way. They’ve been working really hard and that all paid off today.”

The Devils logged 170 points to win, ahead of Lake County (161) and both Summit County and Steamboat Springs (152). The Devils girls finished third (154) behind Summit (168) and Steamboat (156).

Caleb Krueger led a lengthy procession of Devils’ red and black and pink, the last worn in honor of Eagle’s Taft Conlin, who died last Sunday during an avalanche on Vail Mountain. Krueger finished second with a time of 15 minutes, 38.3 seconds. Wyatt Smith was fourth in 16:22.5, followed by Nathan Maddox (seventh, 16:45.8.)

“It’s awesome,” said Krueger, a junior. “I’ve been on the team since my freshman year, and to see steady improvement and it all come together is great. We’re showing how we work as a team.”

The above trio made up the scoring for the Devils, but Eagle Valley had a slew of qualifiers as well. Andre Eisenmann was 12th; Michael Niemeyer 20th; Gino Giovagnoli 22nd and Riley Mehan 25th.

The girls were also making their mark. Samantha Maddox was the top racer in seventh (19:49.9). Nikki Cunning cracked the top 10 with a ninth-place finish in 19:55.6. Meghan Muehlethaler was 13th and twins Stephanie and Gina Johnson took 17th and 20th place.

Eagle Valley is at Summit County on Saturday, but state is approaching and the Devils are excited that the event is in Eagle County this year.

“It’s going to be really cool to compete in front of friends and family,” Krueger said. “Some of the drives (to our events) are really long, like Eldora. Having a race in the valley hopefully will get people more interested in the sport of Nordic.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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