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Devils Nordic surprises (or not) at Steamboat

Special to the DailyEagle Valley's Nathan Maddox attacks the course up in Steamboat Springs Saturday. He was one of 10 Devils to qualify for state.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Surprised or not really surprised?

Perhaps, a little of both.

“I think the kids were surprised, but I knew they had been skiing well,” Eagle Valley Nordic coach Sean Kerrigan said.



Well, after, Saturday, the Devils should be a little bit less of a surprise to the state. Yes, while the Vail Mountain School ladies did their traditional tattoo-job on the field, Eagle Valley Nordic showed its muscle in the season-opening freestyle up in Steamboat Springs. The guys finished third, and, between the gents and ladies, the Devils qualified 10 skiers for February’s state meet.

Who are you people and what have you done with the Eagle Valley Nordic team?



“We had a month-and-a-half of training,” Kerrigan said. “I knew we were in pretty good shape, and skiing pretty well. I wasn’t surprised, but the kids were pleasantly surprised.”

Summit County won the boys’ race, which is pretty standard, with 174 points. Aspen was three points back in second, and then there was Eagle Valley with 156.

The state-qualifying cut was 43rd, and Eagle Valley packed seven guys inside the top 42. Devils veteran Caleb Krueger led the way in 14th with a time of 18 minutes, 8.9 seconds. Freshman William Thrasher was right on his heels in 15th (18:11.1) Eagle Valley’s third scorer was Wyatt Smith in 17th with a time of 18:15.3.



The parade of red and black didn’t stop there. Andre Eisenmann (29th), Riley Mehan (32nd), Nathan Maddox (33rd) and Gino Giovagnoli (42nd) all punched their tickets for state. And if you’re wondering, the state meet’s in Eagle County this year, so the Devils will be well-represented.

Nikki Cunning laid down the fastest female time for the Devils. She finished in lucky 13th place with a 20:51.7. Samantha Maddox was 30th (23:07.0) and Stephanie Johnson took 33rd (23:33.4.) Those three picked up their state invites as well – the cut was 37th on for the ladies.

Meanwhile, VMS, the three-time defending state champs in Nordic, kept trucking as usual. The Gore Rangers won the girls’ race with 172 points, ahead of Aspen at 159. Hannah Hardenbergh was second with a scorching 18:14.7. Eva Spaeh, who is “only” doing Nordic this season after winning the Skimeister last winter, was fourth (18:44.7). Sally Ryerson rounded out the scoring in fifth. Clare Baker finished eighth, a performance which would have scored for any other school in the field but her own.

Local Nordic teams have the week off before a duathlon on Jan. 21 at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Huskies girls’ hoops wins

FARMER’S KORNER – Most of American thinks the “Honey Badger” is Louisiana State corner-back Tyrann Mathieu.

Actually, it’s Battle Mountain girls basketball’s Logan Mash.

“She’s our ‘Honey Badger,'” joked Huskies coach Amanda Joyce.

Mash’s tenacious defense sparked Battle Mountain from a 13-6 halftime deficit to a 34-22 win at Summit County Tuesday night, and sent the Huskies to their phones trying to figure out said “Honey Badger” reference.

(For future reference, people, regardless of the Joyce coaching your team, there will be football analogies, particularly with regard to the Southeastern Conference. Please accept that and move on.)

Down 13-6, Taylor Davidson hat a 3-pointer and then Mash was off to the races. Mash finished with a team-high 10 points, while Tesha Olson had six.

“This was a legitimate win,” Joyce said. “I was proud of the way the girls came back.”

Battle Mountain is at Steamboat Springs Friday.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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