Eagle Valley Nordic girls on the rise
It was a great finish for the Eagle Valley girls Nordic team last weekend’s classic race at Eldora.
Katie Wick, Jill Ewing and Audrey Powell finished ninth, 10th and 11th, respectively. That amounted to 153 points and a second-place team finish, the highest in the school’s history.
“It’s not surprising to see the girls finish together,” Devils Nordic coach Glen Ewing said. “If you look through team results in the past, racers will finish together because they practice together. But, for us, with no snow, no budget and no tradition, for these girls come in with a finish like that is just outstanding.”
Eagle Valley’s Dan Lewis made a little history of his own on the boys’ side. He finished 12th with a time of 18 minutes, 13.7 seconds, recording the school record for the highest boys’ finish.
“Dan Lewis had a breakthrough race,” Ewing said. “He’s been training hard and is very motivated.”
Second place seemed to be the theme for the county’s three skiing teams last weekend. The Battle Mountain girls alpine team finished just six points behind Aspen at a slalom at Clear Creek. Heidi Moore led the way for the Huskies in seventh, followed by teammates Lauren Arnold (ninth), Jenna Hughes (13th), Heidi Lauterbach (15th), Keegan Garnsey (22nd), Kate Vanhee (25th), Brittany Peterson (30th) and Jose Sutner (36th). The state-cut line was 37th in the girls’ slalom.
“I think the girls have been doing phenomenal,” Huskies alpine coach Mike Brown said. “They’ve really stepped up to the plate and taken it to the next level.”
The same could be said of VMS Nordic, which was also second at Eldora. The Gore Rangers put five in the top 25, the state cut. Josh Smith (11th), Brad Bingham (13th), Sylvan Ellefson (15th), Duncan Robinson (20th) and Taylor Sheldon (22nd) all put up state times.
Not bad, considering VMS Nordic coach Dan Weiland thinks his team’s strength is in freestyle.
“I wasn’t expecting it. That’s for sure. Not in classic,” he said. “I expect us to do that well in skate, so it’s a pleasant surprise. And A.J. (LeGaye) was close too (in 26th).”
On the girls’ side, VMS sent only two racers and they both made the state cut. Haleigh Armstrong was third, while Courtney Robinson took 19th. Armstrong and Robinson flip-flopped in last week’s alpine action with Robsinson taking fifth, while Armstrong finished 11th. Alex Delude also punched her state ticket in 33rd.
The VMS boys alpine team turned in another solid performance at Clear Creek. Duncan Robinson (eighth), Ellefson (16th), Michael Busenhart (23rd), Smith (28th) and Patrick Scanlan (30th) all made state.
One other matter of note for the Gore Rangers. In the Skimeister race, Duncan Robinson and Ellefson are tied, while on the girls’ side, Courtney Robinson and Armstrong are tied.
In other Nordic results, Maddie McCaulley qualified for Battle Mountain in 16th. On the boys side, Grant Stevenson led the way for Battle Mountain in 24th.
In alpine, for the boys, Taylor Roach topped the Huskies in 10th, followed by Kyle Bruntz (18th), Chad Shoulders (27th) and Clayton McRory (34th). From Eagle Valley, Kyle Green (23rd) and Matt Luczkow (26th) made the state cut. Annie Vogel led the Eagle Valley girls in 29th.
The alpine teams are next in action Friday at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat, while Nordic heads to the Breckenridge Golf Course on Saturday.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.