Huskies’ boys top locals in GS
VAIL – In theory, the endurance race of Day 1 of the state ski meet was meant to be the Nordic classical competition at the Vail Athletic Field.But when Thursday’s action shifted to Golden Peak for giant slalom, the alpiners found they were in for a bit of a marathon of their own.”It’s such a long course,” the Vail Mountain School’s Mick Seemann said after finishing 21st. “You’re not expecting how long it’s going to be at the bottom and how tired you’re going to be. (The gates) start to stack up on you if you’re not ready.”Despite a long day – both literally and figuratively – the Summit boys rolled to an easy win Fletcher McDonald, Zach Fretz and Brandon Sheely going 1-2-3. On the girls’ side, the Tigers also ruled, edging Middle Park, 167-166.Locally, as the state meet tends to dictate, surprises abounded as the Battle Mountain boys, not their female counterparts, took top honors among the four local teams.The Huskies, led by Cooper Cartmill in fourth, finished second with 157 points behind Summit’s juggernaut.
Cartmill was in third after the first run, and finished with a combined time of 2 minutes, 7.85 seconds, despite nearly taking a tumble during one of the final gates in his recond go down the hill. “All I had to do was lay one down,” the freshman said. “It’s just the pitch, going on to Afterthought, and after that you just attack, and you’re good.”Battle Mountain’s Wilder Heuga had a, well, wild day on the slopes. Though he finished 11th (2:12.05), he had a hard time figuring out how he was doing.”My first run, I felt I did really awesome, and I didn’t do that awesome,” he said. “The second run, I felt really out of control and thought I’d have a really bad time. I don’t know. It came out it was a good time.”That second run, I’ve always had trouble keeping my arms down and staying on edge. I was trying to go through and not be as crazy as I have been in the past.”Teammate Mitch Hendrix capped another day in his quest for Skimeister. The leader going into Friday, he finished 17th (2:14.41) in the GS to maintain his lead over VMS’ Sean Woods.
Who needs a pole?The Battle Mountain girls ended up fifth in part due to some missing skiers as well as a stroke of misfortune which is a signature component of the state meet.Jamie Lee Roberts led the Huskies in sixth with a time of 2:15.64.”My second run wasn’t as good as my first run,” Roberts said. “I wish it had been a little better. My pitch wasn’t as clean. I wasn’t as good on the pitch. That’s where I lost the time.”Kelly VanHee normally finds herself in the top 10, but she lost her pole coming out of the start of her second run, yet still finished an impressive 15th in 2:21.22.”My first run, I felt very strong,” VanHee said. “I was a little tentative at the beginning. I got down and wasn’t exactly impressed with my time just compared to the other girls. For the second run, my goal was to ski aggressive, really go after it, but I lost my pole. My balance was off. It happens. You’ve just kind of got to go with it.”Rebecca Richardson rounded out the points for Battle Mountain in 35th (2:32.82).
Guess your finishBetween the end of the race and when official times are posted, there is a period of fluidity when racers and coaches alike try to piece together where everyone finished, staring at the unofficial results board and summoning all the math skills needed.”I knew I could have skied faster so that’s why I’m ready for slalom tomorrow,” VMS’ Lucy Sackbauer said. “The key on the course for winning is on the steeps through the transition in the main arena. That’s where you want to get your speed from. I’m hoping for top 20.”Sackbauer ended up nailing it on the nose, finishing 20th (2:23.76), leading the Gore Rangers’ ladies. Joely Denkinger was 10 places behind in 30th (2:29.08), while Kenzie Grant put up points in 34th (2:30.95).For the VMS boys, Seemann led the way (2:16.48). Then, there was freshman Woods who was wrapping up a busy day in his Skimeister pursuit. After a 5 kilometers on the Nordic track, he finished 43rd in GS with a time of 2:25.57.”It’s all right. I’m just a little tired from the Nordic this morning,” Woods said. “It’s a little tiring just because you have to rush to the next race. I just want to keep with the pack and still get points. My Nordic is a little bit better, so I attack a little more there.
“I’m not really worried about (Hendrix). I’m mostly worried about (staying ahead of) third place (in the Skimeister race). I’m just hoping to stay in second and try to scare Mitch a little.”VMS’ third racer, Charlie Grant, was a DNF.Young Devils gain experienceEagle Valley’s girls took ninth Thursday with Nicole Luczkow finishing 33rd in 2:29.36. Senior Bryonny Hiland was right behind in 39th, 5 seconds back of her teammate.”It felt good, but it was slower than I thought it was going to be,” Hiland said. “I had a lot of fun and that’s what really counts. For me, I just had to turn earlier, and that’s why I had a slower time. There are nerves, but for racing I think it’s better to have something in you. You can put it out there more.”Shanna Zoch had to hike on her first run, but rebounded nicely with a 1:16.67 on her second run for 61st.
On the boys’ side, Griffin Turnipseed and Cody Coulter finished 54th and 55th respectively. “It was nice. I’ve never raced that long of a GS before,” Turnipseed said. “I’ve never raced from up there, so it’s something new. I’ve raced the bottom section before, so I’m used to that.”I felt better on the second run. It felt pretty decent. Overall, I could have skied better. I’m used to the pressure now, and I’ll go get it tomorrow.”Vail Christian’s small contingent had a solid showing. Corey Seemann was 48th in 2:28, while Ian Hamina clocked a 2:44, good for 59th. The Saints lone female racer, Terrin Kinser, finished 56th (2:49.05).The state’s best hit Golden Peak today at 9:30 a.m. for a slalom.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.