Huskies, VMS Nordic rearing to go
It should be noted that this is usually one of the favorite practices of the season for the Nordic skiers, who watch some of the usually graceful alpiners flounder about on the flat ground.
Not so easy without the help of gravity, no?
There are a lot of friendly rivalries when it comes to the Battle Mountain and Vail Mountain Nordic teams.
While waxing up some skis before the alpine team arrived Thursday, VMS coach Dan Weiland was talking about the high-school season.
“I’m pleased we have depth this year. Depth is always good,” he said. “We have three guys, who on any given day can beat Grant Stevenson. So that’s good.”
Stevenson, the captain on the Huskies boys’ team, of course, is well within earshot, waxing his planks on another bench.
“That’s only in classic. We’ll see what the weekend brings,” the sophomore replies.
Cheer up, Grant. The high-school Nordic season begins Saturday at Howelsen Hill with a freestyle. Both the Huskies and Gore Rangers are primed for a solid season.
A look at Battle Mountain and VMS Nordic:
Stockdale leads the Huskies
Mia Stockdale, one of the premiere endurance athletes in the valley, has taken the reins of the team. She has a young group sprinkled with some veterans.
Stockdale is relishing the opportunity to work with the high-schoolers.
“I’ve actually coached a lot of different sports in a lot of different age groups. I think the high-school level, I love it,” she said. “The kids are good athletes. You tell them what to do and they go out there and do it. It’s really refreshing, actually.”
The Huskies feature newcomers to the sport, but there are some familiar faces. There’s Stevenson on the boys’ side, while Meghan Meehan and Maddie McCaulley should provide leadership on the girls’ side. The Huskies roster also includes Corey Wilson, Jonathan Kerby, Jason Edeen, Andy Given
Maria Borg, Whitney Allard, Lauren Vickers and Courtney Davis.
The Huskies won’t be looking for any land-speed records on Saturday. This weekend’s race is about getting a race under the team’s belt.
“I think nobody’s racing against anybody else in this race,” Stockdale said. “They’re just racing against themselves to see where they’re at physically. Then, we’ll be able to set some more goals.”
VMS has depth
At Vail Mountain, it’s all about the Skimeister.
The Gore Rangers have last year’s girls’ Skimeister, Haleigh Armstrong, and last year’s boys’ runner-up in Duncan Robinson.
Courtney Robinson and Sylvan Ellefson will also be doing double duty, which doubles the Gore Rangers’ chances of a double Skimeister.
It’s just another sign of how deep VMS Nordic is. The Gore Rangers have nine skiers, a gargantuan amount for the small school.
“I think that we can ski in the four-position this year with no problem and then, maybe, we’ll have three skiers in the top 15 on the guys’ side,” Weiland said. “Our two girls will be top 10. Haleigh will be vying for a win each time she comes out and skates.”
Your 2002 Gore Rangers also include Jane Chipman, Jenny Thorne, Brad Bingham, Josh Smith, Taylor Sheldon and A.J. and Bobby LeGaye.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at email@example.com.