More Moore: VMS skier wins again
BRECKENRIDGE – Anyone looking to unseat Karlie Moore from this year’s Nordic skiing throne may not want to be so vocal about it.After winning last week’s classical race at home, Vail Mountain’s Moore won the first skate race of the season at Gold Run in Breckenridge, silencing some doubters.”It was pretty big because last week in the (Summit Daily) paper, the Summit coach kind of bashed me and said I was total fluke and the (classical) race was a spike and (Summit’s) Briana Perkins was going to come back this week and blow me away,” Moore said. “It was good to get the motivation to come out and win.”Moore, who won by almost a minute last week over Perkins, edged the top Summit skier Thursday with a time of 16 minutes, 29.8 seconds. Perkins was second at 16:35, while Vail ChristiaSpecial to the Daily/Mark FoxVail Mountain’s Karlie Moore won her second race of the year Thursday at the skate meet at Breckenridge’s Gold Run Nordic Center.n’s Molly McGee took third at 17:01. Vail Mountain’s Lani Bruntz (17:19) and Kaitlin Zdechlik (18:11) rounded out the top five, and helped propel the girls to their second straight win. “Our girls team is really deep, and it’s the same with the boys,” Moore said.Vail Mountain’s Tony Ryerson was third in the boy’s race, at 15:16, only fifteen seconds off the mark winner Tyler Reinking of Summit. Right behind Ryerson were teammates Chris Woods (15:37) and Rob Fitz (15:49). The Gore Rangers were second, three points behind Summit.”It was a great day,” said Vail Mountain coach Dan Weiland. “We had three girls in the top five and three boys in the top five.”For the second race in a row, Vail Christian took third on the girls side, with Jessica Linder in eighth at 19:11 and Lettie Fickling 26th at 21:10.”We got third, which is excellent – there were three of us racing,” Fickling said. “Three’s the magic number – Molly got third place. I really think we can keep this up throughout the season.”Eagle Valley girls placed a contingent of racers in the middle of the pack to take sixth on the boys’ side and eighth on the girls’ end, while Battle Mountain, still short on numbers, grabbed eighth and tenth in boys and girls, respectively.Windy cityAlthough the 5K course was mostly flat, heavy winds made any incline and some flats a challenge.”We had a lot of blustery condition,” said Eagle Valley coach Glen Ewing. “That affected two things: The waxing – we waxed with a little softer wax than we should have – and anytime you are skiing into the wind, it saps your strength and your will to ski fast. And everyone has to do it, but the new skiers, especially not having experienced it, think they are the only ones out there.”Because of the high wind gusts, racers had to use the V-1 form, in which a double-poling motion for each leg stride, in areas where they would normally not need to.”It was kind of hard – you had to go to a slower skate,” Ryerson said.Ryerson, who took fifth in last week’s classical race, is a better skate skier.”I think my race went well today,” Ryerson said. “The course was windy and the snow was a little wet, but it was a good race.”Battle Mountain’s Mitch Hendrix, who cracked into the top 10 in the classical race, was 17th at 17:26 Thursday.”It was good at first, but I kind of ran out of energy at the end – I was looking for the second wind and it wasn’t quite there like in the last race,” Hendrix said.Eagle Valley’s Kyle Simonett was a team-best 19th at 17:39.With nobody finishing lower than 22nd, all of the Vail Mountain boys qualified for state, matching the same feat from last week in classical. Wes Batts had another great race, landing in 11th (17:00), while Sean Woods (21st, 17:54) and David DeLine (22nd, 18:08) rounded things out. The girls, loaded with young talent, garnered five top-20 finishes, with Mary Sackbauer 17th (20:21) and Christiana White 19th (20:24). Other finishers were Betsy Batts (34th, 22:57), Hilarie Bellis (40th, 24:14) and Kathryn Conline (41st, 25:29).More to comeWith only two Battle Mountain girls on the start list, the Huskies’ Kendall Wilson led the way in 13th at 20:11.”I wasn’t in the zone as much as last week,” Wilson said. “I’ve only been on my skis for four days, but I’ll get on them a lot more (over winter break).”While the Huskies have plenty of kids on the squad, most haven’t had enough days of practice yet. Erin Barker was the other Huskies’ girl racer, and took 39th at 24:07. The boys saw Harrison Huntoon take 44th at 19:59 and Connor Wallace in 52nd at 21:22.”We’ve got a lot of beginning skiers and we’re pushing to get them in the race in Aspen,” said Battle Mountain coach Rich Houghton.Eagle Valley’s Ali Gulick led a youth-laden girls squad in 29th at 21:56. Other finishers were: Caitlin Yarger (45th, 27:06), Raina Gulick (47th, 28:45), Ann Carlin (49th, 29:45) and Molly Walker (50th, 29:52).For the Devils’ boys, Ethan Smith (27th, 18:25) edged out brother Sage (28th, 18:33) to hold family bragging rights for another race. Rounding things out were James McGoodwin (42nd, 19:41), Nick Brink (45th, 20:17) and Andrew Darrow (71, 27:42). “Our freshman girls – this is their fourth days on skis, period, so they did fantastic and we’re real proud of the effort the young kids are putting on,” Ewing said. “We’ll need to get a little more effort out of our seniors and experienced racers than we had today, but we’ve been slow starting in the past, and we should be ready after winter break.”Around the courseOver winter break, Moore and Bruntz will head to nationals in Houghton, Mich.”I set goals back in May for it – I think I’m going to try and get top 30 overall, because the U.S. Ski Team is there, and top eight for juniors, so I can (qualify for) the Scando Cup in Europe,” Moore said.The next high school race is the Aspen freestyle Jan. 13.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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