Ski and Snowboard Club Vail Nordic team excels in Aspen
Vail, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado ” The Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) Nordic team completed a busy weekend in Aspen with a number of strong performances.
SSCV competed in a classic race on Friday and a skate race on Saturday. The races were part of qualifying for the junior nationals.
In Friday’s 10K, Chris Woods and Tony Ryerson paced the SSCV boys in the JO age category. Woods ” a 2008 Vail Mountain graduate ” took eighth place with a time of 30 minutes, 53.2 seconds. Ryerson was close behind Woods in 10th place.
Other SSCV athletes excelled in the J1 race. Sean Woods claimed third after sprinting through the course in 31:22.8. Conor Wallace came in fifth for SSCV (31:41.4) and Ian Hamina was 16th (34:54.2).
“(Club) is definitely a step up from high school,” said Sean Woods, who is a junior on the VMS Nordic team. “High school is fun and competitive, but this is the next level. Being in club for skiing is pretty much preparing me so I can ski in college.”
In the girls’ classic JO 5K race, Kaitlin Zdechlik clocked a time of 18:39.0 to finish ninth. Many of the competitors Zdechlik raced against were in college.
In the J1 race, Jessica Linder led the SSCV contingent in 12th place. Lauren Zdechlik (13th), Anouk Guilmineau (15th), Lettie Flickling (17th) and Betsy Batts (18th) all ran strong races.
In Saturday’s skate race, a 15K, the SSCV boys put five skiers in the top 11. Ryerson led the way in third place with a time of 37:24.0. Chris Woods took seventh and Sean Woods claimed eighth.
Wallace came in 10th place for SSCV after finishing in 39:22.1. Rob Fitz was right behind Wallace in 11th place. Ian Hamina rounded out a strong day for SSCV, finishing 22nd.
“Overall it was a good weekend,” Sean Woods said. “Our whole team placed really well. It was a pretty close competition between us and the other teams that we go against.”
“The guys skied well all weekend,” SSCV coach Karl Hochtl said. “I’m very impresed with how they skied. We had four guys in top 11 in the skate race. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
The girls also ran strong in Saturday’s 10K skate race. Linder continued her impressive season with a third-place finish in 30:06.6. Kaitlin Zdechlik was five seconds behind Linder in fourth.
Lauren Zdechlik added another top-10 finish for SSCV in ninth. Flickling (14th), Guilmineua (17th) and Batts (18th) also did well for SSCV.
“The girls, on Friday, kind of struggled a little bit,” Hochtl said. “They skied OK. On Saturday, they skied a lot better. I was really happy with how they rebounded after an OK day on Friday.”
Many of the SSCV skiers will compete for their high school teams on Thursday at Summit County.
Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.