With patience comes top results for racers | VailDaily.com

With patience comes top results for racers

Ian CroppVail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyKarlie Moore leads a pack of racers during a junior national qualifier last week in Aspen. Moore won both a skat and classic race.

ASPEN, Colorado When she had to sit out a handful of races earlier this year, Karlie Moore got a bit antsy.I was kind of upset, said Moore, who competes for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail as well as Vail Mountain School. This is my senior year and I wanted to race.But Moores decision to rest for a few races and let her injured back heal a bit paid off this past weekend at a pair of junior national qualifiers in Aspen.Moore won the junior classic race Thursday, which wasnt a big surprise considering her dominance in the discipline this year. Saturday, however, Moore showed there was no rust on the skate skis, taking home a win.I did a skate sprint to see how it would feel in early January, and that was my first real skate (since the beginning of the season), Moore said.Moore, who took time off from skate to let a back injury heal up, is almost at 100 percent. This past weekend, though, she didnt miss one beat, leading both races almost wire-to-wire. In the 10-kilometer mass-start skate, Moore, teammate Jessica Linder and Summits Briana Perkins legged out the final few kilometers together.We came around the last corner and there were three lanes, and we all got in a lane and I somehow out-sprinted Briana, which Ive never done, Moore said.For Karlie to have two wins, back-to-back, including a skate was huge, said SSCV coach Dan Weiland. We were expecting to have a win in classic, but when I heard that (she won in skate) … I said, Are you sure. What a huge boost for her.Linder, who along with Moore is a J1 skier, had another great weekend, taking third in the skate among juniors and fourth in classic. Kaitlin Zdechlik was top 10 in her class for both races, while Lauren Zdechlik was also in the top 10 Thursday and Saturday. Lettie Fickling and Betsy Batts were in the top 12 for both races, pushing them close to a junior national bid.

On the mens side, Tony Ryerson build off his recent first career win, taking another top finish in the skate and coming in second in classic.Finally, all of our training has come together and were starting to peak, Ryerson said. Its at the right time with (the high school) state (championships) coming up. It wasnt only me, it was our entire team that seemed to be incredibly strong.In Thursdays 10K interval-start classic, Ryerson was 15th overall in a field that featured professionals.Looking at the results, it made me feel really good seeing I was close to some of those guys, Ryerson said.Saturday, in the 10K mass-start skate, Ryerson broke away midway through the race with a JO racer (one level above juniors) and held off a late charge by a fellow J1 skier to take the title.Tony, in the skate race, was amazing, Weiland said. We always knew it was in him, but just now it is coming to the surface.Sean Woods put himself way ahead of the pack in the 5K skate for J2s, winning by more than 20 seconds.In a mass start, its hard to get away and put 20 seconds on someone, Weiland said. For him to do that is pretty impressive.Rob Fitz had a solid skate to place fifth, two spots ahead of Conor Wallace, while the pair was just out of the top 10 in the classic, along with teammate Wes Batts.Were showing were just as good as everyone else, Weiland said. Last weekend we had five, potentially seven (going to nationals), and now we have potentially nine or ten. We placed a lot higher than I thought.This weekend, the skiers will head to Durango for the final junior national qualifier. After the state championships the following weekend, the skiers will head out to Alaska for junior nationals on March 7.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.

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