Sailors' nordic skiers hope to repeat success

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— On Dec. 15, the Steamboat Springs Cross-Country High-School Ski Team glided its way into the top 5 at a meet hosted by Nederland High School at Eldora. On Jan. 5, the Sailors hope to repeat their success by relying on home-field advantage at another Nordic ski race in Steamboat.

Fourteen teams from across the state will compete in Steamboat's Nordic freestyle race that takes place at Howelsen Hill at 1 p.m. Jan. 5.

The following day, the Sailors Alpine team takes the hill for its opening meet of the season, which also is at Howelsen Hill.

Freshman Austin Ross finished sixth overall at Eldora. Freshman Davis Miller was 12th and junior Ethan Johnson placed 18th.

Jessica Philip, who is the only girls' cross-country skier at Steamboat, came in second.

Brian Tate, who coaches the cross-country team, said his skiers were young but hard-working. He expects another good performance from them Jan. 5, he said.

The Sailors Alpine team will be the strength of the high school ski program this season.

Joe Liefer, Stewart Beall and Andrew Porter-Merrill have a great deal of past racing experience. Those three individuals, along with JoJo Bucci, who played football for the Sailors, are expected to provide the same type of leadership that they brought to the football field, coach Chris Arnis said.

"These guys are strong and they're not afraid of hard work," Arnis said. "They will add a lot of that senior leadership."

Camilla Chase, Rebecca Herman, Brittany Lamb and Cassidy Kurtz will be strong contenders for the girls team.

The Alpine Slalom race gets under way at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 6 at Howelsen.

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