Cross country coach Brian Tate took 19 members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club to the 2002 Olympic venue in Soldier Hollow, Utah, last weekend to test their skills against a field of 500 at a Super Junior Olympic qualifier.
"There were four divisions and eight states represented," Tate said. "Age groups had fields three to four times larger than a typical divisional Junior Olympic qualifier."
Tate said the course at Soldier Hollow also tested the skiers with challenging terrain that included long, sustained climbs and fast descents.
The J-2 and older groups competed in a skate sprint race Saturday.
Sarah MacCarthy placed sixth in the J-1 class after missing the top four by four-tenths of a second.
Top J-2 finishers included Mary Rose in 18th, Melissa Krause in 19th and Michelle Lichtenfels in 51st. Kyle Steitz was 46th in the boys race.
The younger skiers competed in a mass-start skate race.
Steamboat's Carter Miller placed first in the boy's J-3 class, which competed on a 3-kilometer course.
Molly Newman was fourth, Katherine Ingals was fifth, Emily Stout was sixth, Liza Stout was 14th, Cierra Lorenz was 15th and Emma Lichtenfels was 16th.
Michaela Frias was third and Lucy Newman was 10th in the J-4 class that competed on a 2K course. Steamboat's Olivia Rose was second in the J-5 class, which competed on a 1K track.
On Sunday, the skiers took part in a mass-start classic race.
MacCarthy was ninth in the J-1 class. Krause was 21st, Mary Rose was 22nd and Michelle Lichtenfels was 57th in the J-2 class. Newman was fourth, Ingals was fifth, Emily Stout was 11th, Liza Stout was 15th, Emma Lichtenfels was 16th and Lorenz was 23rd in the J-3 class.
Marty Smith was eighth in the J-1 boys race.
Teammates Paul Rose was 38th, Mike Gleason was 52nd and Andy Garber finished 58th. Kyle Steitz was 23rd in the boy's J-2 class. Miller, the only Steamboat racer in the J-3 class, finished second.
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