Antonio Marxuach, of Steamboat Springs, pushes away from the starting line of a classic-style cross-country ski race Saturday at Howelsen Hill.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Antonio Marxuach, of Steamboat Springs, pushes away from the starting line of a classic-style cross-country ski race Saturday at Howelsen Hill.

SSWSC wins pair of titles

Club strong in Howelsen Hill races with 7 podium finishes

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— Dori McNeill said she knew it was a good run the whole way through.

It ended up being good enough for first place Saturday, as the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club J3 athlete flew down the Nordic skiing course at Howelsen Hill and won her division by more than 30 seconds.

"Once I hit the very last part, after I finished doing all the uphill sections, I knew," Dori said. "There were a couple people out front of me I knew I wanted to catch. I was disappointed in my race (Friday) and really took my anger out on the course."

The good news for the club wasn't just that Dori won, though. Rather, it was that filing in right behind her were two more local skiers. Madison Keeffe finished second in the 3-kilometer race. Olivia Rose was third, just two seconds behind Keeffe.

"That was great," Dori said about the Steamboat sweep. "We need to keep training really hard and keep it up."

The success of the J3 girls was emblematic of the Winter Sports Club's weekend. The club wrapped up a strong performance at the weekend's Steamboat Junior Nationals qualifier Nordic skiing event with Saturday's classic skiing finale.

In addition to Dori's placing, Steamboat brought home one other championship and seven podium finishes.

"We had a lot of great results this weekend," Nordic ability coach Josh Smullin said. "The kids really were happy to perform in front of a hometown audience. Maybe that helped them gain a few seconds."

Mary Rose won the girls J1 5-kilometer race. She finished the course in 15 minutes, 56.3 seconds, ahead of Jessica Jortberg, who was second at 16:17.

Steamboat's Molly Newman was third in the race, four seconds behind Jortberg.

"Those were really strong races," Smullin said. "Mary decided this fall she wants to try to ski in college and she's really gone for it in training and has been really committed. She rarely misses a training session and lives the right lifestyle. She has been a great role model."

Michaela Frias finished third in the J2 girls race, three seconds out of second place. Max Scrimgeour was second in the J2 boys division, 13.8 seconds behind champion Gino Pastore of Durango.

Evan Weiman placed third in the J3 boys race, and Tyler Terranova was third in the J5 boys classification.

Smullin said the team will use the long holiday break to work on conditioning and prepare for a series of important races early next year.

"This is a chance for us to put in big hours of training when the kids don't have school," he said. "They will be able to rest better, and it will help us keep from peaking too early."

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