Sports briefs: Nordic skiers fly to Cup win

11 Winter Sports Club skiers headed to next month's nationals

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— The Nordic division of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club wrapped up its best regular season in more than a decade during the weekend, and now the program is preparing to send a strong contingent to next month's Junior Nationals competition.

The team competed Friday and Saturday at the last nationals qualifying event in Eldora. A strong showing there lifted the club to the top of the Colorado Cup rankings for the first time in 13 years.

Colorado Cup points are accrued throughout the season, and in winning, Steamboat bested all the other winter sports clubs from around the state.

"What's kind of cool is that a 7-year-old has as much input as a 16-year-old in terms of points, so it was across all age groups that we won," Nordic coach Brian Tate said. "The quality and volume of kids that have started to ski cross country has grown quite a bit, and hats off to all the coaches that have spent a lot of hours on the snow and on dry land training with the kids."

Steamboat claimed four race championships at the two-day Eldora event. Tyler Terranova, a J5 racer, won his Friday classic skiing race and his Saturday skate-skiing competition.

Dori McNeil won the J3 girls classic race, and Michaela Frias won the J2 girls skate-skiing competition.

Peter Daily was third in both Friday and Saturday's OJ events.

Haley Piske was third in the J2 girls classic race, Mary Rose was second in the J1 girls skate race, and Max Scrimgeour was second in the J2 boys skate race.

That success means a large group of Winter Sports Club skiers will head to California for the March 7 to 14 nationals.

Daley, Scrimgeour, Rose, Molly Newman, Lexi Ruppel, Katherine Ingalls, Frias, Piske, Betsy Neal, Mallory Richey and Ian Mallems all qualified. Lucy Newman, meanwhile, was named the first alternate in the J2 girls division.

"I've been the coach here for about 10 years, and from top to bottom, this is the most successful season we've ever had," Tate said. "That's stated in winning the Colorado Cup.

"This is, if not the biggest team, close to the biggest team we've ever taken to nationals."

Steamboat biathletes shine

Two classification champions represented the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in the Colorado Biathlon Club State Championships on Feb. 7 and 8 at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Max Scrimgeour won the boys 13- to 16-year-old age division. Kate Cooper was the girls 13-16 champion.

"Max is such a nice skier. He's one of the fastest, then they've all come along with their shooting ability," Winter Sports Club biathlon coach Gary Osteen said.

That shooting improvement helped the club sweep the boys 13-16 age group. Jack Burger was second, and Evan Weinman was third.

Marianne Osteen wrapped up a strong showing by Steamboat locals by winning the women's 40-49 division.

- To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

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