SSWSC Nordic team strong at Aspen

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— The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's trip to the U.S. cross-country skiing national championships in Anchorage, Alaska, early this month proved to be a flop.

Brutal weather canceled many of the event's races, and Steamboat's three skiers managed only one performance each.

The squad bounced back with a strong performance Friday and Saturday, placing many skiers near the top at an Aspen event.

Mary Rose won the J1 girls mass start skate-ski race on Saturday. Max Scrimgeour won the J2 boys race, while J3 skier Dori McNeill won Friday's classic skiing race and was second in Saturday's skate-skiing event.

"She had the club's top performance," SSWSC Nordic ability coach Josh Smullin said about McNeill. "It was quite a strong showing by the whole team, and we were pleasantly surprised with how well everyone did."

Michaela Frias led the way for a strong J2 squad on Saturday. She finished in second place, just one second out of first. Haley Piske finished fourth, one of two fourth-place finishes on the weekend. Mallory Richey was sixth in the race.

"That was a real strong performance by our J2 girls," Smullin said.

The Nordic team will next be in action starting Jan. 30 when it travels to Soldier Hollow, Utah, for a massive Junior Olympic qualifier.

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

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