Steamboat Springs Until Wednesday, Michaela Frias’ season had not lived up to her expectations, and for the past three weeks, she had felt less than 100 percent.
So with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association Cross-County Junior Nationals in Minneapolis, her coaches told her to back off on training to see if it would help.
It did Wednesday.
Frias led the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, finishing second overall in a 10-kilometer classic mass-start event.
“A lot of times she was probably at 60 percent,” coach Brian Tate said. “She actually cut back on training the last three weeks to see if she could get a good feeling in.”
With extremely difficult weather in which the snow temperature was warm enough to make waxing a real challenge, Frias was with the lead group for the first 5 kilometers, before pulling away near the end to finish second.
“Most all the racers went on some form of skis without wax,” Tate said. “There are some tricks there.”
Other Steamboat J1 girls finishers included Mary O’Connell in ninth, Haley Piske in 16th, Emily Hannah in 26th and Lucy Newman in 44th.
In the J1 boys division, which did a 15-kilometer race, Charlie Von Thaden finished 22nd, and Max Scrimgeour finished 26th.
In the J2 girls division, a 5-kilometer race, Dori McNeill led with an 11th-place finish. Madison Ruppel was 17th, Madison Keeffe was 21st, Gretchen Burkholder was 25th, Cara Piske was 28th, and Gabriel Bohlmann was 47th.
Evan Weinman was 16th in the J2 boys.
The team is off today before resuming action Friday with a skate interval race.
“I expect us to do well again,” Tate said.
— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.