Steamboat Springs Nordic team prepares for season-opening event

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2012-13 Sailors Nordic schedule

— The consistency of the Steamboat Springs High School Nordic team hasn’t gone unnoticed. How could it?

When coach Emily Lovett started four years ago, she had a core group of seven skiers competing for the Sailors. This year, when the team begins competition Saturday in Minturn, the team will feature a record 21 skiers.

“I think we’re starting to draw kids that are doing other sports that want to stay in shape in the winter,” she said. “We’re seeing lots of soccer and lacrosse kids.”

The team is positioned to have a strong year. It returns four skiers from last year and adds a contingent of strong skiers that came over from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Dane Dixson and Peter White return on the boys side, while Lesley Myller and Bailey Pugh return on the girls side.

The team also adds Winter Sports Club members Gabriel Bohlmann, Olivia Rose, Sabina Berend, Tait Dixson and Eliza Leeson.

It all adds up to the deepest and most talented team Lovett has fielded.

“Since I’ve been coaching it is,” she said. “One thing I like is the diversity. We have people that been on the high school team. We have some from the Winter Sports Club that can add to the team. Then we have a whole group of athletes that are new to Nordic.”

Lovett said the goal is to qualify as many skiers as possible for the state championship meet at Snow Mountain Ranch. The Feb. 14 and 15 meet features two days of competition. It begins with a 5-kilometer skate race and concludes with a 5-kilometer classic race.

“For me as a coach, it’s really figuring out what the athletes' goals are,” she said. “For me it’s really to understand what they want out of the team.”

The team also will host an event Jan. 12 at Howelsen Hill.

The Sailors have six skiers competing in this year's Skimeister. They include Peter and Matthew White, Dane Dixson, Danny Kramer, Andreas Foulk, Ali Pougiales and Suzanne Lyon. The Skimeister is an event in which high school skiers compete in all four high school skiing disciplines — skate, classic, slalom and giant slalom.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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