Jake Barker competes Saturday at Howelsen Hill. The Steamboat Springs High School Nordic team got its season started with an event at Howelsen Hill on Saturday.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Jake Barker competes Saturday at Howelsen Hill. The Steamboat Springs High School Nordic team got its season started with an event at Howelsen Hill on Saturday.

Steamboat Springs Nordic team begins season

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O’Connell and Hannah qualify for championships

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete Mary O’Connell paced the team Friday at the 2012 U.S. Cross Country Championships in Rumford, Maine, with a 14th-place finish in the Junior 5-kilometer classic race.

Haley Piske was 28th, Lucy Newman was 31st, Emily Hannah was 49th, and Madison Keeffe was 54th.

The strong finishes throughout the week allowed O’Connell and Hannah to be named to the cross-country World Junior Championships. It’s the first time the Winter Sports Club has had multiple athletes qualify.

On the men’s side, Charlie Von Thaden was 33rd in the 10-kilometer classic race. Max Scrimgeour was 35th. With his finish, Scrimgeour was named to the Scandinavian Cup, a collection of the top J1 skiers.

The U.S. Cross Country Championships wrap up Sunday with men’s and women’s sprint events.

— Steamboat Springs High School senior Jake Barker was up late Friday night wondering about the same thing most others were. 

The skies were clear, the moon was nearly full and the ground essentially was void of snow. 

But as Barker woke up Saturday, he was greeted by snow and snowplows for the first time in a while. 

For most, it was a welcome sight. But for Barker and his Nordic teammates, it meant a lot of last-minute scrambling in preparation for Saturday’s state-qualifying Nordic race at Howelsen Hill. 

“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Barker said. “It makes the condition so much slower. I woke up and there was snow. But it was so much fun out here.”

Barker and his teammates certainly had a stellar day. With a large field on the boys  and girls side, the top 40 percent of racers qualified for the state meet. 

Barker led the boys charge, finishing the two 2.5-kilometer laps in 10th with a time of 16 minutes, 36.26 seconds. 

Teammate Peter White was 19th in 18:17.49, and Alec Schaffer was 33rd in 19:30.93. All three Steamboat boys should be qualified for the state meet. 

All times, however, were unofficial. 

“Two days ago, it was really fast,” White said. “With this new snow, it got really slow. It was challenging with the snow conditions. It’s soft, so you slide a lot.”

The girls team was paced by Martha Anderson’s 11th-place finish. The senior came in at 20:48.79 despite struggling with wax selection. 

“I heard the snowplows this morning,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’ll have to change our wax.’ We need the snow, but it doesn’t make Nordic racing easy. It definitely slowed down the times.”

Sarah White was 18th in 21:57.99, Lesley Myller was 22nd in 22:35.99, Hannah Barkey was 24th in 22:43.34, Maddi Ruppel was 37th in 24:05.70, and Bailey Pugh was 47th in 25:32.44. 

“The air was warm and with the cold the snow was slow and sticky,” Anderson said. “It’s a weird combination. Plus this is the hardest course we race, so it hurt to go fast.”

The Nordic team next competes Jan. 21 in Middle Park. 

Nordic Combined results

Saturday

Howelsen Hill

Open B

Mitch Meissner

George Cook

J6 boys

Erik Belshaw

Ascher Lesyshen-Kirlan

Bridger Carlton

Reid Sias

J5 girls

Annika Belshaw

Arion Schweikert

Tess Arnone

Kendall Kelly

J5 boys

Bode Flanigan

Gunnar Gilbertson

Jack Colfer

Wally Magill

Canden Wilkinson

Jackson Metzler

Tommy Mewborn

Open O

Olivia Requist

J4 girls

Maggie Morton

Waverly Gebhardt

Mae Thorp

J4 boys

Elijah Vargas

Decker dean

Teague Burger

Bennett Gamber

Murphy Bohlmann

Lucas Rowse

Colton Sankey

Brenden Andrews

Dane Freckleton

J3 girls

Kathleen O’Connell

Tatum Burger

Esther DelliQuadri

J3 boys

Noel Keeffe

Wyatt Gebhardt

Kelly Ryan

Nolan Sankey

J2 girls

Natalie Bohlmann

Dominique Katthain

Melissa Requist

J2 boys

Jasper Good

Nicholas Madden

Koby Vargas

Finn O’Connell

Spencer Petersen

Grant Andrews

Tucker Hoefler

Stephen Schumann

Peter Rosenthal

Jake Lock

Robert Lock

J1 boys

Ben Berend

Aleck Gantick

Spencer Knickerbocker

Fritz Carpenter

Special Jumping results

Open B

Mitch Meissner

George Cook

J6 boys

Erik Belshaw

Ascher Lesyshen-Kirlan

Bridger Carlton

Reid Sias

J5 girls

Arion Schweikert

Annika Belshaw

Kendall Kelly

Tess Arnone

J5 boys

Bode Flanigan

Gunnar Gilbertson

Wally Magill

Canden Wilkinson

Jack Colfer

Jackson Metzler

Tommy Mewborn

J2 boys

Jasper Good

Koby Vargas

Nicholas Madden

Davis Petersen

Finn O’Connell

Spencer Petersen

Grant Andrews

Tuck Hoefler

Jake Lock

Stephen Schumann

Decker Dean

Patrick Gasienica

Noel Keeffe

Peter Rosenthal

Robert Lock

Wyatt Gebhardt

J2 girls

Natalie Bohlmann

Sabina Gasienica

Manon Maurer

Dominique Katthain

Kathleen O’Connell

Meilissa Requist

J1 boys

Aleck Gantick

Ben Berend

Spencer Knickerbocker

Fritz Carpenter

Steve Anderson

Jake Barker

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

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