Steamboat Springs skier Max Scrimgeour crosses the finish line to win the J1 men’s relay race at Sunday's Junior Nationals Championship at Soldier Hollow in Utah.

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Steamboat Springs skier Max Scrimgeour crosses the finish line to win the J1 men’s relay race at Sunday's Junior Nationals Championship at Soldier Hollow in Utah.

Steamboat skiers cap off strong week with top finishes

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Rachel Hampton, Mary O'Connell and Emily Hannah finish the J1 girls relay event at the Junior Nationals Championship in Utah last weekend.

— With a little more than a kilometer and a half left in Sunday’s Junior Nationals Championship 3x3 cross-country relay race, Steamboat Springs skier Max Scrimgeour was at the back of the lead pack, waiting to make his move.

It had been a good week for the talented cross-country skier from Steamboat Springs. He posted three, seventh-place finishes, but he wanted more.

“Anytime you finish in the top 10, it’s a good day,” Scrimgeour said. “But I was hoping to do a little better.”

It was that desire to do better that fueled the skier’s climb up the final hill and his move to get past the nine skiers that stood between him and the top stair of the podium.

“To finish the week off with that race was awesome,” Scrimgeour said.

The Steamboat Springs skier along with Rocky Mountain Division teammates Cal Deline and Christian Shanely, both of Ski Club Vail, won the J1 men’s relay race and posted the fastest time of any division in the final men’s race of the week.

It was one of several teams from the Rocky Mountain Division that were celebrating at the end of the events, which were held at the Olympic venues at Soldier Hollow in Utah.

The older junior team, which included Steamboat’s Charlie Von Thaden, Vail’s Mike Vigers and Summit’s Tucker McCrerey topped the results in that division.

Steamboat’s Emily Hannah and Mary O’Connell teamed up with Telluride’s Rachel Hampton to win the girls J1 division.

“I really felt that we could do well,” Hannah said about the race. “ I just wanted to make sure that Corey Stock (who won all three of the individual races) didn’t catch us this time.”

Hannah said she started the anchor leg of the relay in good shape thanks to her teammates and was never threatened by Stock and her New England teammates who finished third behind a team from Alaska in the final standings.

The relay finishes capped off a strong week for the 14 skiers from Steamboat Springs at the Junior Nationals races. Highlights began Monday with the Sprint Classic where three Steamboat girls finished in the top six of the results. Top finishes included a third-place finish from O’Connell in the J1 women’s race while teammates Lucy Newman was fifth, Hannah was sixth and Madison Keeffe rounded out the top 10 in the class with an eighth-place finish. Haley Piske was 10th in the OJ women’s class, and Gretchen Burckholder was ninth in the J2 class.

Scrimgeour was seventh in the men’s J1 race, and teammate Evan Weinman was ninth.

The top results continued for the Steamboat skiers in Wednesday’s mass start freestyle race. Hannah led the pack with a fourth-place finish and teammate Burkholder turned in another top 10 finish by placing ninth in the J2 class.

Scrimgeour was seventh in the men’s J1 class and teammate Charlie Von Thaden placed ninth in the OJ class.

On Friday, the skiers competed in the final individual race of the week with O’Connell racing to fourth in the women’s J1 class of the Classic race. Hannah placed ninth in the J1 women’s division, and Burkholder was 10th in the J2 women’s class.

Scrimgeour was seventh again in the J1 class with teammate Weinman in eighth. Von Thaden also was eighth in the OJ men’s class.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com

Results

2012 Junior Nationals Championship

Sprint Classic

Soldier Hollow, Utah

March 5

J2 Women

9 Gretchen Burkolder

15 Abbey Habermehl

30 Katie Brodie

J1 Women

3 Mary O’Connell

5 Lucy Newman

6 Emily Hannah

8 Madison Keeffe

11 Dori Mcneill

35 Cara Piske

OJ Women

10 Haley Piske

J2 Men

32 Lars Hannah

J1 Men

7 Max Scrimgeour

9 Evan Weinman

OJ Men

13 Charlie Von Thaden

Freestyle Mass Start

March 7

J2 Women

9 Gretchen Burkolder

12 Abbey Habermehl

25 Katie Brodie

J1 Women

4 Emily Hannah

23 Madison Keeffe

34 Mary O’Connell

37 Lucy Newman

44 Cara Piske

59 Dori Mcneill

OJ Women

23 Haley Piske

J1 Men

7 Max Scrimgeour

53 Evan Weinman

OJ Men

9 Charlie Von Thaden

Classic Race

March 9

J2 Women

10 Gretchen Burkolder

19 Abbey Habermehl

49 Katie Brodie

J1 Women

4 Mary O’Connell

9 Emily Hannah

13 Cara Piske

15 Lucy Newman

20 Madison Keeffe

23 Dori Mcneill

OJ Women

12 Haley Piske

J1 Men

7 Max Scrimgeour

8 Evan Weinman

OJ Men

8 Charlie Von Thaden

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