Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs High School Alpine and Nordic ski teams have their final regular-season competition behind them, and next up is a date among the state’s elite.
On Thursday and Friday, the Sailors’ Nordic squad hit the Minturn 5K Skate — the team's final tune-up before this week’s state finals preparation.
And what a tune-up it was for the women’s team.
Steamboat narrowly edged powerhouse Aspen by 2 points, 172-170, well ahead of third-place Battle Mountain at 159 points.
The Sailors’ Natalie Bohlmann was the top finisher, grabbing 60 points and crossing in 17 minutes, 43 seconds. A pair of Aspen skiers separated Bohlmann and Steamboat’s next-best finisher, Skov Lark, who took fourth place and added 57 points to the Sailors’ total.
Senior Meg O’Connell was sixth for Steamboat in 18 minutes, 49 seconds.
“We know we are skiing well when we beat Aspen or compete with them,” Steamboat head Nordic coach Emily Lovett said. “What happened last weekend is our core group has been working really hard.”
On the men’s side, Steamboat’s Nordic team finished third behind first-place Eagle Valley and runner-up Aspen, but it’s this week’s state meet at Eldora Mountain that could mean big things for at least one Sailor.
Senior Peter White has the chance to be the top Colorado high school ski meister for the second year in a row for his performances with both the Nordic and Alpine Sailors teams.
“The ski meister is a pretty big deal,” Lovett said. “There’s a lot of people in the community, Olympians like Todd Wilson and Kerry Lynch, who were ski meisters when they were young, and Peter is in the running to take the overall title again in Colorado. We’ll know that on Friday night.”
White finished eighth over the weekend at Minturn. Steamboat’s Tanner Visnick — who will not be competing at this week’s state championship due to his commitment to the Telemark World Cup at Howelsen Hill — was the Sailors’ top finisher in third. Fellow ski meister Andreas Foulk was 10th, and Tristan Fischer finished 27th.
The Alpine group was at Loveland for a slalom Thursday and Ski Cooper for a giant slalom Friday. The men’s team finished third at Loveland and second at Ski Cooper. The giant slalom state championship is Thursday at Eldora, and the slalom is Friday.
On the Nordic side, Lovett said preparation leading up to the state championships would be mellow with some light workouts and an off-day Wednesday. The Alpine team will hit the road Wednesday at noon, coach Jim Winn said.
With Visnick out for the state meet, and Skov also expected to be absent with an outside commitment, Lovett said overall team titles might be a bit of a reach. But individually, she thinks her skiers could make some noise at Eldora.
“We are sitting in a solid place as far as our kids skiing really strong,” Lovett said. “The top competition is pretty fierce with Summit and Aspen. They have really large teams, and we usually can compete with them a bit, but we will see this year.”
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll