Howelsen home sweet home to Nordic racers
February 1, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Plenty of snow and a sunny day set the stage Saturday for the finale of a two-day Nordic skiing event at Howelsen Hill that featured every level of racer.
The races began with the University of Colorado's Invitational, then featured younger athletes all the way down the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club ranks.
And, racing on their home terrain, those club athletes shined, both Friday in a classic ski race and Saturday in a mass start skate skiing event.
"That was the finest race we've put on as a community here for juniors and collegiates," said Winter Sports Club Nordic skiing coach Brian Tate. "It was really a top event in my opinion."
Considering how well his athletes did, he may not be the most fair source of the weekend's value. Steamboat skiers shined.
Four local skiers won their age classes Friday and Saturday.
Gretchen Burkholder, a U18 racer, dominated both days, along with Noel Keefe in the U16 boys races, Kathleen O'Connell in the U16 girls events and Katie Floyd in the U12 girls divisions.
"That's a monumental feat, winning both days," Tate said. "That's extremely telling of an athlete’s fill, fitness and skiing expertise. To win one day certainly is impressive, but to come back and have the body respond that favorably to win again is great."
In the college ranks, Colorado's Rune Malo Oedegaard led the way for the men's field Friday, finishing first ahead of Pierre Guedon, of University of Denver, and Mads Stroem, also of CU.
Stroem then won Saturday. Oedegaard was second and Moritz Madlener, of Denver, was third. Former Steamboat and current CU skier Max Scrimgeour was 27th on Friday and 31st on Saturday.
On the women's side, Eva Severrus, from University of New Mexico, won Saturday. Sylvia Nordskar, of Denver, was second and Marine Dusser, from University of Alaska-Anchorage, was third. That proved just a rearranging of Friday's podium, where Nordskar won, Severrus was second and Dusser was third.
Winter Sports Club coach Tammy Jacques, competing in the collegiate women's race, was fifth on Saturday while former Winter Sports Club skier Lucy Newman, now skiing for CU, was 17th. Newman also placed 14th on Friday.
Full results for Saturday's race were not available Saturday evening.