Freshman Gabe Rabenal leads Sailor boys in state X-C classic race | SteamboatToday.com

Freshman Gabe Rabenal leads Sailor boys in state X-C classic race

— Annika Malacinski, of the Steamboat Springs High School Nordic Ski Team, improved on Thursday's 16th place finish in the skate race with a 12th place in the 5-kilometer classic style race of the Colorado State High School Skiing Championship at Howelsen Hill Feb. 24. But she and her teammates had to have been distracted by the injury that befell senior captain Jennie Adler moments before the race.

Head Coach Jesse Wilkins said Adler was heading out to test her wax when she dislocated her knee, ending her high school racing career. Having only three entrants in the race and needing all of them to factor into a team score, the injury also left the Sailors out of the final standings.

"I told Jennie she can feel good about her race on Thursday," Wilkins said.

The top finisher in the girls' race was Bridget Donovan, of Vail Mountain School.

Freshman Gabe Rabenal was the surprise top-finisher for the Steamboat Springs High School boys Nordic ski team in the state championship 5-kilometer classic style race.

"All season, I've been finishing 33rd or 32nd, and I wanted to get to the top 20 today," Rabenal said.

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He came close, finishing in 26th, with teammates Matai Curzon, 28, and Tanner Richard, 30, close behind. The top boys' finisher was Franklin Reilly, of Battle Mountain High School.

Rabenal bounced back from a disappointing showing in Thursday's skate race.

"I was happy for him today, because he didn't have a good race yesterday," Wilkins said.

Rabenal said knowing he was coming out of the 31st start position, he realized he would need to pass a significant number of skiers to reach his goal and decided to take a chance. Competitors in Friday's competition skied, for the most part, in one of two, side-by-side groomed tracks, unless they were making a move on the next racer ahead of them. Rabenal found himself almost constantly in that situation during the extended hill climb that accounted for the first 3 kilometers of the race.

"I was skiing between the tracks, passing people, for most of the race," he said. "I'm super-excited."

Richard said his strategy unfolded while inspecting the course prior to the race, when he looked for tight turns where he might pass another skier by rounding a corner sharply.

Curzon said his game plan involved squeezing the most out of the final downhill section of the race before the finish line.

"I passed three or four people in the last kilometer of the race coming down the Elevator Shaft and the Lollipop Loop," he said.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

Girls 5 kilometer Classic results

  1. Bridget Donovan, Vail Mountain School — 17:34.35

  2. Maddie Donovan Vail Mountain School — 17:41.62

  3. Chelsea Moore Aspen — 17:56.88

  4. Kate Oldham Colorado Rocky Mountain School — 18:09.00

  5. Jordan Miner, Colorado Rocky Mountain School — 18:31.74

  6. Lyle Shipp, Vail Mountain School — 18:45.66

  7. Rose Sandell, Evergreen — 18:53.11

  8. Noelle Resignolo, Summit — 19:08.24

  9. Emma Blakslee, Vail Mountain School — 19:11.54

  10. Katelyn Krehbiel, Colorado Rocky Mountain School — 19:34.94

  11. Annika Malacinski, Steamboat Springs High School — 19:44.36

  12. Claire Traverse, Steamboat Springs High School — 25:34.01

Boys 5 kilometer Classic results

  1. Franklin Reilly, Battle Mountain High School — 14:53.12

  2. Cameron Wolfe, Vail Mountain School — 14:57.82

  3. Peter Littman, Vail Mountain School — 15:01.42

  4. Peter Haynes, Summit — 15:23.17

  5. Tyler Scholl, Middle Park High School — 15:35.07

  6. Theo Loo, Middle Park High School — 15:37.74

  7. Ian Hardenbergh, Vail Mountain School — 15:39.71

  8. Kyle Tayman, Summit — 15:56.94

  9. Oliver Trowbridge, Summit — 16:02.78

  10. Conner McCabe, Battle Mountain High School — 16:09.35

  11. Gabe Rabenal, Steamboat Springs High School — 18:12.09

  12. Matai Curzon, Steamboat Springs High School — 18:14.51

  13. Tanner Richard, Steamboat Springs High School — 18:22.95

  14. Mitch Meissner, Steamboat Springs High School — 18:44.58

  15. Andrew McCawley, Steamboat Springs High School — 19:39.37

  16. Quinn Wellman, Steamboat Springs High School — 20:09.51

  17. James Bradley, Steamboat Springs High School — 20:50.13

  18. Liam Hahn, Steamboat Springs High School — 20:50.59

  19. Eric Phalen, Steamboat Springs High School — 21:14.61