Steamboat skiers fast in early test | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat skiers fast in early test

Noel Keeffe skis last week in an event at West Yellowstone, Montana. Keeffe was among a handful of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skiers who shined at the season opening event.

— The season got off to a strong start for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skiers last weekend as they capped a week of training in West Yellowstone, Montana, with strong results in races.

The trip is a annual event for the club skiers, the first real opportunity to train on snow and check out the competition in FIS sanctioned races that are part of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association's Super Tour Series.

In that spotlight, club coaches were thrilled with the results.

Lars Hannah won the B final of one juniors freestyle sprint race, good for seventh place overall in the event. Noel Keeffe was one spot back, in eighth, as a 15-year-old racing against athletes often three and four years older.

Abbey Habermehl was 12th in the women's freestyle sprint event.

Racing a day later in a 15-kilometer freestyle race, Hannah was again strong, finishing 22nd overall, which placed him first among juniors in the event.

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Simon Zink was close behind him, 10th in juniors and 55th overall and Evan Barbier was 19th in juniors and 75th overall.

Racing a 10K course, Habermehl was 13th in juniors and 50th overall. Kathleen O'Connell was 14th and 56th, Jordi Floyd was 17th and 58th and Anna Burkholder was 23rd and 70th.

Noel Keeffe shined in a juniors 5K race, winning the U16 division. Wyatt Gebhardt was right on Keeffe's heels, too, finishing second and one second back. Tyler Terranova was fifth, Sven Tate was 13th and John Foster was 28th.

Cole Sias was 27th in a U16 girls race while Waverly Gebhardt was third in a U14 race, just ahead if Reilly Mewborn, who was fourth.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9