Grand County schools ramp up for Nordic season
November 11, 2010
The high school cross-country skiing season is getting under way, with practices starting next week. Meanwhile, middle school athletes are starting to think about their season, with coaches encouraging individual practice for during the Thanksgiving break.
EAST GRAND MIDDLE SCHOOL
East Grand Middle School Nordic Ski Season runs from Jan. 3 to Feb. 17, 2011 with about five meets per season. Participation is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students with a bus to take skiers from the East Grand Middle School to the YMCA and return. Practices are held after school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the YMCA with a minimum commitment required of two practices each week from participants. East Grand Middle School will provide skis, boots, poles, red uniform top and black sweatshirt top, but a skier can use his or her own equipment if desired.
Coaches are anticipating 50-plus skiers this year. Coaches will issue returning team members equipment before Thanksgiving so the kids can get out and ski on their own. For new skiers, equipment is available in early December. Coaches teach new skiers both skate and classic technique and then introduce race strategy. Returning skiers continue to work on their technique and look at interval training competitive strategies. Practices are planned as both productive and fun since it takes motivation to ski in the dark after a long day at school.
The best part about the program is that skiing ability is not required. The coaches will train students. There is a $50 cost and $25 equipment fee, but scholarships are available for both. A sports physical and insurance form is required. See Ms. Beltman at the Middle School for more information or questions or call East Grand Middle School at 970-887-3382.
MIDDLE PARK HIGH SCHOOL
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The Middle Park High School Nordic Skiers start their season with dryland practices beginning Nov. 15.
Their first race is on Saturday, Dec.18, in Vail. Other racing highlights for local supporters this season will be a race at Snow Mountain Ranch on Saturday, Jan. 15, and a Middle Park High School home meet at Devil’s Thumb on Thursday, Feb. 17. The season ends with the State Meet, in Aspen, Feb. 24 and 25.
The Middle Park High School girls team will return this year as defending state champions. While those are certainly big ski boots to fill, they graduated only one senior last season, and the girls are excited to see where their experience can take them this year. The boys return with a good mix of both experienced skiers and some new but very promising prospects.
The coaches and team members look forward to the upcoming season and appreciate all that local supporters do for them. Volunteers are always needed for the home meet, so please put Feb. 17 on your calendar and look for updates on Middle Park High School progress this season on the Grand Nordic website. For more information or questions, call Dave Zink at 970-531-3428.