Middle Park Nordic relay teams stand out in Leadville

Patrick Brower
For Sky-Hi News

Middle Park High School’s Nordic ski team accepted the relay challenge of the Colorado High School Ski League last Saturday, Feb. 4, coming home with some strong finishes.

For the girls, in the four by 3-kilometer skate race, Middle Park took fourth place with strong efforts from Haley Miller, Gabrielle Pellini, Alaina Mears and Annie Kuhns. The top team in that event was from Battle Mountain High School.

In the boys relay, with the same distances, the Panthers took third place with the strong skiing from Kyle Vogelbacher, Andy Troccoli, Eli Boomer and Gray Barker. The Poudre School District team took first place in the event, followed by Battle Mountain.

In the mixed relay event, which featured mixed genders and mixed techniques, the top Middle Park team consisted of Annie Kuhns, Gray Barker, Haley Miller and Patrick McCay.

Not to be left behind, Eli Boomer of Middle Park held a strong position in the second place team in the mixed relays, sharing the glory with Summit County High School.

The Panthers Nordic team, under head coach Dan Jamison, heads out for its last regular season meet this week at Gold Run near Breckenridge. The state championship meet follows the next week at the Frisco Nordic Center in Summit County.

For the season, the boys are in a solid first place in the 12-team league, and are currently 32 points over Battle Mountain. The girls team is currently in fourth place.

“Gray Barker had a spectacular anchor leg passing several racers to get the third place finish, which moved the team from second in the league into first place in league standings,” said head coach Dan Jamison.

“Annie Kuhns also had a great anchor leg after a fall while in third position, getting passed by four girls but powered up the last steep hill and passed two of them for a photo finish. This put the girls in fourth place for the race and moving them up in the league standings from fifth to a strong fourth.”

And to make the relays a fun event for the coaching staffs, the relay day also featured a coaches’ race on a 1-kilometer relay course. Head Coach Jamison and assistant Dan Scott participated in the event, skiing two legs each. The Panthers coaches finished third behind the Colorado Rocky Mountain School and Eagle County coaches.

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