Middle Park ski teams produce strong showing at state
Middle Park put in an impressive end to the Nordic ski season with the boys finishing first in the classic race and second in the skate race Thursday and Friday at the Colorado High School Ski Association State Championships in Minturn.
The Panther girls also notched a third place finish in the skate race and finished fourth in the classic race.
“Once again this was a huge team effort with spectacular skiing by all of the skiers,” coach Dan Jamison said. “They’ve worked hard all year, and they laid it out all on the line those last two days.”
Jamison also thanked assistant coach Dave Cleveland and the parents, along with the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center staff for helping the team and providing a great training facility.
Representing team scores from all the races of the year excluding the state meet, the Middle Park girls ended the season ranked second in the state behind Battle Mountain in the classic technique and fifth in the skate technique. For the boys, Middle Park earned second place in both techniques for the entire season behind Steamboat Springs, which was first in both techniques.
Additionally, a pair of Panthers — Sylvia Brower (ranked 4th overall in the classic technique) and Kimo Sullivan (ranked 5th in the skating technique) — were named to the All State team.
The top five skiers in each discipline are named to the elite team. Other Panthers close to making that honor were Sebastian Brower, ranked sixth overall in the classic technique, and Alex Holinka, who was ranked eighth.
Other top Panthers in the classic ranking were Ethan Callarman (12th), Grayson Barker (15th), Guy Granger (19th) and Vinny Troccoli (20th).
Other top skiers in the skating category were Holinka (8th), Sebastian Brower (10th), Ethan Callarman (14th), Vinny Troccoli (15th) and Graydon Walker (17th).
For all skiing techniques, alpine and Nordic, the Panthers were in the top four across the state. The boys were third overall at the state meet and runner-up for the state title while the girls were fourth.
Aspen ended up being the state ski champions for the year.
The state meet
The Nordic skiing state races took place at Maloit Park in Minturn, with many Panther skiers putting in top performances.
For the girls, Sylvia Brower was third in the classic race, completing the course in 17 minutes, 35 seconds behind Elsie Weiss of Aspen and Lola Villafranco of Colorado Rocky Mountain School. Maggie Barker was the next Panther skier in 30th place at 20:35. Elizabeth Hammond was close behind in 34th place at 21:04. Other Panthers finishers were Gabrielle Pellini (37th, 21:49), Selena Stoncius (38th, 21:50), Ellen Osborne (49th, 23:13) and Emily DePlata (65th, 24:24).
The classic race was a tough one for the girls because of rapidly changing snow conditions, which had all the coaches scrambling at the race for the right wax.
For the boys competing at the state classic race, Alex Holinka managed the top Panther finish in third at 14:55. He was followed by Sebastian Brower (4th, 15:06), Ehtan Callarman (8th, 15:27), Kimo Sullivan (9th, 15:35), Gray Barker (14th, 15:51), Graydon Walker (19th, 16:20), Guy Granger (22nd, 16:41), Vinny Troccoli (24th, 16:46), Andy Troccoli (62nd, 18:53), Will Kuhns (68th, 19:05) and Ewan Gallagher (76th, 19:30).
Fast skate racing
The top Panther female skier in the skate race was Sylvia Brower in ninth place with a time of 15:49. Other Panther finishers in the skate race for the girls were Elizabeth Hammond (15th, 16:21), Maggie Barker (29th, 17:29) and Sierra Jamison (57th 20:25).
For the boys, Kimo Sullivan was the top Panther skier with a fourth place finish in a time of 13:04. Holinka was next in fifth place and a time of 13:06, and Sebastian Brower took eighth place with a time of 13:16.
Other male Panther finishers were Ehtan Callarman (13th, 13:34), Guy Granger (14th, 13:41), Vinny Troccoli (16th, 13:48), Graydon Walker (18th, 13:56), Gray Barker (23rd, 14:02), Will Kuhns (46th, 15:10) and Kyle Vogelbacher (62nd, 15:39).
At the state Alpine races at Beaver Creek, the Middle Park boys, combined with Nordic, placed third out of 15 teams in the state. The girls also did well at the state this year with a fourth place team finish.
Based on their regular season totals, the Middle Park girls also won second place in slalom in the league awards, and Bethanne Droll, Zack Niedzwiecki and Sofia Olsson made the All State list. Droll earned All State honors in the giant slalom while Olsson and Niedzwiecki made the cut in slalom.
Individually, Droll led the Middle Park girls at state with a 12th place finish in giant slalom. She was followed by Olsson (21st), Ryley Hofsetz (51st) and Mia Rimmer (78th). For the slalom event, Droll finished 12th again, followed by Ollson (15th) and Hofsetz (62nd).
In the boys giant slalom, James Briggs logged the top finish for Middle Park, placing ninth. He was followed by teammates Danny Juricek (79th), Nate Myers (82nd) and Sam Parker (95th). In the slalom race, Briggs was ninth again while Niedzwiecki took 12th and Parker finished 64th.
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