MPHS Nordic comes on strong at Minturn
MINTURN — The MPHS Nordic Team traveled to Minturn on Jan. 19 for its second regular season race, a wave start skate race on a technical hilly course with a lot of tight turns.
Following a big storm on Friday, the skies cleared and snow conditions were good for the race. The athletes were excited to test their skating legs and see what their early season training efforts would produce against another large field of 137 men and 103 women.
Senior Tyler Scholl flew over the course on his way to a first place finish overall in the men’s race with a time of 14:35. Senior Wil Cleveland and juniors Kimo Sullivan and Vinny Troccoli all had great races as well, with Cleveland just edging out Sullivan and Troccoli for 20th (16:28) with less than a second between them. Ethan Callarman was gunning for a top 15 finish early on but a crash in the second lap dropped him back to 25th in a time of 16:41. Also racing well and qualifying for state meet were Guy Gordon Granger (17:29), Isaiah Callarman (17:51) and Aaron Sanders (18:09). Sophomore Will Kuhns (19:42), and freshmen Chance Hein (20:58) and Jack Nesvara (23:54) also had excellent performances. The men’s team tied for fourth with Highway 40 rival Steamboat Springs High School. Only 13 points separated the top five teams this week.
For the Panther women, freshman Elizabeth Hammond’s early season work ethic paid off, resulting in an 11th place finish overall in a time of 19:13. The Barker sisters, Elizabeth (who was racing on an injured ankle) and Maggie, are coming on strong as well, finishing 12th in 19:27 and 29th in 20:45 respectively. Just missing state qualification by an agonizing two seconds, senior Katelyn Cimino had a strong race, coming home in 22:22 to take 47th. Selena Stoncius and Sierra Jamison both raced well finishing 60th (24:15) and 63rd (24:36), respectively.
“The team looked very strong and competed hard today with some great results,” said head coach Mike Lohman. “I was especially impressed with Wil Cleveland’s race; I think it was a career-best effort.”
The team is looking forward to its home race on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Snow Mountain Ranch. It will be a pursuit format with an individual start 3-kilometer classic race in the morning and a pursuit start 5-kilometer skate race in the afternoon.
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