Panthers Nordic team competes in 5K Classic Race in Aspen |

Panthers Nordic team competes in 5K Classic Race in Aspen

The Middle Park High School girls Nordic team.

ASPEN — The Middle Park Panthers Nordic Team skied strong in a 5K individual start classic race last Saturday in Aspen.

The women’s team came in sixth out of 14 teams and the men came in fifth out of 15 teams.

The day started out cold at 14 degrees and partly cloudy, but quickly gave way to beautiful blue skies as the temperature warmed to 30 and then close to 40 degrees later in the morning. The temperature rise made waxing challenging for coaches Mike Lohman and Dave Cleveland.

The women’s race was first, with five Middle Park girls competing in a field of 107 racers.

Senior Elizabeth Barker was the first Panther to cross the finish, with a time of 22:29, placing her an impressive 15th overall. Next was freshman Elizabeth Hammond, with a time of 24:48 in 34th place, followed by Katelyn Cimino with a time of 25:58 in 45th place. Selena Stoncius and Sierra Jamison both had strong finishes, as well.

The men competed next, with 13 Middle Park racers in a field of 144.

Sebastian Brower was the first Panther to finish, with a time of 17:34 in a strong 11th place overall. The second Panther finisher in 27th place overall was Alex Holinka, with a time of 19:00. He was followed closely by Kimo Sullivan, Guy Granger, Wil Cleveland, Ethan Callarman, Isaiah Callarman and Graydon Walker, who were all within close to a minute of each other. Vinny Troccoli, Will Kuhns, Aaron Sanders, Chance Hein, and Jack Nesvara also came in strong.

Next week’s race is a 5K skate race on Saturday, Feb. 9 in Steamboat Springs. This is the last regular season race, followed by the state race in Durango on Feb. 20-23.

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