Middle Park Nordic skiers back on track
Sky-Hi Daily News
The Nordic skiers of Middle Park High have gotten off to a decent start to their competitive season.
The Panther cross-country skiers have raced in a couple of competitions so far this winter. The first was in December at Vail while the second was last weekend at Frisco.
“I think for the amount of time we’ve had to train as a team and late start skiing on snow, we’re doing well,” said coach Wade Wilderman. “Now that we’ve gotten both the Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations out of the way, I think we’ll start to see things really happen.”
With little time on snow before their season-opening race Saturday, Dec. 15, Middle Park’s skiers deliberately took it a bit easy in the 5-kilometer classic technique races held on the Vail Golf Course.
“It was really hard to be ready that early, especially because we hadn’t been on snow long,” Wilderman said. “I told everybody to ski easy, but they did well. I think some of our skiers surprised themselves.”
In the girls’ 5K, the Panthers’ top finisher was Makenna Morck, who skied a time of 26:34.8 for 18th place.
The winner of the race was Vail’s Karlie Moore with 21:53.9 against a field of 69 skiers.
The results for the rest of Middle Park’s girls at Vail are: 33. Ryndi Zastrow, 28:39.8; 35. Mackenzie Wilderman, 28:49.7; and 53. Samantha Miyauchi, 34:13.9.
In the 5-kilometer race for boys at Vail, the Panthers’ top skier was Eric Shurson, who crossed the finish line in 20th place with a time of 21:59.8.
The winner of the race was Scott Lacy of Aspen with a time of 18:24.6 against a field of 77 skiers.
The results for the rest of Middle Park’s boys at Vail are: 26. Hugh McDonough, 23:35.4; 30. Matthew Naschak, 24:15.7; 36. 51. Nick O’Connor, 27:56.8; 62. Colin Papuga, 30:24.7; and 76. Cooper Knockenmus, 42:13.3.
After those first races in December, the Panthers cross-country skiers had their two-week Christmas vacation before they returned to action Thursday, Jan. 10. Competing at Frisco in the Summit 5K, they used the skating technique.
“Frisco was fun with a mass start in both races,” Wilderman said. “We did well with three of our boys and three of our girls already earning qualifications for state. Our other skiers are close and should be qualifying in the next few races.”
Middle Park’s best individual results came in the boys 5K race. Eric Shurson skied to a 11th place in 17:21.7. He was followed to the finish line by teammate Matthew Naschak who placed 12th in 17:27.5.
“Pacing was important in this race,” Wilderman said. “Eric started out a little too hard, was in third place but finished in 11th. Matt held back a bit and finished 12th.”
Thursday’s race was won by Scott Lacy of Aspen with a time of 14:58.8 against a field of 78 skiers.
The results for the rest of the Panther boys in the Summit 5K are: 23. Hugh McDonough, 18:26.4; 42. Matt Curran, 21:23.2; 55. Alberto Sapien, 23:18.5; 58. Nick O’Connor, 23:30.8; 66. Colin Papuga, 25:26.6.
In the girls 5K at Frisco, Middle Park’s top skiers were Mackenzie Wilderman who placed 24th in 21:55.2 and Ryndi Zastrow who finished 25th in 21:57.6.
Thursday’s cross-country skating race for girls was won by Briana Perkins of Summit with a time of 18:09.1 against a field of 79 skiers.
The rest of the results for the Panther girls at Frisco are: 30. Makenna Morck, 22:34.9; and 40. Samantha Miyauchi, 24:33.6.
“Mackenzie and Ryndi skied together the whole race,” Wilderman said. “Makenna, who is usually our fastest skier, had a rough start but then skied well and earned a qualification.”
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