Top-tier finishes propel Middle Park Nordic team to strong local meet

Brower and Barker take top spots for girls and boys

Patrick Brower
For Sky-Hi News
Middle Park High School racer Sylvia Brower turns the corner with the finish line in sight Jan. 13 , 2023, on her way to winning the 3K classic race at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

Middle Park High School Nordic skiers Sylvia Brower and Gray Barker took first-place finishes in the home ski meet at Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby on Jan. 13 to bolster a strong overall performance by the Panthers ski team.

The event was a dual-discipline competition, with a 3-kilometer classic race in the morning followed by a 5-kilometer skate race in the afternoon.

“The team had its first big test against all the teams in the league with all the best skiers there,” said head coach Dan Jamison. “The team skied well, but as always, there is much more work to be done to stay competitive with the teams in the league.”

The boys team took second out of 13 teams in both the skate and classic races. The women’s team took fifth in the classic race and fourth in the skate race out of 12 teams from across the Rocky Mountain region.

For the girls, Sylvia Brower took first place in the 3K classic race with Panthers skier Annie Kuhns next in line for Middle Park in 14th place, followed by Haley Miller (29th). Other top skiers in the classic race for the girls were: Alaina Mears (30th), Gabrielle Pellini (36th), Morgan Speiwak (55th), Paige Vecchiarelli (58th), and Sabra Forquer (67th). The girls classic field had 90 racers.

Close behind Barker’s top finish in the boys classic race for Middle Park was Dane Jensen with a fifth place finish. The next Panthers finishers were Ewan Gallagher (22nd), Kyle Vogelbacher (23rd), Andy Troccoli (31st), Kadin Starr (33rd), Patrick Mccay (62nd), Eli Boomer (63rd), Logan Walker (81st), and Barrett Acker (113th). The boys field placed 125 skiers on the course.

 Skate race features strong finishes in 5K

The Middle Park High School Nordic team also competed in the skate race with strong results, but not as strong as in the classic discipline.

For the women, Brower took third place behind two Ellas: Ella Hagen of Summit High School (first) and Ella Bullock of Lake County High School (second). Annie Kuhns was the next Panthers skier in 13th place, with Haley Miller cruising in to 22nd. Other top skiers for the women were Mears (38th), Speiwak (46th), and Forquer (73rd). A total of 82 girls participated in the skate race.

For the boys, Middle Park took second place in the meet.

Barker was the top Panthers skier, coming in second place behind Kay Oppito of Summit. Jensen was the next Panther skier in 11th place, followed by Vogelbacher (19th), Gallagher (20th), Starr (31st), Troccoli (47th), Boomer (54th), Walker (70th), Mccay (71st) and Acker (108th). A total of 122 skiers competed in the boys race.

The Panthers are traveling to Steamboat Springs Saturday, Jan. 21, for another Colorado High School Ski League competition.

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