Diana Lynn Rau: Nordic Corner
Diana Lynn Rau
Grand County CO Colorado
A thin margin of weather and snow conditions cooperated well enough that the Middle Park High School Nordic skiers were able to host a successful home meet on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Snow Mountain Ranch, their home course. The unique format, a pursuit, occurs just once per season for Colorado high school Nordic skiers, and this year it was Middle Park’s turn to host. In this format, skiers mass-started and skied a classic lap of 3 km, exchanged their classic skis for skate gear on-the-fly, and then completed a 3.5 km lap skating. The race was scored as three separate races: A classic race, skate race and an overall combined result, called the pursuit.
Middle Park’s Panther women finished fourth as a team in the classic race, with Seraphina Smith (13th), Linnea Zink (14th), Jenna Curran (24th) and Amelia Clancy (26th) all qualifying for the state meet in classic. The women’s team finished seventh overall in the skate race, with Smith (13th), Zink (29th) and Elly Zietz (34th) all qualifying for state. Smith went on to finish 14th in the pursuit, with Zink just cracking the top 20.
The men matched the women by finishing fourth as a team in classic, with Taber Miyauchi, back from his world travels and rested, finishing 17th, followed by Steve Simmons (23rd), Colby Zink (28th) and Daniel Kopp (39th) all qualifying for state. In the skate race, the men finished fourth, with Miyauchi holding onto 17th, Simmons moving up to 20th and a phenomenally strong effort by Joe Rupp to finish 31st and qualify for state. Both Miyauchi (15th) and Simmons (19th) held on to top 20 spots in the overall pursuit tally.
The wind died down, and the temperatures were perfect for a classic East Grand Middle School 3K ski race at the YMCA on Saturday, Jan. 21. The coaches corked the correct kick wax concoction so that the racers could stride up the hills, but still zoom the downhills. The East Grand Middle School boys in red finished 4th out of eight teams. Simon Zink led the pack with a stellar 1st place finish. Theo Loo and Elliot Shaw were the next finishers for the middle school, placing 17th and 20th. The girls, led by 10th place Georga Feek, 11th place, Chelsea McManigal and 12th place Rowen Gallager, compiled enough points for a 3rd place team finish.
For more information on races and to volunteer, contact MPHS coach Dave Zink at firstname.lastname@example.org or EGMS coach Karen Waschle at email@example.com. Both teams will go to Eldora for Individual Classic racing on Jan. 28.
YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch
The next free Grand Nordic lessons are Jan. 29 at the YMCA with classes offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Lessons are offered for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of both classic and skate with youth classes in beginner, classic and skate. Call the Nordic Center to reserve your spot as class size is limited. Grand Nordic members also receive free equipment and trail pass. Call 970-887-3095 ext. 4173 for more information or visit the website http://www.ymcarockies.org/smrnordic.
The popular Salomon Classic Race is Feb. 11. Go to http://www.ymcarockies.org/smrnordicraces to register. YMCA offers free skiing for Grand County locals on Wednesdays with free kids ski lessons on both Friday and Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. in January and February. For those needing equipment, please arrive at least 15 minutes early. Parents are encouraged to help out.
The Colorado Biathlon Relay is Jan. 28. For more information, go to coloradobiathlon.org. State championships are at the YMCA at the end of February.
Save the weekend of March 3-4 for the Snow Mountain Stampede Marathon – 42K, 21K, 10K, and kids races. This is the first year for a two-day format and there will be a Grand Nordic sponsored dinner available with bonfire and moonlight ski on Saturday night.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch
Ski, Sip and Spa Day is Jan. 29 at Devils Thumb. Join the women’s ski clinic with yoga, spa treatments and wine. Feb 4 is a full-moon ski, skate and snowshoe event for everyone. The next skijouring clinic is Feb. 5. Equipment available. Call 970-726-8231 for details on these events.
The 9th Annual Grand Huts Progressive Ski Dinner is on Feb. 4. Tickets are still available online at http://www.grandhuts.org or call 970-726-4099. Benefits go to the new Broome Hut on Second Creek. Volunteers are needed.
Devils Thumb offers free kids lessons Fridays at 10 a.m. in January and February. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early if equipment is needed. A one-time $20 fee applies for hot chocolate and program fee.
Grand Lake Nordic Center
The last scheduled free lessons for kids 16 and under are at 10 a.m. on Friday Jan. 27. Registration is required, so call 970-627-8008. Grand County students ski free on Fridays.
Fraser to Granby trail
Conditions are reasonable from YMCA underpass to Tabernash, Tabernash to the Fraser Ballfields, as well as County Road 8 on the Fraser River Trail to the Winter Park Resort. Grooming is done by volunteers when possible, but have patience as much of the trail is very affected by the winds. All sections are open for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or just plain walking with your dog. Please observe dog leash restriction in the Beavers area and pick up after your pooch. We will be grooming north of the Y Underpass toward Granby Ranch when possible this year. Also the top of CR 87 or Lions Lane to the cross-country trails at SolVista are good light touring. Parking is available at the top of 87 and SolVista welcomes you to their cross-country trails. Watch out for falling and fallen trees – we are trying to remove them as fast as possible, but they keep coming down. If you can volunteer to help, please call Andy Miller at 970-726-4099 or Diana Lynn Rau at 970-887-0547. Above all, be courteous to landowners and respect private property.
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