The Durango Nordic Ski Club had three of its skiers compete March 3-11 in Lake Placid, New York, in the 2017 Cross Country Junior National Championships.
Cobe Freeburn, Logan Moore and Maggie Wigton represented Rocky Mountain Nordic at famed Mount Van Hoevenberg, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games.
The first race of the week was a skate individual start 5-kilometer event against athletes from 11 different divisions throughout the nation. Freeburn finished 20th overall in the 16-and-under boys group with a personal season-best time of 13 minutes, 38.8 seconds. He was the top finisher from Rocky Mountain Nordic. Moore’s time of 14:00.7 was good for 37th place.
Wigton finished 24th in the 20-and-under girls 5-kilometer race in 15:37.8.
The next event was a 1.5K loop classic sprint qualifier, and the top 30 competitors moved into knockout heats. Freeburn finished 31st in his qualifier, and Moore took 45th. Wigton qualified for the quarterfinals and ended up with a 27th-place effort in her group.
The third race of the week was a classic individual start. Freeburn took 31st, and Moore placed 64th.
Wigton had the best finish of the week in the 20-and-under event, as she finished 13th overall. She was the second finisher for Rocky Mountain Nordic and in the top five for finishers in the western United States.
The final event of the week was a team relay. The Rocky Mountain athletes split into teams of three, and each skier completed two laps of the sprint loop for a 3K course.
Freeburn’s team finished in 10th place, and Moore’s team finished in 12th in the 16-and-under group, while Wigton’s trio took 20th in her age group.
“I was so excited to see some of our racers experience their best result of the season at the final and most competitive event of the year,” Durango Nordic Ski Club head coach Paige Elliott said in an email to The Durango Herald. “That’s ultimately the goal, but it can be difficult to achieve after a long season of racing and working hard.”
Durango’s Katja Freeburn, a former Durango Nordic skier who now competes with Vail Ski and Snowboard Club, helped lead her team to the gold medal for the 18-and-under girls group.
The 14-and-under members of the Durango Nordic Ski Club team finished their season with a bang at the Rocky Mountain Nordic Championships on March 18-19 in Crested Butte.
“The U14 Championships is one of my favorite race weekends of the season,” said Elliott. “The event not only allows skiers a chance to be silly and have fun, but to also meet and race with kids whom they normally compete against.”
The weekend’s festivities began at the Magic Meadows trail system with a mixed team costume relay. Athletes from every participating club were split into groups of three and each team member skated a 1.5K loop.
Hannah Garvey’s team took second place, Bailey Freeman’s team was third and Ruth Holcomb’s team took sixth in the 14-and-under girls group. Wiley Corra’s team finished in third, and Aiden Quayle’s team took ninth in the same group for the males.
Nina Quayle’s 12-and-under group held the lead to earn the gold medal, while Maggie Holcomb and Zoe Freeman teamed up with a Boulder athlete to earn a fifth-place finish. The 12-and-under males were led by Tanner Coddington who put on an impressive finishing sprint to finish first overall.
The 10-and-under athletes skied a 1K loop for their relay. Mira Quayle helped her team earn a second-place finish. Betty Holcomb and her teammates finished in third, and James Garvey’s team took fourth place.
Sunday featured a distance classic 3K race at the Crested Butte Nordic Center. Ruth Holcomb ended her season with a personal best by finishing with a gold medal in the 14-and-under girls class. Ruth Holcomb also finished the season as the class champion in her age group.
Hannah Garvey and Bailey Freeman took 19th and 21st, respectively.
Wiley Corra finished on the podium in second place in the 14-and-under boys group.
Maggie Holcomb earned a silver medal in the 12-and-under class, while Zoe Freeman was 12th.
Tanner Coddington finished in ninth place in the boys 12-and-under class.
Betty Holcomb finished fifth for the 10-and-under girls division, and James Garvey finished seventh for the boys.
“Experiencing such awesome results at both Nationals and U14 Championships definitely ended the season on a high note,” Elliott said. “I think everybody can now move onto biking and running feeling satisfied with what a great winter it was.”