The Durango Nordic Ski Club finally got on some snow when the team sent 14 athletes to their first Junior National Qualifier of the season last weekend at the Frisco Nordic Center in Frisco.
“This was the first time many of our athletes have been on snow this season,” said Paige Elliott, assistant head coach of Durango Nordic.
“The dry winter has been challenging for all of Colorado, and the Summit community put in a tremendous amount of work to provide a great race venue for us.”
The two-day event, hosted by Summit Nordic Ski Club, took place across a two-kilometer loop of man-made snow.
The 10U age class skied a shortened loop for a one-kilometer course.
Betty Holcomb claimed the gold medal for Durango on Saturday, then doubled up with gold in Sunday’s race.
In Saturday’s freestyle race, which had a skate interval start, all age groups U16 and older raced two laps of the course for a four-kilometer race.
Marit May finished fourth overall for Durango in the 20U females.
In the 18U female division, Carter Reiter was 19th and Alma Wolf was 24th.
In the 16U females, Ruth Holcomb took tenth. Teammate Georgia Mynatt, who underwent back surgery for scoliosis earlier this year, finished 17th and Kristina Bodewes placed 22nd.
Logan Moore stepped onto the podium in third place for the 16U males Saturday, one place ahead of teammate Wiley Corra in fourth place. Noah Bodewes skied to 21st place in the 18U males race.
The 14U and 12U athletes raced one lap of the course. Halle Moore finished in 11th for the 14U females. Maggie Holcomb was 16th and Nina Quayle was 20th in her first race outside of Durango.
Andre Craig finished 17th in the 12U males race.
On Sunday, the 20U and 18U females raced another four kilometers. May earned another fourth-place finish, Reiter placed 14th and Wolf took 23rd.
Noah Bodewes took 26th place for the 18U males in his eight-kilometer race.
Ruth Holcomb was Durango’s first finisher for the 16U females with a 14th-place finish. Mynatt skied to 19th and Kristina Bodewes finished 22nd.
In the 16U male class, Corra fought to his second fourth-place finish of the weekend. Logan Moore also cracked the top 10 with a ninth-place finish.
In the 14U female group, Halle Moore and Maggie Holcomb both skied into the top 10 in their two-kilometer race, as Moore finished fifth and Holcomb placed eighth. Quayle skied to 22nd and Craig claimed another 17th-place finish for the weekend.
“Our athletes had only been skiing a handful of times – if at all – this year, so getting some time on groomed trails was a huge help,” said Durango Nordic head coach Evan Elliott.
“Everybody kept a positive outlook and gave their best efforts. We’re looking forward to some more snow and a great season ahead.”
The next Junior National Qualifier will be held in Crested Butte on Jan. 13-15.