Only one competition remains before the Rocky Mountain Nordic Junior National Team will be announced, and plenty of Durango sliders have put themselves in position for nomination after a recent race at Steamboat Springs.
The Durango Nordic Ski Club will complete its schedule this weekend in Vail. The team closed out January in Steamboat after races were moved away from Soldier Hollow, Utah, because of poor snow conditions.
“Since Soldier Hollow is an Olympic venue, those races tend to draw a lot of our athletes who don’t typically travel for racing,” Durango assistant head coach Paige Elliott said in an email to The Durango Herald. “Fortunately, everybody rallied for Steamboat and we had several athletes come who had never competed in an out-of-town race before. We were so excited to have them there and it was fun watching them learn the ropes.”
In the individual start races, the young Durango athletes fared well, as Betty Holcomb led the team with a gold medal in the under-10 age division. Kira May placed fourth in the girls under-12 field, and Zoe Freeman was 14th in her first road race.
Maggie Holcomb placed ninth in the under-14 girls race, and Halle Moore was 11th followed by Ruby May in 14th.
Fred Reiter was 13th among under-14 boys, and Zach Ottman placed 23rd in his first road race.
In the under-12 boys race, James Garvey placed 16th, and Andre Craig rolled to 20th.
The older athletes held their own on the skate sprints, too. Logan Moore reached the A finals in the under-16 boys race, and he placed second to earn a silver medal. Wiley Corra was in the B finals and placed 12th overall.
Ruth Holcomb placed 13th overall in the under-16 girls race. Bailey Freeman, another first-time road racer, placed 23rd.
Marit May placed 19th in the under-18/20 girls race, and Carter Reiter was 20th.
A second day of racing featured mass start classic races. The under-16 boys race stole the show, as Corra and two Steamboat skiers built a big gap on the field and went in a strong three-boy race for all 5-kilometers. Corra finished third, only one-tenth of a second behind second place and three-tenths of a second behind first. Moore placed fourth.
In the under-16 girls race, Ruth Holcomb placed 12th in her 5K, and Bailey Freeman was 22nd.
The oldest athletes raced a 10K course, and Marit May finished 15th for the under-18/20 girls, followed by Carter Reiter in 20th.
Betty Holcomb again led the under-10 contingent of Durango Nordic skiers, as she earned a bronze in her 1.5K race.
In the under-12 girls race, Kiri May earned a third-place finish and bronze medal. Zoe Freeman also finished 15th.
Halle Moore and Ruby May got in the top 10 i the under-14 girls race. Moore placed eighth, and May placed 10th, while Maggie Holcomb finished 12th.
The under-14 boys race saw Fred Reiter place 11th and Ottman take 23rd. IN the under-12 boys race, Garvey was 15th and Craig placed 21st.
“I think Durango Nordic had our best performances yet at the Steamboat JNQ,” said head coach Evan Elliott. “I saw a lot of focused, strong, and strategic racing from our athletes over both race days. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do at our next race in Vail.”