The Durango Nordic Ski Club traveled to Vail last weekend for its first race of the season.
Durango Nordic took advantage of the races to gain time on snow after having limited opportunities to do so in Durango.
“This was mainly a preparation race for the opening of the season,” said head coach Gary Colliander. “Without having snow in Durango, it was good for the kids to have this event before the season really kicks off.”
Hosted by Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, the Saturday and Sunday races offered athletes a chance to gain points with the U.S. Ski Association’s National Ranking List.
The races were held on a 2.5-kilomter loop at Maloit Park in Minturn. Male athletes raced four laps for a 10K course, while female athletes raced two laps for a 5K course.
Saturday’s weather was sunny and warm for the interval start freestyle race. Conditions were fast, and the course developed several icy corners as the day progressed.
In the girls’ U16 category, Katja Freeburn finished third, and teammate Marit May was 12th. In the girls U18 category, Avra Saslow finished seventh, Anna Fake eighth and Maggie Wigton 13th. In the boys U18 category, Charlie Greenberg finished seventh.
A snowstorm throughout Saturday night continued into Sunday morning. Skiers battled soft snow and tricky wax conditions.
In the girls U16 category, Freeburn finished fourth and May was ninth. In the girls U18 category, Fake was sixth, Saslow 11th and Wigton 13th. For the U18 boys, Greenberg finished 14th.
Durango Nordic alum and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s elite team athlete Tad Elliott finished second overall in Saturday’s freestyle race. Elliott won Sunday’s classic race.
“The weekend was a reminder for what the racing season is about,” said Colliander. “It was a good learning experience overall and will get us ready for the upcoming weekend.”
Durango Nordic will travel to Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Parkon Friday through Sunday for the first Junior National qualifier of the season.