In the quest to head to the Junior National Nordic Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska, Summit Nordic Ski Club's Taeler McCrerey, a Summit High School student, not only won her age class in both Friday's classic and Saturday's skate races, she also had the fastest time both days.
She skied a 22:27 in the classic race and a 15:44 in the skate race.
"She had a great weekend. Usually, she's close to being the top dog in the classic race, so Friday wasn't the biggest surprise, but (on Saturday), for her to win against those older girls in that skate race, that's a big step for her," coach Joe Howdyshell said.
The girls' program is growing, he added, pointing out that Saturday was the first time the girls' team - albeit young - had two racers on the podium at a junior national qualifier in at least five years with Ruthie Boyd finishing third.
Meanwhile, in the boys' racing division, Ski and Snowboard Club of Vail swept the podium in the 16-19-year-old skate race. The Vail club nearly swept the classic race Friday, but Evan Weinman of Steamboat Springs Winter Ski Club skied into second place.
Racing under the Summit High School name, Sam Piehl placed 10th in the classic race Friday, while the Nordic club's Cameron Bobb finished 15th. In the younger boys' age range, Billy Wilcox finished top for Summit in 6th place, behind winner Charlie Greenberg of Denver Nordic Ski Club.
Cameron Bobb finished fifth for Summit in Saturday's skate competition behind the older Vail boys. In the younger age class, Colin McGrew finished 13th, with Boulder Nordic Junior Racing Team's Paolo Takagi-Atilano taking first.
The Nordic club currently has eight members in its ranks who are qualified for the national race: Jackson Hill, Cameron Bob and Liam McDonnell (16-19); Henry Trowbridge, Billy Wilcox, Colin McGrew (14-15); Taeler McCrerey and Ruthie Boyd (14-15). Points are cumulative throughout the season, though, so the list isn't finalized until the race next weekend in Durango.
- Janice Kurbjun
"A few kids are on the bubble, so the pressure isn't off yet," Howdyshell said. "Hopefully, they can perform well enough to stay on it."