Summit boys Nordic team secures state title for Tigers ski program
Ella Hagen places 4th in classic race on Day 2 of state championships
At Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, a large pack of Nordic skiers moved their skis in place to stay warm ahead of the mass-start classic race Friday, Feb. 18.
Among the hoard of girls was Ella Hagen, decked out from head to toe in her green Tigers speed suit. Soon, the field was off in a rush of skis, poles and legs as skiers worked to put themselves in the right position early on in the race.
Hagen did just that, putting herself in the front pack and chasing the front-runner ahead of her.
Hagen worked up the challenging, hilly course — which she later said she enjoyed — in order to find herself in third place at about the halfway mark of the race.
Then Hagen seemed to get more serious as she prepared for the most painful part of the race, flinging her glasses to a teammate in the process. Hagen traversed around the rest of the course and came across in fourth in 21:16.6 as a young, burgeoning freshman
“I wasn’t expecting this when we started the season,” Hagen said about her state performances. “It was a lot of fun. I loved the hills; they were great — great for a small person like me. And it’s just a course that you have to go as hard as you can and never stop.”
Hagen was the only girl to compete as the rest of the team choose to race at a club event.
As the boys race was about to get underway, the Grand County breeze brought in some light flurries. The Tigers boys team had more on the line for its race: a state title.
The boys did not disappoint as they raced strong all the way to the finish.
Roan Varble was the first Tigers skier across the line in fifth place with a time of 17:12.9.
Varble didn’t have to wait long for another one of his teammates to keep him company at the finish line as James Sowers came in sixth with a time of 17:30.5.
Jonah Mocatta and Christian Skoworn were the next Tigers across the line in 14th and 15th, respectively, followed by Brody Henning in 21st. Lucas Dayton and Bryce Oppito rounded out the performances by the Tigers by placing 29th and 44th, respectively.
The boys team placed third overall in the classic race, which was a solid performance by the team.
“They skied really, really well,” head coach Eva Hagen said about the boys team. “It’s been a great season, and they have really improved a lot.”
With this being Hagen’s third year as a head coach, the boys team has come far in a short amount of time.
Last year, the Alpine and Nordic boys ski programs placed seventh as a team, and this year they placed first with the classic Nordic race putting them ahead of Battle Mountain for good to win the title.
Hagen likens the success of the boys team and the team as a whole to her knowledgeable coaching staff, made up of Matt Dayton and Scott Yule, as well as the drive of the team.
“I think the boys are really close,” Hagen said. “They are also quite motivated and dedicated. Last year, we only placed seventh on the boys side, and this year we placed first. It’s huge.”
The Summit girls ski programs placed fourth overall with Ella Hagen scoring 57 points by herself in the classic race.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.
Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.