Nordic season gets under way with Gold Run NRL races |

Nordic season gets under way with Gold Run NRL races

Summit Daily/Reid Williams Summit Middle School student Julia Hayes grits it out Saturday at the National Ranking List races at Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge.

BRECKENRIDGE – Briana and Brittany Perkins got a good taste of who their competition will be during this winter’s Nordic ski season on Saturday – each other. The two sisters finished within four seconds of each other at the Gold Run National Ranking List (NRL) race at the Gold Run Nordic Center.Briana won the J1 girls division, skating through a 5K course in 15 minutes, 53.4 seconds. Her older sister beat her, however, finishing second in the J2 girls class at 15:49.1, behind Jamie Woelk of Crested Butte (15:12.4).”When I found out I finished four seconds behind her, I was like ‘Oh man,'” Briana said. “There were plenty of places out there that I could have made up four seconds.”

More than 180 cross country skiers from around the state descended on the Nordic center for the first of two days of racing designed to help the skiers establish points for ranking purposes on the national level. The skiers competed in 14 age divisions on courses ranging from 1K for the youngest to 8K for the oldest. The Perkins sisters led the revamped Summit Nordic Ski Club in the organization’s debut in competitive skiing. The club was vastly re-organized in the fall to give local skiers a better resource for training opportunities. Thirty-one skiers from the club competed on Saturday, with Zach Armstrong and Kate Chapman joining Brittany and Briana on the podium. Armstrong took third in the J3 boys, skating a 3K in 11:31.9, and Chapman earned bronze in the JO girls, finishing a 5K in 16:54.3.”This starts it all off,” said Summit Ski Club program director Matt Dayton. “It’s a great opportunity to get out and compete against a broad field.”

Gene Dayton, Matt’s father and an assistant coach for Summit High School Nordic team, said many of Summit’s skiers are still getting their preseason jitters out. “They all have new engines,” he said. “The tendency I saw in several cases was they took it out too hard.”The race also brought several recent Summit High graduates back to the county for competition. Kyle Ahern, skiing for Denver University, won the JO boys 8K (24:14.6). Josh Dayton, Matt’s younger brother, skied to 17th in the senior men division, skating 8K in 22:53.9. Josh skis for Western State College in Gunnison.Brothers Pete and Andy Richmond also competed, but struggled due to extensive traveling and competing recently with the DU ski team. Andy finished 27th among senior men (24:33.6), while Pete did not finish.

In the senior women’s division, SHS alum Tara Sheahan, skiing for the Subaru Factory Team, took third, skating 5K in 14:29.5.The NRL races continue today with a classic sprint at Gold Run. Preliminary races begin at 9 a.m., leading to finals in the afternoon. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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