Nordic ski team opens its season in Casper

The Pinedale High School

Nordic ski team headed to snowy Casper

Mountain to compete at the Don Jacobson

Memorial Invite on Dec. 8.

The races were long and grueling – 5

kilometers for varsity and 3 kilometers

for junior varsity.

Head Coach Holly Thayne led a relatively

young team to their first meet of the

season. Despite the fact that some team

members had never competed before,

Thayne said the team really stepped up.

“The kids skied hard and had some

good results,” she said. “We had a young

team of several first-year skiers who now

know where they stack up against the

competition. Everyone did a super job

learning the race protocol, and they know

what to expect for the season now. I’m

proud of all of them for jumping in and

doing their best in Casper.”

Sophomore Aurora Looney led the

team with a 14th-place finish in the girls’

varsity race. Fifty-eight athletes competed

in the event, and Looney just missed the

top 10 by less than 30 seconds. Her total

time stood at 20:36.2.

Freshman Claire Hayward finished

50th in the girls’ varsity race with a total

time of 25:20.8. Sophomore Sadie Sifkes

was close behind in 52nd place and a final

time of 26:05.8. Senior Katelyn Hayward

finished at 55th place with a total time of


Junior Stephen Essington led the team

in the boys’ varsity 5-kilometer race. Essington

finished in 42nd place out of a

field of 57 athletes. His total time stood

at 20:39.1.

Freshman Zane Hayward also competed

in the boys’ varsity race. He placed

45th with a total time of 21:12.6.

In the junior varsity field, freshman

Lexie Goodrich completed the girls’ 3-kilometer

race in 14th place out of 28 skiers.

Her final time was 15:38.2. Freshman

Catherine Thomson finished the race in

27th place with a final time of 19:33.7.

Freshman James Winkelkotter was the

only Pinedale athlete to compete in the

boys’ junior varsity race. He finished in

19th place out of 25 athletes who finished

the race with a total time of 16:17.2.

The Nordic ski team will travel to Cody

to hit the snow at Pahaska Tepee for the

6.5-kilometer skate races on Dec. 21 and

22. Thayne is looking forward to the

team’s next competition.

“The team is fired up to work hard

and improve their times and places,” she

said. n


Video News