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
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