Nordic skiers finish season at State Championships


CASPER – The Pinedale High School Nordic ski team traveled to Casper Mountain on Feb. 26 and 27 to compete with six other teams in the 2021 State Championship meet. Jackson Hole dominated the meet and took home the overall state title for both boys and girls, followed by Lander Valley in second and Natrona County High School in third.

On Friday, skiers competed in a 5-kilometer classic race. Gusty winds and cold temperatures made for a challenging course.

Junior Jimmy Winkelkotter led the boys' varsity team with a 30th place finish and his best time of the season at 19 minutes, 43.80 seconds. Junior Zane Hayward took 40th place with his best time of 20:12.20. Freshman Max Rife came in 56th place with a time of 20:57.00.

Junior Lexie Goodrich finished 26th in the girls' 5-kilometer with her best time of 23:30.70. Freshman Paige Graham finished 75th with her best time of 32:14.70.

On Saturday, the winds continued to blow, dropping temperatures into the single digits for the skiers in their 10-kilometer skate race. On the boys' team, Rife skated to a 29th-place finish at 37:49.60, followed closely by Winkelkotter in 30th place at 37:50.20.

Hayward finished in 49th place at 40:30.10.

Goodrich finished the race in 57th place at 51:01.90.

Nordic head coach Holly Thayne said she is proud of the way the team handled the setbacks of dealing with COVID-19 restrictions and the changes that came with losing her as coach this season due to health issues. Thayne added that the team showed perseverance and powered through these obstacles and came back and kept improving. She looks forward to a more normal season next year.

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