SOUTH PASS CITY – Above-average temperatures and a lack of fresh powder challenged Pinedale Nordic skiers at a two-day invitational hosted by Lander, Jan. 15-16. Seven high school teams gathered at Beaver Creek Ski Trails near South Pass City for a 5-kilometer skate race on Friday followed by a 5-kilometer classic on Saturday.
Demonstrating their resolve, Pinedale athletes pushed through a difficult course two days in a row and took a series of setbacks in stride.
“Weather conditions were excellent, but the snow conditions were a little less desirable, causing some spills and breakage of equipment,” said head coach Chris Calabro. “Jimmy Winkelkotter hit a snag about 3 kilometers into his race when he broke one of his poles. A race official gave him a pole to use for the remainder of the race. Lexie Goodrich broke one of her skis during the race on the uneven terrain, but didn’t let it slow her down much.”
Winkelkotter managed to get back into the boys’ varsity 5-kilometer skate race Friday despite issues with gear. He came in 31st out of 63 skiers, timing in at 18 minutes, 48.90 seconds.
Freshman Max Rife came in 28th in the boys’ varsity skate race, finishing in 18:15.20.
In the girls’ varsity skate race, senior Aurora Looney placed 52nd, clocking in at 24:27.80. Goodrich completed the course a few seconds later, taking 53rd place at 24:38.40.
Freshman Paige Graham competed in the junior varsity 5-kilometer race on Friday and placed second at 33:46.90.
During Saturday’s 5-kilometer classic race, Winkelkotter moved up to 23rd place in varsity boys, clocking in at 20:17.30. Rife came in 28th place at 20:32.30.
Goodrich improved and took 45th place in girls’ varsity with a time of 25:33.30. Looney placed 68th at 32:27.20.
The team travels back to Jackson this weekend for a 10-kilometer race on Friday and a 5-kilometer relay on Saturday.