Krause, Pearson pace Nordic team

The Steamboat Springs High School Nordic team members continue to ski near the top half of the pack as they gear up for the state competition at Howelsen Hill at the end of February.

The Sailors traveled to Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby for a 5K classic race Saturday.

Vail's Haleigh Armstrong won the girls' race in 17 minutes, 19.1 seconds, while Middle Park's Cody Wilderman captured first on the boys' side in 15:05.9.

The Sailors' Justin Krause was the top racer for his team, taking third in a time of 15:25.2. More than 60 racers took part in the boys' race, while the girls' field was at 60.

Lisl Pearson led the way for the Steamboat girls with a sixth-place finish in 19:29.9.

Laura Phillip wasn't far behind Pearson, coming in ninth in 20:13.9.

Jennifer Hooper was 17th in 10:51.4. Katie Conrath, an Alpine skier for Steamboat as well, was 30th in 22:10.7, and Leigh Ann Smith was 34th in 22:39.9 to round out the Sailors' results.

On the boys' side, Paul Berry finished 12th for Steamboat in 17:01.4. Sean Batson was 33rd in 19:03.3, and Bridger Root was 36th in 19:10.8.

Batson said the course set up at Snow Mountain Ranch was the best race he had taken part in this season.

"This was the first race on relatively flat ground," Barry Smith said. "There was definitely some up and down but not drastic ups and downs."

The Sailors continue to post impressive results despite missing several veteran members who have spent earlier parts of the season competing in Rocky Mountain Division races.

The full squad is expected to compete in the Summit County skate race, scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Frisco Nordic Center.

How the Sailors fare in Summit County should help cast some light on whether they will contend for a possible state championship on their home courses next month.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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