Words by Gordon Gianniny
Photos by Derek Hill
The Western Mountain Sports Nordic Team traveled to Grand Mesa over the weekend for the first of three USCSA Rocky Mountain Conference regional races. Over the two days of racing, Western posted two individual wins and a team victory.
Racing started on Saturday morning with a skate sprint at Powderhorn Ski Resort. In the Men’s race, Sophomore Tyler Haroldson skied to a fourth place finish in the A-Final, followed by Senior Derek Hill in sixth. Senior Gordon Gianniny finished out the scoring for the men’s team, taking 7th place overall with a win in the B-Final. The men’s combined score of 14 points secured them the team title for the day. The women’s team was also very successful throughout the day, with Sophomores Anna Johnson and Rya Berrigan dominating in the heats and finishing first and second respectively in the A-Final. Sophomore Lexie Abric posted a strong result in the B-final to finish out the women’s team score.
After resting up on Saturday afternoon, the team geared up for the second race of the weekend, a 10km classic mass start. In spite of a few athletes getting tangled up at the start, the team produced another solid set of results. Hill led the men’s team with a 6th place finish, followed by Haroldson in 7th and Sophomore Elliot Shaw in 9th. In the women’s race, Berrigan out sprinted Hanna Brown of Colorado Mesa University to take the win, with Johnson close behind in 3rd.
Overall, the weekend was a very positive experience for the team. After recovering from Sunday’s race, the team will be shifting their focus to their home races, which will be hosted in conjunction with the Alley Loop Nordic Marathon this weekend in Crested Butte.