The Methow Valley Nordic Team (MVNT) hosted the annual Ski Rodeo on Dec. 27 at the McCabe Trails at Liberty Bell High School. More than 100 racers joined the event with races ranging in distance from a 400-meter lollipop race to a 10K skate race.
“The thin snow cover was expertly groomed by the volunteer groomers and many people expressed how good the conditions were considering the thin coverage,” MVNT director Leslie Hall reported
The day started with a 1.5K race with Jedediah Stay from Plain, Washington, taking the win. Nils Smith from Winthrop was 3rd.
The biggest field of the day was in the 2.5K race where kids from ages 8 to 13 competed. MVNT’s Jori Grialou led the way from start to finish, with Derek Richardson from Leavenworth in 2nd and MVNT’s Lilia Kuzyk in 3rd.
The younger skiers weren’t awarded medals, but Dashe McCabe was the fastest in the 10 to 11-year-olds, followed by Leki Albright and Derek Delaney. In the 8- to 9-year-olds competition, Ben Kaufman set the fastest time, followed by Marit Nelson and Emil Schkrohowsky. Forty kids participated in this event, Hall noted.
Next up was the 5K race, which was also hotly contested. MVNT’s Walker Hall led the way, followed by Travis Grialou and Novie McCabe. Ian Delong was the 3rd male finisher and MVNT alumna Claire Waichler and Ella Kuzyk rounded out the ladies’ podium.
The 10K race followed on the heels of the 5K with some strong contenders. Brian Gregg, 2014 Olympian who has been competing in Ski Rodeo races since he was 10 or younger, toed the line along with several top nationally ranked competitors, and MVNT alum Sam Naney. The other half of Team Gregg, Brian’s wife Caitlin, was there to keep the ladies moving quickly.
As expected, Brian won the men’s race, with Bozeman, Montana, skier Max LaChance placing 2nd and University of Vermont’s Bill Harmeyer in a close 3rd. Naney just missed the podium in 4th. Caitlin Gregg crushed the women’s field with Laura McCabe in 2nd and Leslie Hall in 3rd.
The lollipop race followed with many happy skiers charging around for the tootsie pops, and a fun three-person relay ended the morning of activity, Hall reported. Full results can be found at www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=123537.