The Kid Goats high school team, made up of Methow Valley students and sponsored by the Mazama Store, won its division of this year’s 2018 Ski to Sea Race, a relay consisting of eight legs of various types starting at the Mt. Baker ski area and ending in Bellingham.
Walker Hall started the race off by finishing the cross-country ski leg just seconds behind Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall, Mazama Store co-owner Rick LeDuc reported.
Eli Neilsen, who led the overall race for a brief time, finished the downhill portion in second place before handing off to runner Emerson Worrell, who kept up the blistering pace. The Kid Goats were in third place overall when Cade Quigley began the 41-mile road bike segment in the town of Deming.
“At this point the team was in rarified air, rubbing shoulders with nationally ranked athletes in their respective sports,” LeDuc reported. “Cade passed off to Lazo Gitchos and Henry Jones for the grueling 18-plus mile canoe leg on the Nooksack River. When the canoeists tagged cyclocross biker Travis Grialou, they were in 11th place.”
Grialou rode a phenomenal leg and kept the team in the top 20, finishing the cyclocross in 13th place before handing off for the final segment, a 5-mile sea kayak leg, to Nicholas Fitzmaurice. “Nick rang the bell in just over seven hours, the fastest time by a high school team ever and 19th place overall,” Le Duc reported. “This was an amazing feat and made even more impressive by the fact that all the team members came from the same high school. Most of the teams are made up of select athletes from all over the country and even a few international athletes, so to see a bunch of local kids from the Methow Valley pull it together like this is really something special.”