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On Jan. 21, the 12-member ski team had to divide and conquer. Five skiers competed in slalom at Winter Park and five competed in a skate race at Breckenridge’s Gold Run Nordic Center. The remaining two were out sick, coach Brian Inman said.
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This year’s Clear Creek ski team is small but mighty.
While he was at Winter Park for the day, he’d heard that the five Nordic skiers did well at Gold Run.
At Winter Park, Clear Creek’s senior Bridget Egan, junior Skylah Inman and sophomore Shea Ryan all placed in the top 70 girls, he continued.
“I thought the girls skied really well,” he said. “They showed real aggression at points during the race and really attacked the hill.”
For the boys, sophomore Olsen Hoogendoorn and freshman Ayden Mellon both crashed in roughly the same spot on the course, but Inman was still very happy with how they competed.
“(Mellon)’s getting used to varsity-sized race courses,” Inman said of the freshman. “ … He’s getting better every race.”
The Golddiggers will likely return to Winter Park in mid-February for the state competition, he said, adding that he hopes all 12 skiers will be able to go.
Beyond state, Inman believes that junior Parker Scott has a good chance to win the March 1 Skimeister competition and that his sister, freshman Addyson Scott, could finish in the top 10.
While Clear Creek typically boasts 16 or 17 skiers each winter, this year’s team is the program’s smallest in 10 years, Inman said. He initially had 25 students sign up this season, but only 12 stuck it out. He wasn’t sure why, wondering if COVID-19 was to blame.
“I know some of the older kids that aren’t competing, they want to get done with school and move on,” he said.
Even so, Inman described this year’s skiers as adaptive, hardworking, and resilient, adding, “I think they’ve been really excited to compete.”
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