STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs High School senior Winter Boese couldn’t wait to get to the finish line.
State-Qualifying Girls Results
1. Jordan Miner, Aspen
2. Winter Boese, Steamboat Springs
3. Naomi Harding, Battle Mountain
6. Zoe Bennett-Manke, Steamboat Springs
16. Maggi Congdon, Steamboat Springs
32. Macayla Scheidt, Steamboat Springs
37. Margaret Redfem, Steamboat Springs
42. Claire Bohmer, Steamboat Springs
45. Emma Stewart, Steamboat Springs
State-Qualifying Boys Results
1. Cameron Wolfe, Vail Mountain
2. Everett Olson, Aspen
3. Tyler Scholl, Middle Park
6. Wyatt Mortenson, Steamboat Springs
12. Chase Weynand, Steamboat Springs
20. Mitchell Meissner, Steamboat Springs
25. Gabriel Rabanal, Steamboat Springs
36. Quinn Wwllmen, Steamboat Springs
53. Nathaniel Swindle, Steamboat Springs
62. Jermiah Kelley, Steamboat Springs
Girls Team Results
2. Battle Mountain
3. Steamboat Springs
Boys Team Results
2. Middle Park
3. Steamboat Springs
Boese lied down on the cold, hard ground after the 5-kilometer individual start skate race. She was turned on her side, resting both of her shins against the snow to try to ease the pain. She laughs when she tells her friends about her icing strategy, and despite a second-place overall finish, just four seconds away from first-place, Boese’s number one concern was getting up.
“I was super nervous about my race,” Boese said. “I was either going to not race or ski classic again, like I did the last skate race, but it was awful, I got like 55th.
“But, I decided my shins already hurt so bad from Alpine — between Alpine and Nordic, that’s what makes them so bad. I was just hoping to ski the whole course, and if I place badly, then, at least, it’s some more points instead of not racing or classic. It didn’t affect my racing as much as it has been. It hurt, but I don’t think I was that much slower.”
It’s frustrating for Boese. This past summer, Boese had a stress reaction in her shins and couldn’t run for over two months. When she returned for cross country running, she felt out of shape in the beginning but, eventually, found herself as Steamboat Springs’ top-finisher in 18th place at the Class 4A state meet.
As a well-decorated runner and skier, Boese is losing her patience with her shin injuries. She did everything right during cross country season — rolling out and stretching every night. Skiing is supposed to be easier on her body, a time for her to amp up her endurance without the wear and tear of planting each foot repeatedly on the ground for miles, partaking in yoga as a part of training.
Instead, it’s another season of fighting through pain, but she’s doing it well. Boese has already qualified for state in both classic and skate disciplines.
“It’s hard this year because I was doing so much better last year, and this year, it’s just been so frustrating,” Boese said. “I’m just glad that I have this race.”
Boese will enter the state meet as the top skate skier in the state while sophomore Zoe Bennett-Manke is sitting at sixth in state.
As Steamboat Springs High school skier and a sophomore at Hayden High School, Wyatt Mortenson has consistently been the top finishers on the boys’ team this season.
Mortenson was all-state last year and has already qualified in both disciplines to go to state. He came in sixth overall on Saturday and is ranked No. 5 overall in the state for skate skiing.
“I tried to V2 as much as I could,” Mortenson said. “I kept my momentum throughout the course, started losing it towards the end but was kind of tired.”
The V2 technique focuses on double-poling with each skate. It takes practice and a lot of balance. The Steamboat Ski Touring center’s course requires tremendous balance because of its downhill turns. The Sailors trained on the course three times the week of competition to master it by Saturday, which helped prevent crashes the Sailors have faced this season in other places.
“If you can master balance, you’ve got this. It’s really a lot of it,” Mortenson said. “I feel like I need to bring my poles up more when I strike and balance. I need to work on my balance more.”
The Sailors boys and girls teams collected third-overall team placings. It was the third time the girls had placed third in a skate race during the regular season. Steamboat will send nine of its 13 girls and seven of its 13 boys to the state championships on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 21-22 in Durango.