Reid clan sets pace at Paco’s Fun Race
Special to the Sun
Cross country ski racing will never be confused as an “easy” sport. But it’s also a very dynamic endeavor, in more ways than one. In addition to being what could generously be called “vigorous,” it is also very changeable.
Race courses are hardly ever exactly the same, snow conditions are constantly in a state of flux, and then, of course, there is the weather. It’s not always 10 yards for a first down on a 100-yard field or running back and forth indoors on an 94-foot court with 10-foot rims.
Witness, for example, the difference between the racing conditions from Friday’s CNISSF race and Sunday’s Paco’s Fun Race at Auburn Ski Club:
On Sunday, gone were the 60 mph winds. The air temperature was easily 20 degrees warmer. The powder drifts of snow across the trail were gone, replaced with smooth corduroy grooming on a course completely buffed-out by Auburn Ski Club Training Center’s Bill Clark. And most importantly, gone were the shivering muscles and taut faces of Friday, only to be replaced with Lycra-clad bodies and wide grins ” after the race, of course.
Oh, and then there was the racing itself.
Once again, the first family of California Nordic racing, the Reids of Palo Alto, Calif., put on a clinic on how to win races at Auburn Ski Club. Flip-flopping their classic results from the week before at the SnowShoe Thompson event, Garrett Reid and Tav Streit of Reno dueled it out for the top spot of the men’s division, with Reid setting a blistering pace from the beginning in this interval start event and holding on for the win.
“I knew I went out fast at the start, and I was just hoping I could hold on enough on the second lap and not blow up,” said Reid, a sophomore on the University of Colorado Nordic team. “I knew Tav was starting later in the field, and I wanted to give him a reason to push it.”
Reid’s winning time of 21 minutes and 33 seconds was good enough for a 22-second margin over Streit. Finishing in third place for the second week in a row was Truckee High’s Spencer Wood, who finished with a time of 22:30 over the slightly-shorter-than-10K course.
Once again, the top women’s spot went to Garrett’s mom, 47-year-old Beth Reid, who managed a top-10 finish in this competitive field. Reid’s time of 23:39 was good for 10th place overall, with a significant gap in time to the second-place women’s finisher, Molly Zurn of Reno (26:34).
Zurn, who was 21st overall, improved dramatically from her fifth-place finish the previous week to jump up the rankings.
Third place went to ” who else? ” Junior racer Joanne Reid in a time of 26:59. The 14-year-old eschewed the traditional 5K distance of the Junior women to show the adults that she can compete in the longer races just as effectively as the shorter ones.
In the one-lap 5K race, Kelsey Dion of Truckee took the women’s top spot with a time of 13:31, good enough for an eight-second win over Truckee High teammate Sophie Aaron. Another teammate, Lucy Ferneyhough, was third (14:12).
For the boys, Junior racer Russell Kennedy of Truckee easily won the overall competition with a time of 11:39, with a very comfortable 41-second margin of victory over Tahoe City’s Tom McElravey. Third place went to Miles Heapes of Homewood with a time of 12:32.
Next weekend holds the promise of racing from start to finish, with a CNISSF Classic event in Mammoth Lakes on Friday and the re-scheduled Sierra Nordic Duathlon competition at Auburn Ski Club on Saturday.
A unique event, the Duathlon is a combined mass-start 5K Classic competition that “rolls” directly into a 5K Freestyle (skate) race, with participants changing skis and poles (and sometimes boots) midway through the competition. The winner is truly the best overall skier on the day.
Monday’s major event is the Sierra Skogsloppet at Tahoe Donner Cross Country. A benefit for the Truckee High and Alder Creek Middle School Nordic teams, the Skogsloppet is also the critical third leg of the Junior Olympic Qualifier competition series to determine the makeup of the Far West Nordic team for the national competition in Soldier Hollow, Utah, in March.
For full results and schedules, go to http://www.farwestnordic.org.
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