The Nederland Nordic and alpine ski teams have been training for weeks now. It just might be the New Year before either has a grasp on just how good they’ll really be.
The Nordic team — whose first meet on Saturday has been canceled — doesn’t open competition until Jan. 7, while the alpine team doesn’t begin racing until Jan. 6.
“It’s nice to have a long early part of the season to work on form and technique,” third-year Nordic coach David Femmer said. “But it’s always kind of nice from the athletes’ standpoint to get rid of some of the early season jitters and get a race under their belt. It kind of goes each way.”
Femmer’s squad was hit hard by graduation, but he does return standout senior Dyani Chapman on the girls side. Senior Jordan Wood is the only returning boy for the Nordic squad.
“We’ll have to see how the first race goes and have a better idea after that,” Femmer said of his team’s chances.
One major bright spot for both Nordic and alpine figures to be the addition of sophomore Bailey Kuechenmeister. A key member of the Panthers’ state champion cross country team in the fall, she joins the ski teams after competing in alpine at the club level the past few years.
She’ll definitely have an impact for the alpine team, and Femmer said she should “turn some heads” for his squad as well as she gets better and better at the Nordic techniques.
Second-year alpine coach Whitney Taylor believes her girls squad has a shot to compete for a state title.
In addition to the Kuechenmeister addition, Taylor has junior Dayna Larsen returning after winning individual titles in both slalom and giant slalom last season.
With 32 kids from 11 schools out for the alpine team, Taylor also has Peak to Peak twins Kyle and Chase Robbins helping bolster the top of the girls lineup.
“With those four girls on the team, we could win state,” said Taylor, whose squad was doing dryland training only until last week.
On the boys side, the Panthers — who will host an GS event at Eldora on Jan. 20 — seniors River Harris and Brian Newman figure to help lead the way for a wildcard group that will also see a few additions from the club ranks.
Tim Yount — the wrestling rankings guru in Colorado — has released his On the Mat preseason rankings for the 2011-12 season. And Boulder area schools are lightly represented compared to most years.
Broomfield, second in 4A, is the only area team ranked in the top 10 in its respective classification.
The Eagles lead the way individually, as well. Both Nick Babcock (152) and Phil Downing (132) are ranked first, while Jon Stelling (126) and Drew Romero (106) are each ranked second. Erie’s Clay Bunker is second behind Babcock at 152 in 4A.
In 5A, Boulder leads the way with a trio of wrestlers in the top 10: Conner Murtha (sixth at 138), Jack Sober (fourth at 220) and Hans Lehndorff (second at 285).
Monarch’s Christian Valentine (3rd in 5A at 120) and Erie’s Brandon Wetsch (third in 4A at 113) are also ranked in the top three at their classes.
To subscribe to On the Mat Rankings, email Yount at firstname.lastname@example.org.
with St. Cloud
The St. Cloud State University swim team announced the signing of Fairview senior Mary Scraggs.
Scraggs, a Camera All-Region second-teamer last winter as a junior, will join the Division-II Huskies next fall.
The Monarch boys lacrosse team will host an informational meeting for prospective players and parents at 6 p.m. Dec. 13. To register or for questions, contact coach David Auday at email@example.com.