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State skiing: Nederland’s Larsen takes second in giant slalom

BEAVER CREEK — The stakes have clearly been raised this year in Colorado prep girls alpine skiing.

Case in point?

Nederland’s Dayna Larsen — last year’s runaway state champ in the giant slalom and slalom — turned in what she felt like was even better skiing on Thursday. But she came up just short of winning another title.

Larsen finished second in the giant slalom on Day 1 of the state ski championships to pace the Panthers to a runner-up finish in the team standings.

The junior notched a two-run total time of 2 minutes, 1.09 seconds on the Nastar/Bear Trap course at Beaver Creek, finishing behind Battle Mountain’s Kendall VanHee (2:00.67). The top five skiers were all within 1.33 seconds of each other.

“For me it was some of the best skiing I’ve ever done,” Larsen said. “The competition this year is way harder than it was last year. I would have preferred to have won but Kendall’s a really good athlete.

“Slalom’s my better event, so hopefully (Friday) I can do a little better and bring home the gold.”

Nederland placed four girls in the top 12 and all three team point scorers in the top 10 to finish with 163 points, four behind Steamboat Springs. Aspen is third at 161.

Sophomore Bailey Kuechenmeister placed eighth for Nederland, while Raina Galbiati was 10th and Kyle Robb was 12th.

“It was great to have those girls stacked up and ready to go,” Nederland alpine coach Whitney Taylor said. “We anticipated that Steamboat was one of our biggest competitors. The girls are real fired up for (Friday) to see if we can beat them.”

Nederland sits eighth in the overall team standings that combine boys and girls, Nordic and alpine.

Nederland’s boys finished sixth in the GS, paced by Matt Wood’s 29th-place finish.

On the Nordic side in Minturn, meanwhile, the Panthers took sixth in the girls 5-kilometer skate. Kuechenmeister led the way in 12th place.

The boys took 12th in the skate, with lone Panther Jordon Wood taking 46th.

The state meet concludes Friday with boys and girls slalom races on the alpine side and the Nordic classical race.

State skiing

OVERALL TEAM STANDINGS

Aspen 648, Steamboat Springs 618, Summit County 591, Eagle Valley 560, Evergreen 528, Battle Mountain 522, Middle Park 484, Nederland 450, Lake County 428, Clear Creek 399, Colorado Rocky Mountain 241, Vail Mountain 215, Platte Canyon 179, Ridge View Academy 87.

GIRLS GIANT SLALOM

Team scores — Steamboat Springs 167, Nederland 163, Aspen 161, Battle Mountain 155, Evergreen 142, Middle Park 133, Summit County 124, Eagle Valley 104, Lake County 103, Platte Canyon 94, Clear Creek 93, Colorado Rocky Mountain 40.

Top 5 individuals (two-run total time) — 1. Kendall VanHee, Battle Mountain, 2:00.67; 2. Dayna Larsen, Nederland, 2:01.09; 3. Suzanne Lyon, Steamboat, 2:01.49; 4. Lilly McSwain, Aspen, 2:01.51; 5. Ilona Schwarz, Aspen, 2:02.00.

Other Nederland individuals — 8. Bailey Kuechenmeister 2:07.36; 10. Raina Galbiati 2:08.05; 12. Kyle Robb 2:08.69; 18. Nola Gehring 2:11.76; 32. Chase Robb 2:19.54; 33. Kelsey Fagan 2:19.70; 34. Emma Gann 2:20.26; 39. Jane Bright 2:22.03.

BOYS GIANT SLALOM

Team scores — Steamboat Springs 164, Evergreen 160, Aspen 156, Summit County 148, Battle Mountain 133, Nederland 119, Clear Creek 118, Eagle Valley 115, Lake County 111, Platte Canyon 85, Middle Park 74, Vail Mountain 41.

Top 5 individuals (two-run total time) — 1. Jake Bender, Evergreen, 1:55.19; 2. Connor Bernard, Steamboat Springs, 1:55.71; 3. Ben Throm, Aspen, 1:57.93; 4. Brinton Barry, Battle Mountain, 1:58.15; 5. Kyle Knaeble, Clear Creek, 2:00.72.

Other Nederland individuals — 28. Matt Wood, 2:13.06; 37. River Harris, 2:17.17; 39. Eric Spangler, 2:17.60; 42. Ian Hastings, 2:18.73; 48. Brett Mattisen, 2:23.92; 52. Owen Foster, 2:27.45; 159. Drew Turner, DNF.

GIRLS NORDIC 5K SKATE

Team scores — Vail Mountain 174, Aspen 157, Summit County 148, Steamboat Springs 140, Middle Park 138, Nederland 132, Colorado Rocky Mountain 131, Eagle Valley 124, Battle Mountain 110, Evergreen 99, Lake Country 96, Clear Creek 81.

Top 5 individuals — 1. Evelina Sutro, Colorado Rocky Mountain, 15:11.8; 2. Eva Spaeh, Vail Mountain, 15:12.5; 3. Hannah Hardenbergh, Vail Mountain, 15:18.4; 4. Katie Scruggs, Vail Mountain, 15:45.7; 5. Sally Ryerson, Vail Mountain, 16:00.9.

Other Nederland individuals — 12. Bailey Kuechenmeister, 16:44.9; 20. Dyani Chapman, 18:10.5; 33. Mackenzie Radandt, 19:10.2.

BOYS NORDIC 5K SKATE

Team scores — Aspen 174, Summit County 171, Eagle Valley 152, Steamboat Springs 147, Middle Park 139, Evergreen 127, Battle Mountain 124, Lake County 118, Clear Creek 107, Ridgeview Academy 87, Colorado Rocky Mountain 70, Nederland 36, Vail Mountain 0.

Top 5 individuals — 1. Keegan Swirbul, Aspen, 12:48.8; 2. Jackson Hill, Summit County 13:07.2; 3. Fritz Carpenter, Aspen, 13:29.1; 4. Joel Sawyer, Summit County, 13:33.7; 5. Brett Gordon, Aspen, 13:56.7.

Other Nederland individuals — 46. Jordan Wood, 16:36.0.