Two boards are better than one |

Two boards are better than one

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson

CARBONDALE ” The Spring Gulch cross country ski trails were the same. But, with more than 400 competitors on hand, everything else at Saturday’s Alpine Bank Classic Nordic race felt different to Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s skiers.

“I know the course, so I figure I should use that to my advantage,” said junior Elissa Rodman. “But knowing the course also makes it a little more difficult.”

Rodman admitted, “I didn’t have the best race I’ve ever had, but I had fun and that’s what really counts.”

And Rodman’s 10th place in the high school girls division wasn’t bad, especially for the second-year Nordic skier.

Prior to joining CRMS’s Nordic team, Rodman was an award-winning snowboarder.

“I started when I was really young and competed for eight years,” Rodman said. “And I made nationals seven years.”

That was before she was introduced to cross country skiing by CRMS Nordic coach Andrew Gardner.

“(Gardner) saw me running one day, and he knew I liked endurance sports,” recalled Rodman. The coach invited Rodman to dry-land training in the spring, then invited the new recruit to a try a race a month later.

After participating in few more races, Rodman was hooked.

“Andrew kept asking me to do another race and another race, and suddenly I didn’t want to snowboard anymore.”

Now, Rodman has her sights aimed on qualifying for the Nordic Junior Olympics later this year.

“I would love to make it to JO’s,” she said. “I was really close to making it last year and that would be really great.”

Rodman’s teammate Julia Hedman had the next highest finish ” 18th ” among CRMS skiers. Paul Distefano took 23rd in the boys race.

In the girls race Halley Keating was 38th overall. Landon Newton finished in 53rd place and Audrey Taylor was 72nd. Korie Steitz of Steamboat Springs won the girls high school race.

CRMS’ boys placers included Jerred Blanchard (58th), Tory Garling (70th) and Jack Bethel (78th). Steamboat’s Marty Smith won the boys individual title.

Final race times were unavailable at press time.

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