VAIL, Colo. February 1, 2021 – Rocky Mountain Nordic athletes flocked to Minturn this Saturday to participate in a Junior Invitational Race hosted by Ski & Snowboard Club Vail at Maloit Park.  Featuring racers with years of birth 2005 to 2010, it was one of the first opportunities for younger nordic skiers to participate in a regional event this season. Undeterred by the fierce competition, SSCV secured 19 spots among the top 10 in the U16, U14, and U12 age group races.  

The day of racing began with U16 boys and girls skating two laps around the 2.5-kilometer course with staggered starts. At the end of the 5k, SSCV boys took home four of the top 10 times with Truett Bennett snagging a spot on the podium in third place. Teammates Reiner Schmidt, Cyrus Creasy, and Connor Wilson landed in seventh, eighth, and ninth, respectively. Among the girls, SSCV U14 Lucy Perkins stepped up to the U16 level and went home with a silver medal with Cassidy Wright of SSCV rounding out the top 10. 

Later in the afternoon, U14 and U12 boys and girls rounded out one lap around Maloit’s 2.5k course. SSCV’s Will Bentley grabbed the fastest time of the day for the U14 boys while Gracen Kennedy and Claire Chimileski took home first and second for the girls.  Teammates Henry Reynolds and Hank Ogden took fourth and ninth, respectively, for the U14 boys with Keira Sypniewski logging an eighth-place finish for the U14 girls.

It was a battle among the U12 boys, with SSCV’s Peter Kan coming in second, Tyson Boyd in third, and Freedom Bennett in fourth within seconds of each other.  Teammates Kolt Sypniewski and Tyler Ciluzzi battled their way into the top 10 with a seventh and ninth-place finish, respectively. In the slightly smaller U12 girls race, Katie Lombardi of SSCV skated into third for her age division with teammate Eliza Pyke finishing seventh. 

“It was great to see the kids out there racing,” said SSCV’s Nordic and Cycling Programirector, Dan Weiland on the day’s events. “Especially against so many athletes from other clubs in the area. It really gives them the chance to put themselves out there and see how they’re doing.”

For a complete list of strong performances from athletes throughout the region go to