LAKEWOOD – With the cancellation of two area Nordic races midweek due to low snow, Ashwaubenon Nordic Ski Team (ANST) coach, Scott Putman, devised a junior race for high school and middle school athletes on the ski trails in Lakewood, Wisconsin, January 12.
With the cooperation of the Wausau East/West High School team, the Lakewood Ski Club and McCauslin Brook Golf Course owner Don D. Bartels, Putman attracted eight teams for the cross-conference, classic-technique raced named “Why Not Lakewood?”
Skiers traversed gently rolling golf-course terrain and the glacial ridges and valleys of the adjacent Nicolet Forest in 7.2k and 4.5k distances at the venue dubbed a “hidden gem of the Midwest.”
Top-five awards were offered in two-year grade groups.
Placing in the grade 5/6 division for boys were Bay Nordic skiers Brock Bartol (Bayview Middle School) in first and Walter Luloff (Notre Dame – De Pere) in fourth.
In the grade 7/8 division, Beckett Chambers (De Pere Middle School) took first overall and Isaac Nowak (St John the Baptist) was fifth for Bay Nordic, while Joe Stumpf (Pulaski Middle School) was fourth for the ANST.
For the girls in the grade 5/6 group, Bay Nordic’s Hannah Sternig (De Pere Middle School) took fifth, while Raina Hess (Washington Middle School) was the middle school girls’ champion for grades 7/8.
The boys’ 9/10 competition included ANST member Kevin Johnson (Ashwaubenon) in third and Bay Nordic’s William Murphy (Pulaski) in fifth.
In the grade 11/12 group, ANST teammates swept the top-three steps on the podium: Jackson Adler (Green Bay East) finished first, Daniel Huhtala (Ashwaubenon) was second and Ryan Thieme (Bay Port) came across in third.
In the high school girls’ grade 9/10 competition, Spirit Hess (Green Bay East) of Bay Nordic took the top spot and Ashwaubenon’s Kait Behm was third.
There were no local girls in the grade 11/12 top five.