Sunny skies, comfortable temperatures, nicely transformed snow and a bounty of awards and food made for a great day of racing at Crystal Mountain on Saturday March 7. Next year we are confident that winter will return and the Flying Squirrel will be a Skiathlon format as originally planned rather than just a freestyle race.
For 2020 we re-imagined the format into a 3k Freestyle for Middle School and 6k Freestyle for High School racers. Both races were mass start and were skied on Crystal's Jack's Rabbit trail.
Thirty racers took part with about an equal number of Middle and High School skiers competing. Competitors from the local Crystal Community Ski Club (CCSC) were joined by skiers from Traverse City's Vasa Ski Club, East Lansing and Brighton. The High School race was a battle from the gun.
Crystal Community Ski Club racers at the Flying Squirrel junior race
Joe Thuente (Vasa), Will Haapala (Vasa) and Ryan Durand (CCSC) skied together through 5k before Joe and Will edged to a narrow lead.
Joe and Will sprinted up the final hill side by side with Joe taking the win in a near photo finish. Ella Gaylord (CCSC) took the honors among the High School Girls.
Kaija Hornburg (Vasa) and Janey Turner (CCSC) rounded out the top 3. Brody Day (Vasa) captured the top spot in the Middle School Boy race.
Keith Crompton (CCSC) and Teddy Gottbreht placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Ella Dubruyn (Vasa), Ada Grubaugh (CCSC) and Gloria Sobkoviak (CCSC), in that order, bested a fast and talented field of Middle School Girl skiers.