Landon Rau skis in Casper on Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

The Cody Nordic ski team competed in Casper on Saturday, with four skiers placing in the top 20 and the rest coming close or surpassing their goals for the weekend.

“They all did amazing,” coach Meggin Becker said. “Goals were reached, some were shattered, and for others came the realization that goals set out for the season are within reach if they continue to put in the work.”

The seven Nordic squads were split between two different meets, with Kelly Walsh, Natrona, Laramie and Cody/Sheridan skiing in Casper, while the other teams competed in Jackson on Friday. It was Cody’s first meet since winter break.

“In some ways, I think taking some time off to recharge, refocus and refresh has helped,” Becker said. “It was a reminder to breathe and that competition and training can have a fun side to it.”

The varsity race was a 5K classic.

“The conditions were ideal for a classic race, making wax selection straightforward,” Becker said. “Skis were running fast with good grip.”

Marshall Brookins led the Broncs by finishing third (17:19.6), while Landon Rau took 12th (19:28.6).

“I think it went pretty well, and I’m happy with my time,” Rau said. “The course was kind of dull since it was only two laps of a long downhill into a long uphill, but it was still really tough and the long uphill hurt a lot.”

The junior is back this season after an injury last year ended his sophomore campaign before it even began.

“I feel like I’m better than I was, but not near as good as I could have been,” he said.

Hayden Campbell finished in 27th (21:30.5) with McCade Brown of Sheridan right behind in 28th (22:34.2). Luis Mata finished 30th (22:41.4).

“Luis Mata has been working so hard on his technique and the work is starting to show,” Becker said.

For the girls, Elisa Wachob finished seventh (21:00.1) and Ali Magelky of Sheridan 16th (22:57.0). Hayley Pearson-Horner finished 21st (24:27.9) and Liberty Laing 32nd (27:13.6).

“Hayley Pearson-Horner was just knocking on the top 20 door for the first time,” Becker said. “For Liberty Laing to ski well under 30 minutes in her second race of the season and lifetime and first as a varsity athlete is pretty special.”

Laing made the decision to race varsity because she thought she would learn more from it.

“It was definitely difficult, but I’m proud that I was able to finish,” she said. “I’m happy with how I performed. I’m still so new to this sport I didn’t really know what a good time was. I definitely have a lot to learn still, but I know I tried my best with the knowledge that was given to me.”

Wanting to try something new her senior year, Laing decided to take up Nordic skiing.

“I have absolutely no regrets doing it,” she said. “I love our small team, I get to feel good about exercising and I get to make memories with people I love.”

In the JV 2.5 classic race, Ben Boulter finished 10th (16:25.7) for the boys and Bailey Boulter 13th (17:35.6) for the girls.

This weekend the team will have a two-day meet in Lander, skiing the classic race Friday and the skate race Saturday.

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