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Austin produces fastest time in state during classic race

Feb 26, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

The best individual finish from the Lander Tigers at the state Nordic ski meet at Cody came from Louisa Austin in both races.

Austin opened up the two days of skiing with a second-place finish in the freestyle event. Her time was 21:21. Anna Gibson from Jackson was first in the event in 20:32.

Austin came back in day two to win the classic-style race in a time of 37:46.

"It was winter conditions both days, with snow flurries and a brisk wind," Lander coach Emily Tilden said. "Conditions lightened up on Saturday a little bit, but it remained cold."

Lander's Emily Schimelpfenig also finished in the top 10 in the two days of competition.

Schimelpfenig was eighth in the classic race in 40:57.84 and ninth in the freestyle event (23:21.3).

"The course conditions were a little soft on Friday, which makes the skiing a bit harder," Tilden said. "On Saturday, the course held up well and set up nicely for firm classic tracks."

Lander's Nick Merritt paced the boys in both the races. Merritt was seventh in the freestyle event (20:09.6) and fourth in the classic race (33:42.3).

After a sluggish performance on Friday, the Tigers bounced back in the final races.

"Our results were not what I would have hoped for on Friday, but we came back strong for Saturday's races," Tilden said. "For our younger athletes who completed their first race 10km race on Saturday, I'm especially proud of the effort and determination that they showed."

Team standings

The Lander girls were third in the team standings at 161 points. Jackson won the team crown with 226 points. Casper Natrona came in second. There were six teams in the field.

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