Schulz positions for three-peat
NORTH CREEK — Scott Schulz had one complaint Monday, and that was that his coach told him during a race that he was only 10 seconds ahead. Maybe it was a good strategy on the coach’s part, as Schulz went on to win the 9-kilometer cross-country skiing race by a blistering 80 seconds.
Schulz captured his second-straight NYSPHSAA victory at the Gore Mountain Snow Bowl, finishing three laps in 26 minutes, 27 seconds. Brian Beyerbach of Queensbury came in a distant second with a time of 28:07.3.
Schulz’s teammates Kai Frantz (29:52.3) and Mike Skutt (30:56.6) had strong finishes with all three in the top-10. Frantz placed sixth, while Skutt finished ninth.
The Saranac Lake Red Storm also had some top-20 finishes, with Jacob Alberga (31:25.4) in 13th and Lauchlan Cheney-Seymour (31:56.5) placing 18th. Saranac Lake’s Adrian Hayden (32:49) was 26th in the field of 48, while Nick Kelting (33:39.9) finished in the 32nd spot. Colter Cheney-Seymour (35:08.7) placed 37th and Taylor Samburgh (35:51.9) rounded out the local contingent in 40th.
On the girls’ side, Saranac Lake sophomore Sylvie Linck missed the top 10 by four-tenths of a second, finishing the two-lap, roughly 6K race in 22:16.4. Brighton High School’s Grace Mattern won the race with a time of 20:23. Brighton is a suburb of Rochester.
Lake Placid’s Sara Rose-McCandlish (23:43.8) placed 24th, while her younger sister Annie was 32nd in 25:15.5. Blue Bomber Lily Flanigan (25:36.4) finished 35th, while Saranac Lake’s Evelyn Eller (27:18.2) was 41st and Helena Dramm (30:05.3) placed 45th in the field of 48.
Schulz, who has spent time racing in Alaska, Finland and Vermont, as well as on the high school team this winter, repeated as the boys winner in the individual skate ski, and is hoping to claim his third-straight individual title today as the team relay takes place.
“It was tough,” he said. “It just was really super slushy. And then with the weather and this (snow) being man-made it was tough. It was icy in some places and slushy in others.
“I just came to crush it and the results speak for themselves.”
Although in many ways Schulz is already moving on from high school competition, he said his time on the Blue Bombers has been great.
“It went by so fast,” he said. “It felt like just a few years ago that I was racing in Bristol (Mountain, near Rochester) as a seventh-grader. High school, middle school, it all just went by so fast.”
Linck has also been pulling double duty this winter, racing for both the school team and in the New York Ski Educational Foundation program. She was quite pleased with her performance Monday.
“I’m happy with it,” she said. “The skis were really fast, so that was awesome. It went quickly, but it was really hard. It’s warm so the snow was mashed potatoes, but besides that it was really fun.
“I’m excited to have it be a team event, and I always love cheering after I finish so that’s always exciting. I struggle more with classic (skiing), so I’m going to work on my technique. It’s a lot shorter than today — it’s half the distance — so I’ll make sure I’m going full speed the whole time. I’m going to push myself as much as I can.”
Both Saranac Lake and Lake Placid boys and girls teams will compete today in the team relay, during which three racers each ski one lap and then tag off to their teammates. The combined time of all three skiers determines the winner.
The races start at 10 a.m. at the Snow Bowl in North Creek, and in addition to Schulz looking to win his third individual title, the Blue Bombers boys could also win their fourth-straight team title.