LAKE PLACID - Scottie Schulz, Bryce Hartmann and Nina Armstrong will lead a group of a dozen local cross-country skiers competing in the state championships Monday and Tuesday at Bristol Mountain outside of Rochester.
Hartmann of Saranac Lake took first place in boys Section VII skate skiing championship Thursday at Mount Van Hoevenberg, while Schulz sat out to prepare for another race that took place over the weekend. Armstrong also sat out the girls race.
Hartmann finished the boys 9.4-kilometer race in 28 minutes, 21 seconds while Nina's sister Gabby Armstrong finished the girls' 7.4k race in 25:22 for the top time.
Bryce Hartmann of Saranac Lake skis to a first-place finish in the Section VII boys skate skiing race Thursday at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Hartmann is expected to be one of the top local finishers in the state competitions next week.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)
In the state championships, Section VII will be represented by two teams: Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. The Red Storm will send five girls - Jackie Garso, Johanna Mohrs, Sami Martin, Caroline Dodd and Gina Fiorile - with Jada Meadows as the alternate. Nina Armstrong will be the lone Blue Bomber on the team.
Gabby Armstrong would have been on the team, but she is competing in a nordic combined junior nationals race in Alaska this weekend. She is one of several locals who will be unable to attend the state competition this year for various reasons.
The Blue Bombers will send four boys - Schulz, Henry McGrew, Beckett Ledger and Curtis Rissberger - to join Hartmann and Ethan Wood of Saranac Lake. Witter Swanson of Saranac Lake will be the alternate.
Coaches Keith Kogut of Saranac Lake and Bill Frazer of Lake Placid have high hopes for this squad. Frazer thinks Schulz and Hartmann have a chance to be in the top 10 for boys.
"We're sending one of our better teams in a while for states, which is awesome," Frazer said. "With the girls, (Nina Armstrong) has a real shot of winning high school states this year. So that will be interesting to see."
In the race last Thursday, Hartmann was followed by Wood, who had a time of 29:41. Ledger was next with a time of 32:37, McGrew came next at 32:43 and Swanson was next in 33:53.
"We had two real standouts," Kogut said. "Bryce Hartmann was the winner and Ethan Wood was second. Both boys are pretty young. One's a sophomore and one's a freshman, so to come out and ski a 10k, that's a long distance for young kids like that. I thought they did a really nice job."
In the girls race, Armstrong was followed by Garso, who came in at 26:50. Mohrs finished third in 27:48, Martin finished fourth in 29:05 and Sage Miller of Lake Placid came in fifth in 29:23.
"The girls did great," Kogut said. "Gabby Armstrong from Lake Placid set the pace up front. She's a great skier but I was really proud of our girls. We had a strong pack - Sammy Martin, Johanna Mohrs, Caroline Dodd, Jackie Garso. They all skied really well."