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Ilg skis her way onto numerous podiums

Nordic skier shines in regional races
Dewachen Ilg enters the start blocks for the sprint qualification round at the Aspen Junior National Qualifier on Feb. 25. (Courtesy Steve Ilg)

Dewachen Ilg had a busy winter racing with the Durango Nordic Ski Club. From Dec. 31 to March 12, the Durango sophomore raced every weekend around the region. Not only did she dominate her age group, she also finished among the race’s overall leaders in many of the competitions.

Ilg began her season in a collegiate race, the Grand Mesa 10K Classic, and finished first in her age group and eighth overall in 45 minutes, 9 seconds.

Ilg didn’t slow down after that.

Racing in a pair of Rossignol Southwest Nordic Series events next, Ilg placed third overall at Pagosa Springs in the 5K skate. At the Chama Chile Ski Classic, she finished first among females and third overall in the 6K snowshoe and followed it up with a third-place finish (eighth overall) to win the event’s Queen of the Mountain competition.

At the Soldier Hollow Junior National Qualifier on Jan. 21, Ilg finished 36th overall in the 5K in 18:54.6.

Ilg then raced in another collegiate race, the SkyWay Shuffle on Jan. 29 in Grand Mesa. She was the third female to finish the 10K skate in 39:30.

At the Alley Loop 21K Classic race on Feb. 4 in Crested Butte, she became the youngest skier ever to reach the overall podium. She finished third among the females and ninth in the entire field in 1:38:43.

She followed that performance with a couple golds, winning the Southwest Cup’s third stop in Telluride, the Butch Cassidy Ski Chase 15K, in 1:00:27. She then set a female course record of 38:15 with an overall title in the Mittlelauf 10K skate, which was part of the Pine Needle Langlauf held at the Durango Nordic Center.

At the Junior National Qualifier held at Aspen, Ilg placed 15th in the classic sprint and 14th in the 7.5K skate.

After winning the 5K at the Coke Race Series March 4, she wrapped up her season at the Winter Park Ranch Hand, finishing ninth on the 25K skate and then fourth in the 25K classic to finish eighth overall and first in her age group.