TRAVERSE CITY — Sarah Goble skated to a state Nordic ski championship Saturday at the Vasa Pathway.
The Petoskey junior opened a 45-second lead in the morning's 5.5K freestyle, then held on in the afternoon's 5.5K classic to win the girls pursuit race. She finished eight seconds ahead of Marquette's Abby Potts, who won Friday's 1K classic sprint title. The Vasa Ski Club's Heidi Schwab was a close third, 12 seconds back.
Copper Country's Isaac Stone, down 30 seconds after the freestyle, rallied in the classic to beat teammate David Jaszczak by just over three seconds in the boys pursuit. The Cooper Country swept the top four places.
Goble, whose strength is in freestyle, used that discipline to build her lead in the two-event pursuit. She won the freestyle in 17:39, 45 seconds ahead of Potts.
"I knew as long as I could hold my own in the classic that I'd be set and I did," Goble said. "I really pushed it on the hills, and that's where you need to push it. My skis were fast today. It was a good day."
Potts, a senior at Marquette, is stronger in classic than freestyle. Goble was aware of that.
"Yes, very," Goble said. "She (Potts) got close to me a few times, but I was able to pull away. I was very nervous the whole time, though. I could hear her some times. I knew she was right there."
Potts said the deficit was too big to overcome.
"I had to make up 45 seconds and I made up (37)," she said. "It was hard and I couldn't do it. Sarah is a really good skier."
Potts, trying hard to catch Goble, crashed near the end of the classic race and then had to hold off a hard-charging Schwab for second.