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Bates College Coach Flynn’s Words Live On After Passing at Age 83

Left to right: Lucas Milliken, Gretchen Sellegren, Corky Harrer, Coach Flynn (holding the Chummy Cup) Catherine Tuttle, Lauren Zdechlik Danny Kuzio, and Britta Clark after winning the Chummy Cup during the 2013 Colby Carnival  (Photo: Steve Fuller/Bates News)

Left to right: Lucas Milliken, Gretchen Sellegren, Corky Harrer, Coach Bob Flynn (holding the Chummy Cup) Catherine Tuttle, Lauren Zdechlik Danny Kuzio, and Britta Clark after winning the Chummy Cup during the 2013 Colby Carnival (Photo: Steve Fuller/Bates News)

Four years ago, the Bates nordic ski team filed into room 106 of the Bethel Inn Resort in Bethel, Maine. Most are clad in the grey and maroon Bates sweat-suitos, wanting to be as comfy as possible for the team meeting about to happen. A few sprawl on the double beds, some lounge in the floral patterned chairs.

The Bates nordic ski program’s head coach, Becky Woods, starts the meeting off with a few words about race goals and course logistics for that weekend’s college ski carnival. Next the team captains share a few thoughts, offering advice about where to make up time and where it is potentially lost.

Finally, there’s a pause in conversation, usually an indicator of the meeting’s conclusion, but no one gets up to leave. All heads turn to one corner of the room and anticipation fills the air. Before anyone can call out the question: “Coach?”, Robert “Bob” Flynn, Wood’s father and co-coach, nods his head.

Though what he is about to say is known by all in the room, the words still sting with the fierceness of Maine’s mid-winter air. He begins to speak and many cannot help but mouth the words along with him.

“Good, better, best. Never ever rest. ‘Til the good is better and the better is best,” Flynn said, nodding his head once more and the meeting adjourns.

Coach Flynn of the Bates Nordic Ski  Team. (Photo: Steve Fuller/Bates News)

Coach Flynn of the Bates Nordic Ski Team. (Photo: Steve Fuller/Bates News)

A little over four years later, with the passing of Flynn on July 31 at the age of 83, these words survive with many of the athletes he coached.

A three-sport head coach — along with nordic skiing, he coached the football and baseball teams — at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Flynn connected with his athletes because was also an athlete himself.

While growing up in Lewiston Maine, he competed in football, ice hockey, baseball, and skiing through his high school years. He played minor league baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1952 to 1957 before earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine.

As a member of the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame, the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, Flynn is often credited with resurrecting the Bates Nordic Ski Program.

In 1968, he took over the program and began re-building the college’s varsity ski team. He pushed for NCAA Ski Championships to be hosted by Bates in Maine and after eight years of advocating, he succeeded.

“He was always persistent,” Dave Irons, a ski reporter and director of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, said according to a press release. “There aren’t many college ski coaches who would even think about hosting the NCAAs.”

Flynn also served as the president for the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association and chair of the NCAA Skiing Rules Committee. In 2015, the Bates alpine and nordic ski rooms were dedicated to Coach Flynn. During the christening ceremony, Bates Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh referred to Flynn as “the force, the spirit, and the iconic Bobcat zen,” of Bobcat athletics, a press release stated.

The ‘iconic Bobcat zen’ Flynn demonstrated stemmed largely from the potential he saw in all the athletes he coached. Steve Fuller, a Bates nordic alum and current Trustee for the college, pointed out that what Flynn did most for those he worked with was show “unwavering confidence in us as athletes and as human beings.”

— Gabby Naranja

Salmela Switches Sports to Coach Running at St. Scholastica

Chad Salmela with a College of St. Scholastica athlete. The Saints' head nordic coach for the last 10 seasons of the program's existence, Salmela announced Monday he was stepping down to coach the cross-country running and track and field teams instead.

Chad Salmela with a College of St. Scholastica athlete. The Saints’ head nordic coach for the last 10 seasons of the program’s existence, Salmela announced Monday he was stepping down to coach the cross-country running and track and field teams instead.

After leading the men’s and women’s cross-country ski teams for a decade, Chad Salmela, head coach of The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., announced Monday that he was leaving the nordic team to coach the college’s running programs.

“Salmela is the only Nordic coach the university has ever known, coaching the men and women for the past 10 season,” the Duluth News Tribune reported. “Competing against scholarship schools, the Saints won the 2015 Central Collegiate Ski Association men’s and women’s championships and finished 15th as a team at the NCAA championships.”

He will become head coach of the cross-country running team as well as an assistant track and field coach.

In an email to FasterSkier and another U.S.-based nordic website, Salmela provided the following statement:

“The past ten years are the most personally rewarding of my professional career.  The athletes, coaching staff, alumni, and supporters of the St. Scholastica ski program are extended family to me.  The program feels like an appendage.  It is as much a part of me as it is perhaps synonymous.  It requires reflection and deliberate intention that one can step away from something they so love, care about, and are identified with.

For ten seasons I poured myself into all aspects of the job, from developing an effective training system, to coaching the athletes with great care, to race-day details, to recruiting for and marketing the team.  Ten years is a significant stretch of time, yet a relatively brief tenure as a collegiate ski coach if you look around the country for context.  The past ten years was an intense journey for me personally, to put and keep the Saints ski program on the competitive map in collegiate skiing.  I am proud of what this program has achieved.  

A decade, however, feels like it’s time for a change.  With the team on solid footing within the St. Scholastica community as well as that of NCAA and Nordic skiing in the United States, I feel the program needs an injection of fresh enthusiasm, excitement, and perspective in the head coaching position.  While my love for and interest in the program is still strong, I believe that a change in leadership will prove good in numerous ways.  

I simultaneously feel the need for a new challenge in coaching.  Few may know that I have worked as a high school running coach in the past, was the assistant cross country and track coach for my first few years at St. Scholastica, and more recently have consulted with success, several elite and master’s-elite marathon and distance runners.  Healthy, effective, progressive, injury-free distance running continues to interest me to great effect, as my recent side projects have caused me excitement to coaching runners.

The recent retirement of our successful, long time cross country running coach, Steve Pfingsten, opened an avenue right at St. Scholastica, to make a directional coaching career tack with which I have experience, success, and great inquiry, as well as an immense amount of motivation.  Coach Pfingsten has placed the cross country program in a great position in the NCAA Division III cross country realm, coaching our college’s only NCAA DIII national champion, and one conference championship after another for years on end.  He has left big shoes to fill.

After strategic discussions with our administration, I have been offered the head coaching job for cross country and assistant distant coaching job for track and field, and I have accepted.  I am inspired to continue and grow upon the great tradition of Coach Pfingsten, as well as work with head track and field coach, Kirk Nauman, to steer our distance running system towards a cohesive unit across competitive seasons and sports, opening even greater opportunities for our student athletes.

In my new position, I want to collaborate and work closely with the new head skiing coach to transition smoothly to continued long term success.  Our intention is to continue progress on the training system we’ve developed in conjunction with our exercise physiology department.  We see this as a unique strength as an institution offering endurance sports, and believe in the system’s success.  Our department aspires to develop a great amount of synergy in systematic development across the endurance sports we offer in intercollegiate athletics.  This will usher in some new and exciting initiatives across the endurance sports for our student athletes.  This coaching personnel shift feels to us to be an optimal development to that end.  

With this synergistic concept as a goal, our administration will work diligently in the coming weeks and months to find the right successor for the next head coach of the Saints ski team.  We are confident that the final choice will take the Saints ski team into a successful second decade.  

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of Saints skiing under my tenure; who have helped build a ski culture that by all accounts is robust and deep.  I am excited about my own course as well as seeing the bright future for Saints skiing unfold under new leadership.”

Osgood New Head Men’s Coach at Dartmouth

On Wednesday, Dartmouth College announced it hired Brayton Osgood, a 2003 Dartmouth grad, head coach of its men's nordic ski team for the 2016/2017 season. (Photo: DartmouthSports.com)

On Wednesday, Dartmouth College announced it hired Brayton Osgood, a 2003 Dartmouth grad, head coach of its men’s nordic ski team for the 2016/2017 season. (Photo: DartmouthSports.com)

(Press release)

HANOVER, N.H. – Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy announced on Wednesday that Dartmouth graduate and former assistant Brayton Osgood has been named head coach of the men’s Nordic ski team.

Osgood graduated cum laude from Dartmouth in 2003 with a degree in mathematics. While in Hanover, he was a four-year member of the ski team (1999-03), was captain of the cross country ski team as a senior and was twice named an NCAA All-American.

“I’m so excited to return to Dartmouth and to continue the ski team’s long history of excellence,” Osgood said. “It’s a great privilege to be the next head coach of men’s Nordic, and for me, it’s a dream come true. I’m looking forward to working with the other ski team coaches to keep developing outstanding student-athletes, and achieving success on the trails.”

After graduation, Osgood became a professional cross country ski racer (2003-11), competing in the Under-23 World Championship (2004) and World Cup (2009). He was also a U.S. Ski Team European Continental Cup Trip team member (2007-10). During his time as a professional, he had six top-10 finishes at U.S. National Championships, three victories on the U.S. SuperTour and one podium finish.

From there, he returned to Dartmouth as the Nordic assistant, a position he held from September of 2011 until April of 2012. While serving as assistant, he facilitated development and coordinated in-season training sessions.

“We are thrilled to have Brayton join our skiing coaching staff,” Sheehy said. “As a Dartmouth graduate and NCAA All-American, he truly understands what it takes to achieve success at the highest level. We have no doubt that his passion for Dartmouth Skiing combined with his technical knowledge of the sport will help Dartmouth continue as the premier college in the country for competing nationally in skiing, while receiving a first-class education.”

In his years since leaving Hanover, Osgood mostly stayed in the New England area, working as a Race Data manager with the New England Nordic Ski Association (2012-16) in Maine, a coach and head wax technician for the New England Junior National Ski Team (2015 and 2016) and as software engineer with AMP Sports (2008-13, 2014-2016). He also worked as a World Cup Wax Technician with the U.S. Ski Team (2015) in Europe.

Osgood graduated from Northeastern with a masters in accounting and business administration in 2013.

Patterson Resigns After 27 Seasons at Dartmouth

Dartmouth men's coach Ruff Patterson has announced his retirement after 27 seasons with the team. (Photo: DartmouthSports.com)

Dartmouth men’s coach Ruff Patterson has announced his retirement after 27 seasons with the team. (Photo: DartmouthSports.com)

(Press release)

HANOVER, N.H. — After 27 seasons as Dartmouth’s head coach of the men’s Nordic ski team, Ruff Patterson has stepped down from his post. A vaunted member of the skiing community, Patterson enjoyed a plethora of accomplishments and awards during his tenure in Hanover.

Four times Patterson was chosen as the Eastern Intercollegiate Men’s Nordic Coach of the Year, plus was selected as the Ski New Hampshire Al Merrill Award winner for his outstanding contributions to cross country skiing in New Hampshire. He was hired at Dartmouth in 1989 to serve as the coach of the men’s Nordic team as well as the Director of Skiing, replacing the legendary John Morton. After 16 years, he turned over the director duties to a colleague and continued coaching for 11 more seasons.

During his tenure, Patterson coached 14 skiers who earned All-America honors a total of 31 times (21 of those awards coming in the last 11 years), with three individual champions in the freestyle — Glenn Randall in 2008, Sam Tarling in 2011 and Patrick Caldwell in 2015. With his fellow Big Green coaches, he helped guide Dartmouth to 13 top-five team finishes at the NCAA Championship, including a national title in 2007 as Ben True (twice) and Mike Sinnott earned All-America honors that year for the men’s Nordic squad.

Patterson had quite the distinguished career even prior to his tenure at Dartmouth, having coached for 10 years with the U.S. Ski Team (USST), most notably the women cross country skiers at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid in 1980, Sarajevo in 1984 and Calgary in 1988. He also coached numerous World Cup and World Championship teams for the USST. In addition Patterson spent time with the U.S. Ski Coaches Association as an assistant coach, an international coach and Nordic coordinator, as well as acting cross country program coordinator.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree distributed in molecular biology, chemistry and psychology, Patterson skied with the Buffalo team that won the NCAA Championship every year of his undergraduate career (1973-76), coincidentally sharing the title with Dartmouth as a senior.

Big Weekend for Hegman, UVM at Final EISA Carnival in Middlebury

UVM's Iris Pessey (l) celebrating her win in the women's 15 k classic mass start at the Middlebury Carnival last Sunday in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

UVM’s Iris Pessey (l) celebrating her win in the women’s 15 k classic mass start, ahead of teammate Mary-Kate Cirelli (r), on Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Middlebury Carnival in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

By Silke Hynes

The EISA Carnival season came to a close this weekend with the Middlebury College Carnival in Ripton, Vt. Despite heavy rain late in the week, the Rikert Nordic Center managed to pull together a full 5-kilometer loop. Races were delayed from Friday to Saturday to give organizers time to repair rain damage to the race loop. A perennial challenge, the course winds its way up and down, containing two A-level climbs and challenging technical downhills. Conditions for the weekend created additional difficulty. As temperatures dropped, standing water froze creating a course dotted with ice patches. Despite the best efforts of organizers, some parts of the course remained icy.

Jørgen Grav of the University of Vermont racing to the win in the 10 k freestyle last Saturday at the Middlebury Carnival in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Jørgen Grav of the University of Vermont racing to the win in the 10 k freestyle last Saturday at the Middlebury Carnival in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Saturday dawned clear and cold leading to hard, fast tracks for the first day of racing. The men’s 10 k skate was underway first, and the day belonged to the men of the University of Vermont (UVM). Jørgen Grav led a three-man sweep for the Catamounts. He was followed by teammate Jack Hegman less than 5 seconds back, while Cole Morgan completed the UVM sweep. They were followed by a Dartmouth charge with Fabian Stocek and Callan Deline taking fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the women’s 5 k skate, Annie Pokorny of Middlebury was the only one who could stop UVM from repeating the sweep on the women’s side. She took first, ahead of skate leader Alayna Sonnesyn of UVM, who took second. Sonnesyn was the first of a four-woman sweep for UVM, leading teammates Iris Pessey, Mary-Kate Cirelli and Stephanie Kirk on their way to third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

Sunday started out considerably warmer than the day before, with temperatures rising over freezing heading into the men’s 20 k classic mass start. The days races were held on a slightly modified course, with racers cutting off an A-climb on their first lap, presumably to avoid sending tightly packed skiers down the technical, icy descent that followed.

Eli Hoenig (Williams College) leading the men's 20 k classic mass start at the Middlebury Carnival last weekend at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Eli Hoenig (Williams College) leading the men’s 20 k classic mass start at the Middlebury Carnival last weekend at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vt. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Once again the men were off first, with a lead pack setting a fast early pace. Midway through Eli Hoenig of Williams took control, leading for the latter half of the race before being outpaced to the line by Hegman. Hoenig took second, just 0.3 of a second back of Hegman’s winning time. Grav cruised into third, followed by Stocek in fourth. Morgan rounded out the top five for the Catamounts.

In the women’s 15 k classic mass start there was no stopping the UVM women. Pessey charged to her third podium of the season, narrowly out pacing teammate Cirelli, who finished second. They were followed by teammates Sonnesyn and Kirk in third and fourth to complete a four-woman sweep. Corey Stock of Dartmouth was the lone non-UVM skier to sneak into the top five, with her fifth-place finish.

After strong performances across the board, it was no surprise that the big winners of the weekend were the University of Vermont Catamounts. They took home both the Middlebury carnival win, as well as both men’s and women’s conference titles with a combined score of 989 points. Dartmouth College finished second with 826 points, followed by the University of New Hampshire in third with 749 points.

With the EISA Nordic season complete it was time to hand out the final individual accolades as well. Hegman took home both the men’s overall classic and overall skate leader bibs, while teammate Sonnesyn took home the women’s overall skate leader bib. Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury took home the women’s overall classic leader bib despite not racing the past two carnival weekends. Female Rookie of the Year went to Pessey, while Male Rookie of the Year went to Deline.

While EISA racing action is finished for the season, the top Eastern collegiate skiers will head west to Steamboat Springs, Colo., for the NCAA Championships March 9-12.

Results

CCSA Wraps Up with NCAA Regionals; Schimpl, Brown, Lee, & Fehrenbach Win

The CCSA/NCAA regional championships kicked off Friday at Al Quaal recreation park in Ishpeming, Michigan. The 5 and 10 kilometer individual start skate races saw abnormally warm temperatures, causing the snow to soften and deteriorate as the day went on.

With three Northern Michigan University men (Ian Torchia,  Adam Martin, and Leo Hipp) and five women (Kristen Bourne, Felicia Gesior, Vivan Hett, Sarah Bezdicek, and Nicole Schnieder) away for World U23 and World Junior Championships in Romania, there was also new opportunity for podium spots over two exciting days of racing.

The day began with the women’s 5 k skate race. As temperatures held steady well above freezing, Northern Michigan’s Sophie Schimpl stormed her way to first place and her first Regional title with a time of 13:50.7. Ten seconds back from Schimpl was Saint Scholastica’s Kelsey Dickinson in second place. Dickinson’s second place finish is also the best placing by a Saints women at a Regional Championship, according to Saints coach Chad Salmela.

“This is the most memorable ski race I’ve ever had,” said Dickinson of her performance.  “Including biathlon.”

Dickinson raced two seasons internationally as a member of the junior and senior U.S. Biathlon Teams before returning to St. Scholastica this year.

Coming in a strong third place, another ten seconds down to Dickinson was Michigan Tech’s Andrea Lee. Right behind Lee by less than a second was Northern Michigan freshman Sophie McDonald in fourth.

The women of the University of Alaska Fairbanks were operating like a well-oiled machine today placing fifth, sixth and seventh with Nichole Bathe, Anne-Tine Markset and Sarissa Lammers all coming in with less than five seconds separating all three racers. This performance was good enough to place UAF in second on the day with 57 points behind Northern Michigan University’s 62 points.

Northern Michigan’s third scorer, Caroline Brisbois, wasn’t far off the women of UAF in eighth. Saint Scholastica’s Elizabeth Evans followed in ninth and Northern Michigan’s Vera Gruber rounded out the top ten.

The team podium is still up for grabs as all of the team scores are very close heading into tomorrow’s 15k classic mass start. Northern Michigan leads with 62 points, they are followed by UAF, 57 points and Saint Scholastica in third with 52 points and they are followed very closely by the women of Michigan Tech with 51 points.

On the men’s side of things, the temperatures remained well above freezing causing the conditions to soften as more and more racers lapped the course for the 2 lap, 10 k race.

Northern Michigan’s Jake Brown stomped his authority all over the men’s race to take his first ever regional title finishing with a time of 24:36.6, a full minute and four seconds ahead of Michigan Tech’s Kyle Hanson who took second on the day. In third was Reitler Hodgert of the College of Saint Scholastica, just 0.2 seconds behind Hanson.

“I’m super happy for both Jake and Sophie today,” said Northern Michigan Coach Sten Fjeldheim. “For both of them to take not only the individual regional title, but have it be their first time doing it is just amazing!”

The men of Northern Michigan followed in the footsteps of their women’s team by placing in the same exact places with fourth, Sam Elfstrom and eighth, Krystof Kopal, to give them the team lead with 62 points after day one.

Michigan Tech solidified their second place team score of 58 points with strong performance behind Hanson with Gaspard Cuenot in sixth and Didrik Fjeld Elset in ninth.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks took fifth (Max Donaldson), tenth (Alexander Eckert) and eleventh (Michael Fehrenbach) for the team to take third overall; skiing into seventh place was Matthew Nichols of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

Day two of the CCSA/NCAA Regionals was host to another day of hard fast racing. After the warm temperatures of Saturday, the weather took a turn and produced colder temperatures overnight. This caused the courses to freeze solid, making it difficult to set a solid track at Al Quaal. The grooming crew did a great job with what they were given and the races went off without a hitch.

The men and women of the University of Alaska Fairbanks were out to make a statement, and did just that by winning the team events for the day. The men led it off with the 20k classic mass start. University of Alaska Fairbanks Fehrenbach took the win after just over an hour of racing, by out sprinting Northern Michigan’s Brown.

“It was great for Michael Fehrenbach grab his first win of the year in the last CCSA race,” said UAF coach Nick Crawford. “We knew he could do it all year and I’m glad it finally came together today.”

Racing was extremely close with the top six being separated by only 26 seconds. Michigan Tech’s Cuenot crossed the finish line in third, less than 4 seconds behind Brown. From there, UAF and Northern Michigan traded blows as UAF took fourth with Jan Cech, Northern countered in fifth with Elfstrom. Reitler Hodgert snuck into sixth, for Saint Scholastica’s solo men’s top ten. Applying the finishing blow to Northern Michigans run for today’s win was UAF’s Donaldson in seventh, beating out Northern’s Fredrik Schwenke by four seconds to register their third scorer and take the team win for the day with 63 points to Northerns 60.

Michigan Tech’s Kyle Hanson and Didrik Elset finished ninth and tenth to give their team 53 points and third in the team scores.

On the women’s side, Northern Michigan and UAF continued to trade haymakers for the top spot in the day’s team scores. The day was ruled by Michigan Tech’s Lee as she attacked on the last lap of the three-lap 15 k race to win by over 15 seconds. Once Lee was across the line the battle ensued with UAF’s Bathe and Markset delivering a one-two punch, finishing second and third. Northern Michigan responded with three big shots and put their three top girls in fourth, fifth and sixth with Brisbois, Schimpl and Lea Buenter. The assault of UAF proved to be too much today as their third scorer, Lammers crossed in seventh, giving her team 63 points and the win over Northern by 3.

“Our women had an outstanding day with 4 in the top 10 and two on the podium!” said coach Crawford. “It was really fun for Nichole and Anne-Tine to go 2-3 today and we’re excited to see how they do at NCAA’s.”

Dickinson of the College of Saint Scholastica led her team in 8th place. She was followed by another UAF skier, Ann-Cathrin Uhl in ninth and Saints teammate Evans in tenth.

In the overall team scores the men of Northern Michigan were able to weather the storm kept their lead from day one to take the overall Regional Championship with a total of 122 points. University of Alaska Fairbanks was second with 112 points, just narrowly beating out Michigan Tech with 111 points.

Northern Michigan’s women were able to hang on after the onslaught from the women of UAF to finish first for the weekend and taking the Regional Championship with 122 points. UAF followed closely with 120 points. Michigan Tech took third with 100 points, just beating out Saint Scholastica for the last podium spot by one point.

With both men and womens teams taking Regional Titles, Northern Michigan University was awarded the combined Regional Championship.

“I’m really proud of our team today,” said Northern Michigan coach Sten Fjeldheim. “We saw some great racing out there this weekend and everyone dug really deep to get this win. We had some awesome results from some of our athletes like Sam Elfstrom who had two of the best results of his career this weekend, and our two freshman Lea Buenter and Sophie McDonald who also posted season best results.”

As these races mark the end of the CCSA regular season, some athletes will be looking to the NCAA championships in Steamboat springs that start March 9th.

-Shane MacDowell

Results

Saturday: women / men

Sunday: women / men

UVM Dominates as EISA Tries a New, Winner-Takes-All Two-Day Pursuit Format

Mary Kate Cirelli of UVM leads teammate Stephanie Kirk in the 10 k skate at Williams Carnival on Friday. Cirelli finished second and Kirk ninth. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Mary Kate Cirelli of UVM leads teammate Stephanie Kirk in the 10 k skate at Williams Carnival on Friday. Cirelli finished second and Kirk ninth. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

EISA nordic racing resumed this past weekend with the Williams College Carnival in Lake Placid, NY. Traditionally held at Prospect Mountain, the carnival was forced to change venues due to lack of snow, a familiar situation this season. Thankfully, the Olympic Regional Development Authority welcomed the college circuit with open arms, putting together a solid 2.5-kilometer manmade race loop at their Olympic Ski Jump Complex.

The course, which was used previously this season for SuperTour racing in late January, wound its way around and up the back side of the ski jump landing hill before descending quickly into the stadium below. Warm weather throughout the weekend created conditions that alternated between soft sugary snow and sheer ice, making for technical skiing all around.

Jack Hegman en route to the win for UVM on day 1. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Jack Hegman en route to the win for UVM on day 1. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

The race format for the weekend was somewhat unusual for a college carnival with both genders beginning the weekend with a 10 k skate, before following the next day with a 5 k classic. While there were NCAA points to be had on Friday, all carnival points were allocated based on the final finish order after the Saturday pursuit.

The University of Vermont got off to a flying start, landing three in the top four on the first day of racing. Alayna Sonnesyn took first in the women’s race in 27:45.1, meaning she would start the next day with an 18.5 second advantage over teammate Mary-Kate Cirelli. Annie Porkorny of Middlebury also set herself up well for Saturday’s pursuit, landing third just 1.2 seconds behind Cirelli. Iris Pessey took fourth place for the Catamounts, while Lydia Blanchet was the top Dartmouth woman in fifth place.

It was a similar story on the men’s side with UVM once again putting three in the top four. Jack Hegman led the field in 23:44.8, giving himself a 16.5 second advantage over teammate Jørgen Grav. Fabian Stocek of Dartmouth was another 10.9 seconds back in third place. Cole Morgan rounded out UVM’s top three in fourth place, while Callan Deline rounded out the top five for Dartmouth.

Joergen Grav of UVM locked up second place on both Friday and Saturday. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Joergen Grav of UVM locked up second place on both Friday and Saturday. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Despite rising temperatures, klister, and the threat of rain hovering overhead, Saturday promised to be a day of exciting racing. The top ten women from the day before were poised to start within 55 seconds, making for a potentially tight two lap pursuit race. It was Pokorny who rose to the occasion, putting in the fastest time of the day in 16:00.0, and racing to the top of the podium. Sonnesyn managed to hold onto second place, despite losing 30 seconds to Pokorny over the course of five kilometers. Cirelli secured a second podium spot for the Catamounts with the fifth fastest time of the day. Putting in the second fastest time of the day it was Katrin Larusson of the University of New Hampshire, who raced her way from eighth to fourth, staying just ahead of Blanchet who held onto fifth place.

In the men’s race, the start was considerably more spaced out, with only 7 men underway in the first minute. Once again it was Hegman who took the top spot with the second fastest time on the day, opening up his lead on teammate Grav to 27.3 seconds. Stocek put in the fastest time of the day, narrowly missing out on second place, just half a second behind Grav. Morgan held onto his fourth place position with the tenth fastest time of the day. The big change in the top five came from Eli Hoenig of Williams College who raced from eleventh to fifth at his home carnival with the fourth fastest time of the day.

With strong performances across the board, the weekend belonged to UVM who took home the win with 992 points ahead of Dartmouth with 919 points. UNH took home third with 720 points.

The Williams College Carnival concluded the EISA regular season. College racing with be back in action next weekend as the post season begins with the EISA Championships/NCAA Regionals at the Middlebury College Carnival. The Middlebury Carnival is set to go off on Friday at Rikert Nordic Center, which will make it only the second carnival this season to be hosted at its planned venue.

-Silke Hynes

Results 

Friday men / women

Saturday men / women

Annie Pokorny of Middlebury College moved her way up from third on day 1 to take the win on day 2. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Annie Pokorny of Middlebury College moved her way up from third on day 1 to take the win on day 2. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

UVM Regains Upper Hand at Dartmouth Carnival; Individual Wins for Hegman, Phinney

The men's field leaving the start in the 20 k classic at Dartmouth Carnival in Craftsbury, Vermont. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

The men’s field leaving the start in the 20 k classic at Dartmouth Carnival in Craftsbury, Vermont. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association racing resumed this weekend with the 106th Dartmouth Winter Carnival at Craftsbury Outdoor Center. The SuperTour left the East after two combined SuperTour/carnival weekends, but things felt familiar anyway: the returned to Craftsbury for a second straight weekend after yet another venue change forced by poor snow conditions. So far the Eastern Collegiate season has been four carnivals contested at just two venues, with three of those carnivals being moved from their original sites.

Craftsbury welcomed back the teams for the unique one-day carnival. With just one distance race per gender, the pressure was on for teams to put in good performances. The men’s 20 k and women’s 20 k classic mass starts were contested on a slightly different course than last weekend’s UVM Carnival. The hardworking Craftsbury crew were able to expand the race loop to 3.2 km, adding a challenging hill and more technical skiing. Once again repetition, this time 5-6 laps, aided in making for a challenging race.

Eli Hoenig of Williams College leading the men's 20 k before being eventually caught and passed by Jack Hegman of UVM. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Eli Hoenig of Williams College leading the men’s 20 k before being eventually caught and passed by Jack Hegman of UVM. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

On top of poor snow fall, the race organizers were challenged by freezing temperatures that threatened to drop below the legal race cutoff of -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Faced with potentially plummeting temperatures, organizers chose to move the races earlier in the day to get ahead of the incoming cold front.

At 9:30 am, the men were underway, many sporting colorful tape on their faces to protect from wind chills projected to hit more than 25 degrees below zero. Through the tough conditions it was Jack Hegman of the University of Vermont who prevailed, after spending much of the race chasing Eli Hoenig of Williams College. Despite an early lead Hoenig was unable to fend off a late charge by Hegman, and took home second place for the Ephs after crossing the line 6.4 seconds back. Fabian Stocek snagged the final spot on the podium (+12.3 seconds) for “home team” Dartmouth, while Peter Holmes of the University of New Hampshire (+16.7) and Jørgen Grav of UVM (+19.1) rounded out the top five. With Cole Morgan crossing the line in seventh (+39.2), UVM took the team win in the men’s race.

On the women’s side it was a tight race for the podium spots between defending classic leader Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury, Olivia Amber of Colby, and Mary-Kate Cirelli of UVM. Phinney came out on top in 44:59.0, while Amber and Cirelli finished four and eight seconds back respectively. The women’s top five was filled out by Katrin Larusson of UNH (+19) and Mary O’Connell of Dartmouth (+20). Despite no skiers on the podium, the Dartmouth women claimed the team score with Corey Stock in sixth (+32) and Emily Hyde in ninth (+1:14) rounding out the scoring.

Overall UVM took home the win on the weekend scoring 888 points, ahead of second place Dartmouth College who scored 858 points. Third went to UNH with 826 points. UVM had won the opening carnival of the season before Dartmouth took two in row; the tally is now even.

EISA nordic racing with resume February 19th with the Williams College Carnival. Due to lack of snow the Williams Carnival will be contested at the Lake Placid Ski Jumps, and will be the fourth Carnival this season to be moved from its original venue due to snow issues.

-Silke Hynes.

Results: men / women

Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury (right) and Corey Stock of Dartmouth (left) leading the pack in the women's 20 k classic. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury (right) and Corey Stock of Dartmouth (left) leading the pack in the women’s 20 k classic. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Northern Michigan Wins CCSA Conference Title; Torchia & Markset Athletes of the Week

Beautiful morning for the Mayor’s XC Challenge! Good luck racers! #nofilter

A photo posted by The Loppet Foundation (@loppetfoundation) on

After a weekend off, the Central Collegiate Ski Association racing continued in the Twin Cities with the CCSA Conference Championships.

Races were combined with the Mayors Challenge, an open and Junior National Qualifier competition. In the open races, the top college skiers shared the podium with elite seniors from the likes of CXC (Kyle Bratrud), SMS T2 (Anne Hart and Erika Flowers), and APU (Rosie FrankowskiDavid Norris, and Tyler Kornfield).

Saturday featured men’s 15 k and women’s 10 k classic mass starts. Both men’s and women’s fields were faced with very cold conditions, causing the race start to be pushed back an hour in order to reach legal racing temperatures. The track at Theodore Wirth Park was hard and fast, creating exciting and fast paced racing all day.

With the men’s racing leading off on the 3.3 k loop, there was a large group until the half way point when the lead pack was whittled down to only six racers. By the end of the race the college field had been spread out with two Northern Michigan skiers out front. Adam Martin took top honors with a time of 36:56.4. He was followed three seconds later by teammate Ian Torchia. With these two spots Northern Michigan sits in first place after day one with 85 points.

Michael Fehrenbach of the University of Alaska Fairbanks took third, only 18 seconds from the win. Fehrenbach’s efforts led his team to a second place finish on the day with 72 total points.

Of his teams efforts today, UAF Coach Nick Crawford said, “Michael again showed that he is one of the top classic skiers in the CCSA! He skied with the leaders most of the race and ended up as the third CCSA skier. Behind him we had Jan Cech and Nick Lovett who have not been in our top three most of the season but had great races today and finished in 11th and 13th and scored for the Nanooks.”

Michigan Tech’s Thomas Kendrick had a strong showing today placing fourth and accrued some crucial points for his team. Kendrick was followed by his teammates Kyle Hanson in 12th and Didrik Elset 15th.

“I thought all our guys skied really well today,” said MTU Coach Joe Haggenmiller. “We are really excited for Tom Kendrick, he’s a fifth year senior and had the best result of his collegiate career today, so we’re excited to see what he can do in his last three races on the CCSA calendar.”

On the women’s side, the racing was just as fast and exciting over the the laps that they completed. The race was taken out hard and led by three Northern Michigan University skiers, who would also end up taking the top three spots on the podium. The timers had to rely on the photo finish to declare a winner.

Once the photo was reviewed it was Vivian Hett who came out on top with teammate Nicole Schneider taking second by less than .1 of a second. Twelve seconds later, Felicia Gesior rounded out the top three giving Northern Michigan the team lead with 87 points.

“I’m really happy to see our girls really pushing each other,” said Northern Michigan Coach Sten Fjeldheim. “They’ve been working really hard all year and none of them wants to lose to the other.”

The women of the University of Alaska Fairbanks followed in the footsteps of their mens team and took second in the team scores with 78 points. Fairbanks was led by Nicole Bathe in fourth. Anne-Tine Markset was close behind in fifth and Sarissa Lammers took seventh.

“We were really impressed with all of our women,” said Fairbanks Coach Nick Crawford “Nichole Bathe did an especially good job moving up from her 22nd seed position in the mass start to finish 6th overall.”

The women of Saint Scholastica just beat out the women of Michigan Tech by one point for third in the team scores. The Saints were led by Kelsey Dickinson in 11th, Elizabeth Evans 14th and Allison Ternes 19th.

Beneath the Minneapolis skyline at Theodore Wirth Park, racing resumed on Sunday with 5 and 10 k skate competitions – and the Northern Michigan University men and women continued their winning ways.

In the women’s 5km event, UAF’s Markset stole the show; she posted a time of 14:55.7, nearly five seconds in front of the second collegiate finisher, Northern Michigan’s Gesior. The win is Markset’s first of the season as well as the first Nanook individual win of 2016.

“We’re really pleased to have Anne-Tine Markset grab the win today!” said Nanook head coach Nick Crawford of Sunday’s race. “We’ve known all season that we have a couple of athletes on both the men’s and women’s side capable of winning CCSA races if everything lines up right for them and Anne-Tine put it all together today. Anne-Tine seems to be getting better every week so we’re excited to see what she can do at the Regional Championships and the NCAA Championships.”

Junior Bathe finished fourth, just eight seconds off the winning pace. Lammers placed ninth, rounding out the scoring for the Nanook women.

Gesior again led the Northern Michigan women, as she has in each five-kilometer contest of 2016. The senior captain was followed by freshman teammate Sarah Bezdicek in third, who finished 7.5 seconds back of Markset. Fellow freshman Sophie McDonald was the third scorer for the Wildcats in fifth. Both Gesior and Bezdicek are part of a large Northern Michigan contingent heading to Romania this week to race in the World Junior and U23 Nordic Ski Championships later this month.

The Michigan Tech Huskies’ top finisher was Andrea Lee in sixth with a time of 15:15.3. Lee won the 10 km mass start at the Telemark Chase earlier this season and continues to post strong freestyle results. Lee’s teammates Lisa Koenig and Sonja Hedblom finished seventh and sixteenth, respectively.

MTU head coach Joe Haggenmiller said he was pleased with how his women’s squad bounced back from a rough day in the 10 km classic one day earlier.

“Lisa Koenig had a top result today – that was great to see from her!”

Haggenmiller was also impressed with Lee, who V2-skated the entirety of the course’s longest climb on the first lap. Said Haggenmiller of the tactic, “Most of the guys weren’t even doing that so I think it shows how strong she is.”

On the men’s side it was deja-vu all over again. In fact, the top three collegiate finishers and the margins between them were nearly identical to the last CCSA 10 km freestyle race, which took place in Houghton, MI. Northern’s Torchia again “torched” the field, winning in a time of 20:11.8. Teammate Martin was second, 28-seconds behind. NMU’s Jake Brown finished third, just 0.8 seconds after Martin. Talk about consistency: in Houghton Torchia finished exactly 28-seconds in front of Martin and Martin 0.7 ahead of Brown.

“I was pleased with our team this weekend- both men and women,” noted Northern Michigan head coach Sten Fjeldheim. “Even with the cold it was a good weekend. I was glad that we got up to race-legal temperatures and were able to put on a good race, and a fair race.”

The Michigan Tech men had arguably their best CCSA performance of the year to-date. Huskies Gaspard CuenotElset, and Hanson took fourth, fifth, and seventh, respectively. Not only did each performance set or match each skier’s CCSA season-best, but Sunday marked the first time this season that Michigan Tech has placed three in the top ten.

“I was pretty happy with how the guys performed; I thought we were pretty competitive with NMU,” said Haggenmiller, “but you have to give the NMU guys credit, they’ve been racing fast. So when we’re up there with NMU it’s a good day for us. Skate races seem to be good for us. I don’t know why, but they do!”

A mere 17 seconds separated the top three Alaska Fairbanks skiers, who collectively finished third as a team on Sunday and in the overall championship race. Freshmen Seji Takagi and Max Donaldson led the Nanook men in 10th and 11th, while veteran teammate Alexander Eckert finished just behind in 12th.

Unsurprisingly given the individual results, Northern Michigan took the team win on the weekend. UAF finished as runner-up in the conference, while Michigan Tech earned the final spot on the team podium with their strong Sunday performance.

Torchia and Markset were named the CCSA Athletes of the Week.

The CCSA ski teams will begin postseason NCAA competition next weekend in Ishpeming, MI, at the NCAA Regional Championships. Women are scheduled to race 5 km freestyle interval start at 10 am on Saturday, February 20 and 15 km classical mass start at 12:30 pm on Sunday, February 21. Men will race 10 km freestyle at 12:30 pm on Saturday and 20 km classic at 10 am on Sunday.

-Shane MacDowell

Results 

Saturday: women open & college / men open & college

Sunday: women open & college / men open & college

Blanchet, Caldwell, Grav & Sonnesyn Take Individual Wins at UVM Carnival

Lydia Blanchet of Dartmouth College on her way to her first collegiate win, in the 5 k skate at the UVM Carnival (held at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center). Blanchet's Dartmouth team won the weekend. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Lydia Blanchet of Dartmouth College on her way to her first collegiate win, in the 5 k skate at the UVM Carnival (held at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center). Blanchet’s Dartmouth team won the weekend. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

After a weekend off, the EISA circuit resumed this weekend with the University of Vermont Carnival. The races, which coincided with the SuperTour and Eastern Cup circuits, were forced to move from the Trapp Family lodge to Craftsbury Outdoor Center due to unseasonably warm weather. With little notice the Craftsbury crew were able to pull together a 2.4 kilometer loop. While not as challenging as the standard Craftsbury track, the course served up multiple hills including a small wall into the stadium.

Saturday’s racing began with the women’s 5 kilometer skate. After a week of high temperatures which melted snow, it dropped below 32 degrees leading to fast tracks for the opening race. Charging to her first carnival win it was Lydia Blanchet of Dartmouth in 11:54.2. That was good for sixth in the SuperTour field, placing her 18 seconds behind Annie Hart of SMST2. She was followed by the current skate leader Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury (+3.5) and Corey Stock of Dartmouth in 12:03.6. Annie Pokorny, formerly of SMST2 and now returned to the Middlebury roster, was 0.7 seconds out in fourth.

In the 10 k men’s race, the top of the results sheet was dominated by Dartmouth and the University of Vermont. Patrick Caldwell of Dartmouth, who had previously committed to skiing for the SMST2 team after two years at Dartmouth, was back and took not only the carnival win but the SuperTour win as well, crossing the line in 20:42.9. That put him a full 50 seconds ahead of second-place Jørgen Grav of UVM. Edging onto the podium 1:16.7 back was Oscar Friedman of Dartmouth, who came in just 0.4 seconds ahead of teammate Fabian Stocek giving the Big Green a decisive team win.

The second day of racing dawned significantly warmer than the first, with klister as the kick of choice. Given their options a small number of skiers chose to double-pole the single large hill and race on skate skis.

In the women’s 10 k classic it was Alayna Sonnesyn of UVM that topped the podium in 28:02.5, outpacing Middlebury’s Pokorny by just 0.5 seconds. That put the seventh and eighth in the SuperTour field in a race won by Erika Flowers of SMST2. Blanchet of Dartmouth made her second podium of the weekend, finishing third, +6.3.

In the men’s race – shortened from 15 k to 10 k due to the limited snow – UVM justified their choice of skate skis claiming the top two spots on the podium. Cole Morgan finished first in23:37.4, just 4.1 seconds ahead of teammate Grav. Meanwhile, Stocek of Dartmouth continued his strong season with a third place finish (+12.6).

Overall it was once again the Big Green of Dartmouth College that took the win, finishing 60 points up on rivals University of Vermont. College racing will resume next Saturday with the 106th Dartmouth Winter Carnival. In light of recent weather the Dartmouth Carnival will also be contested at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and, in a first, will lack the traditional snow sculpture in the middle of the college quad.

-Silke Hynes.

Results:

Saturday women opencollegiate / men opencollegiate

Sunday women opencollegiate / men opencollegiate

 

Hett & Torchia Top Michigan Tech Mass Starts

The second day of racing at the Michigan Tech Invitational saw a lot of hard racing in both fields. Each team was faced by tricky conditions with temperatures hovering around 32 degrees. The morning started off with the women’s 15 kilometer classic mass start. With the warm conditions it seemed that each team had a different approach to making the skis kick, some using hardwax while others opted for klister or klister covered by hardwax.

Once the race was off the women of Northern Michigan University (NMU) asserted their dominance by getting to the front and controlling the pace. By doing so they were able to take the top three spots led by Vivian Hett with a time of 49:21.9. Hett skied to a commanding win after the second lap winning by almost 48 seconds over yesterday’s winner Felicia Gesior. Just under a minute back, there was a real battle for third going on between NMU’s Sophie Schimpl and Michigan Tech’s Andrea Lee. In the end Schimpl out-sprinted Lee by three tenths of a second to finish +1:48. With the top three spots the ladies of NMU solidified their win on the weekend in the team scores.

Led by the strong fourth-place performance by Lee, the women of Michigan Tech were able to fend off and extend their lead on Saint Scholastica. Lee was followed by Sonja Hedblom in ninth and Carolyn Lucca in 12th to accrue 41 points in the team scores. With taking second on the weekend coach Joe Haggenmiller was pleased with the solid effort his women put in.

“Yesterday I was happy with taking second place with both teams,” the Michigan Tech coach said. “I think that came down to the way our second and third place skiers were racing on both sides. They were skiing hard and battling it out. Today we saw more of the same for the women, I think we had an even better day today.”

Saint Scholasica’s women placed third on the day with 33 points. Kelsey Dickinson led the charge for the Saints in 11th place with teammates Elizabeth Evans in 13th and Chelsey Youngberg in 15th.

St. Olaf proved its mettle in the women’s race, with Nora Gilbertson placing 14th and Piper Bain 19th.

In the men’s 20 k mass start, the weather proved to be even trickier with the sun peeking out just before race time and changing the snow conditions. As each team was getting their racers skis ready they noticed this change and realized that most hard waxes were too slick while most klisters were still too sticky. With these conditions we saw many athletes choose their Zeros to try and get the best kick and glide combo possible.

At the start of the classic race, the NMU men followed the example of their women earlier in the day and jumped out to an early lead. Alumnus Kyle Bratrud was also in the pack, racing for CXC but not scoring in the college standings. He eventually beat out the current Wildcats at the line by 0.9 seconds in a sprint finish.

In the collegiate race, NMU ultimately took the top three positions while also placing the rest of their seven-man squad in the top 10. Then team was led by a strong effort from Ian Torchia who finished with a time of 55:54.3. Torchia was followed by teammates Adam Martin in second (+40.3) and Fredrik Schwencke (+52.3) in third.

The men of Saint Scholastica snatched the second place team spot from Michigan Tech today with 42 points, giving them second on the day as well as the weekend. The Saints were led by Reitler Hodgert in sixth, with Joe Dubay close behind in eighth and Chris Parr rounding out the top 10.

Michigan Tech ended up third after a harsh crash early on in the race that saw one of their top skiers, Gaspard Cuenot, drop form the race. In his absence Tech was led by Kyle Hanson in 12th, followed by Tomas Kendrick 13th and Seth Mares 15th.

UW Green Bay was nipping at the heels of Michigan Tech, only 3 points back with a total of 27. Their men fought hard with an 11th from Matthew Nichols, 20th Kyle Marshal and 24th Jacob Ajax.

This week’s CCSA Female Athlete of the week is Vivian Hett of Northern Michigan University. Vivian raced hard this weekend with a 2nd place finish in Saturday’s 5 kilometer Freestyle race. Hett followed up her 2nd place finish with a win by a resounding 48 seconds in the 15 kilometer classic mass start. Hett will be representing her country later this year in Romania at the World Junior Championships.

This week’s CCSA Male Athlete of the week is Ian Torchia. Torchia was in top form this weekend taking wins in both races. Torchia skied to 28 second win in Saturday’s 10 kilometer skate race, and a 40 second wins over the field in Sundays 20 kilometer classic mass start. He will also be join his teammate Vivian Hett in Romania to represent the United States at the World Junior Championships in February.

The CCSA racing continues in two weeks at Theodore Worth Park in Minneapolis, MN. As the last few races approach, each athlete and team will be in the hunt for crucial NCAA qualifying points.

Results

Women: opencollegiate only

Men: opencollegiate only

-Shane MacDowell

NMU Sweeps Both Podiums at Day 1 of Michigan Tech Invite; Torchia & Gesior Win

The Michigan Tech Invitational kicked off Saturday under clear skies and above-average temperatures. The day started off with the men’s individual start 10 k skate. Temperatures were gradually rising above freezing just before the start, causing each team to look for the best wax and structure possible to fight off the increasing moisture in the snow.

Ian Torchia of Northern Michigan University (NMU) took top honors in the men’s race, finishing in a time of 25:50. He was followed 28 seconds later by two of his teammates, Adam Martin (+28.1) and Jake Brown (+29.1). With these three places NMU took an early lead in the team scores with 51 points.

(The races also featured non-collegiate skiers, with CXC’s Kyle Bratrud finishing second after Torchia, 11.2 seconds back. Senior racers were excluded from college results, however.)

Gaspard Cuenot led his Michigan Tech team to second place in the team scores with a fourth place finish (+45.2). He was followed by teammates Kyle Hanson in eighth and Daniel Wood 16th to stay just ahead of Saint Scholastica with 37 points.

Saint Scholastica’s men are nipping at the heels of MTU with 35 points, led by a strong performance from Reitler Hodgert in ninth. Hodgert was followed closely by his teammates Ryan St. Clair in 11th and Chris Parr 13th.

Of his mens team effort, Coach Salmela was pleased with the progress from last week.

“We’re moving in the right direction in freestyle,” Salmela said. “We got pummeled in freestyle last weekend and we tightened up our team effort against Tech, but still came up a couple points shy. Regardless, it’s the right direction.”

For the women’s race the temperatures had climbed up into the low 40’s with the sun shining down causing the snow to become glazed with moisture.

The CCSA women’s field was dominated by the skiers of NMU, taking the top five positions. NMU was led by Felicia Gesior stamping her authority all over the 5 k course, and winning by 17.5 seconds. Gesior was followed by her two teammates Vivian Hett and Sophie Schimple (+26.0). With these three spots the NMU women followed in the footsteps of their male counterparts and took the lead in the team scores with 51 points.

With both teams taking the lead after the first day, coach Sten Fjeldheim was very pleased with how his athletes seemed to be pushing one another.

“Our team is in a really good place right now,” Fjeldheim said. “They are working off one another to get faster each week, and we are seeing better and better racing out of them as the season goes on.”

As with the men’s race, a CXC senior athlete skied onto the overall podium: Alice Flanders, who edged in between Hett and Schimpl to finish third, +20.3. Sharmila Ahmed, a Saint Scholastica assistant coach, also skied into the top ten (+52.5).

Back in the collegiate race, the Michigan Tech women held strong to finish second on the day being led by Andrea Lee in seventh (+43.5). Her two teammates, Sonja Hedblom and Carolyn Lucca followed in tenth and 11th to give MTU 39 points.

The women of Saint Scholastica will be looking to reel in Michigan Tech tomorrow after falling by 3 points. The Saints were led by Kelsey Dickinson in sixth place (+40.5). After an early crash, Elizabeth Evans battled back hard to a 13th place finish. She was followed just over 20 seconds later by teammate Allison Ternes to finish 15th, giving them 36 points and 3rd on the day.

Of his womens effort, coach Salmela said,“I was happy with what I saw in effort and race form today, it hurts to lose to rival Michigan Tech, but Ellie and Kelsey looked great and were skiing competitively and Allison looked the strongest in skating yet this year.”

Outside the top three teams Saint Cloud States Coach Jeremy Frost was pleased with the improvement he saw in his team compared to last weekend. Maria Hauer fought her way into the top 20, finishing 19th (+2:19.6).

“It was great to see our skiers get off the start line and through the flat first kilometer a little quicker this weekend” said Frost. “This should give us more confidence leading into the last couple race weekends of the season.”

The racing action continues Sunday with the women’s 15 k classic mass start and men’s 20k classic mass start.

Results 

Women: overallcollegiate only

Men: overallcollegiate only

-Shane MacDowell.

UVM Wins Men’s Races at Quarry Road, But Dartmouth Tops in Colby Carnival

Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury leads Mary Kate Cirelli of UVM during the women's 15 k classic; the duo went 1-2. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury leads Mary Kate Cirelli of UVM during the women’s 15 k classic mass start; the duo went 1-2. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

The EISA Carnival Circuit returned to Waterville, Maine this weekend for another round of collegiate racing, this time for the Colby College Carnival. With new snow falling in the past week, the race organizers were able to open the full five kilometer race course, making for a much less dizzying race experience this weekend.

Saturday saw the first distance races of the carnival season and a rare display of equidistance. Both the men and the women raced the same challenging 15 k classic mass start course, with the Quarry Road loop making for a challenging race. With long uphill sections and technical downhills, it offered few opportunities for racers to rest. Meanwhile, alternating sections of natural and manmade snow created a waxing challenge for coaches who tried to find the right kick for varying snow conditions.

Jørgen Grav outsprints his UVM teammate Jack Hegman to the line in the men's 15 k classic mass start. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Jørgen Grav outsprints his UVM teammate Jack Hegman to the line in the men’s 15 k classic mass start. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

In the men’s race it was the University of Vermont who proved to be up to the challenge. Jørgen Grav and Jack Hegman raced their way to the podium for the second weekend in a row, going 1-2 for the Catamounts. It was an extremely tight race between the two teammates with Grav finishing just eight tenths of a secondahead of Hegman in 41:58.7.

In third was Williams College junior Eli Hoenig, stopping a UVM sweep and made his first college podium. Cole Morgan of UVM placed fourth and Fabian Stocek of Dartmouth fifth.

In the women’s race it was Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury College who came out on top for the second week in a row in 49:46.9. She was followed closely by Mary Kate Cirelli of the University of Vermont in 49:50.7. The women’s podium was rounded out by Lizzie Gill, a freshman from Bozeman, Montana, representing the University of New Hampshire. Olivia Amber of Colby finished fourth and Stephanie Kirk of UVM fifth.

Sunday’s racing saw a format new to the EISA circuit: team sprints, according to the international standard format. Previous team sprints had consisted of teams of three athletes each skiing three legs, but at Quarry Road teams were cut down to two skiers apiece, still each skiing three times. The 1.3 k sprint course paired steep climbs with fast slick downhills, making for fast skiing and even faster crashes. The challenge of the day was not just racing hard but also staying on your feet.

Katie Gill sailing to victory for the University of New Hampshire in the women's team sprint. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Lizzie Gill sailing to victory for the University of New Hampshire in the women’s team sprint. (Photo: Silke Hynes)

Once again it was Hegman and Grav of UVM who found themselves on top of the men’s podium. The two dueled it out with teammates Ian Moore and Morgan, the latter pair finishing second by just 1.7 seconds. Peter Holmes and Tyler Smith raced into third for UNH, +6.5 seconds, and Dartmouth’s Stocek and Callan Deline off the podium but so close they could almost touch it – only 0.6 seconds behind the UNH duo.

On the women’s side the battle was between the UVM team of Kirk and Cirelli, and the UNH pair of Katrin Larusson and Gill. They battled into the final lap when Gill finally pulled away from Cirelli to take victory for UNH by 6.6 seconds. The Middlebury pairing of Nicolette Amber and Phinney raced into third, +16.2, to fill out the women’s podium.

Despite a spectacular nordic showing for UVM, Dartmouth had the last laugh thanks to their strength on the alpine slopes. After 22 straight carnival wins the University of Vermont was dethroned, with Dartmouth winning by a mere four points. UNH was third, another five points back, in one of the closer three-way battles in recent carnivals. That promises more exciting competition coming up in the rest of the season.

EISA nordic carnival racing will rest next weekend before resuming competition with the UVM Carnival in Stowe, VT on February 6th.

Classic 15 k results: menwomen

Team sprint results: menwomen

-Silke Hynes

Martin Sweeps at Telemark Chase; Gesior, Lee Take Women’s Wins

(Note: We are looking for contributors to write short reports and/or contribute photos on this season’s action on each of the collegiate circuits. If you are interested, please contact info@fasterskier.com.)

The Central Collegiate Ski Association kicked off January racing with the Telemark Chase this weekend, a two-day series held at the Telemark Resort trails in Cable, Wisconsin. There was fast, hard racing by over 500 competitors, both collegiate and junior athletes alike.

Day 1

The weekend started off with a 5- and 10-kilometer classic individual start. With solid tracks and mild temperatures the course was primed for some great racing.

Leading off with the men’s race the Northern Michigan Wildcats jumped out to an early lead in the team scoring by taking the top three slots on the result sheet. The Wildcats were led by Adam Martin who completed the 10 k course in 26:14.7. Martin was followed closely by his two teammates Ian Torchia (26:16.7) and Fredrik Schwenke (26:50.2).

With three of his skiers taking the top three spots, Northern Michigan Head Coach Sten Fjeldheim was most excited about his athletes that were just outside of the winning pace.

“I am most excited about Sam Elfstrom (5th) for having a breakthrough performance today, and Freshman Leo Hipp (11th) for being the second junior in the race,” said Fjeldheim. “It’s a really good atmosphere with our men’s team right now, it seems like they are having alot fun pushing one another to their limits.”

Just off the podium in fourth was University of Alaska Fairbanks skier Michael Fahrenbach. The Saints of Saint Scholastica placed two men in the top ten with Chris Parr (sixth) and Reitler Hodgert (eighth). Michigan Techs Gaspart Cuenot ended up splitting the Saints in seventh with Northern Michigan’s Jake Brown in ninth and UW Green Bay’s Mathew Nichols rounding out the top 10.

With a stellar performance from his top three men, Saint Scholastica Head Coach Chad Salmela was very happy with his mens team sitting in second place in the team scores.

“Anytime you’re in the top three in the conference as a team, that’s a good day for us,” he said. “Beating Alaska and Tech by more than a point or two is more than expected even on a good day.”

For the womens 5 k, Northern Michigan added to their team lead with Felicia Gesior taking top honors by 2.8 seconds over University of Alaska Fairbanks racer Anne-Tine Markset. Markset was followed by another NMU skier Sophie Schimpl to finish off the top three.

That lead didn’t come without a solid battle in the women’s race between Northern Michigan and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Just missing out on third place by one second, UAF’s Nicole Bathe took fourth with NMU’s Vivian Hett right behind in fifth. UAF’s third scorer Ann-Cathrin Uhl was only ten seconds down to Hett in sixth. Saint Scholastica’s Kelsey Dickinson broke up the NMU, UAF run by squeaking into seventh, 0.3 seconds ahead of another NMU skier, Nicole Schneider. Michigan Tech placed their second skier in the top ten of the day with Andrea Lee taking ninth and another UAF skier Sarissa Lammers rounding out the top ten.

With two of his skiers breaking into the top ten, MTU Head Coach Joe Haggenmiller waslooking for a little more in Sunday’s 10 and 15 k mass start skate races.

“I think as a team we were a little flat but I think everyone was battling hard today,” he said on Saturday. “We are just going to have to go out there tomorrow and build on our efforts from today.”

Day 2

The second day of the Telemark Chase saw another great day of racing. After yesterday’s classic races the men and women of the CCSA were faced with 10 and 15 k mass start skate races. With conditions continuing to be solid and temperatures hovering in the mid-twenties, it made for some very fast conditions all day.

The day started off at 10am with the start of the womens 10 k. Right out of the start the NMU Wildcats flexed their muscle by having seven of their skiers in the top 10 throughout the first lap. It was on the second lap that the race heated up the NMU redshirt skier Kristen Bourne attacking on the final big climb of the day. As she crested the hill she had a 10 second gap leading into the downhill. It was over the next 2 kilometers that Michigan Tech’s Andrea Lee hunted down Bourne over the final rolling hills. Passing Bourne in the final climbs Lee was able to hang on for first by 0.1 seconds.

“It was really exciting to see her ski in that NMU train going up the last big climb,” a satisfied Haggenmiller said of Lee’s performance. “I could tell she was pretty relaxed and knew what she had to do. It’s very exciting to see how savvy she is as a racer and I look forward to seeing more of that in the future.”

Five seconds back was UAF’s Markset turning in another stellar effort to finish third overall and second for the CCSA conference. Taking third for the collegiate race was Gesior. Northern also took fourth through ninth in the collegiate rankings with UAF’s Bathe rounding out the top 1o. All of the racing was very close today in the womens race with 1-10 being separated by less than a minute.

UAF Head Coach Nick Crawford was very pleased with his team’s effort.

“Anne-Tine Markset proved that she is one of the top women in the CCSA again today following up on her second place finish yesterday with a third place overall,” he said. “Nichole Bathe and Sarissa Lammers also had good races doing a good job moving up through the field in the second lap and having strong finishes.”

On the men’s side, Northern Michigan once again showed their dominance and depth by taking all three steps on the podium with Martin taking his second win of the weekend followed closely by Torchia and Jake Brown. Michigan Tech came back today and capitalized on their coaches comments from yesterday by building on their efforts of the previous day and placing 2nd in the men’s team scores while being led by Gaspard Cuenot in fourth. Cuenot was followed by Schwencke. Max Donaldson led UAF’s men with a sixth-place finish. Northern’s Sam Elfstrom took seventh with MTU’s second skier Kyle Hanson right behind in eighth.

Coach Haggenmiller was excited about Hanson’s efforts.

“[He] was the one that was driving the second chase group, and I think his result was a big part the men’s team placing second today,” Haggenmiller said.

Saint Scholastica’s Reitler Hodgert had a stellar finish in ninth.

“Reitler loves classic races,” Salmela said. “So coming off an eighth-place in his favorite event, the 10 k Classic, a 15 kilometer freestyle mass start is the antithesis of his skiing essence. But a gritty performance netted him nearly the same result.”

UW Green Bay’s Matthew Nichols finished off the top 10.

The CCSA skiing action continues next weekend in Houghton, Mich., with host Michigan Tech University. Each athlete will continue their hunt for crucial points that will help get them to the NCAA Championships in Steamboat, Colo., in early March.

Saturday results

Sunday results

— Shane MacDowell

Vermont Wins 22nd-Straight Carnival, But First Wins for Stock, Phinney, & Hegman

Corey Stock of Dartmouth College celebrating her victory in the EISA Bates Carnival sprint on Friday in Waterville, Maine. (Photo: Steve Fuller/Flying Point Road. For more of Steve's photos from the weekend, click over to his website here.)

Corey Stock of Dartmouth College celebrating her victory in the EISA Bates Carnival sprint on Friday in Waterville, Maine. (Photo: Flying Point Road. For more of Steve’s photos from the weekend, click over to the website here; 100% of proceeds from print sales go to the New England Nordic Ski Association.)

(Note: we are looking for contributors to write short reports on this season’s action on each of the collegiate circuits. If you are interested, please contact info@fasterskier.com.)

The Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association racing season got started this weekend, with something of a gradual transition into college racing as the Bates Carnival was held in partial conjunction with Eastern Cup races.

The races were moved from Rumford, Maine, where they originally were scheduled, to the Quarry Road network in Waterville, which will also host next week’s Colby Carnival.

The University of Vermont came away the winner, thanks to the power of both their alpine and cross-country teams; the Catamounts topped the team scores in three of four nordic races.

But while Vermont was a familiar team to top the standings – it was their 22nd-straight carnival win – there were plenty of new faces on the podiu,

Only college athletes competed on Friday, in classic sprints where Dartmouth senior Corey Stock claimed her first collegiate win. Kelsey Phinney of Middlebury was the runner-up, with Mattie Watts of the University of Vermont in third; Olivia Amber of Colby, Hannah Miller of Bowdoin, and Taryn Hunt-Smith of Dartmouth rounded out the final.

For the men it was Vermont’s Jørgen Grav who took the title ahead of teammate Jack Hegman. Vermont packed the final, with Cole Morgan also placing fifth. Alexis Morin of Quebec’s Université Laval was third, with Peter Holmes of the University of New Hampshire fourth and Eli Hoenig of Williams sixth.

Saturday’s races were combined with an Eastern Cup, featuring 5 and 10 kilometer interval-start skate races for women and men, respectively.

Racing got snowy on Sunday. The men's field contested 10 k skate races in combination with Eastern Cup competitions. (Photo: Flying Point Road)

Racing got snowy on Sunday. The men’s field contested 10 k skate races in combination with Eastern Cup competitions. (Photo: Flying Point Road)

In the women’s field Kaitlynn Miller of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, a newly-crowned senior national champion, took the overall win in 12:06.2.

Runner-up Phinney was the fastest college competitor, 6.8 seconds back. Like Stock, Phinney started out her senior season with the first carnival win of her career. Alayna Sonnesyn (fifth overall +14.5) and Iris Pessey (sixth overall, +21.1) of the University of Vermont rounded out the college podium.

As for the women, the runner-up from the men’s sprint had his day in the sun on Saturday: Hegman took the overall win of both the carnival and the Eastern Cup, covering the 10 k in 22:07.5. College racers swept the overall podium, with Grav in second (+2.4) and Fabian Stocek of Dartmouth in third (+9.7).

While Grav has won a handful of carnivals in the past, it was the first title for his teammate and fellow senior Hegman. For Vermont, both Watts and Pessey also posted their first collegiate podiums; Watts is a sophomore, while Pessey, originally from France, is in her first year with the team.

At the end of the weekend, UVM and Dartmouth were far ahead of the rest of the field, but UVM much farther ahead: they took the carnival win by a score of 951 to 909, with the University of New Hampshire third with 738 points.

Eastern Cup racing continued on Sunday with classic mass starts, but the top college competitors didn’t stick around for the action. They will return to Quarry Road in a week’s time to see if anyone can catch UVM.

Team Scores

Friday results: men’s sprint and heat sheets | women’s sprint and heat sheets

Saturday results: men’s and women’s college-only results

Eastern Cup Results (both Saturday and Sunday)

Longtime University of Vermont assistant Fred Fayette, the subject of a documentary by last season, takes splits on course on Sunday. (Photo: Flying Point Road)

Longtime University of Vermont assistant Fred Fayette, the subject of a documentary by Middlebury skier Stella Holt in 2015, takes splits on course on Sunday. (Photo: Flying Point Road)

NMU Dominates College Cup at U.S. Nationals

After the points were tallied following the first two days of racing at the 2016 U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships, Northern Michigan University claimed top honors in the men’s, women’s and combined team competition. Overall individual winners Fredrik Schwencke and Vivian Hett also hail from NMU.

NMU dominated the combined team scores, accumulating 829 points over Dartmouth’s 755. University of Alaska Fairbanks claimed third (727). This is the second consecutive year NMU has won the overall College Cup title under head nordic coach Sten Fjeldheim.

The College Cup is determined based on results from the first two days of racing at U.S. Nationals, held this year in Houghton, Michigan at the Michigan Tech trails. The races included a 15-kilometer individual start classic race for the men and 10-kilometer classic race for the women, as well as 1.5- kilometer freestyle sprints. The top collegian in each event is awarded 72 points and subsequent points are awarded descending from 72 through the collegiate results. Only the top three skiers from each school are scored, so any subsequent team members are skipped when awarding points.

The NMU men’s team claimed the team title over Dartmouth and was led by Fredrik Schwencke, who also claimed Grand Champion honors as the top overall individual. Schwencke was the top collegian in the sprint race as he skied to fourth place overall. Schwencke also scored as the third collegian and 21st overall in the classic distance race. Gaspard Cuenot of Michigan Tech and Cully Brown of University of Vermont claimed second and third individual College Cup honors.

Fredrick Schwencke competes in the freestyle sprints at U.S. Nationals. Schwencke placed fourth overall and was the first collegian in the event. (photo: Christopher Schmidt)

Fredrick Schwencke competes in the freestyle sprints at U.S. Nationals. Schwencke placed fourth overall and was the first collegian in the event. (photo: Christopher Schmidt)

NMU skiers dominated the men’s 15k classic race as Adam Martin took third overall and Ian Torchia claimed seventh as the top two collegians. Krystof Kopal and Jake Brown were the eighth and tenth collegians in the sprint and contributed to NMU’s team score.

The NMU women also topped Dartmouth for the team title. The Wildcats were led by Vivian Hett who also claimed the Grand Champion individual title. Hett was the second collegian in both races, taking 13th overall in the distance race and 18th overall in the sprints.   Alayna Sonnesyn of University of Vermont and Corey Stock of Dartmouth took second and third in the individual standings respectively.

Vivan Hett competes in the 10k classic event at U.S. Nationals. Hett placed 13th in the event as the second collegian (photo: Christopher Schmidt)

Vivan Hett competes in the 10k classic event at U.S. Nationals. Hett placed 13th in the event as the second collegian (photo: Christopher Schmidt)

In addition to Hett, NMU’s team score was augmented by strong performances from Sarah Bezdick, Sophie Schimple, and Lea Buenter. Bezdick claimed the top collegian in the sprint, taking 17th place overall. Schimpl was the third collegian in the sprint and fifth in the distance race. Buenter rounded out NMU’s scorers as the ninth collegian in the distance event.

 

148 Skiers to Compete at 2015 NCAA Championships

 

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, 74 men and 74 women from the Eastern, Rocky Mountain, and Central regions will compete at the 2015 NCAA Championships in Lake Placid, New York from March 11 to 14. The two cross country skiing races will be held at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. The women’s 5-kilometer and men’s 10 k freestyle individual starts will take place March 11, while the women’s 15 k and men’s 20 k classic mass starts are on March 13.

See the full list of participants below or here.

ALPINE
East Region – Men East Region – Women
Dylan Brooks, Dartmouth College Katelyn Barclay, Middlebury College
Robert Cone, Middlebury College Jeanne Barthold, Colby College
Dominique Garand, University of Vermont Kelsey Chenoweth, Bates College
Christoph Lentz, Williams College Libby Gibson, Dartmouth College
Craig Marshall, Colby College Elle Gilbert, Middlebury College
Christopher McKenna, Middlebury College Mardene Haskell, Colby College
Ben Morse, Dartmouth College Lizzie Kistler, Dartmouth College
Jay Ogle, University of New Hampshire Sierra Leavitt, Colby College
Coley Oliver, University of New Hampshire Foreste Peterson, Dartmouth College
Riley Plant, Middlebury College Kristina Riis-Johannessen, University of Vermont
Kevyn Read, Dartmouth College Mary Sackbauer, Middlebury College
Philippe Rivet, University of New Hampshire Laurence St. Germain, University of Vermont
William St. Germain, University of Vermont Randa Techner, University of New Hampshire
Fredrik Sandell, Saint Michael’s College Elli Terwiel, University of Vermont
Takehiro Watanabe, Plymouth State University Allison Visconti, St. Lawrence University
Taylor Wunsch, University of Vermont Lisa Wedsjö, University of New Hampshire
West Region – Men West Region – Women
Sean Alexander, University of Alaska Anchorage Isabella Andreini, University of Alaska Anchorage
Endre Bjertness, University of Utah Devin Delaney, University of Denver
Joergen Brath, University of Utah Chloe Fausa, University of Utah
Sebastian Brigovic, University of Denver Charley Field, University of Alaska Anchorage
Garret Driller, Montana State University, Bozeman Brooke Wales Granstrom, University of Colorado, Boulder
Henrik Gunnarsson, University of Colorado, Boulder Thea Grosvold, University of Colorado, Boulder
Kasper Hietanen, University of Colorado, Boulder Kristine Haugen, University of Denver
Sean Horner, University of New Mexico Kari Hole, Montana State University, Bozeman
Espen Lysdahl, University of Denver Jessica Honkonen, University of Colorado, Boulder
Curtis McKillop, University of Alaska Anchorage Monica Hübner, University of Denver
David Neuhauser, Montana State University, Bozeman Marion Hudry, University of Alaska Anchorage
Hughston Norton, University of Alaska Anchorage Stephanie Irwin, Montana State University, Bozeman
Carl-Johan Oster, University of New Mexico Ana Kobal, University of Utah
David Owsley, Montana State University, Bozeman Benedicte Lyche, Montana State University, Bozeman
Juho-Pekka Penttinen, University of New Mexico Sara Ottosson, University of New Mexico
Trevor Philp, University of Denver Mateja Robnik, University of New Mexico
Andy Trow, University of Utah Kristiina Rove, University of Utah
Adam Zika, University of Colorado, Boulder Sydney Staples, University of New Mexico
NORDIC
Central Region – Men Central Region – Women
Kyle Bratrud, Northern Michigan University Sharmila Ahmed, The College of St. Scholastica
Jake Brown, St. Olaf College Kristen Bourne, Northern Michigan University
Tom Bye, Michigan Technological University Alice Flanders, Michigan Technological University
Logan Hanneman, University of Alaska Fairbanks Felicia Gesior, Northern Michigan University
Haakon Hjelstuen, Michigan Technological University Deedra Irwin, Michigan Technological University
Jonas Löffler, University of Alaska Fairbanks Anita Kirvesniemi, The College of St. Scholastica
Paul Schommer, The College of St. Scholastica Anne-Tine Markset, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fredrik Schwencke, Northern Michigan University Jordyn Ross, Northern Michigan University
Erik Soderman, Northern Michigan University
East Region – Men East Region – Women
Rogan Brown, University of Vermont Olivia Amber, Colby College
Patrick Caldwell, Dartmouth College Mary-Kate Cirelli, University of Vermont
Eirik Fosnaes, University of New Hampshire Hannah Cole, Williams College
Raleigh Goessling, University of New Hampshire Hallie Grossman, Bates College
Jorgen Grav, University of Vermont Rachel Hampton, Harvard University
Jack Hegman, University of Vermont Stella Holt, Middlebury College
Eli Hoenig, Williams College Stephanie Kirk, University of Vermont
Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, Harvard University Katrin Larusson, University of New Hampshire
Patrick McElravey, Middlebury College Hannah Miller, Bowdoin College
Austin Meng, St. Lawrence University Heather Mooney, Middlebury College
Fabian Stocek, Dartmouth College Kelsey Phinney, Middlebury College
Silas Talbot, Dartmouth College Alayna Sonnesyn, University of Vermont
Will Wicherski, Williams College Corey Stock, Dartmouth College
Annika Taylor, University of New Hampshire
West Region – Men West Region – Women
Erik Axelson, Montana State University, Bozeman Selma Ahlsand, University of Denver
Noé Bellet, University of Utah Silje Benum, University of Denver
Kevin Bolger, University of Utah Emilie Cedervarn, University of New Mexico
Jorgen Brevik, University of Denver Jessica Gnuchtel, University of New Mexico
Jackson Hill, University of Colorado, Boulder Anna-Lena Heynen, University of Utah
Saywer Kesselheim, Montana State University, Bozeman Linnea Hulton, Montana State University, Bozeman
Moritz Madlener, University of Denver Petra Hyncicova, University of Colorado, Boulder
Forrest Mahlen, Montana State University-Bozeman Ane Johnsen, University of Colorado, Boulder
Alex Mahoney, University of Alaska Anchorage Mackenzie Kanady, University of Alaska Anchorage
Clement Molliet, University of Alaska Anchorage Annie Liotta, Montana State University, Bozeman
Aku Nikander, University of New Mexico Manon Locatelli, University of Alaska Anchorage
Rune Oedegaard, University of Colorado, Boulder Veronika Mayerhofer, University of Utah
Niklas Persson, University of Utah Cambria McDermott, Montana State University, Bozeman
Aljaz Praznik, University of New Mexico Sylvia Nordskar, University of Denver
Mats Resaland, University of New Mexico Kathrin Schratt, University of Alaska Anchorage
Etienne Richard, University of Alaska Anchorage Eva Sever Rus, University of New Mexico
Mads Stroem, University of Colorado, Boulder Maja Solbakken, University of Colorado, Boulder
Dag Frode Trollebo, University of Denver Sloan Storey, University of Utah

RMISA Regional Championship – VIDEO

Kincaid Park provided man-made snow with klister conditions for the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championship classic, mass-start.

In the men’s 20 k classic Colorado University’s Mads Stroem and Rune Malo Oedegaard won in photo-finish followed by Aku Nikander from UNM. Clement Molliet led host UAA Seawolves in 7th.

While in the women’s race Emilie Cedervaern of UNM, Vernonika Mayerhoffer of Utah and host UAA Seawolves Manon Locatelli take the podium in the 15K classic mass-start day two of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championship held on February 28, 2015 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska.

Full Results

RMISA Men’s Classic:

RMISA Women’s Classic:

Alaska College Races:

NCAA Central Regionals: Michigan Tech’s Axelsson, NMU’s Schwencke Win Classic Distance Races

(CCSA press release)

Michigan Tech’s Ulrika Axelsson and Northern Michigan’s Fredrik Schwencke won the final event of the NCAA Central Regional Championships, held at Al Quaal Park in Ishpeming, Michigan.

The women’s 15-kilometer classic mass start race was led out of the gates by Michigan Tech’s Deedra Irwin. As Michigan Tech Head Coach Joe Haggenmiller explained the race, “after the first climb Deedra stretched the field out and got a gap. After that she skied relaxed, and Ulrika [Axelsson] bridged the gap to Deedra near the end of the first lap along with Felicia [Gesior].”

By the end of the first lap at 5 kilometers Irwin and Axelsson were leading the race with Gesior of NMU skiing along with them. The rest of the women’s field trailed the leading three by more than 10 seconds. Chasing the leaders was a group led by Alaska Fairbanks duo Ann-Cathrin Uhl and Nichole Bathe.

With Irwin and Axelsson in control of the race, the two Michigan Tech skiers continued to keep the pace high throughout the race. “Both were just trying to go as fast as they could to put a gap on the field,” said Haggenmiller. “They were not really battling each other. Deedra put in a hard effort to get Ulrika from the bad side of the bubble to the good side,” Haggenmiller said in reference to Axelsson’s bid for qualifying for NCAA Championships.

With Axelsson’s campaign resting on a top finish, the two Michigan Tech women increased the pace on the final lap and managed to gain some distance on Gesior.

“They were able to claw out a 5-10 second gap on Felicia on the last lap,” said Haggenmiller.

Axelsson took the victory at the finish line, with Irwin trailing just .8 seconds behind. Gesior was third for NMU, 13.5 seconds behind Axelsson.

Bathe finished fourth for UAF, a result that UAF Interim Head Coach Christina Turman praised. “She raced really strong, it was a good note to end on. She proved that she can be right in there,” said Turman. “She wanted the team to move from 4th place to 3rd, and we did that with her result.”

Kristen Bourne took 5th for NMU, while Ann-Cathrin Uhl took 6th for UAF. “Ann maybe had the race of the day—to break into the top ten in that fashion was pretty impressive.”

Jordyn Ross took 7th for NMU, and St. Scholastica’s Anita Kirvesniemi finished 8th. St. Scholastica Head Coach Chad Salmela applauded Kirvesniemi’s tactical racing on a difficult day for the Saints. “Anita skied really smart,” said Salmela. “She had a hard time keeping pace with the leaders so she bided her time.” Kirveseniemi was able to work her way from 12th position up through the field in the latter stages of the race to finish in 8th.

In 9th from UAF was Ann-Tine Markset, and in 10th was NMU’s Vivian Hett. Markset’s result edged Axelsson out of a qualifying position for NCAA’s despite her victory. “It’s a bittersweat day for her,” said Haggenmiller. “She really represented us well. It was an exciting day for the women. Full credit to Anne-Tine for skiing the race she needed to.”

Northern Michigan won the women’s team title for the Central Regionals, with Michigan Tech in second, and Alaska Fairbanks third. St. Scholastica took fourth, Green Bay was 5th, and St. Olaf 6th. Gustavus and St. Cloud State tied for 7th.

The men’s 20 k mass start classic race was led initially by Isaac Lammers of Alaska Fairbanks. At the first 5 kilometer loop Lammers enjoyed a 3 second gap to the rest of the men’s field in the early stages of the race with NMU’s Adam Martin in close pursuit, followed by Ian Torchia of NMU and Jonas Loeffler of UAF.

Lammers maintained the lead of the race through the 10 kilometer mark, with Martin skiing right behind him and Torchia and Erik Soderman for NMU all within a second of each other.

Torchia, an NMU freshman, led the race at 15 kilometers, with Lammers falling back as the pace increased in the second half of the race. Behind Torchia were his teammates Soderman, Martin, and Schwencke. UAF’s Logan Hanneman and Loeffler were also among the leading six, as the front pack broke away from the rest of the men’s field.

Leading the chasing group at the 15 kilometer mark was Kenneth Brewer of UAF, but the leaders were just out of reach, some 12 seconds ahead.

In the closing stretch it was Schwencke who had the finishing power to win the day, winning with a time of 51:30. Hanneman took second, 5.3 seconds behind Schwencke.

Turman praised Hanneman’s racing strategy, saying, “Logan skied a really smart, tactical race, he never led, and he skied between 4th and 7th the whole race. As the race broke apart he moved up. Adam [Martin] had put a little gap on him near the end, but on the last climb Logan surged ahead to go on and take second.”

In third for NMU was Martin, 1.1 seconds behind Hanneman. In fourth was Erik Soderman, 2 seconds behind Martin, while Ian Torchia was 5th for NMU.

Loeffler took 6th for UAF. “Jonas was solid,” said Turman, “and he secured his spot.” His teammates Lammers and Brewer finished 7th and 8th, respectively, a result that Turman was thrilled with. “Today was just phenomenal,” said Turman. “Basically the entire team skied to their potential. I couldn’t be more proud of those guys, they raced out of their minds.”

In 9th place for Michigan Tech was Haakon Hjelstuen. Michigan Tech Head Coach Joe Haggenmiller said that Hjelstuen was, “really running on fumes today after his effort yesterday. Freddy [Schwencke] made a move, and Haakon tried to respond, but he took a fall. He was never able to bridge back up after that. It was still a good day though.”

Alexander Eckert of UAF rounded out the top-10 men in the classic race. Eckert was the 5th man from UAF to make the top ten in Sunday’s race.

Northern Michigan took the top prize for the men’s team competition at Central Regionals. Alaska Fairbanks finished second, and Michigan Tech was third. St. Scholastica was fourth, St. Olaf 5th, and Green Bay 6th.

Full results can be found at www.superiortiming.com

— Pasha Kahn

NCAA Central Regionals: NMU’s Soderman, Michigan Tech’s Flanders win Skate Races

(CCSA press release)

Northern Michigan’s Erik Soderman and Michigan Tech’s Alice Flanders were the victors in Saturday’s freestyle race at the NCCA Central Regional Championships, held at Al Quaal Park in Ishpeming, Michigan.

Soderman, the NMU senior from Njurunda, Sweden, had a terrific day at Regionals, winning the men’s 10 kilometer race by over 33 seconds with a time of 23:24. “It was a great day for Erik,” said NMU Head Coach Sten Fjeldheim. “He really lit it up on the second loop.”

“He skied out a little conservatively,” said Fjeldheim explaining Soderman’s racing strategy. “That’s kind of how he does it. I think he was only 6 seconds back at 3 k. Then he increases the pace gradually.”

Taking second behind Soderman was Alaska Fairbanks’ Logan Hanneman, with a time 23:57.3. “It was a solid day for Logan,” said UAF Interim Head Coach Christina Turman. “It was pretty surprising to see him ski so well getting right off the plane.”

Hanneman joined the UAF team in Marquette late on Thursday said Turman, opting to stay an extra couple of days in Fairbanks to catch up on missed school from his time away competing at the U23 World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Taking third was Michigan Tech’s Haakon Hjelstuen. “Haakon was pretty fortunate to have Erik Soderman starting behind him,” said MTU Head Coach Joe Haggenmiller. When Soderman caught Hjelstuen a few kilometers into the race the Norwegian exchange student stayed with his pace. “He skied with Erik for about 5 k and lost six seconds on him [towards the end of the race].”

“He really put himself in the pain cave to ski with him,” Haggenmiller said. “He couldn’t remember the last 3 k.”

Taking fourth for St. Olaf’s was Jake Brown. Tom Jorgenson, Head Coach of St. Olaf said that Brown skied “a good race, a consistent race. I think it was his best result of the season so far.” Jorgenson added, “it’s coming in at the right part of the season, the right time.”

In 5th place was Fredrik Schwencke of NMU, “a solid day for Freddy,” said Fjeldheim. Finishing in 6th was St. Scholastica’s Paul Schommer. “I couldn’t really tell that Paul felt like it wasn’t going great, because I thought he looked great,” said St. Scholastica Head Coach Chad Salmela. “Sometimes … late in the season, when athletes are hanging on to their fitness, they might not feel awesome but they can still perform well. I think that’s what Paul’s experience was. It was arguably one of his best, if not best performance this year compared to the field.”

Taking 7th for NMU was Ian Torchia. “He’s an ambitious freshman,” said Fjeldheim. “He just got back from Kazakhstan and he’s been under the weather this week, he hasn’t been doing much training. He was so passionate about racing today, so I let him.”

Eighth went to Adam Martin of NMU, while 9th and 10th went to UAF’s Nick Lovett and Kenneth Brewer, respectively. “It was a huge day for those guys,” said Turman. It’s really exciting to see some other guys racing fast and stepping up.”

The women’s 5 k freestyle race was won by Flanders with a time of 15:09. It marked Flanders’ third-consecutive distance freestyle victory in the CCSA. “It’s a strong result,” said Haggenmiller. “Anytime you’re winning it’s a good day. We’re pretty proud of her.”

Taking second place was NMU’s Jordyn Ross. Ross had trailed Flanders by about 8 seconds halfway through the race before closing the time gap to just over three seconds at the finish line. “Jordyn was only 3 seconds out,” Fjeldheim said, “and she knows exactly how she lost that time so that’s okay.” Haggenmiller noted that, “Alice and Jordyn sort of have an ongoing battle on the race course.”

In third was St. Scholastica’s Sharmila Ahmed, while fourth went to NMU’s Felicia Gesior. In 5th was Anita Kirvesniemi of St. Scholastica. “It was the best single day in our program at regionals ever,” said Salmela. “We’ve never put two in the top five at regionals, and that’s just awesome. The whole team skied great and while we were second last year as well, we’ve never been closer to winning than today.”

“This goes such a long way to take the pressure off both Sharmila and Anita tomorrow because they will probably qualify [for the NCAA Championships] even if they didn’t race tomorrow. They obviously will race, and race the best they can, but it’s nice to not have to feel a lot riding on the race. They can just go out there and let it happen.”

In 6th and 7th place were NMU’s Sophie Schimpl and Kristen Bourne, respectively. In 8th was UAF’s Anne-Tine Markset. “Another solid race for her,” said Turman. “She’s becoming quite consistent. She was just a few seconds off of 6th place, so another close race there.”

In 9th was Deedra Irwin of MTU. “She’s starting to recover from her transatlantic travel,” said Haggenmiller of Irwin’s recent return from the U-23 World Championships in Kazakhstan. “It’s the best she’s felt since she’s been back,” he added. “She’s getting better and better.”

Taking 10th was NMU’s Vivian Hett. “The women did great,” said Fjeldheim. “I was happy with the results for the men and women on day one of regionals.”

Full results can be found at www.superiortiming.com

— Pasha Kahn