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WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. — Canadian Heidi Widmer of the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) and Canadian national team came out firing in the first official race of the season with the top women’s qualifying time of 2:55 in the 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint on Friday at the U.S. SuperTour opener.

The top-qualifying American, Annie Pokorny (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team) ranked second just 1 second back, and Rosie Brennan (Alaska Pacific University) advanced in third, 2 seconds after Widmer.

The top 30 moved on to the heats early Friday afternoon. Check Twitter for updates.

Top 10: 

1. Heidi Widmer (AWCA/CNST)

2. Annie Pokorny (SMST2)

3. Rosie Brennan (APU)

4. Alysson Marshall (AWCA/CNST)

5. Caitlin Patterson (CGRP)

6. Eva Severrus (Slovenia/University of New Mexico)

7. Chelsea Holmes (APU)

8. Anika Miller (Montana State University)

9. Petra Hyncicova (Czech Republic)

10. Anne Hart (SMST2)

Other notables:

12. Becca Rorabaugh (APU)

13. Mary Rose (Sun Valley SEF Gold Team)

14. Erika Flowers (SMST2)

19. Jennie Bender (Bridger Ski Foundation)

2014 West Yellowstone SuperTour freestyle sprint heats


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WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. — Ben Saxton of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 Team and U.S. Ski Team (USST) D-team jumped-started the season with the fastest qualifying time in the men’s  1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint on Friday, rounding the course in 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (Bend Endurance Academy) qualified second with the same time, and Canadian Andy Shields (NDC Thunder Bay) advanced in third, 2 seconds back.

The top 30 moved on to the heats early Friday afternoon. Check Twitter for updates.

Top 10

1. Ben Saxton (SMST2/USST)

2. Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (Bend Endurance Academy)

3. Andy Shields (NDC Thunder Bay)

4. Miles Havlick (Sun Valley SEF Gold Team)

5. Mads Strøm (Norway/University of Colorado-Boulder)

6. Tuckery McCrerey (University of Utah)

7. Rune Malo Ødegård (University of Colorado-Boulder)

8. Matt Gelso (Sun Valley SEF Gold Team)

9. Alex Schulz (Craftsbury GRP)

10. Welly Ramsey (Maine WSC)

Other notables:

15. Brian Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus)

22. Paddy Caldwell (SMST2)

28. Kris Freeman (Waterville Valley)

30. Nick Hendrickson (University of Utah)

2014 West Yellowstone SuperTour men's freestyle sprint heats

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WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. — FasterSkier is introducing a new SuperTour Power Ranking for the 2014/2015 season. Every Monday following a weekend of SuperTour racing we will post a ranking based on the season’s results to-date.

Why include a SuperTour Power Ranking, you may ask? While the SuperTour points list is a concrete ranking system for sending skiers to Europe and crowning a SuperTour champion, it often does not show trends in how skiers are peaking mid-season or give a prediction of how they may perform in the future.

Each week we will also add top ten rankings from the SuperTour points list.

The SuperTour Power Rankings are based on past results and some subjectivity, but if you believe we’re completely off the mark, please leave your opinion in the comment section below.

This is an experiment that, if successful, we will apply to other racing series such as the Canadian NorAm or NCAA circuit.

So, without further ado, here is our preseason ranking based on last year’s results and what we’ve witnessed in the last few months of training.

- Lander Karath, Associate Editor

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 10.03.17 PM

Note: WC denotes an athlete who is racing on the World Cup 

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WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. — As skiers were preparing for Friday’s SuperTour freestyle sprint, FasterSkier caught up with North America’s best to see what they were thankful for this Thanksgiving. With answers ranging from snow to teammates to Vin Diesel, the domestic circuit athletes are a definitely thankful group!

Check out the video below. Having trouble viewing? Watch on YouTube.

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(Press release)

(Bend, OR) Bend Endurance Academy (BEA) announced earlier this month that Jordan Buetow has joined the coaching staff as head Nordic Development Team Coach for the 2014 – 15 ski season.  Jordan Buetow, a native of Alaska, comes to BEA after a successful collegiate ski racing career at Bates College in Maine of which a highlight was his 4th place finish in the U.S Cross Country Championships A Sprint Finals last January in Midway, Utah.

The new coach is no stranger to the culture of Bend Endurance Academy having spent the summer of 2013 training with the organization. Reflecting on that experience the new bend resident had the following to say; “That summer turned out to be one of my most memorable summers to date and I got fitter and learned more about myself as an athlete than ever. Never have I trained so hard, and had so much fun doing it. BEA has an infectious atmosphere that had me looking forward to every day of practice. This is so important because that is why we all started skiing in the first place – because it’s fun!”.

In his new role Buetow will be overseeing the instruction and coaching of 40 plus skiers ages 11 – 15 years old through BEA’s Nordic program. “Now that I have moved on from racing I am very excited to be joining the coaching staff at BEA; helping to make skiing for these kids the same incredible experience that it was for me. It’s great to see all the energy in the program, from the youngest Youth Club members all the way up through the Comp Team. I look forward to providing a motivating atmosphere where our skiers can reach their potential as both athletes and as people,” Buetow says regarding his transition from athlete to coach.

The BEA Nordic program is already in full winter ski mode and has been conducting practices on the snow with both the competition and development team for the past week.  Nordic programs for younger participants and masters will start later this winter.

About Bend Endurance Academy

The Bend Endurance Academy is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. The Academy organizes and operates programs that promote health and wellness within Oregon. The Academy provides athletic coaching, mentorship, educational experiences, volunteer opportunities and events for a diverse group of youth, young adults, and other individuals who desire to excel at endurance sports. Our programs are innovative, affordable and inclusive. We work to encourage participants to succeed throughout every step of their athletic and individual development.

The Academy’s mission is to “promote healthy living through active, outdoor experiences. We emphasize teamwork, personal growth and community responsibility.” 

Bend Endurance Academy currently offer programs for Nordic Skiing, Cycling, and Rock Climbing

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At the prompting of National Team athlete representatives Alysson Marshall and Jesse Cockney, Cross Country Canada (CCC) recently kicked off a new short-term fundraiser to help offset trip fees for development athletes in Europe this winter. It is running until Dec. 31 with a goal significantly reducing trip fees for convergence athletes. Marshall explains in a blog post below:

You may have seen the new fundraising campaign on the CCC website: The Canadian Excellence Fund. This is something I have been working hard on with CCC for a few months and that I am really passionate about it. Here is the story:

For years, the biggest issue at our annual NST athlete meeting has been the lack of European race opportunities, particularly World Cup starts, for developing athletes. This has resulted in no new additions to the World Cup Team since 2011 and this year there are no women on our World Cup Team.

As National Team athlete reps, Jess and I pushed the High Performance Committee to create more opportunities for our next generation of World Cup skiers. Cross country skiing is a European sport so to get the experience to get to the next level we need to race in Europe! Jumping onto the World Cup and having immediate success is rare and most of us require a period of time to become comfortable and gain confidence before we start getting those breakthrough results. Finally, this year more opportunities have been created and more World Cup quota spots will be filled with developing skiers!

But… here is the bad news: there is no additional funding for these trips. Now we find ourselves in the situation where the opportunities are there but a development athlete that has a successful season could easily pay over $10,000 in trip fees. This is on top of normal training centre/club fees (at least $10,000), living expenses and other costs. Most skiers have expenses that exceed $30,000/year. Those of us lucky enough to get National carding have an income of $18,000/year plus whatever additional income we make from generous sponsors. Some athletes are doing better than others with varied provincial funding but none of us are making money and most of us are still relying on family and personal supporters to cover our deficit. Add an extra $10,000 in fees and we’re getting into dangerous territory. We may be able to get away with this model for 1-2 years but we’re going to burn out our athletes and become a sport that is only for the wealthy.

Individual fundraising is an option but I have seen the behind-the-scenes setup of crowd-sourcing campaigns and it is not an easy task. It takes courage and vulnerability to put your finances and struggles on display for the world to see. It can also be time-consuming and stressful to create and manage a campaign. I don’t want to see all our skiers resorting to crowd-funding websites to cover their costs.

The Canadian cross country ski community is so incredible: the volunteers that set up our race courses at 5am, the clubs that happily host annual races, the love that every single athlete has for their home club, and the excitement of the crowds watching World Cups in Canada.

For more information, click here.

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WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. — Skiers woke to several inches of new snow Tuesday at the Yellowstone Ski Festival in southwest Montana. With the blowing snow came an even greater number of skiers to the Rendezvous Ski Trails. Teams ranging from from the local West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation to the Alaska Pacific University braved the conditions to participate in speed work, while skiers from around the region participated in clinics designed to aid in skating technique, waxing, and shooting among other skills.

Snow is expected to continue falling through tonight totaling six to eight inches. Staring Wednesday, sun and temperatures in the upper 30s are predicted through Thanksgiving.

Take a look at several shots from today’s morning ski below.

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Photo submitted by Kate Hartzell and Dave Greenberg, taken by Durango Nordic Ski Club Head Coach Gary Colliander. Send your high-resolution snow photos to with a caption of when and where the photo was taken.

First ski of the year for Durango Nordic! (Photo: Kate Hartzell/Dave Greenberg)

First ski of the year for Durango Nordic! (Photo: Gary Colliander, DNSC head coach)

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This was the scene Friday evening in West Yellowstone, Mont.:
West Yellowstone PistenBully first dump of season Nov. 15, 2014

Nov. 15 in West Yellowstone, Mont.

“8+ [inches] and still falling,” Yellowstone Ski Festival Program Director Moira Dow wrote in an email. “Pisten Bully is heading out for the season’s maiden voyage.”
The Festival kicks off in less than two weeks on Tues., Nov. 25 with two SuperTour races scheduled through Nov. 29.
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Rosanna Crawford (Canadian Biathlon) was victorious in Monday’s Frozen Thunder 10 k freestyle in Canmore, Alberta. With a time of 17:39.2. Crawford was able to outpace Liz Stephen (USST/Burke) who crossed the line 3.6 seconds after the biathlete at 17:42.8. Third place went to Zina Kocher (Canadian Biathlon) who finished with a time of 17:50.9.

Women’s 10 k results 

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