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Survey Seeks Feedback on Transition from Domestic to International Race Circuit

No one can speak to the transition from the domestic race circuit to international levels of nordic competition better than cross country athletes themselves. With that in mind, Annie Hart, one of three athlete representatives for a subcommittee of the USSA Congress, recently created a survey regarding the shift from ski racing in the U.S. to competing worldwide. Hart indicated that though the survey is open to all, it is targeted specifically at nordic athletes. Using the survey, she hopes to gain a broader perspective of the U.S. nordic community’s opinion and promote more discussion on the topic. “The survey primarily concerns Super Tour racing, and the transition from domestic racing to the international circuit,” Hart wrote in an email. “These are important issues, and as the US is becoming a consistent medal contender on the World Cup, it is increasingly important to keep a pulse on the vaster US…

NENSA Hires Graves as Interim Director

(Press release) Longtime nordic figure Peter Graves has been named Interim Director of NENSA following this past weekend’s Board of Director’s meeting in Hanover, N.H. A native of Bennington, Vt., Graves, 63, has spent a lifetime in the sport first as an athlete out of Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, later racing for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., where he was a member of legendary former U.S. Olympic ski team coach Dolph Kuss’ squad at Fort Lewis College. “One of the reasons I am so passionate about the sport, was that cross-country skiing changed my life in many ways, and I believe in that great transformative power, and its ability to give so many skiers opportunities they never dreamed were possible,” Graves noted. After graduating in 1975, Graves worked in broadcasting, later moving to the Midwest where he worked at the Telemark Lodge, during the early days…

‘Mission Accomplished’ for Harvey, Nishikawa in Classic Mass Starts

(Press release) (Note: FasterSkier is seeking photos from any and all of the races at 2016 Canadian Ski Nationals. Please email your best to info@fasterskier.com with photo credit and caption info.) WHITEHORSE, Yukon — Emily Nishikawa and Alex Harvey are the big winners as Canadian Ski Nationals came to a close in Whitehorse on Saturday. The Olympic veterans proved they are the top women’s and men’s cross-country skiers in the country after smashing the field in the grueling 30- and 50-kilometre classic mass starts to cap off a long 2015/2016 season. Nishikawa, a 26-year-old senior national development team skier, captured her third gold medal of the week in the women’s marathon. The 2014 Olympian led wire-to-wire in the four laps around the 3.75 k track. The hometown girl thrilled the Whitehorse crowd with a golden time of 1:43.12.17. “That was a fun way to cap off the season.  It has been so great getting…

Beatty, Harvey Golden Again with Skate Sprint Wins in Whitehorse

(Press release) WHITEHORSE, Yukon — Dahria Beatty and Alex Harvey are on a golden run in Canada’s north. Beatty captured her second straight victory, while Harvey completed the golden hat trick on Wednesday in the 1.2-kilometre freestyle sprints at Canadian Ski Nationals in Whitehorse. Mentally and physically exhausted following a long competitive season that culminated with the punishing eight-race Ski Tour Canada (STC), the 22-year-old Beatty has somehow discovered another gear to win back-to-back gold medals at the national cross-country skiing championships. She took down the nation’s best women on Wednesday on the two-lap sprint course she grew up on in her hometown. “I felt so tired in the qualifier this morning and struggled to put everything forward, but I just kept getting better as the day went on,” said Beatty, who posted her first victory in Tuesday’s 10 k freestyle race, and also had a silver medal on the weekend. “I’m thrilled…

Beatty Dethrones Nishikawa in 10 k Skate; Harvey Rolls to Another Nationals Win

(Press release) WHITEHORSE, Yukon — Dahria Beatty and Alex Harvey will etch their names in the history books as champions of the 10- and 15-kilometre freestyle individual starts at the 2016 Canadian Ski Nationals. Beatty, who finished second to fellow Whitehorse resident Emily Nishikawa in Sunday’s 5 k classic, was determined to take down the veteran in Tuesday’s 10 k skate race. The 22-year-old Beatty hammered the pace in her three trips around the 3.3 k track to clock a winning time of 26:08.1 under ideal race conditions. “I started second today so I went out hard and fed off the amazing cheering by so many people out here,” said Beatty, a member of the Alberta World Cup Academy and national U23 development team. “Emily was starting her first lap when I was completing my final lap so I was getting splits on her. Today was really about who could suffer the most. I…

Nishikawa Bests Beatty in Nationals 5 k; Harvey Blasts Men’s 10 k Classic

Note: FasterSkier is seeking photos from Canadian Nationals. Please contact info@fasterskier.com to contribute to our coverage. (Press release) WHITEHORSE — Emily Nishikawa and Alex Harvey climbed onto the top of the women’s and men’s podiums in the classic interval start races on the second day of the Canadian Ski Nationals on Sunday. Building on an opening day team sprint title with Kendra Murray, the 26-year-old leader of Canada’s women’s program did not disappoint the hometown crowd that lined the trails at the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club by capturing her second straight national title. A 2014 Olympian, Nishikawa clocked the top time of 14:47.7 in the women’s 5-kilometre race. “It is so fun to be racing on my home course. It was another great race, and I’m super happy to win my second gold medal in my home town. The volunteers are doing an amazing job, and it is a real…

Foothills Men, Whitehorse Women Tally Team Sprint Titles at Canadian Nationals

Note: FasterSkier is seeking photos from Canadian Nationals. Please contact info@fasterskier.com to contribute to our coverage. (Press release) Two veteran squads captured the first titles of the weeklong Canadian Ski Nationals on Saturday in Whitehorse, Yukon. Canmore residents skiing out of Foothills Nordic Ski Club, Jesse Cockney and three-time Olympian Ivan Babikov won the men’s classic-ski team sprint. Hometown girls representing Whitehorse, Emily Nishikawa and Kendra Murray, stormed to the top of the women’s podium. The team sprint races consist of each athlete skiing a 1.4-kilometre loop three times. Athletes tag their teammate between each leg. Cockney and Babikov, who both posted top-10 finishes in the recent Ski Tour Canada, continued their hot streak to end the season. The Olympians got off to a slow start in the final round, but stormed back to take the gold medal in 18:08.44 minutes. “It is awesome to win a gold for Foothills Nordic,” said Cockney. “It…

Kern Pulls Off Two More Podiums at OPA Cup Finals

(Press release) TOBLACH, Italy – A week after placing third in the Alpen Cup freestyle mass start in Arber, Germany, Julia Kern (Stratton Mountain School) led the U.S. team once again, with two podium finishes in the final weekend of racing March 11-13 at OPA Cup Finals in Toblach, Italy. The races kicked off Friday, March 11, with a 2.5 k freestyle prologue for the senior women, two U.S. women finished in the top 25. Erika Flowers (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team) finished 22nd overall followed by Liz Guiney (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) in 25th. Becca Rorabaugh (Alaska Pacific University) was the next American, finishing 29th, followed by Heather Mooney in 31st. Switzerland’s Nadine Faehndrich edged Germany’s Elisabeth Schicho for first by just 1.6 seconds, followed by Italy’s Ilaria Debertolis who finished third. Women’s 2.5 k freestyle results Kern, 18, led the U20 women, finishing fifth in a competitive 2.5 k freestyle, just 9.8 seconds out of first, behind Germany’s Katharina Hennig. France’s Delphine Claudel was second and Italy’s Anna Comarella finished third. U20 women’s 2.5 k freestyle The senior men…

Eastern Canadian Championships Attract Nearly 800 in Points Race Before STC

By Gerry Furseth Julien Locke of the Black Jack Ski Team overpowered a tactical freestyle sprint final to win the second NorAm of his career on Friday at the Nakkertok South trails near Ottawa on the opening day of Eastern Canadian Championships. Despite a remarkably low snow year and freezing rain in the preceding week, the organizing committee and volunteers were able to host what is expected to be the largest International Ski Federation (FIS) points event ever held in North America. With 783 athletes registered, it is likely that this will top the current record holder, last year’s NorAm Easterns. This is the last weekend for Ski Tour Canada (STC) selections (except for the NorAm overall leaders) and the pressure is on for the top athletes. “Fast conditions at Nakkertok today,” Locke wrote in an email, “with sugary climbs and icy downhills.” All six male finalists finished within 1.5 seconds of one another in the…