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Stowe SuperTour Moved to Craftsbury

After unremitting rain on Wednesday in Stowe, Vt., the U.S. SuperTour races scheduled to take place this weekend, Feb. 6-7, at the Trapp Family Lodge trails have been moved to the 2.5-kilometer race loop at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

“The Stowe Nordic organizers, as well as many of the Stowe volunteers will also be there to help run the races. The C’bury courses are in actually really great shape, considering all the rain we got in NE [Wednesday]!” Amie Smith, high-performance director of the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA), wrote in an email on Thursday.

Images of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s race loop may be found at the NENSA Facebook page or the Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s Snow Report page. Currently, there are 4 k of groomed trails open.

Racing kicks off Saturday with a women’s 5 k freestyle individual start and a men’s 10 k freestyle individual start.

Sunday marks the second day of racing with a women’s 10 k classic individual start and a men’s 10 k classic individual start.

A complete schedule of events may be found here. Live timing will be provided by Bart Timing and may be found here.

Canada Names U23/Junior World Championships and Junior B-Tour Teams

Cross Country Canada named its U23/Junior World Championships and Junior B-Tour teams earlier this week, despite the final day of trials being canceled due to extremely low temperatures on Sunday (with a high around -25 degrees Celsius) in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Two of the three NorAm and selection races took place at Lappe Nordic last week, with freestyle sprints on Thursday, Jan. 14, and classic distance races on Friday, Jan. 15. According to a press release, the following athletes have been selected to this year’s Junior and U23 World Championship Teams competing in Rasnov, Romania, from Feb. 22–28. Francois Pepin of the Pierre Harvey Training Centre (CNEPH) will head up the group as team leader. Of note, none of the U23-eligible National Senior Development Team members — Cendrine Browne, Dahria Beatty and Katherine Stewart-Jones — are on the list. With the Ski Tour Canada World Cups starting the week after U23…

Sandau Keeps NorAm Streak Alive, Women’s Podium Repeats in Classic Distance Race

By Gerry Furseth The Lappe NorAm in Thunder Bay, Ontario, continued Friday with classic individual starts, and the resulting podiums had a familiar look. Kevin Sandau of the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) won the 15-kilometre men’s race in 42:10.67, extending his unbeaten streak in NorAm distance races to four wins in as many races this season.  Scott Hill of the Thunder Bay National Development Centre (NDC) placed second, 31.64 seconds back, followed by Para Nordic World Cup Team member Brian McKeever (+1:00.59). The weather was warmer than Thursday: -11 degrees Celsius (12 Fahrenheit) when the men started, and fresh snow overnight made waxing easier. “[I’m] always a bit apprehensive racing in Lappe as the trails are confusing and a bit hard to memorize,” Sandau wrote in an email. “But after racing here over the past decade I feel like I’m finally starting to familiarize myself with the courses.” Sandau’s race plan was to start hard. “The course descends…

Dupont, Locke Top Thunder Bay NorAm Sprints

By Gerry Furseth The NorAm series resumed with the U23/Junior World Championships trials and first domestic races of 2016 at Lappe Nordic in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with freestyle sprints on Thursday. After a delay to wait for more comfortable temperatures, Andrea Dupont of Rocky Mountain Racers (RMR) won the 1.3-kilometre qualifier in 2:59.79 on her way to winning the A-final in 3:00.69.  Jenn Jackson (NDC Thunder Bay) finished second overall, 0.22 seconds back, and Sophie Carrier-Laforte (CNEPH) took third (+0.85). “I am glad the organizing committee had the forethought to delay the start of the qualifier,” Dupont wrote in an email. “Because of that the day went off without a hitch.” According to Cross Country Canada, the marked Dupont’s 36th NorAm sprint. “The highlight of my day was seeing first hand my team mate, Ember [Large], literally crush the climb in the quarter final,” Dupont wrote. “It made me do a double take and made me think…

Nishikawa, Killick on the Podium: Planica OPA Cup Notes and Quotes

By Gerry Furseth Emily Nishikawa collected the first two OPA Cup podiums of her career last weekend, Jan. 9-10, to lead the Canadians at the Planica OPA Cup in Slovenia. World Cup skiers Nishikawa, Graeme Killick, Jess Cockney and Lenny Valjas joined up with Canada’s B-Tour group at the European equivalent of a NorAm event. The three-race weekend was a major focus of the U25 B-Tour. Nishikawa, who was fourth in Friday’s sprint, took bronze in both Saturday’s 10-kilometre classic and Sunday’s 10 k freestyle. “I was happy with my race today,” Nishikawa, of Canada’s senior national development team, wrote after Saturday’s race. “It wasn’t my very best performance, but I fought hard.” “Overall I think the weekend went really well,” she added on Sunday. “I’m looking forward to racing there again next weekend in the World Cup.” Killick, also on the NST development team, joined Nishikawa on the podium Saturday, taking third place…

Packer Takes Classic Sprint Title at U.S. Nationals, Leads Strong APU Showing

HOUGHTON, Mich.– Eric Packer of Alaska Pacific University edged teammate Reese Hanneman to take his first national title. Didrick Fjeld Elset of Michigan Tech University finished just ahead of Tyler Kornfield (APU) to break up a near podium sweep by APU. The podium placings were determined down the homestretch of a tight final as the top four skiers finished within 1.05 seconds. Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (Bend Endurance Academy) took fifth and recent MTU graduate Haakon Hjelstuenm, now skiing for Lyn Ski, rounded out the final in sixth. Results

Miller Takes First National Title in Classic Sprint

HOUGHTON, Mich.–Kaitlynn Miller of Craftsbury Green Racing Project won her first national title in the classic sprints over Anne Hart (SMST2) and Jennie Bender (Bridger Ski Foundation). Miller cruised through the heats, winning both her quarterfinal and semifinal before going on to a convincing overall win by 1.24 seconds over Hart. It was the second sprint podium of the week for both Hart and Bender, as Bender took the freestyle sprint title and Hart was second on Monday.  Today’s win tops a week of personal best placings at a national championship by Miller. Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury GRP) just missed her fourth podium of the week, claiming fourth place. Becca Rorabaugh (APU) was fifth followed by Natalia Naryskina (CXC) in sixth. Results 

Nishikawa Leads Canada in Fourth in Planica OPA Cup Sprint, Valjas 10th

Emily Nishikawa (AWCA/NDST) led the way for Canada to start the OPA Cup weekend in Planica, Slovenia, finishing fourth in the freestyle sprint on Friday. Slovenian World Cup skier Vesna Fabjan won both the qualifier and the final. Fabjan, who earned the individual-sprint bronze at the 2014 Olympics was recently 10th in Stage 1 of the Tour de Ski in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Fabjan won in 2:43.37 on Friday, 0.43 seconds ahead of Italy’s Gaia Vuerich and 1.42 seconds ahead of Greta Laurent, another Italian World Cup regular. Nishikawa finished 6.22 seconds back from the win. “I was happy with my racing today,” Nishikawa wrote in an email. “I wasn’t too sure what to expect as I haven’t done many sprints this year.” Nishikawa was a lucky loser twice on the new course, which starts with a fast descent. “I would be off the back in the first part of the course, and make…

Current World U23 Rankings List After U.S. Nationals Day 3

HOUGHTON, Mich.–With the completion of the third day of racing at U.S. nationals on the Michigan Tech trails, the World Under-23 rankings are out and provided below. 2016 U23 Women’s Rankings After U.S. Nationals Day 3  2016 U23 Men’s Rankings After U.S. Nationals Day 3 

Current World Junior, Youth Olympic Games, and U18 Trip Rankings After U.S. Nationals Day 3

HOUGHTON, Mich.–The third day of racing at U.S. nationals wrapped up on Thursday with the 5/10/20/30 kilometer freestyle mass start races. Current rankings for the World Junior and Under-18 trips are provided in PDF documents below. The top male and female athletes on the U18 list are the qualifiers for the Youth Olympic Games. Stay tuned for the Under 23 rankings. 2016 World Junior Trip Men’s Rankings Day Three 2016 World Junior Trip Women’s Rankings Day Three 2016 U18 Trip Men’s Rankings Day Three 2016 U18 Women’s Rankings Day Three