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Bjørgen Sweeps Norwegian Nationals; Nishikawa 5th in 10 k

Emily Nishikawa of the Canadian World Cup Team finished fifth behind Norway’s Marit Bjørgen on Friday in the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle at Norwegian National Championships in Vang, Norway.

Bjørgen, who, like Nishikawa, skipped the Tour de Ski as well as this weekend’s World Cup sprints in Dresden, Germany, won the individual-start race in 25:59.1, just 0.2 seconds ahead of her teammate Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen in second. Norway’s Ragnhild Haga reached the podium in third (+21.3), and Kari Øyre Slind placed fourth (+1:17.1), ahead of Nishikawa as the top non-Norwegian in fifth (+2:09.1). Of the 91 women who raced on Friday, all but six were Norwegian. Nishikawa was the only Canadian.

Annika Taylor, who was born in California and races for Great Britain, placed 65th (+6:11.8). Nichole Bathe (also racing for Great Britain) did not start.

Also on Friday, Graeme Killick (Canadian World Cup Team) finished 15th in the men’s 15 k freestyle at Norwegian nationals, 1:40 behind Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krüger in first. Krüger won it in 35:32.3, 33 seconds ahead of another Norwegian Per Kristian Nygaard in second and 37.2 seconds over Norway’s Daniel Stock in third.

Two other Canadians living abroad in Norway and training with Team Asker, Ryan Jackson and Maks Zechel finished 120th and 131st, respectively, out of 166 in the men’s 15 k.

In Saturday’s skiathlons, Bjørgen picked up her third-straight win of the week (after winning Thursday’s classic sprint as well) in the women’s 15 k skiathlon in 39:49.6, once again 0.2 seconds ahead of Jacobsen. The podium was exactly the same as Friday’s 10 k with Haga placing third, just 0.3 seconds back. Nishikawa finished 19th (+2:54.2) as the top non-Norwegian.

Martin Johnsrud Sundby won the men’s 30 k skiathlon in 1:16:13.3, outlasting his Norwegian World Cup teammates Niklas Dyrhaug and Finn Hågen Krogh, who placed second (+1.4), and third (+1.9), respectively. Two Norwegians not on the national team, Espen Udjus Frorud and Mattis Stenshagen missed the podium by just one-tenth of a second in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Killick placed 25th (+2:36.1), and Jackson was 72nd (+6:55.2).

Earlier in the week, Bjørgen won the women’s 1.3 k classic sprint final over Kathrine Rolsted Harsem in second and Silje Øyre Slind in third. Nishikawa qualified for the heats in 15th and finished the day in 25th.

Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo won the men’s 1.5 k classic sprint on Thursday, ahead of Eirik Brandsdal in second and Fredrik Riseth in third.

Jackson placed 86th in the qualifier and Zechel was 90th.

Results:

Thursday, Jan. 11 classic sprint: women’s qualifierwomen’s final men’s qualifiermen’s final

Friday, Jan. 12: women’s 10 k freestyle | men’s 15 k freestyle

Saturday, Jan. 13: women’s 15 k skiathlon | men’s 30 k skiathlon

Nationals Notes: Friday Brings Maiden Voyage for New Kincaid Sprint Course

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U.S. Cross Country Championships Begin Wednesday, Jan. 3

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Nationals Notes: Firm and Fast Conditions on Kincaid Snowmaking Loop (Updated)

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Nationals Notes: Cold Weather Returns to Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — With less than two weeks to go until the first race of the 2018 U.S. Cross Country Championships, race organizers have emphasized their commitment to holding the races in Anchorage while mentioning the possibility of a backup venue, an hour-drive away, if racing at Kincaid Park becomes untenable. Organizers posted the following update on the U.S. nationals website earlier this week: All races will be held as scheduled- • Snow is currently falling in the Anchorage bowl. Snow production is continuing at Kincaid park. There are currently 2.5km of skiable terrain and this terrain is being groomed. • All competition events will be held. Revisions to the race courses may be considered by the jury. • If conditions deteriorate and are no longer viable at Kincaid park, Government Peak Recreation Area trail system, 1 hour driving distance of Anchorage, will be the backup site. It snowed roughly…

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Just over three weeks out from the first race of the 2018 U.S. Cross Country Championships, organizers are responding to warming temperatures with a primary goal of providing athletes with a challenging course and as much good skiing as possible. The first races are set for Jan. 3 in Anchorage, Alaska.  The current state of the trails There are roughly 50 kilometers of ski trails at Kincaid Park, the city-owned park at the western edge of the Municipality of Anchorage. Approximately three kilometers of trails, centered on the Stadium, have the capacity for snowmaking. Roughly two out of three of those kilometers currently have a decent base of manmade snow. That said, dirty spots are already emerging in several areas of the loop, and there is an increasing amount of dirt and debris in the snow – racers in yesterday’s citizen race tended toward Swix HFBW, Toko…

Despite Challenges, ‘Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener’ Debuts Dec. 9

By Andrea Potyondy-Smith Mother Nature has not been kind to cross country skiers of the Midwest so far this year. ABR (Active Backwoods Retreat) in Ironwood, Michigan, looked to be off to a good start, but rain over the Thanksgiving weekend shut down operations indefinitely. There has been no measurable snow that’s lasted anywhere near the American Birkebeiner trail, much less the Minneapolis metro area. Yet despite the snow drought, Three Rivers Park District of Minneapolis will be forging on with its first-ever Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener. This event was the brainchild of Paul Erikson, who works for the district as development manager, and Karl Huemiller, the district’s volunteer and donor relations supervisor. The idea was to bring to nordic skiing something activities like hunting and fishing currently have: an “official” opener. Three Rivers already offers Rennet Activities at Hyland Park in Bloomington, Minnesota, in January, so the idea was,…

Deep Fields, Fast Competition Highlight NENSA Fall Rollerski Classic

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Longtime BEA Executive Director Husaby Steps Down

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