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Andy Newell (USST/SMSt2) outlasted Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (Bend Endurance Academy) in Friday morning’s final of the 2014 Frozen Thunder classic sprint in Canmore, Alberta. Rounding out the top five were Mathias Inniger (SUI), Kris Freeman, and Devon Kershaw (Canada).

In the women’s race Ida Sargent (USST/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) held onto her lead and finished as the first female. She finished 49th overall. In the women’s results she was followed by Perianne Jones (Canada), Dahria Beatty (Alberta World Cup Academy), Heidi Widmer (Canada/Alberta World Cup Academy), and Jessie Diggins (USST/SMST2).

The sprint heats were conducted on a 1.6 k loop of snow at the Canmore Nordic Centre. The format of the finals consisted of an unusual structure where all participants skied three rounds based on their qualification to move up or down the results list.

Frozen Thunder classic sprint final results 

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Ida Sargent (USST/Craftsbury Green Racing Project) skied to a convincing win in Friday morning’s classic sprint qualifier at Frozen Thunder in Canmore, Alberta. The American finished with time of 4:18.34 on the 1.6 k course besting the field by over two seconds. Perianne Jones (Canada) finished second with a time of 4:20.92. She was followed by Dahria Beatty (Alberta World Cup Academy) who crossed the line with a time of 4:27.07. 

Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (Bend Endurance Academy) topped the men’s field with a time of 3:43.32. Jessie Cockney (Canada/Alberta World Cup Academy) was roughly two seconds behind Blackhorse-von Jess and clocked a time of 3:45:43. Swiss skier Mathias Inniger rounded out the top three at 3:47.51.

The sprint finals of Frozen thunder will start at 9:45 MST.

Qualifier results

Frozen Thunder Classic Sprint Qualifier Top Ten 

Female results: 

1. Ida Sargent 4:18.34

2. Perianne Jones 4:20.92

3. Darhia Beatty 4:27.07

4. Heidi Widmer 4:27.30

5. Alysson Marshall 4:27.45

6. Emily Nishikawa 4:29.28

7. Liz Stephen 4:29.36

8.  Jessie Diggins 4:29.49

9. Erika Flowers 4:30.28

10. Annie Pokorny 4:31.73

Male results:

1. Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess 3:43.32

2. Jesse Cockney 3:45.43

3. Mathias Inniger 3:47.51

4. Kris Freeman 3:48.86

5. Andy Newell 3:49.40

6. Devon Kershaw 3:50.02

7. Len Valjas 3:50.87

8. Ben Saxton 3:52.03

9. Bob Thompson 3:52.09

10. Michael Somppi 3:52.64

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The following photos come from Ken Leary, who was skiing at Birch Hill in Fairbanks, Alaska, as seen on Monday, Oct. 6 (click to enlarge):

 

If you have early season on-snow photos, send ‘em to info@fasterskier.com with the date, place, your name, and any other juicy details you’d like to include.

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(Press release)

High-profiled Canadian women continue to shape opportunities for women in Nordic sport

CANMORE, Alta.— Olympian Madeleine Williams will take over chair responsibilities for Cross-Country Ski de fond Canada’s Women’s Committee – a group of high-profiled professionals who are focused on shaping opportunities for girls, and women, in all facets of cross-country skiing across the country.

The Women’s Committee is an operational committee of Cross-Country Ski de fond Canada (CCC) and exists to ensure equality of opportunity for girls and women as participants, competitors, coaches, officials and leaders in cross-country skiing in each of its five regions across the country (Atlantic; Quebec/Nunavut; Ontario; Manitoba/Saskatchewan/Alberta/ NWT; and British Columbia/Yukon).

Williams, who retired from competitive ski racing after achieving her Olympic dream while representing Canada in the sport at the 2010 Games in Vancouver-Whistler, is a talent both on and off the trails. Williams competed at numerous World Cups, two Under-23 World Championships and three World Junior Championships.

Williams’ pursuit of excellence continued into the classroom during her 10-year career in the national program. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Distinction from Athabasca University in 2009 helped propel Williams to chase a law degree. She recently graduated from McGill University Faculty of Law, with both Civil and Common Law degrees.

“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to chair CCC’s Women’s Committee,” said Williams, who was also part of a group of young skiers who ran the inaugural Fast and Female event spearheaded by Olympic Champion Chandra Crawford.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from everyone in the CCC community, as we work towards a brighter future for everyone, regardless of gender, in our sport.”

During Williams’ tenure at McGill she published an article in the International Sports Law Journal making policy recommendations to improve gender equity in elite Canadian sports.

“Madeleine is relentless in her commitment to excellence – both as an athlete and in her law career – and I know the future of women in our sport is in good hands with Madeleine chairing this highly accomplished group of women who are passionate and dedicated to the success of cross-country skiing,” said Davin MacIntosh, CEO of CCC.

The Committee’s focus is on educating women on the roles they have an opportunity to pursue in cross-country skiing and facilitating the participation of women in areas where affirmative action is required.

Williams takes over the reins as chair of the committee from two Canadian trailblazers, Beckie Scott and Milaine Theriault, who both opened the door to new opportunities for thousands of Canadian girls both on and off the field of play. During their two-year term as co-chairs, Scott and Theriault renewed the Committee’s membership and infused new energy. One of the more significant enhancements that was facilitated by the Committee was a change to the CCC bylaws that will ensure that at least 2 females hold positions on CCC’s board of directors at all times.

Scott and Theriault will continue to serve on the Committee that will also include: Camille Pepin (Quebec); Kathy Davies (Alberta); Marie-Helene Thibault (Alberta); Sue Holloway (Ontario); Sharleen Hoar (British Columbia); Pavlina Sudrich (Yukon); and staff member Stephane Barrette.

“Beckie and Milaine are huge inspirations for me, and have done an incredible job creating new opportunities to get involved in cross-country skiing that have changed the lives of women in every corner of this country,” said Williams. “I am anxious to work with Beckie, Milaine and all of the accomplished women in this group, to build on our past successes as we collectively chase our goal of developing more young girls into elite skiers.”

Reporting to CCC’s CEO, Williams will work collaboratively with management Committee Members during her two-year term.

Williams is currently articling with Justice Canada in Edmonton where she lives with her husband, National Ski Team athlete Graham Nishikawa.

Cross-Country Ski de fond Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 58,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Mackenzie Investments, and Statoil – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, CCC develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on CCC, please visit us at www.cccski.com.

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WILMINGTON, N.Y. – Liz Stephen (USST/Burke) skied to yet another win in Climb to Castle Saturday. Despite windy conditions on Whiteface Mountain Stephen was able to beat her time from 2013 and crossed the finish line in 41:50.  Stephen had an early breakaway and skied alone for most of the the 5-mile rollerski race. She was followed by Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg) who finished with at time of 45:25. Third place went to junior Katharine Ogden (SMS) who finished with a time of 48:12 after skiing with a large chase pack for most of the race.

In the men’s race Tim Burke (USBA) won the race with a time of 38:19. Fellow biathlete Russell Currier (MWSC) finished less than a minute behind Burke with a time of 39:02. He was followed by MWSC teammate Welley Ramsey who earned his spot on the podium with 40:01 on the clock.

Results are below. Check back for a full race report later today!

2014 Climb to the Castle Results

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Bernadette Nelson has been hired as the Bridger Ski Foundation’s new post-graduate and elite coach for the 2014-2015 season. The 23-year-old is a native of Truckee, Calif. and attended Montana State University where she served as assistant student coach to former coaches Grethe Hagensen and Chad Andersen. She graduated from MSU with a degree in community health.

BSF head coach Dragan Danevski expressed confidence in the newly hired Nelson, saying that her previous coaching experience and her familiarity with Bozeman made her highly qualified for the position. Danevski believed Nelson’s understanding of juggling school and skiing would help many of the post-graduate skiers, many of whom attend MSU, achieve their full potential.

The BSF post-graduate and elite coaching position opened up in July when former BSF coach Kristina Trygstad-Saari accepted the head coach position at Montana State University.

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Cambridge Sports Union skier Julia Kern’s recap video of the U20 National Training Group (NTG) Camp in Park City, Utah, rollerski soccer, ropes course and all! Are you ready?!

View video on YouTube here

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During a 5 1/2 day trip to Haig Glacier near Canmore, Alberta, Jennie Bender of the Bridger Ski Foundation captured everything from snow, rain, fog, fresh tracks, tele turns, big air and everything in between at the Beckie Scott High-Performance Training Centre. Who knew rocks could be such great training tools?

Read more on Bender’s blog

View video on YouTube here

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Ski Jumping USA

(Press Release)

Park City, Utah — Women’s Ski Jumping USA is delighted to welcome Vasja Bajc as the new travel coach. A native Slovenian and former ski jumper on the Yugoslavian national team, Mr. Bajc has coached ski jumping teams throughout Europe and Asia for more than 25 years. From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Bajc coached the Spanish ski federation team to top three Continental Cup finishes. From 1994 to 2002, he trained the SAJ Japan Ski Federation team through three Olympic Games, securing 27 World Cup and Olympic medals. Under his leadership as head coach of the Swedish and Czech ski jumping teams, athletes earned top results and medal finishes at the World Cup, Continental Cup, and World Ski Jumping Competitions. Most recently, Mr. Bajc developed ski jumping as a sport in Turkey, recruiting and building a team of six 16 to 18-year-old jumpers and coaching them to top 40 finishes at the Continental Cup.

Commenting on his new appointment, Bacj said, “These women have great potential to continue achieving the level of success they have demonstrated in previous years. I hope that my rich history as a coach, and my knowledge and experience from the World Cup, World Ski Championships, and the Olympics, will contribute another stone to this mosaic of success. Working with women will be a new challenge for me and it is an honor to be working with the VISA Women’s Ski Jumping Team. The sky is waiting for the American birds!”

Women’s Ski Jumping USA head coach Alan Alborn said, “I am very honored and pleased to welcome Vasja Bajc to the team! By combining forces, we will strengthen our team to compete at the highest level both nationally and internationally. The VISA Women’s Ski Jumping Team has been through some terrific challenges and fantastic accomplishments over the past four years. However, looking to the future―with Sarah Hendrickson defending her World Champion title at the 2015 World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden this winter through to the 2018 Olympics in Korea―I have some clear goals in mind. With just four years to prepare for Korea, Vasja’s experience coaching champion ski jumpers to success at the Winter Games, World Cup, and World Championship will be indispensable. Keep your eyes on this team!” Sarah Hendrickson echoed this sentiment, saying, “I am really excited for Vasja to join our team. Although we have had a difficult year, his motivation and enthusiasm provided just what we needed after Sochi. I look forward to working with Vasja many years to come!’

In addition, Women’s Ski Jumping USA aspires to leverage Mr. Bajc’s experience in developing young athletes and in organizing national ski jumping camps. This experience will be beneficial to both the national women’s team, as well as participants of our nascent Fly Girls program.
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Women’s Ski Jumping USA is the primary support organization for the U.S. women’s ski jumping program and for the U.S. national team, officially called the Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team. The organization administers and finances the team’s coaching, travel, training, equipment, and the Fly Girls junior development program. The mission of Women’s Ski Jumping USA is to support and run a successful and sustainable team and to grow participation in the U.S. women’s ski jumping program through the facilitation of national development efforts to produce the best women ski jumpers in the world. In addition, WSJ-USA aspires to remain an influential voice in advocating for gender equality in sport.
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Media Contact: Kathryn Zwack 408.429.0808

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Christian Friberg (c) won the men's large-hill competition at U.S. Ski Jumping Nationals last weekend in Park City, Utah. (Photo: USASJ)

Christian Friberg (c) won the men’s large-hill competition at U.S. Ski Jumping Nationals last weekend in Park City, Utah. The second American, Nick Alexander (l) placed second, and Kevin Bickner was third (r). (Photo: USASJ)

(USASJ press release)

PARK CITY, UT–(August 3, 2014)—In a strong and spirited competition on the K-134m ski jump here in Park City, Utah, Christian Friberg (St. Paul, MN) took his first-ever National Senior crown to win the US Ski Jumping Large Hill National Championships at Utah Olympic Park. In the US only class, second place went to two-time US Olympian Nick Alexander (Lebanon, NH) while third place went to Kevin Bickner (NORGE SC), who has only recently moved to Park City to be part of the USASJ’s residency program. They were followed by US Olympic veterans Anders Johnson and Bryan Fletcher, a former Holmenkollen winner in nordic combined from Steamboat Springs, CO.

Friberg had a pair of jumps of 130 and 126.5 for total points of 260.7 to secure the win. Alexander had jumps of 127 and 126 meters for 245.9 points.

Christian Friberg (c) won the men's large-hill competition at U.S. Ski Jumping Nationals last weekend in Park City, Utah. (Photo: USASJ)

Christian Friberg (c) won the men’s large-hill competition at U.S. Ski Jumping Nationals last weekend in Park City, Utah. (Photo: USASJ)

Friberg has been making sustained progress and it showed today. It was only a month ago he placed a strong 9th in a Men’s FIS Cup in Villach, Austria. The USASJ News Bureau talked with Friberg following the competition who called the result another step forward. “I have been moving forward and making steady progress this Summer. I felt really relaxed today and the jumps were good ones. It went really well.” In several weeks a US squad will travel to their European home-base of Kranj, SLO to take part in a host of COC events.

Taking the women’s title was Jessica Jerome (Park City, UT), garnering her 11th US National title, with Nita Englund in second and Tara Geraghaty-Moats in third. Canadian Olympic men’s jumper Matt Rowley finished second in the men’s overall results but is not included in the results for the US National Championships.

Click here for a few words with this year’s Large Hill National Champion, Christian Friberg.

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