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Swix Poles Take the Podium at US Nationals

It was a good day for Swix, going six for six on the podium of the US Nationals Women’s 20km Classic and Men’s 30km Classic.  All of the athletes pictured use Swix poles.

2010 US Nationals Women's 20km Classic: Holly Brooks (APU) - 2nd place, Kikkan Randall (USST/APU) - 1st place, Caitlin Compton (Go! Train) - 3rd place.

2010 US Nationals Women's 20km Classic: Holly Brooks (APU) - 2nd place, Kikkan Randall (USST/APU) - 1st place, Caitlin Compton (Go! Train) - 3rd place.

2010 US Nationals Men's 30km Classic: Kris Freeman (USST) - 2nd place, James Southam (APU) - 1st place, Bryan Cook (CXC Team Vertical Limit) - 3rd place.

2010 US Nationals Men's 30km Classic: Kris Freeman (USST) - 2nd place, James Southam (APU) - 1st place, Bryan Cook (CXC Team Vertical Limit) - 3rd place.

Southam Wins Men’s 30km Classic National Title

James Southam (APU) bests the field in the Men’s 30km Classical Race by over one minute in an unofficial time of 1:32:08.  Kris Freeman (USST) finished in second 1:09 behind Southam and Bryan Cook (CXC Team Vertical Limit) was able to overtake David Norris (Fairbanks Alaska Ski Team) during the final lap to capture the remaining spot on the podium.  Brian Gregg (CXC Team Vertical Limit) was also able to work his way into fifth place on the final lap passing veteran Justin Freeman (NENSA) who was able to hold on to sixth place.

Men’s 30km Classic – 3 Laps Down, 1 To Go

With three of four laps complete James Southam (APU) leads Kris Freeman (USST) by roughly 20 seconds with David Norris (Fairbanks Alaska Ski Team) hanging strong another 11 seconds back.  Southam and Freeman had been skiing together until Freeman took a feed and Southam opened up a gap.  Bryan Cook (CXC Team Vertical Limit) is another ten seconds down from Norris and the potential race of the day is being had by Justin Freeman (NENSA) who is hanging on to fifth place.  Check back soon for the final results.

Women’s 20k Update – Randall Wins!

Randall takes victory, Brooks second. At 15km Holly Brooks is leading and pushing Randall hard.  Liz Stephen (?) is roughly 20-30 seconds back.  The race has been very slow – still snowing.  It has taken the top women an hour to go 15km. Holly Brooks (APU) and Kikkan Randall (APU/USST) have broken away at 13km.

Women’s 20k is Underway

The women’s 20km mass start is now underway.  There is 3-4″ of fresh snow on the course, making for challenging conditions. The course was not regroomed, and no forerunners cleared the tracks.  It will not be advantageous to lead this race early. Temperatures are around 28, but the new snow has made waxing tough, and it is likely that what worked at the start will not be as effective an hour later.

Snow Making for Hectic Waxing at U.S. Nationals

With half an hour until the start of the women’s race, wax techs are scrambling to find the right kick and glide waxes for their athletes’ skis. About an inch of fresh powder has fallen in the last hour, and according to Boulder Nordic Sport’s Roger Knight, “it wasn’t supposed to snow this early, and it wasn’t supposed to snow this much.” Knight said that because of the snow, many teams are not only looking for new kick waxes, but they have also chosen the wrong glide. As for the kick, Knight said, most waxes are now running very slow. With the abrasive conditions underneath the fresh flakes, it will also be challenging to find a way to keep the kick wax on the ski. “There is no magic bullet for today,” he said.

Wild Classic Distance Races Could Be in Store

With an hour and a half to go before the start of the classic distance races in Anchorage, it is currently snowing heavily, and about 30 degrees. Wax techs are out testing, but the snow is surely throwing a bit of a wrench in their plans. They’ll be scrambling to make sure they have the right recipe in time for the women’s race at 10 AST/2 EST. Check back for updates throughout the day, and click below for a quick preview video with University of Utah Director of Skiing Eli Brown. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/QvAiQkQDbEs” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Men’s 15km Freestyle Video From Team HomeGrown

“A moose ate my homework I tell you… or at least it slowed me down on the ski trails.”  The boys from Team HomeGrown are having a fun, skiing fast and even finding time to make ski videos of the top racers at the US National Championship. [kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/HqAM9ZFk4Pw” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Randall 10k Freestyle National Champion

Kikkan Randall (USST/APU) lifted her pace during the second lap of the Women’s 10km Freestyle race this afternoon to claim the National Title.  Caitlin Compton (Go! Training) started out strong on the first lap, but faded some to finish in second place 10 seconds behind Randall.  Liz Stephen (USST/BMA) rounded out the top three 23 seconds back.

One Lap Down, Women’s 10k Freestyle

After the first lap Caitlin Compton (Go! Training) holds on to a six second lead on Liz Stephen (USST/BMA) and a ten second lead over Kikkan Randall (USST/APU) and Holly Brooks (APU Nordic Ski Center) and others.