It was a strong day for the U.S. in Eisenerz, Austria as both the women and men dominated the podium of the weekend’s Austrian Cup. In the women’s 7.5 k classic individual start, Chelsea Holmes of Alaska Pacific University led her teammates to a podium sweep with a time of 22:24.4. Just behind her were SMST2 teammates Annie Pokorny and Annie Hart who finished 40.1 and 43.3 seconds behind Holmes.
Sun Valley’s Mary Rose finished fourth while APU skier Rosie Fankowski placed seventh. Erika Flowers of SMST2 finished ninth, followed by Paige Schember of Sun Valley in 10th and Craftsbury’s Liz Guiney in 11th.
In the men’s 15 k classic interval start APU’s Lex Treinen won with a time of 40:29.2 His teammate Eric Packer finished 7.4 seconds behind to claim second and land two Americans on top of the podium.
Reese Hanneman, also of APU, and Ben Saxton of SMST2 finished sixth and seventh in the 15 k.
While the Americans appeared to ski to the podium with ease, their results were hard fought due to challenging waxing conditions which required a choice between strong kick or glide. Many U.S. racers chose the latter, which served them well in their hunt for Austrian Cup success.
The next stop for the American skiers will be the OPA Cup Finals in Chamonix, France. The Finals begin March 13th with the men’s 2.5 k and women’s 3.3 k prologues.