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Wild Rumpus Sports

Crawford, Perras Double Up for North American Championships Biathlon Victories

This weekend in Canmore, Canadian biathletes contested the North American Summer Championships with sprint and pursuit races both on rollerskis and on foot. The elite field rollerskied, with national team members Rosanna Crawford and Scott Perras sweeping in in the women’s and men’s divisions.

In Saturday’s sprint, Crawford bested teammate Melanie Schultz by 41 seconds despite missing a shot in standing while Schultz cleaned. Junior racer Julia Ransom also cleaned to place third, just over a minute behind Crawford. On Sunday, the podium remained the same, with Crawford collecting only three penalties to Schultz’s five and extending her lead to a minute and 24 seconds. Ransom again took bronze, this time with five penalties.

In the men’s field, Perras opened with a commanding 57-second win over fellow national team member Scott Gow in the sprint; American Bill Bowler was third, 1:48 back. All three men had a single missed shot. On Sunday, the national team’s Nathan Smith created some excitement when he skied and shot his way onto the podium. After a disappointing sprint in which he missed six shots and fell over four minutes behind Perras, Smith rebounded by hitting all but one of his targets on Sunday, and moving into silver medal position, under a minute behind Perras, who had five penalties. Lukas Kristejn of the Czech Republic was third with four penalties.

Results: Saturday sprint / Sunday pursuit

Sept. 6 Roundup: Bjørgen Steps It Up; World-Record Holder Goes to NZ

— It’s not enough that she defended her World Cup title last year; Marit Bjørgen is training harder than ever to stay on top. The Norwegian World Champion credits her teammates, including Therese Johaug and Heidi Weng, and some other top female skiers for pushing her along. “This is probably the year I have trained most, at least until November, when the season starts,”  Bjørgen told NRK in a translated interview. “There are many who train hard and get better and better. I can tell you that.” Thinking it’ll be harder to be victorious this year, the 32-year-old bumped up her training by 30 additional hours over six months. “Not very much, but it makes a difference,” she said. At the start of the training season this spring, Bjørgen said she took it easy, but still managed to ski a lot. She stayed healthy and built up hours gradually over time. Then she started working…

Sept. 4 Roundup: Arritola 3rd, Glenn Randall 9th at World Mountain Running Champs

— The World Mountain Running Championships took place over the weekend in Ponte di Legno, Italy, and featured several former and current U.S. cross-country skiers. In her second mountain-running race, former U.S. Ski Team member Morgan Arritola led the American women with a bronze medal, finishing 51 seconds behind winner Andrea Mayr of Austria and 29 seconds after Valentina Belotti of Italy in second place. “It was really hard; this is my second mountain running race ever,” Arritola said to Alberto Stretti after the race (video here). “[The course] was tough, but it was beautiful.” Asked if she was pleased with her result, Arritola said, “You always want to win; you have to go into every race wanting to win, but I’m happy. I did all I could and today that was bronze.” Antonella Confortola, Italian World Cup-skier-turned-marathon specialist, was 17th. Former Bridger Ski Foundation skier Glenn Randall was the top American in…

Aug. 31 Roundup: Missing Maple Syrup in Canada; Apps for Skiers

— Where might someone hide 10 million pounds of maple syrup? Canadian authorities are wondering the same thing. The theft of an estimated $30 million dollars worth of the sweet stuff from a Quebec warehouse has provincial police on the lookout, and members of the Canadian ski team fascinated. “Anybody following the ‘Quebec heist of the century?’ “ Devon Kershaw tweeted. “10,000,000 pounds of 100% pure maple syrup had disappeared. How do you hide that?” He later paraphrased a quote from a news story: “It’s the Saudi Arabia of maple syrup that has been stolen.”   — At long last, apps for nordic skiers. recently published a list of smartphone applications for recreational and competitive cross-country skiers alike. “The point of going outside is to unplug and escape, right? We think so,” the website stated. “But, as folks going outside with a mission, whether it be training for a…

Cichero Wins Ushuaia Loppet in Argentina

Federico Cichero won the 42 k freestyle Ushuaia Loppet on August 25, coming across the line in 1:58:43, one second ahead of fellow Argentine, Carlos Lannes. The race took place in the Valley of Tierra Mayor outside of Ushuaia, Argentina. The start-finish was at Centro Invernal Tierra Mayor and the course covered two counter-clockwise laps of the traditional 21 KM Marcha Blanca course. Conditions this austral winter in Tierra del Fuego have been excellent thanks to big storms in June that hit the region. Race day snow was fast and Cichero and Lannes gapped the entire field right from the start. The two alternated in the lead for 42 KM and only at the end was Cichero able to get a slight advantage. Both skiers ski for Argentina in the FIS Developing Nations Group. The Ushuaia Loppet was the last competitive event in a month of cross-country events which will end in early September with the Mini-Marcha for skiers…

Aug. 28 Roundup: Randall’s Cousin Shines in MLB Debut; Legkov Lunges for Hoppet Win

— Athleticism must run in the extended family. Kikkan Randall‘s cousin, Casey Kelly, made his Major League Baseball debut Monday night, and it went really well. He started for San Diego and pitched six scoreless to lead the Padres over the Atlanta Braves, 3-0. According to, the 22-year-old is the team’s top-rated prospect. “Just showing up to the park and seeing my jersey in my locker and knowing that I was pitching tonight — it’s just an unbelievable feeling and a dream come true,” Kelly told MLB. He also nabbed his first career hit — a ground-ball single — in his second at-bat. “I think I was more excited about the hit than anything else,” Kelly said. “I just closed my eyes and swung.” Randall tweeted on Tuesday: “Congrats on an incredible 1st major league game to my cuz @IamCaseyKelly !”   — There’s almost too much snow down…

Ruhpolding in Summer and Winter

FasterSkier is on site in Ruhpolding, Germany, home of the Chiemgau Arena, one of the most popular venues in all of biathlon. Here’s what it looked like during World Championships just five and a half months ago: In the summer, the arena is still impressive, but heading down to the range is a completely different experience. Can you recognize the stadium? Stay tuned for lots more photos and reports from the U.S. team training camp in the next few days.

Jones, Sandau Win Whitefish Races

The joint training camp between the Canadian Women’s National Ski Team (CNST) and Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) came to a close Saturday in Whitefish, Mont., but not without some racing. Fourteen women competed in a a 10-kilometer skiathlon (5.5 k classic/4.5 k skate), which Perianne Jones (CNST) won by nearly a minute in 25:35.7. Teammate Chandra Crawford was second (+58.9) and Heidi Widmer (AWCA) was third (+1:08.7). Women’s 10 k rollerski race results In an email, national-team coach Eric de Nys explained the majority of the classic portion was double pole, and the following skate leg had varied terrain and an overall elevation gain. Jones and Academy skiers Emily Nishikawa and Kate Brennan led by the end of the classic leg, building about a 30-second gap on independent skier Amanda Ammar of Canmore. Ammar had about 10 seconds on Crawford, Widmer, Marlis Kromm, Alysson Marshall, Suzanne Stevenson and Janelle Greer….

Aug. 23 Roundup: McKeever Ends NZ Trip; Freeman Talks About 2015

— Devon Kershaw, Alex Harvey, Ivan Babikov and Lenny Valjas aren’t the only Canadian skiers in New Zealand. Paralympian Brian McKeever has been there for the last two weeks, and on Saturday, he finished third in the 42 k Merino Muster ski marathon at the Snow Farm. Poland’s Maciej Kreczmer won it in 1:38.41, Andzey Smolyani of Russia was second (+12.0) and McKeever finished one second later. (Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland won the women’s race by nearly seven minutes. Results here) After the race, McKeever tweeted: “Race day – 42 km in the hurt box today. Didn’t have the legs, but still gave ‘er and called it training. It was pretty fun, though.” He spent the rest of his time there training and checking out the cyclocross terrain when he wasn’t skiing. Thursday marked his last day, which he spent with the four World Cup team members. “Sweet last day in NZ!” McKeever tweeted….

An Update from Whitefish with Photos

The Canadian Women’s World Cup team and Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) are in the thick of their joint dryland camp in Whitefish, Mont., about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the Canadian border on the edge of Glacier National Park. With nearly 30 skiers, the group started training last Friday and will continue through Sunday to complete the 10-day training camp — their first in Whitefish. In a previous interview with FasterSkier, women’s national-team head coach Eric de Nys said they were drawn to the location because of its relative proximity to Canmore (about a six-hour drive) and because it was an unknown. Academy skier Kevin Sandau, also on the Canadian Senior Development Team (CSDT), wrote in an email that the team typically holds its August camp in Whistler, British Columbia. This year, however, he headed south with teammates — biking 158 k of the way. They rode from…