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Wild Rumpus Sports

Donley Beats the Boys in Besh Cup Weekend in Soldotna, Alaska

Elizabeth Mans (101) leads a pack up the hill in the skate sprint in Besh Cup #3 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo: Ariana O'Harra)

Elizabeth Mans (101) leads a pack up the hill in the skate sprint in Besh Cup #3 on Jan. 21 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo: Ariana O’Harra)

Three racers were double winners on the weekend, while a field of slightly more than 200 skiers enjoyed ideal conditions for two days of racing as the Besh Cup moved to the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska, last weekend. Qualifying races began in Anchorage in December with a classic sprint and a freestyle mass start. This weekend saw a skate sprint and classic interval start races.

Conditions were unremarkable for Alaska in mid-winter: Race-time temps in the teens, light snow and sunshine. Many teams’ race wax choice for Sunday was straight Extra Blue. Easy.

But the weather was also remarkable for how much worse it could have been. That weekend it snowed 32 inches in 24 hours in Moose Pass, roughly sixty miles east of the venue. Just two days earlier, it had been –25° F in Soldotna on Thursday (and –27° F on Wednesday). Virtually the entire field presumably came in relatively fresh, following the mid-week cold snap that had sent temperatures to 20 below in Anchorage and 50 below in Fairbanks, and sent many athletes temporarily inside in both places. Racing at 12° above never felt so warm.

On Saturday, the U14 girls raced a 1.1-kilometer freestyle sprint. Quincy Donley took her first victory on the weekend, setting a qualifying time that also would have led the U14 boys over the same distance and winning the final as well. Behind her were Katey Houser and Aila Berrigan.

Jenna Difolco (c), Sadie Fox (l), and Elizabeth Mans (r) on the overall podium for the skate sprint in Besh Cup #3 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 21, 2017. (photo: Cross Country Alaska)

Jenna Difolco (c), Sadie Fox (l), and Elizabeth Mans (r) on the overall podium for the skate sprint in Besh Cup #3 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 21, 2017. (photo: Cross Country Alaska)

The U16 girls raced a 1.2 k skate sprint. Kaya Ratzlaff was fastest in this division, followed by Annika Hanestad and Helen Wilson. For U18 girls (also 1.2 k, racing head to head against U16 and U20), Jenna Difolco took her first victory on the weekend, followed by Elizabeth Mans and Heidi Booher.

The overall podium for U16+ was U18 racer Difolco in first, UAA skier Sadie Fox (U20) in second, and U18 Mans in third.

In the U14 boys 1.1 k skate sprint, Aaron Maves and Rowan Morse reprised their sprint podium finishes from Besh Cup #1 in Anchorage. They were followed by Konrad Renner.

The U16 boys 1.2 k sprint also saw two-thirds of a repeat podium: of George Cvancara, Eli Hermanson, and Max Beiergrohslein, Cvancara and Hermanson were second and third in last month’s classic sprint.

For U18 boys, competing head-to-head in the same 1.2 k sprint, it was Josiah Alverts, Karl Danielson, and Sam York. And the U20 men, finally, were led by Tracen Knopp, Logan Mowry, and Alex Kilby. The overall podium was Knopp, Alverts, and Mowry.

Sunday saw more of the same: Donley leading the girls and beating most of the boys as well. In the U14 girls 3-kilometer classic interval start, Donley won with a time that would have placed her third in the U14 boys race. By over a minute. Marit Flora was second and Houser was third.

The U16 girls raced a 5 k classic interval start. Kendall Kramer was first, Ratzlaff was second, and Hanestad third. It was the second podium on the weekend for both Ratzlaff and Hanestad.

For U18 girls (also 5 k classic), Difolco took her second victory on the weekend, and Booher her second podium. Emma Nelson was third.

Although there were few U20 women in the field, the overall winner in the classic race was Fox (U20), with Kramer and Ratzlaff (both U16) following.

Hunter Wonders (c), Logan Mowry (l), and Hamish Wolfe (r) on the overall podium for the 10 k classic in Besh Cup #4 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 22, 2017. (photo: Cross Country Alaska)

Hunter Wonders (c), Logan Mowry (l), and Hamish Wolfe (r) on the overall podium for the 10 k classic in Besh Cup #4 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 22, 2017. (photo: Cross Country Alaska)

In the U14 boys 3 k classic, Maves was the final double winner with his victory there. Morse was again second. Third was Carter Brubaker.

The U16 boys raced a 5 k classic. First was Zanden McMullen, followed by sprint podium finishers Hermanson and Cvancara.

The U18 boys and U20 men, plus a handful of senior and masters skiers, raced a 10 k classic interval start. Top U18 skiers were Tristan Wiese, Andrew Hull, and Saturday’s sprint winner Alverts. Top U20 skiers, and top three overall for all skiers U18+, were Hunter Wonders, Mowry, and Hamish Wolfe. Wonders was tuning up for the Junior World Championships to be held at Soldier Hollow next week.

Racing continues at Birch Hill in Fairbanks the first weekend of February with skate interval start and classic mass start distance races. Alaska’s team for Junior Nationals will be named on the afternoon of February 5.

Results: skate sprint | classic distance

— Gavin Kentch

YOG Wrap: Three Medals for Korea’s Magnus Kim; Hunter Wonders 8th in 10 k Skate

Magnus Kim racing to gold in the men's 10 k freestyle at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Kim is the son of a Norwegian and Korean couple and races for South Korea. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Magnus Kim racing to gold in the men’s 10 k freestyle at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Kim is the son of a Norwegian and Korean couple and races for South Korea. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Given the choice, who would you ski for: Korea or Norway? Dual citizen and most recently, dual gold medalist at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, Magnus Kim, found the answer easy. He chose Korea.

“They [Norwegians] actually like me representing Korea because people think this is an opportunity to develop the sport,” 17-year-old Kim said in an Yonhap news press release. “In Norway, most people welcome the idea of promoting skiing to other countries.”

The son of a Norwegian and Korean couple, Kim won his second gold medal last Thursday, Feb. 18, in the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle individual start. He completed the 2 x 5 k course in a time of 23:04.8, the next best finisher, Vebjørn Hegdal of Norway, 16 seconds behind.

“I had thought about winning a medal in this event, but I didn’t expect to collect two gold medals and one silver,” Kim said.

Along with Thursday’s gold medal in the 10 k, Kim also collected a silver medal in the preceding classic sprint and a gold medal in the cross-country cross sprint.

Thursday’s bronze medal went to Igor Fedotov of Russia, who finished 54.4 seconds back from Kim’s winning time.

American Hunter Wonders, of Anchorage, Alaska, raced to a top-10 finish in the 10 k for his best finish at this year’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG). He placed eighth (+1:43.7), two-tenths of second behind Finnish skier Remi Lindholm in seventh (1:43.5).

The second North American in the men’s 10 k was Canadian Levi Nadlersmith, who finished in 28th (+3:13.8).

“The Youth Olympic Games has been an amazing experience to be a part of!” Nadlersmith told Cross Country Canada. “I have learned an incredible amount from this opportunity to compete for Canada.”

In the women’s 5 k freestyle individual start, Russia’s Maya Yakunina won her first Youth Olympic Games gold medal, winning the event in a time of 12:58.8.

Though the win was what Yakunina  “wanted to achieve” while on course, she stayed focused on the 5 k at hand.

“I tried not to think about the medal. I just wanted to do my best on the course and see what the result would be,” Yakunina said in an interview with Youth Information Service (YIS).

Hannah Halvorsen (Sugar Bowl Academy) racing to 17th in the women's 5 k freestyle at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Hannah Halvorsen (Sugar Bowl Academy) racing to 17th in the women’s 5 k freestyle at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Winning China’s first medal in a YOG cross-country event was Chi Chunxue, finishing 31.1 seconds behind Yakunina’s time to take silver.

“Everyone wants to win gold, but you have to strive and really work hard for it,” Chunxue said to YIS. “Here [at the YOG] I met so many excellent athletes and this will inspire me to work even harder in the future.”

Thursday’s bronze medal went to Finland’s Rebecca Immonenen, who finished 37.1 seconds back from Yakunina’s time.

“It is unbelievable that I won bronze,” Immonenen told YIS. “This means so much to me.”

The two North American women in Thursday’s 5 k, Canadian Annika Richardson and American Hannah Halvorsen both bagged top 20’s, finishing 16th (+1:11) and 17th (+1:15), respectively.

“It was one of those magical days where I found I could access my reserves and my mental toughness easily,” Richardson told Cross Country Canada. “I love that I finished racing here at YOG on a high note.”

The10 k freestyle race on Thursday marked the final individual cross country event for both the men and women YOG competitors.

Results: Men | Women


Friday brought cross-country skiers, ski jumpers and nordic-combined competitors together for the YOG’s first nordic mixed team normal hill/3 x 3.3 k relay.

Each team fielded five athletes: a female jumper, a male jumper, a nordic-combined athlete, a female cross-country skier, and a male cross-country skier. The three jumpers combined jump result determined the nordic-combined skier’s start time in the event’s skiing portion.

The skiing portion included 3 x 3.3 k legs. The first leg was skied by the team’s female cross-country competitor. Leg 2 was skied by the nordic-combined athlete. The third and final leg was raced by the team’s male cross-country competitor.

Taking the gold in the event was the Russian team, with ski jumpers Sofia Tikhonova and Maksim Sergeev, female cross-country skier Maya Yakunina, nordic-combined skier Vitalii Ivanov, and male cross-country skier Igor Fedotov, winning the relay race in 26:16.9.

Yakunina finished Leg 1 in first in a time of 8:45.1. Ivanov jumped to seventh place, Tikhonova jumped to second, and Sergeev ninth.

“This team competition is very important and I’m glad that I was able to do my part well,” Tikhonova told YIS regarding her performance on Friday.

Russia’s combined team jumps put Ivanov on course 35 seconds behind Slovenia, the team with the best jumps of the day, with female jumper Ema Klinec, male jumper Bor Pavlovcic, nordic-combined athlete Vid Vrhovnik, female cross-country skier Anja Mandeljc, and male cross-country skier Luka Markun.

Russia’s Ivanov then skied the sixth-fastest second leg in a time of 8:42.2 and tagged off to Fedotov, who anchored the Russians to first with the sixth-fastest third leg time of 8:14.6.

“Everything was wonderful and I was very happy when I crossed the line,” Fedotov told YIS. “Maya did a great job putting us in [position to challenge] the first position and the ski jumpers also did well.”

Following Russia’s first place finish was team Norway with silver. Female jumper Anna Odine Strøm, male jumper Marius Lindvik, female cross-country skier Martine Engebretsen, nordic combined athlete Lurås Einar Oftebro, and male cross country skier Vebjørn Hegdal made up the Norwegian team. They finished 21.1 seconds behind Russia.

“I saw the other guys were really tired in the long hill and I saw a really big opportunity there,” Hegdal told YIS regarding his relay leg. “ It’s amazing, it’s really cool to take silver as a team.”

Third place went to Germany, just one-tenth of a second ahead of Slovenia in fourth place and four-tenths of a second behind Norway.

Female jumper Agnes Reisch, male jumper Jonathan Siegel, female cross-country skier Anna-Maria Dietze, nordic-combined athlete Tim Kopp, and male cross country skier Philipp Unger garnered the bronze medals for Germany.

“I’m so happy, we had the perfect team and we all worked together,” Unger said to YIS after the race.

The Americans finished eighth (+2:09.8), with ski jumpers Logan Sankey and Casey Larson, Halvorsen, nordic-combined skier Ben Loomis, and Wonders.

Halvorsen skied the seventh-fastest first leg, 58 seconds back from Yukinina’s time. Loomis and Sankey both posted the 11th-best jumps, and Larson jumped to seventh. Their combined jumps put Loomis on course 1:59 back from Vrhovnik. Wonders anchored for the U.S., skiing the second-fastest third leg of the day in a time of 7:59.6.

Sankey wrote on Twitter that she was “stoked for the team event.”



Norway's Fredrik Qvist Bucher-Johannessen during leg two of the mixed relay biathlon event at the YOG on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Norway’s Fredrik Qvist Bucher-Johannessen during leg two of the mixed relay biathlon event at the YOG on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

The final day of competition for this year’s YOG included the biathlon mixed relay.

Two women and two men competed for each team, with the women skiing 6 k and the men skiing 7.5 k.

Winning the event gold medal in a time of 1:18:35.6 was the home team: Norway. Out on course first for the team was Marit Øygard, skiing the fifth-fastest first lap in a time of 19:15 after missing three prone shots (0+3) and two standing (0+2).

Øygard tagged off to Marthe Krakstad Johansen, who skied her leg the fastest in a time of 18:42.2 after cleaning prone and missing two in standing (0+2).

Next up for Norway was Fredrik Qvist Bucher-Johannessen, who was the fourth fastest to complete the third leg, skiing the 7.5 k in a time of 20:44.7 after missing three prone shots (0+3) and one standing (0+1).

Guttorn Sivert Bakken anchored Norway to gold, posting the third-fastest fourth leg after cleaning both stages.

“It was an extremely good event, all three of [my teammates] had a really good race and I had the extra time that I needed to get the gold,” Bakken told YIS.

Germany took silver, 7.6 seconds behind Norway, with first leg Juliane Fruehwirt, who missed three prone shots (0+3) and two standing (0+2). Franziska Pfnuer skied the second leg for Germany and cleaned both stages, then tagged Simon Gross, who completed the third leg with one penalty in prone (0+1). The final German was Danilo Riethmueller, who had the fastest-fourth leg in a time of 19:40.3 and one miss in prone (0+1) and two standing (0+2).

“It’s a little bit more emotional, because you fear and you hope with the others when they are at the shooting range. It was so amazing,” Fruehwirt told YIS.

Italy's mixed relay biathlon team after winning bronze at the YOG on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Italy’s mixed relay biathlon team after winning bronze at the YOG on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Rounding out the podium was team Italy with the bronze medal. Samuela Comola cleaned both stages then tagged Irene Lardschneider, who cleaned prone and had two misses in standing (0+2).

Italian biathlete Cedric Christille got on course next, skiing the third leg in a time of 20:52.7, with one prone miss (0+1) and two standing (0+2). Italy’s final skier was Patrick Braunhofer, who skied the 7.5 loop in a time of 19:50.4 after cleaning prone and missing one shot standing (0+1).

“We were hoping for a medal since the start,” Braunhofer said to YIS. “When it becomes reality, it is impossible to describe. The first thing I thought arriving at the finish line was that everyone in the team had done a perfect job. Today we really had the perfect race.”

The Americans finished seventh, 6:20.6 behind Norway.

Chloe Levins started first for the U.S., cleaning prone and missing one shot standing (0+1). Levins passed off to Amanda Kautzer, who had a single prone miss (0+1) and two standing (0+2).

The first male on course for the U.S. was Vasek Cervenka, who used all three spares in prone and skied two penalty laps (2+3) and missed one shot standing (0+1).

Anchoring the Americans was Eli Nielsen, who skied a penalty lap (1+3) and one missed shot standing (0+1).

The Canadians placed 16th (+11:04.6), with starter Tekarra Banser, cleaning prone and missing two shots standing (0+2). Banser tagged off to Gillian Gowling, who had four penalty laps followed by two standing misses (0+2).

Leo Grandbois was Canada’s first male on course in a time of 21:12.3, with one missed shot prone (0+1) and two standing (0+2). Ben Churchill anchored the Canadians with two missed prone shots (0+2) and two standing misses (0+2).


— Gabby Naranja

Gorman, Blanchet Win Junior Sprints at U.S. Champs

HOUGHTON, Mich. –Henry Gorman (Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy) came out on top of the men’s junior heats in Saturday’s 1.5 k freestyle sprint at the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Championships. Crossing the line with a time of 3:46.01, Gorman bested second place finisher Dylan Syben (Unleashed Coaching) who trailed by 2.75 seconds. Seiji Takaji (Alaska Winter Stars) took third, 5.19 seconds back.

Lydia Blanchet (APU) won the women’s junior race with a time of 4:32.05. Emily Hyde of the Mount Bachelor SEF came in a close second just 0.73 seconds behind. Rounding out the podium was Rebekka Scheueder (NMU) who crossed the line 8.37 seconds behind Blanchet.


Zak Ketterson, Ann-Cathrin Uhl Take Junior Titles in U.S. Nationals Classic Sprint

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Zak Ketterson, of Loppet Nordic Racing (LNR), and Ann-Cathrin Uhl, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), rose to the top of the junior classic-sprint ranks on Tuesday in the junior A-finals at U.S. Cross Country Championships.

Ketterson, a U18, qualified 65th out of 175 men in the 1.5-kilometer sprint amid heavy snow at times and persistent wind. In the afternoon junior heats, still cold at around 9 degrees Fahrenheit but with less snowfall, Ketterson won his quarterfinal and semifinal and went on to dominate the final, winning in 4:38.6 by nearly three seconds. Thomas O’Harra, of Alaska Pacific University (APU), placed second (+2.93), and Gavin Hess (University of New Hampshire) rounded out the junior podium in third (+5.44).

In the women’s A-final, Uhl, a U20, outlasted Sarah Bezdicek by 1.29 seconds with the win in 5:28.98. Emily Hyde (Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation) was third (+6.34). Uhl was 41st in the qualifying round, and won her quarterfinal and semifinal before taking the top spot in the final.

Junior men’s A-final

1. Zak Ketterson (Loppet Nordic Racing) 4:38.60
2. Thomas O’Harra (APU Nordic Ski Center) 4:41.53
3. Gavin Hess (University of New Hampshire) 4:44.04
4. Cully Brown (University of Vermont) 4:46.49
5. Kamran Husain (Stratton Mountain School) 4:49.04
6. Henry Harmeyer (Mansfield Nordic) 4:55.90

Junior women’s A-final

1. Ann-Cathrin Uhl (University of Alaska Fairbanks) 5:28.98
2. Sarah Bezdicek (Loppet Nordic Racing) 5:30.27
3. Emily Hyde (Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation) 5:35.32
4. Kristen Bourne (Northern Michigan University) 5:35.78
5. Lauren Jortberg (Boulder Nordic Junior Racing Team) 5:39.81
6. Nicole Schneider (Loppet Nordic Racing) 5:50.85

Complete results

Juniors Battle Warm Weather and Rain at Junior Olympic Super Qualifier

Warm temperatures, strong wind, and rain challenged five of the ten USSA divisions that met this past weekend at Soldier Hollow, Utah as part of the Junior Olympic Super Qualifier. All five divisions raced together, however, racers were only scored within in their division.

Classic Sprint Results

Freestyle Distance Results

Watch the highlights of the sprint qualifiers and the sprint heats for the U16 and U18/U20 men and women from the Tuna ski team. Spliced into the middle of the day were races going down to U8.

Classic Sprint

Women’s U16 Classic Sprint Qualifier video

Women’s U18/U20 Classic Sprint Qualifier

Men’s U16 Classic Sprint Qualifier

Men’s U18/U20 Classic Sprint Qualifier


MF U12 Classic Sprint Race

MF U8/U12 Classic Sprint (adorable)

MF U14 Classic Sprint


Women’s U18/U20 Quarter-finals

Women’s U16 Classic Sprint Quarter-Final

Women’s U16 then U18-20 Classic Semi-Final Sprint Heats

Women’s U16 A then B Finals, Women’s U18/20 B Then A Finals


Men’s U16 Classic Quarter-Finals

Men’s U18-20 Classic Quarter-Finals video

Men’s U16 then U18-20 Classic Semi-Finals

Men’s U16 then U18-20 B then A Finals video


Skate Distance 

Men’s U18-20 15km skate video

Women’s U18-20 10km skate

Women’s U16 5km skate

Men’s U16 5km skate

Women’s U14 3km skate video

Russians Top 5/10 k Classic Races at Junior Worlds; Canada Notches 14th and 15th

The Russians skied their way to the top of the podium on Sunday at Junior World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy, with Natalia Nepryaeva winning the women’s 5-kilometer classic individual start in 14:05 and Roman Kaygorodov taking the men’s 10 k classic victory in 26:36.9.

Nepryaeva, 18, edged Sweden’s Sofia Henriksson by 2.7 seconds and another Russian, Anastasia Sedova, by 13.6 seconds for her first world title.

In his first race at Junior Worlds, Kaygorodov, also 18, captured his first title as well, beating Sweden’s Jens Burman by 5.5 seconds. Norway’s Petter Reistad was another 0.4 seconds back in third.

Canada’s Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier (Fondeurs Laurentides) broke through in 14th at his first world championships. He was the lone Canadian man in the top 40, with Scott Hill (NDC Thunder Bay) placing 45th, Alexis Dumas (Skibec) finishing 46th, and Benjamin Wilkinson-Zan (NDC Thunder Bay) placing 66th of nearly 100.

Another Canadian, Dahria Beatty of the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) notched her first individual top 20 in her third year at Junior Worlds. The 19-year-old Beatty placed 15th, topping her previous best of 20th in the freestyle sprint last Wednesday.

Also for Canada, Katherine Stewart-Jones (Nakkertok) placed 36th, Anne-Marie Comeau of the Pierre-Harvey Training Centre (CNEPH) was 38th and Frederique Vezina (CNEPH) 51st.

Two Americans placed 26th: Nicole Bathe (University of Alaska-Fairbanks) and Adam Martin (Northern Michigan University). For both, it marked their first top-40 results at their first world championships; Martin placed 40th in Friday’s 20 k skiathlon and Bathe was 47th in the women’s 10 k skiathlon.

Patrick Caldwell (Dartmouth) also made the top 30 in 29th, Lars Hannah (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) was 57th, and Cole Morgan (University of Vermont) 68th.

Marion Woods, also of UVM, finished 34th in the women’s race and Sloan Storey (University of Utah) was 43rd.


Results: Women | Men

U.S. Nationals: Burkholder Tops Stevens in Junior Women’s Classic Sprint

MIDWAY, Utah — Gretchen Burkholder, 17, of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club executed to perfection on Friday in the 1.5-kilometer classic sprint at U.S. Cross Country Championships, qualifying as the top junior woman (outside the senior top 30) then winning her quarterfinal and semifinal to make the A-final, where she ultimately beat Alaska’s Hannah Stevens on the final day of racing at Soldier Hollow.

Stevens placed second, ahead of Australian Katerina Paul in third. Ann Spencer of Alaska Pacific University placed fourth, Hannah Hardenbergh (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) was fifth, and Cara Piske (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) finished sixth in the A-final.


Results From JNs Classic Relays: Alaska Claims Three Golds

On the second day of competition at Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, Alaska, the home division won three out of six relays; one  in the J1 boys category and again in both the girl’s and boy’s OJ divisions. Norway’s guest teams won both J1 relays and the New England girls claimed a 44-second victory in the J2 girl’s race.

J2 3×3.3 k Relay

Alaska’s Jake Bassett, Tristan Sayre and Max Donaldson won the J2 boys 3×3.3 k by over 30 seconds in a time of 29:53.4. Intermountain took second (30:30.0) and the New England boys finished third (30:40.7).

In the J2 girls division, New England’s Katharine Ogden, Leah Brams and Julia Kern blew the competition out of the water, winning the 3×3.3 k in 34:01.0, 44 seconds over Alaska. The Rocky Mountain girls claimed third place (35:10) to round out the podium.

OJ 3×3.3 k Relay

Alaska’s Forrest Mahlen, Vanya Rybkin and Logan Hanneman posted the fastest course time of the day in 28:00.6 to beat the Midwest’s lineup (Christopher Parr, Jan Ketterson and Ben Saxton) by 13 seconds. Rocky Mountain’s Tucker McCrerey, Charlie Von Thaden and Max Scrimgeour finished third (28:40.7).

Celia Haering, Stephanie Kirk and Hannah Boyer continued the Alaskan OJ domination in the girl’s relay, besting Intermountain by 16 seconds. Rocky Mountain’s squad took third.

J1 3×3.3 k Relay

The guest team from Lillehammer, Norway — Martin Thon, Sjur Slettom and Mattis Stenshagen — won the boy’s J1 age class in 28:13.1 over Rocky Mountain’s Keegan Swirbul, Evan Weinman and Cal Deline. New England’s squad took third overall (for the second American finish) 39 seconds back.

The story was the same in the girl’s race; Norway’s Lotta Weng, Tiril Weng and Lisa Kvamme beat Intermountain’s Laurel Fiddler, Maggie Williams and Annika Miller by four seconds. The Midwest claimed third.

Complete results.

Junior Nationals: Stenshagen Leads Three Norwegians in Top Five of 10 k Skate

On the first day of racing at the 2013 Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, Alaska, Norwegian Mattis Stenshagen led three NTG Lillehammer teammates in the top five of the boys 10 k freestyle race at Birch Hill, winning in 26:34.2.

A 16-year-old J1, Stenshagen topped Alaska Pacific University’s Logan Hanneman, the first OJ, by just 3.2 seconds. Martin Thon of Norway was third overall (second J1), 24.9 seconds back. Ben Saxton of F.A.S.T. Performance Training was the second OJ, fourth overall (+25.3). The third Norwegian, Sjur Slettom was the third J1 and fifth overall (+30.0).

In the J2 boys 5 k, Max Donaldson (AK/NSCF-FXC) won by 17.0 seconds in 13:30.0. Koby Gordon (NE/SMS) was second and Jake Bassett (AK/AWS) placed third (+27.5).

J1 top five

1. Mattis Stenshagen (Norway) 26:34.2*

2. Martin Thon (Norway) +24.9

3. Sjur Slettom (Norway) +30.0

4. Ian Torchia (MW/Rochester) +40.8

5. Tyler Foulkes (NE/SMS) +55.3

OJ top five

1. Logan Hanneman (AK/APU) +3.2

2. Ben Saxton (MW/FAST) +25.3

3. Eli Hoenig (NE/CSU) +38.7

4. Jack Hegman (NE/UVM) +38.9

5. Patrick McElravey (FW/Auburn) +44.5

*Overall J1/OJ winner

J2 top five

1. Max Donaldson (AK/NSCF-FXC) 13:30.0

2. Koby Gordon (NE/SMS) +17.0

3. Jake Bassett (AK/AWS) +27.5

4. Tristan Sayre (MW/FAST) +37.5

5. Bill Harmeyer (NE/Mansfield) +43.1

Complete results

Caldwell 9th in Norwegian Junior Nationals

Paddy Caldwell (USA) placed 9th in the 20km freestyle at the Norwegian Junior National Championships.

Caldwell finished 1:51.1 behind winner Magne Haga (NOR). Haga won the event by 54 seconds over Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR).

Jack Novak was 19th for the U.S., Forrest Mahlen was 41st and Ben Saxton  45th.

Lars Hannah was 89 in the 10k.

In the women’s 15k, Lucy Newman was 45th and Jesse Knori 49th.

Cara Piske was 28th in the women’s 10k and Madison Keefe 34th.


Sweden, Russia Top Podium in Junior World Relays; U.S. Women 10th

On the final day of racing at the Junior World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic, the men’s and women’s relays didn’t disappoint – with plenty of excitement on Sunday in the women’s 4 x 3.3 k and a definitive victory in the men’s 4 x 5 k.

Sweden’s women won the former, with Julia Svan, Sofia Henriksson, Jonna Sundling and Stina Nilsson, rising from second to first on the last leg and edging Russia by 2.2 seconds to win in 35:41.1. Just 0.4 seconds back at the final exchange, Nilsson outsprinted Russia’s Nadezhda Shuniaeva to the finish. Shuniaeva and her teammates, Alisa Zhambalova, Natalia Nepryaeva and Anastasia Sedova, took silver and Germany (Laura Gimmler, Katharina Hennig, Julia Belger, Victoria Carl) was third (+50.3) after holding that position throughout the race.

In the men’s relay, Russia’s Alexey Chervotkin, Artem Maltsev, Roman Tarasov and Dmitry Rostovtsev rebounded from slipping to fourth after the second leg to finishing first, 18.7 seconds ahead of Norway (Bjørn Vidar Suhr, Simen Hegstad Krueger, Magne Haga, Haavard Solaas Taugboel). Rostovtsev sealed the victory in 45:35.5 and Sweden (Oskar Svensson, Marcus Ruus, Oscar Ivars, Rasmus Hornfeldt) was 52.2 seconds back in third.

The Americans finished 10th in the women’s relay with Heather Mooney, Mary O’Connell, Emily Hannah and Corey Stock. They were 2:43.9 back from the winners and largely skied in the 10th position throughout.

The Canadian women (Maya MacIsaac-Jones, Anne-Marie Comeau, Cendrine Browne, Frederique Vezina) were 13th (+4:36.4) after rising from 15th following the first leg.

The U.S. men placed 12th with Logan Hanneman, Ben Saxton, Kyle Bratrud and Sawyer Kesselheim. They rose as high as ninth after the second leg and finished 2:14.6 behind the winners. Canada’s Alexis Turgeon, Zeke Williams, David Palmer and Raphael Couturier were 15th (+3:20.3) of 19 teams.

Women’s results

Men’s results

Ustiugov, Haga Claim U23 World Titles in Distance Skate

Twenty-year-old Sergey Ustiugov of Russia is back on top. After sweeping the 2012 Junior World Championships in Erzurum, Turkey, Ustiugov claimed his first U23 world title on Thursday, beating Russian teammate and World Cup staple Evgeniy Belov, 22, by 19.7 seconds Thursday to win the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle in Liberec, Czech Republic.

Less than a week after his second World Cup appearance in La Clusaz, France, where Ustiugov helped Russia’s B-team place sixth in the 4 x 7.5 k relay, he posted the fastest time of 35:44.1 in the individual start.

German World Cup and Tour de Ski competitor Thomas Bing was third, 42.4 seconds back. Great Britain’s World Cup starter Andrew Musgrave, 22, placed fourth (+56.5) and Damien Tarantola of France was fifth (+1:09.6).

In the women’s 10 k, Norway’s Ragnhild Haga captured the victory by nearly 30 seconds. The 21-year-old World Cup skier completed the three-lap course in 27:50.4, 29.5 seconds faster than Anastasia Slonova of Kazakhstan in second. Italian Debora Agreiter was third, just 0.4 seconds back from Slonova, and Tuesday’s classic sprint runner-up, Sandra Ringwald of Germany was fourth (+30.4). Norway put three in the top six with Tuva Toftdahl Staver in fifth and Kari Oeyre Slind in sixth. Russia swept seventh through 10th.

Leading the North Americans, Caitlin Patterson of the U.S. (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) was 14th (+1:41.5). Sophie Caldwell (Stratton Mountain School T2 Team) followed in 17th (+2:05.5). On the men’s side, Erik Bjornsen (Alaska Pacific University/U.S. Ski Team) notched 15th (+2:00.3).

Other American results: Women: 29. Annie Pokorny (Middlebury), 42. Liz Guiney (UNH); Men: 39. Sam Tarling (Dartmouth), 50. David Norris (MSU), 54. Eric Packer (SMST2)

Canadian results: Women: 28. Heidi Widmer (AWCA), 37. Annika Hicks (AWCA), 40. Andrea Lee (NDC-Thunder Bay), 43. Marlis Kromm (AWCA); Men: 63. Colin Abbott (YES), 71. Patrick Stewart-Jones (AWCA)

Men’s 15 k results

Women’s 10 k results

Carl, Rostovtsev Win Distance Skate Events at Junior Worlds

Second in Monday’s Junior World Championships classic sprint, Germany’s Victoria Carl, 17, was the fastest around Wednesday’s two-lap, 5-kilometer freestyle course in Liberec, Czech Republic, winning the individual start in 12:35.3. She topped Austria’s Teresa Stadlober by 4.3 seconds and third-place finisher Anastasia Sedova of Russia (+11.4).

Making it into the top 15, Cendrine Brown, 19, of Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre (CNEPH) was 15th (+40.3). At the halfway point, she was 19th.

The second Canadian, Raphael Couturier (CNEPH) finished 24th in the men’s 10 k freestyle. He was 1 minute and 25.2 seconds behind Russian winner Dmitry Rostovtsev, who completed the three-lap course in 23:32.5. Russia took the top two spots on the podium with Artem Maltsev in second (+16.8) and Germany’s Martin Weisheit was third (+17.6).

For the U.S., Forrest Mahlen of Alaska Pacific University (APU) led the way in 27th (+1:32.2). Just 0.6 seconds later, Sawyer Kesselheim (Bridger Ski Foundation) was 29th and Canada’s David Palmer (Black Jack Ski Club) placed 32nd (+1:38.4).

Kyle Bratrud (Northern Michigan University) was 46th, Ben Saxton (F.A.S.T. Performance Training) was 60th and Canadians Zeke Williams (Nakkertok) and Scott Hill (NDC-Thunder Bay) were 53rd and 62nd, respectively.

Mary O’Connell of Dartmouth College led the American women in 33rd (+1:05.1), Sloan Storey (University of Utah) was 45th, Emily Hannah (Harvard University) was 51st and Anika Miller (Payette Lakes Sports) was 52nd.

CNEPH teammates Frederique Vezina and Anne-Marie Comeau placed 50th and 53rd, respectively, and Katherine Stewart-Jones (Nakkertok) was 58th.

Women’s results

Men’s results

Pellegrino, Soboleva Open U23 Worlds with Classic Sprint Wins

After posting the fastest qualifying times, Italian Frederico Pellegrino and Russian Elena Soboleva went on to win every heat right through the final on the first day of the FIS Nordic U23 World Ski Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic.

However, their victories were hardly blowouts. Pellegrino and Soboleva won their respective men’s and women’s 1.3 k classic finals by close margins over the second- and third-place finishers, both decided by photo finishes.

In the men’s race, Pellegrino edged Finland’s Juho Mikkonen and Evgeniy Belov of Russia in second and third, respectively. Soboleva topped two German women, Sandra Ringwald in second and Hanna Kolb in third.

Sophie Caldwell led the North American finishers in ninth. The Stratton Mountain School T2 Team (SMST2) skier qualified in fifth and went on to win her quarterfinal. From there, Caldwell placed fifth in her semifinal, 2.8 seconds behind Kolb, who won the heat.

No other North American women qualified. Liz Guiney (University of New Hampshire) was 36th, Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) was 38th and Annie Hart finished (Dartmouth) 39th.

Of the Canadian women, Marlis Kromm of the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) was 32nd, Heidi Widmer (AWCA) was 34th and Andrea Lee (Thunder Bay National Development Centre) was 47th.

Erik Bjornsen (Alaska Pacific University/US Ski Team) led the American men in 10th, just ahead of Norway’s Tomas Northug, Petter’s brother. Bjornsen qualified in 16th, won his quarterfinal and placed fifth in his semifinal, 2.8 seconds back from heat winner Alexander Wolz (GER), who ended up fifth overall.

Eric Packer (SMST2) narrowly missed qualifying in 34th, David Norris (Montana State University) was 36th and Skyler Davis (SMST2/USST) placed 53rd.

Canadian Patrick Stewart-Jones (AWCA) was 39th and Colin Abbott (Yukon Elite Squad) was 47th. Andy Shields (NDC Thunder Bay) did not start.

Women’s results

Men’s results


Stock, Barnes Win CSU Rollerski Race

The 23rd annual Fall Classic Rollerski Race hosted by the Cambridge Sports Union (CUS) took place on Sunday in North Andover, Mass. Harvard’s Chris Stock won the men’s 15 k in 36:45; Shane MacDowell (BNS) was second (38:39) and Frank Feist (CSU) took third (38:40).

Three women competed in the 15 k; Hanna Barnes (Harvard) won in 43:02 over CSU’s Maddy Wendt in second (45:41) and Anni Harvleux in third (47:18).

In the 7.5 k junior division, Max LaChance won the boys’ race 15 seconds ahead of Ryley Knox; Sean Skahen took third. Rebecca Smith won a closely-contested girls’ race in 21:52, three seconds ahead of runner-up Cate Brams. Meg Yoder rounded out the podium in third.

For full results, and photos check CSU’s race recap.

Eastern REG: Juniors Compete in Elmore Hill Climb with CGRP

The Eastern Regional Elite Group currently taking place in Craftsbury, Vermont, completed an uphill time trial on Wednesday in foggy, slippery conditions along with area J2s, the Craftsbury Grean Racing Project and Green Mountain Valley School skiers. Ida Sargent (CGRP/USST) and Nils Koons (CGRP) took the top honors overall; Sean Doherty  and Issy Pelletier (Stratton Mountain School) were the first juniors to cross the line.

Mens Results

1. Nils Koons 16:35

2. Sean Doherty 16:43

3. Jordan Fields 16:55

4. Peter Hegman 15:57

5. Gordon Vermeer 17:00

6. Dylan Grald 17:03

7. Tim Reynolds 17:06

8. Dylan McGuffin 17:06

9. Pat O’Brien 17:07

10. Jack Hegman 17:22

11. Paddy Caldwell 17:28

12. Thomas Rabon 17:42

13. Adam Luban 17:45

14. Bryan Cook 18:11

15. Eli Hoenig 18:19

16.  Alex Howe 18:20

17. Michael Gibson 18:31

18. Ben Hegman 18:44

19. Jeff Tucker 18:46

20. Devlin Shea 18:55

21. Gino Pastore 19:01

22. Sam Reed 19:17

23. Jack Elder 19:52

24. Gavin McEwen 20:00

25. Henry Harmayer 20:19

26. Hamish McEwen 20:29

27. Max Lachance 20:33

28. Peter Mallery 20:35

29. Koby Gordon 20:51

30. Tommy Ernst 21:03

31. Adam Glueck 21:07

32. Charlie Greenberg

33. Ethan Dreissigacker 22:04

34. Noah Eckstein 23:00

35. Eric Lindhal 23:00

36. Rob Bradlee 23:18

37. Eliot Ketchel 24:02

38. Pat Lawler 24:10

39. Xavier Miller 24:40

Womens Results

1. Ida Sargent 19:57

2. Caitlin Patterson 20:01

3. Clare Egan 20:47

4. Issy Pelletier 21:05

5. Amy Glen 21:18

6. Maria Stuber 21:45

7. Hallie Grossman 22:12

8. Olivia Meyerson 22:23

9. Heather Mooney 22:25

10. Nina Armstrong 22:55

11. Zoe Snow 23:09

12. Riley Douglas 24:08

13. Kiersten Miller 24:11

14. Julia Kern 24:18

15. Maile Sapp 24:32

16. Kaitlin Miller 24:38

17. Cate Brams 24:55

18. Alyssa Likely 25:10

19. Charlotte Cole 25:16

20. Alexandra Shafner 26:27

21. Hadley Moreau 27:15

22. Anika Williams 27:51

23. Lauren Gillott 28:16

24. Ani Miller 29:49

25. Emily Halpern 30:02

26. Maddie Strasser 31: 25

Complete results: NNF.

Western REG: Hannah, Deline Win Agony Hill Time Trial

The Western REG started this week in Park City, Utah, with 0.79-mile, 1,039-foot climb up Agony Hill. Emily Hannah (Steamboat Springs WSC) won the girls’ time trial by over a minute in 17:45.3, besting Hannah Peterson (Durango NSC) in second. Kelsey Phinney (Boulder Nordic JRT) took third.

Cal Deline (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) took the win in the boys’ race in 14:49.9, 43.2 seconds ahead of Kyle Breling (Park City Nordic). Charlie Von Thaden (Steamboat Springs WSC) came in at +1:08.9 for third along with Jackson Hill (Summit NSC) in fourth, who is listed in the results with the same time.

Girls Top 5

1. Emily Hannah (SSWSC) 17:45.3

2. Hannah Peterson (DNSC) 18:47.7

3. Kelsey Phinney (BNJRT) 20:11.7

4. Mary O’Connell (SSWSC) 20:31.0

5. Haley Piske (SSWSC) 20:43.1

Boys Top 5

1. Cal Deline (SSCV) 14:49.9

2. Kyle Breling (PCN) 15:33.1

3. Charlie Von Thaden (SSWSC) 15:58.9

4. Jackson Hill (Summit NSC) 15:58.9

5. Tucker McCrerey (Summit NSC) 16:06.4

Complete results

JN: Rocky Mountain Takes J1 Girls’ Relay; Midwest Wins OJ Race

MIDWAY, Utah — The Rocky Mountain J1 girls’ team of Mary O’Connell (Steamboat Springs WSC), Rachel Hampton (Durango NSC) and anchor Emily Hannah (Steamboat Springs WSC) took the win in a fast 3×3 k relay that ran concurrently with the OJ girls’. It was hard to tell what was going on in the scramble leg but a group of leaders eventually emerged, the RM J1s right in the mix at the front.

The Alaska team of Teagan Yutrzenka (Alaska Winter Stars), Sarah Freistone (Alaska Nordic Racing) and Marion Woods (AWS) finished 5.1 seconds back for the silver medal. New England’s relay of Heather Mooney (Middlebury) Olivia Meyerson (CSU) and Corey Stock (CSU) took third (+6.1).

The OJ girls’ relay winners was no surprise — after consistent top results this week, the Midwest kept it up for the final title of the week. Sharmila Ahmed (GoTraining), Alice Flanders (Sisu Ski Club) and Liz Simak (F.A.S.T.) won by a 7.2-second margin.

New England took the silver with the team of Tara Geraghty-Moats (Craftsbury), Emily Stitt (GMVS) and Rachel Hall (Middlebury). Alaska’s second team — Kinsey Loan (APUNSC), Kimberly Delfrate (ANR) and Annie Liotta (AWS) — came away with bronze (+11.9).

Live J1/OJ results (OJs appear below J1s)

JN: New England J2 Girls Edge AK; Alaskan Boys Win Relay

MIDWAY, Utah — New England pulled out a photo-finish victory on Saturday at the 2012 Cross Country Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow, winning the J2 girls 3×3 k relay by two-tenths of a second over Alaska in 20:13.4.

Julia Kern anchored the New England team, which included Zoe Snow and Katharine Ogden. Alaska was led by Sarrisa Lammer, Taryn Hunt-Smith and Lydia Blanchet in second, and the Midwest was third with Racquel Wohlk, Vivian Hett and Alayna Sonnesyn (+31.4).

J2 girls relay results

In the boys J2 race, Alaska’s Tanner Ramey, Jacob Volz and Thomas O’Harra skied away from the pack to win in 17:57.3.

Intermountain placed second (+2.5) with Sam Miller, Peter Neal and Karten Hokanson. New England was third (+17.1) with Ben Hegman, Jack Elder and Koby Gordon.

J2 boys relay results

JN: Kern and Blanchet Tie for J2 Girls Win; O’Harra Takes Boys’ 5k Classic

MIDWAY, Utah — The J2 girls’ individual-start 5 k classic came down to a tie for the gold medal between two repeat winners: Julia Kern (NE/Cambridge Sports Union) and Lydia Blanchet (AK/APUNSC). Timing is only carried out tenths of seconds in JN distance races; both girls clocked in at 15:01.4. Katharine Ogden (NE/Stratton Mountain School) took home the bronze 1.5 seconds behind the winners.

The boy’s 5 k was slightly less tight at the top; Thomas O’Harra (AK/APUNSC) clocked in 2.4 seconds ahead of Cully Brown (RM/Durango NSC) in a time of 13:31.4. Peter Holmes (FW/Tahoe XC) finished third 19.6 seconds back.

By the time the J2 boys’ went off beginning at 11:15 am MST, the snow had warmed under the sun and started to break up.

J2 Girls’ 5 k Top 10:

1. Julia Kern (NE/Cambridge Sports Union) 15:01.4

1. Lydia Blanchet (AK/APUNSC) 15:01.4

3. Katharine Ogden (NE/SMS) +1.5

4. Brooke Mooney (NE/SMS) +24.6

5. Jane Hoefler (AK/APUNSC) +31.0

6. Hanna Peterson (RM/Durango NSC) +33.0

7. Marte Kaakenstad-Braaten (Canada/Rocky Mountain Racers) +39.0

8. Hailey Swirbul (RM/Aspen Valley SSC) +39.2

9. Alayna Sonnesyn (MW/Sisu Ski Club) +41.8

10. Hannah Hardenbergh (RM/SSC Vail) +44.9

Girls’ live timing

J2 Boys’ 5k Top Ten:

1. Thomas O’Harra (AK/APUNSC) 13:31.4

2. Cully Brown (RM/Durango NSC) +2.4

3. Peter Holmes (FW/Tahoe XC) +19.6

4. Sam Miller (IM/Bridger Ski Foundation) +20.6

5. Jack Elder (NE/Cumberland Nordic Club) +23.6

6. Karsten Hokanson (IM/Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy) +24.9

7. Peter Neal (IM/Jackson Hole SC) +25.5

8. Matthew Muffoletto (AK/Alaska Winter Stars)

9. Ben Hegman (NE/Mansfield NC) +30.4

10. Koby Gordon (NE/SMS) +36.2

Boys’ live timing