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Wild Rumpus Sports

Anchorage Takes Alaska Nordic Cup Over Fairbanks for Third Straight Year

GOVERNMENT PEAK RECREATION AREA and HATCHER PASS, Alaska — The University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks may “Rule the North,” as their race suits proclaim, but for the third year in a row it’s their neighbors to the south, the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, who are the dominant NCAA ski program in Alaska.

Fairbanks and Anchorage, or UAF and UAA, have met annually in the Alaska Nordic Cup, a low-key early-season dual meet, for the last 16 years, dating to when the two schools were in separate ski conferences and would only face each other at NCAA Championships. (Both schools are now members of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, or RMISA.) The location of the two-day meet generally rotates between Interior and Southcentral Alaska each year, subject to snow conditions in each region. While UAF still holds the all-time edge at 9–6–1, this weekend marked UAA’s third straight victory in the series.

Saturday morning brought interval-start freestyle races, 10 kilometers for the men and 5 kilometers for the women. The race course was the Competition Loop at Government Peak Recreation Area, a 5-kilometer, homologation-pending loop whose meters of climbing per kilometer (36m/km) and overall Height Difference (101 meters) stack up favorably against those of the recent World Cup courses in Ruka (33.2m/km and 56m) or Lillehammer (40m and 74m).

At 10:30:30 a.m., amid temps in the high 20s and a light wind, this reporter led the field of 17 men out onto the course, which pitches up into a 35-meter climb immediately upon leaving the start. The average ski speed on course soon substantially increased when he was followed by the next starter, Gus Schumacher (Alaska Winter Stars/USST D-Team). A total of 14 collegiate men, six for UAA and eight for UAF, soon followed.

Two laps and 370 meters of climbing later, Schumacher continued his dominance of this race series when he crossed the line with the day’s fastest time of 26:48.0. Schumacher, who skied alone for the final 22 minutes after blowing by this reporter soon after the start, posted the fastest relay leg time in the 2017 Alaska Nordic Cup, when he was described as a “17-year-old phenom.” He won both days of the meet at the 2018 Alaska Nordic Cup, by which point he had a World Juniors medal to his name. And he took both races this year, now racing as a two-time World Juniors medalist and 19-year-old member of the USST D-Team.

Among the collegiate field, UAA dominance was the theme of the day. Magnus Norøy took second overall/first collegiate skier in 27:18.1, followed by teammates JC Schoonmaker, Espen Persen, Austin Huneck, and Everett Cason. Mike Ophoff (29:13.2), sixth collegian and seventh overall, was the first UAF skier on Saturday.

A field of 13 women – four for UAA, nine for UAF, and one from nearby Eagle River Nordic Ski Club – headed out on course at 10:41 a.m., soon after the final men’s starter. The women raced a single lap of the 5-kilometer course.

UAA showed its depth on the women’s side, placing all four of its skiers in the top six, but UAF took the overall win. Mariel Pulles (UAF) was first in 15:28.4, over twenty seconds clear of UAA skier Jenna DiFolco (+23.9). UAA teammates Anna Darnell and Michaela Keller-Miller were third and fourth, with UAF skier Anya Maijala in fifth. Catherine Reed-Metayer, seventh overall, was the third UAA skier on the day.

Pulles raced for Estonia last season in international competition, including at U23 World Championships in Lahti and World Championships in Seefeld. She was 30th in the skate sprint in Seefeld, and won the Estonian National Championships in the 10 k classic.

UAF Athletics summarized the day-one math of combined times, which showed the UAA women with a slight lead and the UAA men with a substantial lead, as follows: “UAA holds the advantage after day one, as their top-three individual times combined for each gender come out faster than Alaska’s. In the women’s 5k, UAA won with a combined time of 47:43.6, defeating the Nanook’s combined time of 48:23.6. In the men’s 10k, Anchorage won with a combined time of 84:01.4, over Alaska’s time of 89:26.1.”

Day two brought mass-start classic races as well as a move up the mountain to Independence Mine at Hatcher Pass (elevation 3,500 feet), with warm weather and rain making skiing at Government Peak (elevation 1,000 feet) less tenable on Sunday morning.

The location may have changed, and the opening hill made several times larger, but the end result was the same: An overall victory for Schumacher, and strong team showings by both the UAA men and women.

UAA skier Natalie Hynes, who had not raced on Saturday, was the first racer across the line on Sunday, after a race of roughly 10 kilometers in 34:25.6. She was followed by teammates Keller-Miller (+36.5), DiFolco (+1:07.9), and Darnell (+1:36.5) in second, fourth, and fifth. Pulles, who was third (+59.9), interrupted the string of Seawolves.

Thirteen women raced on Sunday.

For the men, it was once again Schumacher in first, covering roughly 15 kilometers in 36:41.5. He was followed by Noroey (UAA, +1:17.5) in second, Schoonmaker (UAA, +1:31.8) in third, Ophoff (UAF, +1:34.3) in fourth, and Persen (UAA, +1:58.7) in fifth.

For the men, UAA again had a lower top-three combined time on Sunday, 1:54:53 to UAF’s 1:56:43. The gap was slightly larger for the women, 1:45:01 to 1:48:57, advantage UAA once more.

UAA, which had the lowest combined time for both men and women on both days, handily captured its third Alaska Nordic Cup in a row.

Both teams officially return to competition at U.S. Nationals in Houghton in January. Many of the athletes are likely to race at the first Besh Cup weekend of Junior Nationals qualifying races on December 21-22, officially set for Anchorage but likely to be held in one of Anchorage, Government Peak, or Fairbanks, depending upon snow conditions later this month.

Results: Saturday | Sunday

Disclosure: This reporter competed in Saturday’s skate race on behalf of the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club masters team. He paid his own entry fee out of pocket.

— Gavin Kentch

Related on FasterSkier:

2016: Patterson, Yeaton, UAF Take Victories at Alaska Nordic Cup

2017: UAA Takes Alaska Nordic Cup Over UAF

MCSA’s Season Ahead (Press Release)





Swix Sport USA joins USCSA as Sponsor (Press Release)

Press Release

MCSA Revitalizing College Nordic Ski Racing in the Midwest (Press Release)

Press Release

October 14, 2019

The Midwest Collegiate Ski Association (MCSA), the central region conference for the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association (USCSA) has launched a major initiative to significantly grow collegiate nordic ski racing in the Central Region. The tack being taken promises to be successful.

The Central Region has seen the proliferation of college nordic ski clubs, some of which number over 100 participants. While the primary focus of these clubs is to introduce students to recreational nordic skiing, a segment within these clubs is also pursuing racing as part of local and regional citizen races. Those college nordic club programs have also started to look for participation in traditional structured college ski races. 

One of the driving factors for the growth of college nordic clubs in the Central Region are the large numbers of nordic junior racers, those currently numbering in the thousands. For those going on to college, the campus nordic club presents the ideal and most accessible opportunity to continue in that sport. While these are club sports programs, they are starting to incorporate very high level athletes who are on a par or exceed many varsity programs. Also, these club programs often receive significant non-athletic department financial support from their institutions.

A special organizational meeting has been scheduled by the MCSA for October 27 at UW-Stout, WI for all interested college nordic ski programs in the region west of Lake Michigan. Over 20 campuses have responded, with the majority planning to attend. Others will participate via conference call. 

The MCSA contact for this meeting is: Ted Theyerl, MCSA Conference Nordic Coordinator

Landstedt Hired as Utah Director of Skiing

(Press release)

SALT LAKE CITY – Veteran college ski coach Fredrik Landstedt has been hired as the Director of Skiing at the University of Utah. Landstedt brings 26 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Utes.

“We are excited to have Fredrik join our ski team,” Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said. “Any time you can recruit a coach who has won a national championship, it’s a win. It was our goal to bring in a proven coach who will continue the ski team’s success and he brings a passion and energy as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. Fredrik is well respected in the profession and has a proven track record of helping student-athletes reach both their athletic and academic goals as well as engaging the fans and community.”

Landstedt has spent the past 21 seasons coaching at New Mexico, including 11 years as head coach (2008-18) after working 10 seasons as head Nordic coach.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead a program with such a rich history,” Landstedt said. “Utah has a strong winning tradition and the support that the University provides its ski team is incredible. I look forward to bringing NCAA titles back to Utah!”

The Lobos have finished in the top four at the NCAA Championships nine times during Landstedt’s tenure, including winning the 2004 NCAA Championship, the first team title in New Mexico history. UNM finished second in 2006 as well as third in 2009, 2010 and 2014.

Landstedt has coached seven student-athletes to individual NCAA Championships. Kristina Strandberg (2000, 15-km classic), Jimmy Vika (2013, 10-km freestyle), Eva Severus (2014, 15-km freestyle) and Emilie Cdervaem (2015, 15-km classic) each won Nordic titles for the Lobos. Malin Hemmingsson (2009-10, slalom) was a two-time NCAA Champion in women’s alpine while Joonas Rasanen (2013, slalom) and Mateja Robnik (2015, giant slalom) also won championships.

Under Landstedt, 34 Nordic skiers have earned 80 All-America honors at UNM with skiers finishing on the podium 19 times in NCAA Championship races. Strandberg and Polina Ermoshina were both seven-time All-Americans for the Lobos. Ermoshina had two runner-up finishes in women’s classic. In alpine with Landstedt as overall head coach, 19 skiers have combined for 45 All-America honors since 2008.

Landstedt’s athletes have also excelled in the classroom, with student-athletes named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large teams 10 times, including making the first team seven times. The at-large teams, which are comprised of student-athletes from 14 women’s and 12 men’s sports, are generally regarded as one of the most difficult teams to earn a spot on.

Landstedt has been the Secretary-Rules Editor on the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Skiing Committee since 2006. He served as the president of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association from 2000-06.

Landstedt was also the head Nordic ski coach at Colorado for three years (1995-97). Colorado won the 1995 NCAA title and finished third in 1997. His student-athletes earned 20 All-America honors in his three seasons, including six first team honors.

Landstedt has also coached with the U.S. Ski Team at Junior and U-23 World Championships events.

Landstedt coached the West Valley High School ski team in Fairbanks, Alaska, to two state titles in three seasons (1991-1994). While in Alaska, he won the Tour of Anchorage 50-km ski race twice (1993-94).

Landstedt graduated from New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1991 and an associate’s degree in accounting/bookkeeping in 1990. He competed at New Mexico from 1987-89. Landstedt finished fourth in men’s cross country in 1987 to earn first-team All-America honors and also helped New Mexico finish third in the men’s cross country relay. He finished 11th in cross country in 1988 and was 12th in the 20-km freestyle in 1989. Landstedt began his collegiate coaching career as a Nordic assistant coach at New Mexico while finishing his degree from 1990-91.

As a competitor, Landstedt was a top national skier and placed in the top 10 at the U.S. National Championships eight times from 1991-93. Originally from Sollefteå, Sweden, he took three medals in the Swedish Junior Championships and finished in the top 20 in several national competitions as a senior racer.

Landstedt and his wife, Brenda, have three sons, Gabriel, Adrian and Andreas, and a daughter, Zara.

Middlebury Carnival, EISA Season Review Video and More

Middlebury College hosted the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) NCAA Regional Championships Feb. 23-24 at the Rikert Nordic Center, and India Harvey sent us the following videos and photos recapping the action.

Middlebury Carnival Day 1: 



Results: Women’s 5 k classic | Men’s 10 k classic


Middlebury Day 2:



Results: Women’s 10 k freestyle mass start | Men’s 15 k freestyle mass start


EISA Season Review: Why Ski? (Video)

NCAA East Region Qualifiers

EISA Awards


FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email if interested.

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UVM & Dartmouth Carnival Videos and More

The University of Vermont (UVM) and Dartmouth College hosted the last two weekends of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Carnival racing, and India Harvey sent us the following videos and photos recapping the action.

The Williams Carnival kicked off Friday, Feb. 16 and continues Saturday, Feb. 17 at Prospect Mountain in Woodford, Vermont.


UVM Carnival Day 1


Results: Women’s 15 k mass start | Men’s 20 k mass start


UVM Day 2



Results: Women’s 5 k classic | Men’s 10 k classic


Dartmouth Carnival Day 1



Results: Women’s 5 k classic | Men’s 10 k classic


Dartmouth Day 2



Results: Women’s 5 k freestyle | Men’s 10 k freestyle


FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email if interested.

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UVM Invitational Classic Team Sprints, Mixed Relay

ECSC racers during the 4 x 5 k mixed relay at the UVM Invitational last Sunday, Feb. 4, at the Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski, and Bike Center in Huntington, Vermont. (Courtesy photo)

(Press release)

The 2018 Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference (ECSC) nordic action continued last weekend, Feb. 3-4, with the UVM Invitational, hosted by the University of Vermont Club Nordic team at Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski, and Bike Center in Huntington, Vermont.

The races began Saturday afternoon with a classic team sprint. Conditions were cold and perfect for hard wax with some new snow that had fallen Thursday evening. The women’s race went off first with the Clarkson 1 team of Ana Witkowski, Raili Utiger and Bridget Wrangler taking a commanding win over of over a minute. Castleton 1 (Emily Cromine, Adi Toof and Megan Greene) and UVM 1 (Allie Skahen, Rachel Slimovitch and Sophia Weiss) battled for the next two podium positions with Castleton edging out UVM by six seconds at the line.

The men’s classic sprint was second with some very exciting racing at the front of the pack.  The Clarkson 1 (Tim Dunn, Mike Giraldi and Charlie Maitland) and UVM 1 (Owen Molind, Lukas Adamowicz and Thomas Clayton) teams traded leads for much of the race coming down to the final exchange where they were neck and neck. UVM prevailed winning the battle by 10 seconds.  Clarkson 2 (Peter Mallery, Austin Gillespie and Brian Chrzan) rounded out the podium for the day.

Day 2 of the carnival brought a race back from two years ago the mixed gender, mixed technique 4x5km relay, a true test of the most complete team. Clarkson 1 (Ana Witkowski, Charlie Maitland, Bridget Wrangler, and Mike Giraldi)  came away with a big victory beating UVM 1 (Rachel Slimovitch, Thomas Clayton, Allie Skahen, and Lukas Adamowicz) by 1 minute and 40 seconds.  Castleton 1 (Emily Cromine, Devin Perry, Megan Greene, and Dave Harvey) completed the podium.

The USCSA skiers are looking forward to races next weekend at the UMF Nordic Carnival at Carters XC Center in Bethel, ME!



FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email if interested.

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Clarkson Invitational Skiathlons at Mt. Van Ho

On Saturday, Jan. 27, Clarkson University hosted its ECSC Invitational, with men’s and women’s skiathlon at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y.

(Press release)

The 2018 Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference (ECSC) nordic action continued last weekend with the Clarkson Invitational, hosted by Clarkson University at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Nordic Center in Lake Placid, NY.

The weekend of racing began Saturday afternoon with 15-kilometer skiathlons in tricky conditions. The weather alternated between sunny and warm to cloudy and light snow. The men were first, with Andrew Siegel of the University of Vermont taking the win in a sprint finish over Charlie Maitland of Clarkson University. Devin Perry of Castleton finished in third place also in a sprint finish with Lucas Adamowicz of Vermont. Clarkson then packed three skiers before UVM’s third, narrowly edging them out for the team title, 15 to 16, with Castleton (50), McGill (54), Cornell (64), Sterling (110), and Army (158) following.

The women’s race started in a hailstorm, but luckily for all competitors it had stopped by the bottom of the first downhill. After a close split at the end of the classic leg, Ana Witkowski of Clarkson University pulled ahead of Isabel Sharp of Cornell to finish 53 seconds ahead of the field. Sharp held off Allie Skahen of the University of Vermont to finish in second place. Clarkson placed 3 skiers in the top 7 (Bridget Wangler, fourth; Raili Utiger, seventh) to take the win (12) over UVM (17) on the day, followed by Castleton (27), Cornell (28), McGill (62), Hamilton (70), and Army (82).

Unfortunately the relays which were planned for Sunday were cancelled due to unforgiving conditions, despite the valiant efforts of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg volunteer trail and maintenance crews. The abnormally warm weather, in conjunction with rain, resulted in snowmelt and the trails were unsuitable for the freestyle sprint relays. However, the USCSA racers are eagerly anticipating the races to come this weekend at Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski and Bike Center in Huntington, Vermont for the UVM Invitational.

Skiathlon results: Women | Men

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Colby & St. Mike’s Carnival Videos and More

Two weekends of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Carnival weekends are in the bag, and we have videos and photos from India Harvey recapping the action.

Colby Carnival Day 2 (Day 1 was canceled):



Results: Women’s 5 k classic | Men’s 10 k classic


St. Michael’s Carnival Day 1:



Results: Women’s 5 k classic | Men’s 10 k classic


St. Michael’s Day 2



Results: Women’s 10 k freestyle | Men’s 15 k freestyle


The University of Vermont (UVM) hosts the next Carnival this coming Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3 in Stowe, Vt.


FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email if interested.

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2018 ECSC Nordic Season Opens at Castleton Invitational

Castleton’s Devin Perry (#4) gets ready to start the 7K Classic Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Castleton Invitational, with Cornell’s Josh Sayre (#5), Quentin Stoyel (#6) of McGill, and Caleb O’Connor-Genereaux (#9) of Sterling waiting behind him. (Courtesy photo)

(Press release)

CHITTENDEN, Vt. – The 2018 Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference (ECSC) Nordic season opened this past weekend with the Castleton Invitational, hosted by Castleton University at the Mountain Top Nordic Center.

The competition began Saturday afternoon with the freestyle event, covering nine kilometers. The men were first, with Charlie Maitland of Clarkson taking the individual title with a time of 26:05, 40 seconds ahead of Andrew Siegel of Vermont. Mike Giraldi of Clarkson finished in third place with a time of 28:42, helping the Golden Knights finish first in the team standings with nine points, ahead of Vermont (13), Dartmouth (33), McGill (43), Castleton (46), Cornell (60), and Sterling (71).

On the women’s side, Ana Witkowski of Clarkson came out on top of a competitive race with a time of 32:10, just ahead of Cornell’s Isabel Sharp in 32:21 and Bridget Wangler of Clarkson in 32:31. As a team, Clarkson finished in first place with 11 points, followed by Vermont (18), Cornell (27), Castleton (33), McGill (60), Middlebury (63), and Sterling (79).

Sunday morning, the competitors returned to Mountain Top for the seven-kilometer Classic event. This time the women led off, with Sharp earning a convincing 59-second victory in 23:48, ahead of Witkowski in 24:47 and Allie Skahen of Vermont in 25:22. Clarkson won the team competition with 13 points, with Vermont in second place with 20 points ahead of Castleton (29), Cornell (30), McGill (55), and Sterling (72).

The top of the men’s individual standings also flip-flopped, with Siegel coming out on top in 19:17 ahead of Maitland in 19:22, the only two skiers to break 20 minutes in the event. Thomas Clayton of Vermont finished third in 20:33, helping the Catamounts win the team competition for the day with 21 points, ahead of Clarkson (24), McGill (29), Castleton (48), Cornell (57), and Sterling (72).

The host Spartans were led by the same skiers on both days. Devin Perry led the men with an eighth place finish Saturday in 29:28 and a seventh place finishSunday in 21:23. Megan Greene finished in fifth place in the women’s individual standings on both days, posting times of 34:16 in the nine-kilometer freestyle and 25:40 in the seven-kilometer Classic.

The next event in the ECSC Nordic regular season is the Clarkson Invitational, taking place Jan. 27-28 in Lake Placid, N.Y.



FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email if interested.

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UAA Takes Alaska Nordic Cup Over UAF

The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves hold the trophy for the Alaska Nordic Cup at Kincaid Park on Sunday afternoon. (Photo: Andrew Kastning)

Note: FasterSkier is accepting submissions for regional race reports. If you would like to see a particular race circuit covered and have the writer with the will to do it, please have them email Be sure to include a link to results, and preferably a few original race photos with proper credits.

*  *  *

The cup is coming back to Anchorage.

The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves (UAA) used two days of balanced performances to top the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks (UAF) in the 14th annual Alaska Nordic Cup, an early season contest between Alaska’s two NCAA ski teams. UAA now regains possession of the Alaska Nordic Cup — literally an historic ski that bears scant resemblance to a drinking vessel — for the next year.

The weekend’s racing began on a sunny Saturday morning at Independence Mine in Hatcher Pass, a stunning setting at 3,500′ in the Talkeetna Mountains roughly 60 miles outside of Anchorage. The women raced a 7.5-kilometer classic individual start, covering several short loops wending between the historic mine buildings. The men raced a 10 k classic individual start on the same course.

UAA women dominated the classic race, taking the first five places in a race with 12 collegiate women. First was Hailey Swirbul in 22:45.5, followed by Casey Wright (+41.9) in second and Marte Håkenstad-Bråten (+1:23.6) in third. Hannah Rudd (4th, +1:41) and Sadie Fox (5th, +2:00) also crossed the line before the first UAF skier.

UAF was led by Ann-Cathrin Uhl (+2:09) in sixth, Kati Roivas (+2:13) in seventh, and Anna Darnell (+3:12) in 10th.

Things were much closer in the men’s race, though UAA took the narrow cumulative victory there (based on each team’s top-three skiers) as well.

First on the day was UAA skier Toomas Kollo in 29:03.0. Second overall was Alaska Pacific University (APU) skier Tyler Kornfield (+4.2), whose time did not count toward the total for either NCAA school. (Although the APU ski team is closely affiliated with Alaska Pacific University, the ski team is not affiliated with the NCAA.)

Third through seventh place all finished within 30 seconds of each other: UAF skier Jan Cech in third (+16.5), UAA skier Zacharias Toresson in fourth (+29.3), UAF’s Seiji Takagi in fifth (+38.0), UAA’s Marcus Deuling in sixth (+45.3), and UAF’s Alex Eckert in seventh (+46.9).

A total of 15 women and 19 men raced on Saturday.

Team scores were based on the cumulative time of the top three skiers per gender. Following the classic races UAA had an edge of roughly six minutes over UAF based on combined time. The lion’s share of the advantage came from the women’s race (70:22.0 combined time for UAA women to 75:51.9 for UAF), with an additional 27 seconds coming from the men (88:23.6 to 88:50.4).

Racing continued at Kincaid Park in Anchorage on Sunday morning, under a light but steady snowfall and temperatures hovering around 16° F. Sunday brought a 4 x 5 k skate mixed-gender relay race. It also brought more of the same on the results sheet, with UAA skiing to a slight advantage over UAF in each of its two lead relay teams. The main difference this time was that APU showed up to set the pace.

The fastest relay team on the day was APU 1, which saw Becca Rorabaugh, Rosie Frankowski, and brothers Reese and Logan Hanneman cover roughly 20 k in 61:41.2. The Fairbanks area was not devoid of standout performances on the day; everyone on the winning relay team, save Frankowski, hails from the Golden Heart City. (Frankowski is from Minneapolis, and skied for Northern Michigan University before coming to APU.)

Roughly three minutes behind Logan Hanneman and APU 1, APU 3 (Lydia Blanchet, Taryn Hunt-Smith, Forrest Mahlen, Dawson Knopp) edged out UAA 1 (Håkenstad-Bråten, Swirbul, Tracen Knopp, Kollo) for second overall, finishing 2:59 back to 3:02 for UAA. APU 3 was aided by a Thanksgiving-week loan from the Dartmouth Ski Team, as Anchorage natives Blanchet and Hunt-Smith returned home from Hanover in time to race on Sunday.

UAF 1 (+3:18) was the next scoring college team in fourth, followed by UAA 2 (+4:40) in sixth and UAF 2 (+4:47) in seventh. Additional teams from APU, local club Alaska Winter Stars, and combined UAA–UAF skiers made up the rest of the 12-team relay field.

While APU 1 set the pace for most of the legs, the day’s fastest anchor leg appears to have come from 17-year-old phenom Gus Schumacher, who closed things out for Alaska Winter Stars.

Overall scoring for the Alaska Nordic Cup was based on the combined time of each school’s top three men and women in the classic race, plus each school’s top two teams in the relay race. UAA used a substantial advantage from the women’s classic race, plus smaller but consistent margins in the men’s classic race and both its relay teams, to take the overall victory by more than six minutes, 4:49:49 combined time to 4:56:11 for UAF.

Andrew Kastning, associate coach for Nordic skiing at UAA, was pleased with his team’s performance, while acknowledging some setbacks experienced by UAF. “I think we can feel really good about our season opener,” Kastning wrote in an email to FasterSkier. “UAF was missing a key skier and I know they weren’t 100% healthy so that’s always tough, but the Seawolves skied really well around the challenging Independence Mine trails and our relay teams were able to extend the lead thanks in large part to strong starts from Marte and Casey.”

Kastning continued, “Hailey had a fantastic weekend winning by 41sec in last season’s weaker technique, which she’s been working on a lot, and then establishing a great lead over the UAF relay teams allowing us to be the top NCAA team on both days. Toomas was very strong in the classic and much better this year in skating after coming off compartment surgery in April. Now we head into a big training camp of sleeping eating and skiing over the holiday where we will look to dial in some technique and expand our training base. I don’t want us to get overconfident yet, because the RMISA [Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association] will always be the toughest circuit to race, but this is the start to the season we were looking for.”

UAA’s successful weekend stands in contrast to UAF’s historical success in this skiing rivalry. Coming into the 2017 Alaska Nordic Cup, UAF held a 9–3–1 edge over its Anchorage rival. The record now stands at 9–4–1, advantage UAF.

RMISA racing continues with U.S. Cross Country Championships in early January, again at Kincaid Park.

Results and media: Saturday classic | Sunday relay and totals | Saturday highlight video from UAA

Gavin Kentch

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Dusser New Assistant Coach for UAA Nordic Ski Team

(Courtesy: UAA Athletics)

(Press release)

ANCHORAGE – University of Alaska Anchorage head ski coach Sparky Anderson announced that former All-American Marine Dusser has joined the team as an assistant coach for Nordic.

“It’s fantastic to bring back one of our own,” said Sparky Anderson. “Marine is a three-time NCAA All-American for the Seawolves and knows our program from the inside out. She understands what it takes to compete at the elite level and I’m excited about what she brings to the table. Having Marine back in green and gold is a big win for our program.”

Dusser was a student-athlete for the Seawolves for two seasons (2012-14). She finished third in both the classical and freestyle races at the NCAA Championships to earn a pair of All-American honors in her first season of competition for UAA. Dusser earned the third All-American honor of her career with a ninth place finish in the freestyle race the following year.

“Marine had a very successful career as a Seawolf Skier, and I’m excited to have her join our coaching staff,” said Andrew Kastning, associate coach for Nordic skiing. “She will bring fresh perspectives to our training and race preparation having recently finished her ski racing career. She is also in very good shape having won the Government Peak and Knoya Ridge runs this past summer so she should be able to push our athletes during the hard trainings. With snow on the Chugach peaks, the excitement for the coming winter is really starting to build, and Marine will help make the UAA ski team a great program to excel in for years to come.”

Dusser focused mainly on biathlon prior to joining the Seawolves. She was a member of the French national team for seven years, winning three medals at the Junior World Championships and was a six-time French Junior National Champion.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in management from UAA and earned a master’s degree in management from the Grenoble Business School.

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Clarkson, Wyoming Top USCSA Nationals in Bend

The Clarkson University  nordic ski team took top women’s honors at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships in Bend, Oregon, helping propel Clarkson to an overall women’s President’s Award win combining alpine, nordic, and freestyle events. And the University of Wyoming dominated men’s nordic, but couldn’t stop Clarkson from also taking the men’s President’s Award overall title.

104 cross-country skiers toed the line over the course of the National Championships, the biggest field ever for the USCSA.

In the 7.5 k classic individual-start, Vincent Mason of Wyoming picked up the first win of the week for the Cowboys. Wyoming and Western State College dominated the field: Western’s Nate Maddox finished second, Wyoming’s Trevor Willoughby and William Timmons third and fourth, Western’s Kevin Geisen fifth, and Wyoming’s Samuel Wiswell sixth.

In the women’s 7.5 k classic, the top ten was more diverse. Ana Witkowski of Clarkson won a national title, besting Bri Paulsen of Saint Olaf. Isabel Sharp of Cornell placed third, Sarah Duclos of Clarkson fourth, Meghan Kent of Wyoming fifth, and Emma Malmquist of Colorado Mesa University sixth.

In the men’s skate sprint, Charles Maitland got Clarkson a men’s victory, besting Maddox and Timmons for the podium. Mitchell Hollman of the Air Force Academy took fourth, further breaking up the Wyoming-Western stranglehold.

In the women’s skate sprint, Witkowski picked up a second win. She bested Duclos, with Yara Thomas of Wyoming getting on the podium for the first time; Daisy Richmond of Saint Olaf placed fourth.

In the 15 k skate mass start, Maitland won again, edging Timmons by just two tenths of a second in an exciting finish. Wiswell was third, +18.4, and Hollman outsprinted Vincent for fourth.

And in the women’s mass start, Duclos came through to give Clarkson a double win on the day. She bested Paulsen by 5.6 seconds, with Witkowski and Kent finishing third and fourth.

The final event of the week was a team sprint, won in dominating fashion by the Wyoming men and Clarkson women. Video of the race can be found at the USCSA’s broadcast website.

Results: men / women

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Bates Carnival Highlight Videos

Bates College hosted NCAA Regional Championships, the final weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races, last Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25, at Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford, Maine. Friday held 5- and 10-kilometer classic races, followed by 15/20 k freestyle mass starts on Saturday.

St. Lawrence’s India Harvey filmed and edited the following race-highlights videos. Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Friday’s 5/10 k classic:

Saturday’s 15/20 k freestyle:


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Middlebury Carnival Highlight Videos

Middlebury College hosted the fourth weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races this past Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18, at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vt. Freestyle mass start races (15 k for the women/20 k for men) took place Friday, and Saturday held classic team sprints. St. Lawrence’s India Harvey filmed and edited the following race-highlights videos. Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Friday’s 15/20 k freestyle mass starts:

Saturday’s classic team sprints:


FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email if interested.

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Dartmouth Carnival Highlight Videos (+Carnie Crush Edition)

Dartmouth College hosted the fourth weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races this past Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11, in Craftsbury, Vt. Freestyle 3 x 5 k relays were held on Friday, and 5/10-kilometer classic races took place on Saturday. St. Lawrence’s India Harvey filmed and edited the following race-highlights videos (and a bonus Carnie Crush edition). Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Friday’s 3 x 5 k relays:

Saturday’s 5/10 k classic:


FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email if interested.

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Northern Michigan Sweep Men’s and Women’s Podiums in Rhinelander

(Press release)

Rhinelander, WI – Teams of CCSA took part in 5 and 10 kilometer classic races held on COVAC ski trails. Originally, this weekend was supposed to be dedicated to relays but due to previous changes, the University of Wisconsin Green Bay had to accommodate changes as host of this race.

Adam Martin, representing Northern Michigan, clocked in at 26:33.28 and set the fastest time for the men’s 10 k. Martin’s teammate Fredrik Schwencke, who similarly to Martin, decided to only double pole, took second and Lars Sonsterud rounded up the podium occupied by the Wildcats. Tom Bye and Tomi Mikkonen were the top men of Michigan Tech, taking fifth and sixth respectively. Breaking into the top 10 were also Kyle Marshall (8th) from UWGB and Ryan St. Clair skiing for Scholastica (9th).

Northern Michigan also managed to sweep the podium of the women’s 5 k. Coming in first was Vivian Hett with a time of 15:36.21 followed by Kristen Bourne (2nd) and Nicole Schneider (3rd). By the difference of a split second put Tech’s Lisa Koenig (6th) outside of the top five. The top woman for St. Scholastica was Kelsey Dickinson (8th) and Green Bay’s women were led by Bree Mucha finishing 11th.

Joe Haggenmiller commented on his team performance: “I thought the Huskies competed hard and skied well. Kudos to Lisa Koenig and Anna Kubek for their top 10s. Same goes out to Tom Bye and Tomi Mikkonen.”

Northern won the team competition with a combined 138 points. Michigan Tech took second with 115 points followed by Scholastica with 100 points, Green Bay with 91 and Saint Cloud with 33.

“I just want to say thank you to all the CCSA teams who competed today at this new venue. Green Bay and the Northwoods Nordic Ski Club is excited to debut this new venue and work to perfect the course and accommodations in anticipation of future NCAA events. The course and venue was well received and provided a variety of challenges to the athletes,” said Steven Teclaw, head coach of University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

Results: Men | Women


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CCSA Distance Championships Recap

(Press release)

Bourne captures both days, Schwencke wins day 1 Ketterson takes Day 2

Houghton, MI – The first weekend of February brought Central Collegiate teams to Houghton, Mich., in order to find the CCSA distance champions. The hosting university, Michigan Tech and its grooming crew prepared outstanding trail conditions. Temperatures stayed around 20 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and small snow showers on both days. Men took on an individual start 10 k classic on Saturday and mass start 20 k skate Sunday while the distances for women were 5 and 15 kilometers respectively.

Saturday’s racing kicked off with the men’s 10 k classic. Northern Michigan University (NMU) swept the podium placing Fredrik Schwencke in first with a time of 28:22.0 a 40 second lead on second place Zak Ketterson and third place Sam Elfstrom. Finishing just outside the podium was Tech’s Tom Bye with Scholastica’s Reitler Hodgert following in fifth, trailing only 1.1 second behind Bye. The top finishers from University of Wisconsin Green Bay and College of St. Olaf were Kyle Marshall (12th) and Mitchel Miller (24th) respectively.

The fastest time for the women’s 5 k classic, 17:03.0, was set by Kristen Bourne from NMU, outskiing her teammate Nicole Schneider (2nd) by only 0.5 seconds and Vivian Hett (3rd) by 14.7.

“It was great to see Kristen making the jump back to the top of the podium,” NMU Head Coach Sten Fjeldheim said. “Kristen came down with mono the very first week of the semester this fall so she had to take many weeks off and then we laid out a plan to come back slowly, this took some discipline and patients on her part and the road back from mono isn’t easy to do but she stuck with our plan and it worked.”

Also to squeeze into top 10 was MTU’s Carolyn Lucca (8th) and Sonja Hedblom (9th) as well as Bree Mucha (10th) skiing for Green Bay. Scholastica’s top woman was Alison Ternes (13th), Maria Hauer from St. Cloud finished 16th and leading woman for St. Olaf was Bri Paulsen placing 19th.

“Our women skated well with a couple of top 20 performances from Bri Paulsen and Shelby Arendt.  The men continue to improve,” said St. Olaf Head Coach Kevin Brochman.

Sunday began with the women’s 15 k mass start with Bourne outsprinting Schneider in another tight finish with the time of 47:06.2 for first and 47:06.4 for second. Both of Tech’s athletes Lucca (8th) and Hedblom (9th) placed the same as the previous day and Kelsey Dickinson representing CSS rounded off the top ten in 10th place.  Sadie Peterson (12th) took the top spot for Green Bay’s women, Bri Paulsen (18th) for St. Olaf and Anna Lindell (27th) for St. Cloud.

“Sadie Peterson continues to ski strong and improve week to week during her first year in the CCSA,” noted Green Bay head coach Steven Teclaw.

Ketterson representing the Wildcats took the first collegiate spot for the men’s 20k skate. Ketterson was closely followed by Tech’s Gaspard Cuenot (2nd) and Ketterson’s NMU teammate Schwencke (3rd). Bye, skiing for the Huskies, was just 4.2 seconds short of the podium finish. Marshall (6th) from Green Bay recorded another top 10 performance as well as Hodgert (7th) representing Scholastica. The St. Olaf men were led by Tyler Radtke crossing the finish line in 24th.

“We had a great time racing in Houghton, trail conditions were outstanding and the race crew is the best,” Maria Stuber, head coach of Saint Scholastica, said. “The CSS team had some performances that we are really proud of and we are feeling better each week and looking forward to a new course in Rhinelander next weekend.”

In the women’s team point standings, Northern Michigan captured 138 points, Michigan Tech 114, Saint Scholastica 97, Green Bay 91, St. Olaf 64 and St. Cloud 54.

On the men’s side, NMU finished with 135 points, MTU scored 119, CSS 100, UWGB 90 and St. Olaf captured 66 points.

Joe Haggenmiller commented on Michigan Tech’s performance: “Tom Bye was pretty strong this weekend. Overall, I thought we competed pretty well.  NMU beat us pretty handily, you have to give them credit. We will take another shot at things next weekend.”


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UVM Carnival Highlight Videos

The University of Vermont (UVM) hosted the third weekend of Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) races Feb. 3-4 at the Trapp nordic center in Stowe, Vt. Freestyle sprints were held Friday, and 10-kilometer classic races for both the men and the women took place Saturday. St. Lawrence’s India Harvey filmed and edited the following highlights videos from the races. Check them out below, and for results, click here.

Day 1: Freestyle sprints

Day 2: 10 k classic individual start

FasterSkier is seeking contributions (written, photography or videography) from college and regional race circuits in North America. Please email if interested.

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