Hodag Challenge - Day 1by John Burke
January 5, 2013
Today was Day 1 of the Hodag Challenge held in Rhinelander. The race was held on the new ski trails at the Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom (CAVOC) ski trails. The new trail system was used for a 4.5 K freestyle race despite low snow conditions. The race was originally scheduled for 7K. In the women's varsity, foreign exchange student from Norway, Ida Sonflaa, skiing for Chippewa Valley Nordic, easily won the women's field by almost 2 minutes. She was followed by Alissa Niggemann of Central Nordic and Victoria Trantow for the Madison team. Peak Nordic then captured the next three spots to easily wrap up the girls varsity team championship, Madison finished second just edging Central Nordic by 2 points.
For the boys, it was all Madison as they took all three tops spots led by Evan Patz, Gaberial Forest, and Jalen Betsinger who were separated by 14 seconds total. Peak Nordic took second and Chippewa Valley Nordic finished out the team podium in third.
The same teams along with about 5 additional teams will face off again on Sunday at the Northwoods Ski Trials for day 2 of the Hodag Challenge. The race will allow skiers to preview the course to be used at this year's State Meet later in February. Due to low snow conditions, the race will be run as a freestyle race instead of the originally scheduled classic race.