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High School

Weekend Midwest Elite Racing Recap

by Mary Kozloski
January 15, 2017

SEELEY, Wisconsin (January, 14 2017) - Beautiful weather, friendly competition and pristine trails groomed by the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, greeted the racers for the 25th annual Seeley Hills 42k Classic. The Seeley Hills Classic has become a coveted race tradition throughout the years and a great way for people to race on the Birkie Trail early in the season. Matt Liebsch of Long Lake, MN, reclaimed the winning title after being out sprinted last year by Brian Gregg of Minneapolis, MN. Isabella Howden of Barrie, Canada and Team Harwood, skied to a convincing win for the women’s competition. Howden is an alternate for the Canadian U23 Championship Team, after impressive results at US Nationals In Soldier Hollow, UT, January, 7-12.

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(The start of the 2017 Seeley Hills Classic - Photo credit: Once In A Blue Moon Studio-Kelly Randolph Photography)

Liebsch had a close race with Krystof Kopal of Marquette, MI. In the final stretch, Liebsch was able to hang on to the lead to finish first just 0.18 seconds ahead of Kopal and Thomas Kendrick of Minneapolis, MN (+4.22) who finished third.

In the women’s 42k race, Howden continued her strong momentum throughout the race all the way to the finish, crossing the line 1.06 seconds ahead of Elaine Nelson of Duluth, MN, who also place second in the 2016 Seeley Hills Classic and Kim Rudd of Minneapolis, MN (+3.17) who finished third.

This race also kicked off the 2017 CXC Marathon Cup - presented by AVANT Techno, which connects some of the biggest cross country ski events across the Central region into one cohesive competition. The CXC Marathon Cup series continues January 28th with the 50k classic at the Noquemanon Ski Marathon in Marquette, MI.


About the author...

Mary Kozloski is from Green Bay, WI and is a UW Green Bay Ski Team Alumni, where she skied and studied Communications and Business Administration for four years. Mary continues to love and stay connected to the sport through writing. She is a travel and outdoor enthusiast and enjoys exploring everything Colorado has to offer, which she has called her new home state since fall of 2016.

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