Elite Racing Weekend Recapby Mary Kozloski
February 13, 2017
CCSA - Central
RHINELANDER, Wisconsin (February 11-12, 2017) – Rhinelander hosted a CCSA NCAA qualifier event on the Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom (CAVOC) trails for the first time in more than a decade. The 5/10k classic on Saturday was a make-up race for the cancelled event last month. Despite challenging conditions, race organizers and volunteers made this competitive day of racing a possibility for the collegiate athletes. Saturday’s classic race was dominated by Northern Michigan University (NMU), as both the women’s and men’s team swept the podium.
In the men’s 10k individual classic, NMU’s Adam Martin, who just came back from competing in Utah at Soldier Hollow for the U23 Championships, proved once again his incredible fitness and strength on any ski course. Martin snagged first by just 11.11 seconds ahead of teammate Fredrik Schwencke and Lars Sonsterud who finished third to complete the NMU men’s podium sweep. NMU’s Zak Ketterson was fourth, Michigan Tech University’s (MTU) Thomas Bye fifth followed by teammate Tomi Mikkonen, NMU’s Sam Elfstrom seventh, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay’s Kyle Marshall eighth, College of Saint Scholastica’s (CSS) Ryan St. Clair ninth and NMU’s Mathias Rolid was tenth.
“It was fun to race a new course in Rhinelander, said Adam Martin. “The organizers did a great job hosting the event. It was also a nice opportunity to explore double poling a distance classic race.”
In the women’s 5k individual classic, NMU’s Vivian Hett jumped back to the top of the pack. Hett finished first, 10.12 over teammates Kristen Bourne who was second and Nicole Schneider who finished third to secure the second podium sweep of the day for NMU. NMU’s Caroline Brisbois was fourth, followed by Sophie McDonald and Lisa Konig who was sixth. NMU’s Sophie Schimpl was seventh, CSS’s Kelsey Dickinson eighth, NMU’s Sarah Bezdicek ninth and MTU’s Anna Kubek was tenth.
Competition continues for the CCSA February 18-19 with the NCAA Central Region Skiing Championships at Al Quaal trails in Ishpeming, MI. Some of these races are also combined with the Period III SuperTour races.
EISA - East Coast
HANOVER, New Hampshire (February 10 - 11, 2017) - The Dartmouth Winter Carnival was scheduled to host on their home course of Oak Hill, but the 3x5k freestyle relays and 5/10k classic races were forced to move to Craftsbury due to snow conditions. Once again, Minnesota natives Abby Drach (Eden Prairie, MN, Dartmouth) and Alayna Sonnesyn (Plymouth, MN, University of Vermont) had impressive races on Friday and Saturday finishing second and third in both the relays and 5k classic races. For the men, Luke Brown (St. Paul, MN, Dartmouth) and Andrew Nadler (Chicago, IL, Dartmouth) teamed up to steal second place overall for the 3x5k freestyle relays.
The Dartmouth Winter Carnival kicked off Friday with a 3x5k freestyle relay. The women’s relay was a cat and mouse game between the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth. Abby Drach, who skied the second leg for Dartmouth, helped position the team to first by the end of her leg. In the final leg Dartmouth was unable to hold on, as the University of New Hampshire’s anchor took over to claim the win 13 seconds ahead of the Dartmouth team. Alayna Sonnesyn and the University of Vermont’s team finished third.
“The 5k relay was fun because in often such an individual sport it is great to compete with a team, it gives you more of an incentive to do well, said Abby Drach. “I was the second leg of the relay, and my teammate Tayrn handed off the leg to me in a great position right behind the leaders. I was able to move into the lead at the beginning of my leg and tried to keep and extend the lead my whole race. Our relay team ended up second which was great. The conditions were great both days and quite fast despite the freshly fallen snow. The course was great because it had equal amounts of uphill and recovery, along with no scary downhills!”
“The relay was a lot of fun, so much energy from all of the different teams and it was a great way to mix up the "usual" race schedule,” said Alayna Sonnesyn.
In the men’s relay, Dartmouth claimed the top two, finishing nearly one minute apart. Nadler and Brown finished in the second Dartmouth team, followed by Williams College who finished third.
Competition concluded on Saturday with a 5/10k classic. University of New Hampshire’s Lizzie Gill stole first from Abby Drach by just six seconds, while Alayna Sonnesyn finished third. Sonnesyn returned back to the collegiate racing scene this weekend after competing in Utah at Soldier Hollow for the U23 Championships.
“The classic 5k was a challenging course and race, but the weather allowed for perfect striding conditions again this weekend,” explained Drach. “There were lots of fans and teammates cheering on the last and biggest hill on the course which helped me finish the race. I also think that my newly dyed Dartmouth pink hair really helped me push over the hills this weekend.”
“The 5k classic was another fun day, temperatures were a little warmer but it was a pretty tough course at Craftsbury,” said Sonnesyn. “Looking forward to racing at Middlebury next weekend.”
In the men’s 10k classic, Dartmouth’s Fabian Stocek claimed another win by just 7.5 seconds ahead of Eli Hoenig of Williams College and University of New Hampshire’s Peter Holmes who finished second.
“The 10km classic race on Saturday was decent all around and highlighted by our captain, Fabian, winning the race,” said Luke Brown. “The girls also put down some sweet results in the relay with their top team placing second and Abby Drach (Minnesota's own) getting second in the classic race. While it was the first carnival this year that Dartmouth Skiing has not won, it was still a fun event with many successful results including many alumni and local supporters coming back to volunteer, cheer, and continue the rich tradition of Dartmouth Skiing!”
Competition continues for the EISA, February 17-18 for the Middlebury Carnival. Athletes will compete in a 15/20k freestyle mass start and a classic team sprint, at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, VT.
RMISA - West Coast/Rockies
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (February 7 - 8 and 11 - 12, 2017) - RMISA competition continued Tuesday and Wednesday and picked-up again on Saturday and Sunday after two weeks off of racing. The 2017 Seawolf Invitational was hosted at the Kincaid Park nordic trails, with a freestyle sprint race, a 4x5k classic relay, 5/10k classic and a 15/20k freestyle mass start. Wisconsin native Kevin Bolger (Minocqua, WI, University of Utah) had an impressive week of racing claiming second in the sprint, relay and 10k classic and fourth in the 20k freestyle mass start. Minnesota natives Rosie Frankowski (Minneapolis, MN, Alaska Pacific University (APU) Elite Team) and Hannah Rudd (Plymouth, MN, University of Alaska Anchorage) had top ten finishes, while Wisconsin native Nichole Bathe (Madison, WI, University of Alaska Fairbanks) also grabbed two top ten finishes in the distance races after returning to the collegiate racing scene since competing in Utah at Soldier Hollow for the U23 Championships January 31-February 2, 2017.
“Racing in the RMISA this year has been a super new and exciting experience, said Hannah Rudd. “There is such a high level of competition in the western region and skiing with this field of athletes at such amazing venues has been incredible. This past week, all the RMISA teams traveled to our home course in Alaska for 4 races throughout the week.”
Competition kicked off with freestyle sprints. In the men’s competition the Hanneman brothers Reese and Logan who ski for APU Nordic Ski Team, claimed first and second overall. Denver University’s Dag Trolleboe was third overall and first for the collegiate competition while Bolger finished second, ahead of teammate Martin Bergstroem who was third for the collegiate competition.
In the women’s sprints, University of Utah’s (UU) Merete Myrseth finished first overall and also claimed the collegiate win ahead of teammate Guro Jordheim and Montana State University’s Anika Miller. Rosie Frankowski finished seventh overall, while Hannah Rudd was tenth overall and eighth overall in the collegiate competition. Minnesota native Michaela Keller-Miller (Minneapolis, MN, University of Alaska Anchorage) finished 24th.
“The first race of the week was a skate sprint, explained Rudd. “I qualified for heats in 11th and ended up moving into semifinals to finish 8th overall for the day. My teammates also had a very good day as our women’s team finished 2nd overall.”
The following day was a 4x5k classic relay where only the top two relays for each team were scored and no mixed teams were scored. Colorado 1 (Stroem, Knori, Reistad, Rolandsen) dominated the relay 23 seconds over Utah 1 (Bergstroem, Jordheim, Bolger, Myrseth) and Denver 1 (Trolleboe, Eriksen, Madlener, Joensuu).
After two days of rest, the athletes were back on the course for distance races. The weekend began with a 5/10k classic. In the men’s 10k, Dag Trolleboe skied to a convincing first place finish, 15 seconds ahead of Kevin Bolger and Petter Reistad who was third.
In the women’s 5k race, Becca Rorabaugh snagged first just 4.2 seconds ahead of Jesse Knori and Christina Rolandsen who was third. Rosie Frankowski grabbed a spot in the top five, finishing fifth and Nichole Bathe finished eighth.
“Last weekend was really fun,” said Nichole Bathe. “I was pretty excited to be racing at sea level again for the first time in a while and so I just wanted to go out and see how that felt again. The 5K went pretty well, it was a fun course and it's always fun to be skiing in Alaska.”
“This race took place on a very challenging course and as a result, it was quite a hard race,” said Rudd. “I ended up placing 27th, so not a great result for me personally, however, a few of my teammates had stellar races allowing for the UAA women’s team to place 2nd for the day once again.”
The weekend concluded with a 15/20k freestyle mass start. The women’s 15k was determined by a photo finish between Myrseth and Jordheim. Merete Myrseth was able to lunge a toe further to edge Guro Jordheim by 0.5 seconds to claim her second win of the week, while Christina Rolandsen finished third. Nichole Bathe grabbed her second top ten, finishing sixth overall.
“The 15k was just a really fun day, said Bathe. “I’m not normally a distance skate skier but I felt really good that day and had one of my teammates skiing with me the whole time, so it just turned out to be a really hard and fun race. Those were my last races before NCAA's (I'm skipping out on regionals this year so I can be in school for a little while) and so I'm really happy with how they went and am really looking forward to gearing up for NCAA's!”
“Sunday was a brutally cold and windy morning but it did not seem to faze our team,” said Rudd. “I felt pretty good during the hilly, two lap course, ending the week with a 16th place finish.”
The men’s 20k was also determined by a final lunge at the finish. Moritz Madlender denied Dag Trolleboe another win, as Madlender was able to lunge a little further to claim first by 2.6 second over Trolleboe, while Martin Bergstroem was third and Kevin Bolger followed close behind in fourth.
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.