Collegiate/Elite Racing: CXC Marathon Cup, EISA, RMISAby Mary Kozloski
January 15, 2018
CXC Marathon Cup
SEELEY, Wisconsin (January 13, 2018) - The citizen racers of the 25th Annual Seeley Hill Classic had a grin and bare it attitude, as they faced the extremely frigid temperatures during the 38k and 18k classic race. Race organizers were forced to shorten the race distances due to the cold. Brian and Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) of Team Gregg/LNR/CXC swept the men’s and women’s 38k podium, while Quinn Duffy (Wyoming, MN) and Betsy Youngman (Sun Valley, ID) won the men’s and women’s 18k race. The Seeley Hills Classic also kicked off the first race of the third annual CXC Marathon Cup, which is sanctioned and scored by Central Cross Country Ski Association. The CXC Marathon Cup includes races in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan and includes two classic races, three skate and one skiathlon.
“The Seeley Hills Classic is one of my favorite races,” said Brian Gregg. “Race Director Dennis [Kruse] does an amazing job and the event has a great atmosphere. It is great to be back on the Birkie trail and to connect with our Midwest skiing family after being on the road the last two months.”
In the men’s 38K classic, Brian skied to a convincing first place finish with a time of 1:51:45.
“The temperatures were brisk but everyone was smiling, and the cold made for great classic skiing and kick,” said Brian. “We had a nice pack together for the first half of the race and I enjoyed skiing the second half of the race with Thomas Kendrick. He really impressed me with his double poling. Thank you to Joe and Bruce with CXC for the great skis and support.”
Gregg was 37 seconds ahead of Thomas Kendrick (Minneapolis, MN) and Chris Pappathopoulos (Sun Prairie, MN) who was third. Caitlin Gregg dominated the women’s 42k classic ahead of Josie Nelson (Medicine Lake, MN) and Marit Sonnesyn (Minneapolis, MN) who finished third. The Greggs are returning from a competitive week of racing at the 2018 U.S. National Championships presented by L.L. Bean in Anchorage, Alaska, January 3 - 8.
“The Seeley Hills Classic was awesome! I’m healthy once again [after catching a cold midway through Nationals] and it felt great to ski with energy and power!” said Caitlin. “The sunshine and bomber classic tracks were absolutely perfect for classic skiing! This year’s race was one of my all time favorite events.”
In the men’s 18k classic, Quinn Duffy won the race by a commanding margin with a time of 51:11. Duffy was nearly two minutes ahead of Ian Ivens (Champlin, MN) and Spencer Davis (Chaska, MN) who was third. Betsy Youngman also had a large lead in the women’s 18k. Youngman finished with a time of 1:00:41, one minute ahead of Jan Guenther (Long Lake, MN) and Laura Moore (Mahtomedi, MN) who was third.
Competition continues for the CXC Marathon Cup with the Noquemanon 50k classic in Marquette, MI January 27, 2018.
WATERVILLE, Maine (January 13 - 14, 2018) - The Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) and hosts of the Colby Carnival had a challenging start to their season, as Mother Nature threw a curveball at them and brought rain to the forecast right before the races. Despite the unfortunate weather causing Saturday’s races to be cancelled, the Colby College race organizers made an incredible effort to prepare a 1.7k loop for the competitions on Sunday. Temperatures cooled overnight causing icy fast conditions for the 10/5k individual freestyle races. The men skied six laps, while the women skied three. Minnesota natives, Alayna Sonnesyn (Plymouth, MN) of University of Vermont and Luke Brown (Minneapolis, MN) of Dartmouth grabbed podiums in the women’s and men’s races, Sonnesyn first and Brown third.
In the women’s 5k, Sonnesyn, who is just returning from an impressive week at the 2018 U.S. Nationals where she was named to the U23 World Championships Team, showed no signs of slowing down. She won the 5K nearly 20 seconds ahead of Katherine Ogden of Dartmouth and Lauren Jortberg of Dartmouth who finished third.
“The race conditions were fairly icy and with that, fast!” Explained Alayna. “I knew this would be the case before the race so I tried to get out as fast as I could. With it being a 5k I knew I couldn't really let up so I tried to recover as quickly as I could on the S turn downhills. Overall really excited with the start to the carnival season and so proud of my Catamount teammates who also had great races today!”
Minnesota natives Renae Anderson (Golden Valley, MN) of Bowdoin College and Skylar Tupper (Minneapolis, MN) of Colby College finished in the top 25 of the women’s 5k freestyle. Anderson had her first taste of collegiate skiing at the Colby Carnival with an impressive 21st place finish, just 1.5 seconds out of the top 20. Tupper had home field advantage to kickoff the season and grabbed a spot in the top 25, finishing 24th overall.
In the men’s 10k, Colby College’s Zane Fields won on his home turf fifteen seconds ahead of Finn O’Connell of the University of Vermont and Luke Brown of Dartmouth who was third. William Kerker (Minneapolis, MN) of Colby College also had his first collegiate race experience and finished 14th. Will Bodewes (Minocqua, WI) of University of New Hampshire tied for 16th with Middlebury’s Adam Luban with a time of 29:12.7. Bodewes was just 2.3 seconds out of 15th.
Competition continues for the EISA, at the St. Michael’s Carnival hosted at the Sleepy Hollow Ski Center in Huntington, VT, January 20 - 21. Saturday’s competition will be a 10/15k individual freestyle race followed by a 3x5k relay on Sunday.
WEST YELLOWSTONE, Montana (January 13 - 14, 2018) - The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) kicked off their season with the Montana State Invitational races hosted on the Rendezvous Trails. Saturday kicked off with a 10/5k classic race followed by a 10/10k freestyle race on Sunday. University of Utah’s Martin Bergstrom swept the men’s podium while Hedda Baangman of the University of Colorado, Boulder snagged the women’s 5k classic win and Guro Jordheim of the University of Utah won the 10k freestyle.
Saturday’s classic races were very competitive. The women’s 5k classic winner was determined by four tenths of a second which ended the battle between University of Colorado, Boulder teammates Hedda Baangman and Petra Hyncicova. Baangman was able to dig deep at the end of the race to steal first from teammate Hyncicova and Guro Jordheim of University of Utah who was third. Baangman is also returning from a successful 2018 U.S. National Championships, where she claimed first overall in the women’s 20k classic mass start. Minnesota natives, Anja Maijala (Wrenshall, MN) of University of Alaska Fairbanks finished 22nd just ahead of Hannah Rudd (Plymouth, MN) and Michaela Keller-Miller (Plymouth, MN), who are both teammates on the University of Alaska Anchorage and grabbed spots in the top 26. Rudd finished 23, while Keller-Miller followed close behind in 26th. In the men’s 10k, Bergstroem grabbed his first podium of the weekend 13.2 seconds ahead of Dag Frode Trolleboe of Denver University and Petter Reistad of the University of Colorado, Boulder who was third.
Competition concluded Sunday for the RMISA with a 10k freestyle race for both the men and women. Once again the top two women were just tenths of a second between each other. Guro Jordheim of the University of Utah edged Hycicova for the win by just five tenths of a second. This was the second race of the weekend where Hycicova missed out on the top spot. Hailey Swirbul of University of Alaska Anchorage finished third. Maijala finished 19th, while Keller-Miller was 23rd and Carolyn Lucca (Duluth, MN) of University of New Mexico was 24th . The men’s race was close as well, as first and second finished just four seconds between one another. Bergstroem was able to claim his second win of the weekend over Trolleboe and Evind Kvaale of Denver University who finished third.
The RMISA will return to the Rendezvous Trails January 19 - 20, with a 10/5k classic race on Saturday and a 20/15k freestyle race on Sunday.
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.