Domestic racing continued with the SuperTour this past weekend in Craftsbury, Vt, where Caitlin Gregg podiumed in all three races, twice at the top, and second in the classic race to Rosie Brennan. On the men’s side, Scott Patterson captured two wins in a row, and Sam Naney took a victory in Sunday’s sprint.
The NorAm circuit resumed last weekend with the three-day Eastern Canadian Championships in Cantley, Quebec, where Graham Nishikawa and Alysson Marshall of the Canadian Senior Development Team both picked up two wins. Before the Western Championships Feb. 13-16, some are considering racing over in Europe.
Regardless of what happens with the official U.S. Olympic Nordic Ski Team naming on Wednesday, Caitlin Gregg says she’s happy. The last four years have been about balance, Gregg explains, and a journey with her husband that she wouldn’t trade for anything. “One of the greatest things though is that anticipation of not knowing that you made it,” she says.
Four racers proved they deserve a spot on Canada’s Olympic team this weekend in the freestyle sprints and 15/30 k skiathlons. Heidi Widmer (AWCA/NST) and Jesse Cockney (AWCANST) took home top honors in the freestyle sprint, while Graeme Killick (AWCA/NST) and Amanda Ammar (Team Ninja) won the skiathlon.
Caitlin Gregg didn’t waste any time getting out front and out of range on Wednesday, opening up an 11.5-second lead by the first of four laps in the women’s 20-kilometer freestyle mass start. As the race went on, she only got faster, ultimately winning by an unheard of 3:36 minutes at U.S. nationals.
In what was a flawless day at Soldier Hollow, Erik Bjornsen of Alaska Pacific University and the U.S. Ski Team achieved his second national championship in the 15 k interval start in the first day of racing at the 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships. He finished 0:14 ahead of Reese Hanneman (APU) who placed second. Kris Freeman of the Maine Winter Sports Club finished third, 0:22.8 back from Bjornsen.
We know, you’ve been on the edge of your seat since the release of “The Adventures of Gregg and Liebsch: Part I,” and you can’t wait to find out what happened to the two Midwest pals in their quest to qualify for the Olympics. Picking up where we left off: the plane ride from Washington state to Bozeman, Mont.
During the holidays, opportunities for races can be few and far between, and it’s often easy to get into the lull of long distance skis with old friends. While these can be fun and beneficial, it’s important to get some high intensity and completive training in before the season starts to intensify in January. BSF has the right idea with a hill-climb time trial on Dec. 28.