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Wild Rumpus Sports

Far West Elite Team: Four Years in the Making

The 2014/2015 Far West Elite Team (Photo: Auburn Ski Club/Facebook)

As the Far West Elite Team heads into the 2014/2015 season, self-described program “recruiter” Martin Benes and team manager Roger Chaney reflect on the development of the team over the past four years.

Kershaw, Crawford Earn Victories in Frozen Thunder Distance Races

Scott Perras (l) with Devon Kershaw on his heels in Monday's Frozen Thunder distance race at the Canmore Nordic Centre. (Photo: Noel Rogers/Bow Valley Photography)

While two Americans won Friday’s Frozen Thunder sprints, Canada had its revenge on Monday, taking four of six podium spots. In the men’s 10.8 k skate race, Devon Kershaw bested Kris Freeman by five seconds to take the win. In the Women’s 7.2 k race, biathlete Rosanna Crawford edged Liz Stephen for the win.

After Turbulent Summer, BSF Rebounds with New Focus

Members of the Bridger Ski Foundation elite and postgraduate perform trail maintenance at Bozeman's Lindley Park in September. (Photo: Bridger Ski Foundation)

Just a few months ago, the Bridger Ski Foundation elite and postgrad team was without a coach and down to two athletes. Today, the team boasts 14 high-level athletes led by 2014 U.S. sprint champion Jennie Bender.

Pros of Tomorrow Presented by Fischer: Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt

Bouffard-Nesbitt racing for Rocky Mountain Racers (RMR) at Frozen Thunder last fall in Canmore, Alberta.

At 22, Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt hasn’t taken the most conventional road as an up-and-coming Canadian skier, but she’s developed training smarts through experience and is now working toward U23 World Championships, Canada’s 2016 World Cups and the 2018 Olympics with Rocky Mountain Racers in Canmore.

Save the Dates: 2014/2015 NorAm and SuperTour Schedules in a Nutshell

NorAm action in Rossland, B.C., last winter: with Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess  of the Bend Endurance Academy (101) rounding a corner with Sun Valley's Miles Havlik (110) and Graeme Killick (121) of the Alberta World Cup Academy/CNST in the Black Jack NorAm 1.6 k skate sprint semifinals on Dec. 15. Blackhorse-von Jess won the semifinal and went on to place fifth in the A-final. Fourth in the semi, Havlick ended up second overall, and Killick placed 12th.  (Photo: Shelley Peachell/Peachell Photography,

Between the Canadian NorAm and U.S. SuperTour circuits, here’s a rundown of what you have to look forward to this winter, highlighting dates, places and big races.

Peter Hale Memorial Scholarship Carries On Madshus Rep’s Work: More Than a One-Time Celebration

The legendary Peter Hale, a former U.S. Biathlon member and longtime nordic-ski rep in the U.S. Hale spent the last seven years with Madshus, working until about a month ago. He passed away on Nov. 17 at age 66. (Photo: Master Skier)

Peter Hale didn’t just sell skis: he gave them out, discounted them, and made sure that enthusiastic young skiers had them if they needed them. Madshus is offering a scholarship to do the same thing, based not on a young skier’s speed but also on their involvement in the ski community.

Pros of Tomorrow: After Injury-Fraught Year, Lustgarten Ready to Make His Mark with Sun Valley

Ben Lustgarten races in a 2012 EISA carnival at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. After a senior year at Middlebury College filled with challenges and injury, Lustgarten is now joining the Sun Valley Gold team in his professional skiing debut.

Ben Lustgarten had a modest start in nordic skiing, but his future in the sport is anything but. Despite a senior year at Middlebury College that was fraught with injuries, the emerging star is ready to excel in the world of professional skiing.

Wednesday Workout: Ski Walking with Erika Flowers

Wednesday Workout

This week’s Wednesday Workout comes from Erika Flowers, a member of the SMS T2 elite team. She brings us an early training season workout that develops a strong base and solid technique.

Saxton, Paddy Caldwell Capture U.S. Ski Team’s Attention, Invited to Revived D-Team

Ben Saxton (SMST2) skiing to second place in the freestyle sprint at the 2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships. (Photo: All proceeds from photo sales will be directly donated to NNF.

Ben Saxton and Paddy Caldwell were two new names on the 2014/2015 U.S. Ski Team nominations released last Friday. Both with Stratton ties, the two were asked to join the D-team, an unfunded development squad back after a one-year hiatus.

Wednesday Workout: Old School Biathlon with Lex Treinen


What could be more fun than going for a trail run or backcountry ski with a primal purpose, like bringing home dinner? Lex Treinen shares his love of what he calls “old school biathlon,” a hunting-and-gathering workout off the beaten path.

Show Must Go On in Stratton: Head Coach Kaeding Leaving for Grad School

Stratton Mountain School T2 Team Head Coach Gus Kaeding testing skis at SuperTour Finals last month at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska.

SMST2 Head Coach Gus Kaeding, 29, came to the striking realization this winter that he couldn’t see himself coaching in 10 years. With that in mind, he decided to plot a new future, which could include a master’s in finance. His contract is up at the end of June, but Kaeding plans to help Stratton transition to a new elite-team coach.

Treinen Keeps Competition Season Rolling with Victory in Ski to Sea

Lex Treinen and his brother Nick after placing first and second, respectively, at the Ski to Sea on March 30 in Homer, Alaska. (Courtesy photo)

Unlike most of the SuperTour field that likely crashed and burned after the last day of the U.S. domestic season in Anchorage, APU’s Lex Treinen packed up the hot tub and headed to Homer for the three-part Ski to Sea race last Sunday. Treinen won it, and his brother placed second.

Spring Series Photos: U.S. Distance Nationals 50 k Classic

2014 U.S. Distance Nationals 50 k classic mass start at Hillside trails in Anchorage, Alaska

A look back at the men’s 50-kilometer classic mass start at U.S. Distance Nationals in Anchorage last Friday.

Spring Series Photos: U.S. Distance Nationals 30 k Classic

2014 U.S. Distance Nationals 30 k classic mass start at Hillside trails in Anchorage, Alaska

Scenes from the front of the pack during the women’s three-lap, 30-kilometer classic mass start at U.S. Distance Nationals last Friday at Hillside trails.

Mysterious Man in Red, New Mexico’s Nikander Out-Double Poles Hoffman in 50 k

Winner Aku Nikander of the University of New Mexico (l) and runner-up and first American Noah Hoffman of the U.S. Ski Team congratulate each other after finishing the men's 50 k classic race at U.S. Distance Nationals on Friday.

Aku Nikander was somewhat an unknown in the men’s 50-kilometer classic mass start on Friday at U.S. Distance Nationals. As far as Noah Hoffman was concerned, he was the guy that stood between him and a shot at his second individual victory of 2014 Spring Series.

Spring Series in Photos: Mixed Relay

(Photo: Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News)

Photos from Tuesday’s 4 x 5 k mixed relay, a new event at U.S. Distance Nationals, which was held at 5 p.m. in Anchorage and included 26 teams, 18 of which were vying for a national title.

Business First, But Fun Throughout: APU Dominates Inaugural Mixed Relay at Distance Nationals

(Photo: Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News)

The 4 x 5 k relay made its way back into U.S. nationals for the first time in about 16 years, but with a new twist of two men and two women per team. APU showed its strength and depth early on, and its winning anchor, Kikkan Randall said she’s hoping the format makes it into the World Cup. She’s not alone.

SuperTour Resumes in Craftsbury; Caitlin Gregg, Scott Patterson Top Podium

Patrick Caldwell leads a group of skier's in Friday's 10-kilometer freestyle race in Craftsbury, Vermont, as part of the USSA SuperTour. Photo courtesy John Lazenby.

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.

Graham Nishikawa, Marshall Win Two of Three Races at Canadian Eastern Championships

Alysson Marshall at the 2014 Canadian Eastern Championships in Cantley, Quebec. (Photo

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.

Caitlin Gregg on Her Big Push for Olympics #2, How She and Brian Managed It, and What’s Next

Team Gregg celebrates Caitlin's national title in the 20 k freestyle mass start at 2014 U.S. nationals in Midway, Utah. Earlier in the day, Brian placed second to Sylvan Ellefson (SSCV/Team HomeGrown) in the men's 30 k freestyle mass start. (Photo: Caitlin Gregg/In the Arena)

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.