“Slushfest” was the word that best described the opening race of the 2015 IBU World Championships. Despite the challenging conditions, both the U.S. and Canadian mixed relays skied and shot their way to match their best World Championships results, with eighth- and 12th-place finishes, respectively.
The University of Colorado was crowned champions of the RMISA college racing scene this season after championships were held in low-snow Anchorage, Alaska, on the back of the UAA Invitational. Mads Stroem and Rune Oedegaard of CU and Emilie Cedervaern of the University of New Mexico dominated the proceedings.
EISA racing concluded this past weekend in Lake Placid, NY. These Regional Championships, hosted by St. Lawrence University, featured a festive atmosphere and challenging courses, and served as a precursor to next week’s NCAA Championships, also hosted by SLU. Paddy Caldwell returned to dominant form in the men’s races, while Heather Mooney and Annika Taylor continued to vie for top women’s honors.
Alex Harvey stayed at the front of the pack for most of Sunday’s 50 k classic mass start, the final race of 2015 World Championships in Falun, but he couldn’t quite get into the position he needed before a four-man finishing sprint — which he was just behind. Also for Canada, Graeme Killick notched a career-best 19th, and Ivan Babikov placed 30th after leading as well.
The 50 k classic mass start which wrapped up 2015 World Championships was punishing for everyone, and U.S. skiers Noah Hoffman and Erik Bjornsen were no exception. Hoffman didn’t feel his best and Bjornsen said he struggled with the slush and his own technique – but was trying to use the race as a learning experience. “I don’t think there’s any reason to sit out events like this,” he said.
Therese Johaug did what she had to do to beat Norwegian teammate Marit Bjørgen on Saturday in the final women’s race of 2015 World Championships: the 30 k classic mass start. She did so by inadvertently attacking around 7 k: “I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s early. I have 23 kilometers to the end,'” Johaug recalled.
When the French won bronze in the Sochi relay, it was the first championships-level relay medal ever in their history. But Norway had struggled then. Today they did not, and the French were still bronze. “Maybe we have some place in the newspaper tomorrow, but a little one,” Jean-Marc Gaillard said. “But that’s not the most important for us. The most important is to have fun with the team.”