Western NCAA Racing: Bozeman and the Beauty of Bohart Ranch

FasterSkierJanuary 21, 2003

Bohart Ranch Nordic Center, Bozeman, Mt. Jan. 17th and 18th

For any of you who have ever spent any time in Bozeman, or raced at Bohart, you know what I mean when I speak of the beauty of Bohart Ranch. It is without a doubt my favorite place to ski, and oh yeah, they have some great terrain for racing.

The Western Ski circuit traveled to Bozeman on the 14th of January after some races on the man-made paradise of Soldier Hollow. The reports that we received while in Heber gave us a view of less-than-covered trails in Bozeman as well. However the last two hours of the drive to Bozeman gave us all a high, due to the blizzard we were driving through. Bohart ranch some 20 minutes from and above Bozeman received a reported 10 inches of new snow from the Tuesday and Wednesday snowstorm. The races were scheduled for Friday and Saturday the 17th and 18th. We were assured of some great conditions and some great racing.

The 5 and 10km classic races led things off in Bozeman with the ladies’ 5km starting at 10:00am on Friday and the men’s 10km at 11:30am. It was a clear and extremely crisp day on cold snow with a lot of cold air settling in the trees of Bohart. This rendered waxing not an issue as the temperatures and the conditions were self-explanatory with little variance possible. The women led the way with a blistering 5km. Katrin Smigun continued her dominance and showed she is the girl to beat. Representing the University of Utah, Smigun won her third college race in three tries. She beat her teammate Sara Svendson by 25 sec. In third place was Kristina Strandberg from the University of New Mexico. Tara Hamilton was the top American in 12th place.

The men’s race was also hotly contested in the 10km classic event. Tobias Schwoerer from the University of Alaska Anchorage took home top honors with Johan Rydquist from the University of New Mexico right there as well. CU’s Henrick Hoye took home the bronze with a great race. Top American Honors went to Eric Strabel in 6th place some 51 sec. out. Everyone had to rest and recover, for the next day of business included a 10km mass start skate for the women and a15km mass start skate race for the guys. .

The women started things off again for the second day in a row. A 10:00am start with much warmer temperatures than the day before saw the glide wax being a major factor. Those with the glide clearly had the advantage on the course. For the fourth college race in a row Katrin Smigun won for the University of Utah. It was a mass start race with some fantastic pack skiing and some great death moves being exhibited. Thus, hot on Smigun’s heels was Jenny Wissting from the University of New Mexico only six seconds off the furious pace. Sara Svendson scored another podium for the University of Utah in third. Abby McAllister was top American on this day cracking into the top ten. Ashly Mcqueen from University of Nevada Reno was next in tenth and Jessica Gray from Western State was third American in 11th place. It was a great day for all the ladies with some great efforts and times.

The men’s skate race was equally impressive with a great mass start and some equally great packs developing to push each other to the limit. Tobias Schwoerer was the top male for the second day in a row with an inspiring 30sec victory over Zack Simons from Utah. For Simons, that was his 3rd top 5 in four races. Erling Christiansen from Colorado University was third with a great effort. Top American honors went to Zack Simons in 2nd. Eric Strabel was the second American in fifth place.

Complete race results can be found at <www.rmisa.org.

It was a great race series and a fantastic road trip for all involved. There were some truly amazing performances and some incredible efforts. Way to go to all who participated. Thank you to all the volunteers and coaches who made the race series possible.
The Western College circuit picks up again on January 31st for the CU invite at Eldora, outside of Boulder, CO.

. Duncan Callahan currently races for Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, which competes in NCAA division I ski racing. He is in his third year at school and second year of college racing after a red-shirt year. He looks forward to sharing with you all and hearing back some input perhaps: <duncan.callahan@western.edu.

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