Eldora, Colorado: CU Invite
By Duncan Callahan
Wind and tricky waxing conditions turned this weekend’s CU invite into an exciting challenge for all.
The ladies’ 5km Skate and the men’s 10km skate led things off on Friday morning with the Men starting at 9:30am and the women at 11:00am. The men’s race was a battle between some new faces and some old hands. Jimmy Vika, New Mexico’s latest sensation squeezed out a victory by 1/10th of a second. He won with a time of 28:03.8 on the wind-blown sugary course. Henrik Hoye of CU skied a fantastic race on his home course finishing in 2nd. Tobias Schwoerer wearing the yellow bib finished in 3rd place scoring another podium finish for Alaska-Anchorage. Top American Honors went to Zack Simons from the University of Utah with yet another top 5 result for the senior. Johan Rydquist and Lars Krogsveen both from the University of New Mexico rounded out the top 10. Brian Gregg from Western State College had an outstanding race in 11th and placing as 5th American. The rest of the top 20 was sprinkled with some new faces having truly great races. There was no doubt this would set the tone for the women in the 5km skate.
The women’s 5km race was screamin’ with the top 10 separated by less then one minute. Katrin Smigun from the University of Utah continued her winning ways with her fifth victory in five tries. Her time was 15:19:01. She edged out an extremely strong showing by Jessica Gray from Western State College in 2nd with a time of 15:24.5. That put Gray into the top American spot. Sara Svendsen from the University of Utah was in 5th some 30sec. out of the lead. This gave the Utes a powerful presence in the top five along with the Buffs of CU. CU grabbed places 3, and 4 with strong showing from Claire Critchley, and Jana Rehemma. The wax of the day was a big issue with such variable conditions out there and many options in wax for the 28-34 degree temperature range.
Saturday saw some equally impressive efforts and results from both the Men and the Women in the 5km and 10km classic races. The women led things off with a fast 5km race. Once again Katrin Smigun won. This time with an impressive 51sec. victory over 2nd place Sara Svendsen her Teammate from the University of Utah. This was a strong 1-2 punch for the Utes. CU’s Muriele Huberli was the home team’s top finisher in 6th place with a time of 16:36.4. Emma Garrard from Nevada was in 12th place just seconds behind DU’s Karin Camenisch. Jessica Gray from Western state followed her stellar result from yesterday with a 13th place finish in this classic race.
The men followed suite with an incredible showing by Yellow bib wearing Tobias Schwoerer. Schwoerer dominated this 10km classic by 45 sec. over CU’s Henrik Hoye. That was Hoye’s second 2nd place showing in two days on his home course. Top American Honors once again went to Mr. Zack Simons in 3rd place 1:02 out of 1st. This was Simons 5th top 5, and 3rd podium of the season as he remains extremely consistent with outstanding results. Jess Kiesel also from Utah skied to a 6th place finish and Alaska-Anchorage’s Zach Violett skied into the top 10. Friday’s winner Jimmy Vika raced to a 7th place showing for The University of New Mexico.
All-in-all it was a phenomenal weekend highlighted by some strong showings from new faces, and truly remarkable efforts by the Yellow bib wearers Tobias Schwoerer from UAA and Katrin Smigun from U of U. Way to go to all involved. Thank you to all coaches, volunteers, race officials, banquet individuals, and groomers who helped put on an incredible weekend of racing.
Complete results can be found at: <www.rmisa.org when posted.
The Western College Circuit travels to Crested Butte, CO this next weekend, February 7th and 8th for the Western State College Invite.
UVM Carnival – Stowe, Vermont
For the 31st year in a row, UVM managed to win their home carnival (combined alpine and nordic events). The Catamounts did it with a strong showing by their cross country team which placed first overall in cross country, six points ahead of UNH.
In the women's 10K Classic race, Anna Mcloon of Harvard was the winner, by14 seconds over Kate Underwood from UNH. Emily Klemp was the first UVM skier home in third. Middlebury was the team winner in this event, just edging out UNH, Dartmouth and Williams.
In the men's 10K classic, Ethan Foster (UVM) continued his winning ways, this time with a 33 second win. Second was Matt Schadow of UNH who continues to ski well. Lowell Bailey of UVM was third to help power UVM to the team win in the 10K.
In the men's relay, the UVM team of Dave Smutok, Loweel Bailey and Ethan Foster just managed to outski the Middlebury crew of Colin Rodgers, Jake Whitcomb, and Garrot Kuzzy by 12 seconds. The teams were even at the second exchange and Foster made the 12 second difference. UNH (Tom Keefe, Chris Mallory, and Matt Schadow) was third.
Women's Relay: This race was bound to be up for grabs considering how close the points were in the Classic race. A good first leg by Dartmouth's Emily Chenel gave them the early lead, but on the second leg, UVM's Melody Scheefer skied a great lap to close the gap. Entering the final leg, Williams and Dartmouth were even in the lead, with UHN and UVM not far behind. WIlliams' Elise Henson skied a solid lap and just held off a hard charging Kate Underwood of UNH who had bridged up. Emily Klemp brought UVM home in third, while Dartmouth finished fourth. All top four teams finished within 14 seconds.