July 26, 2003
The first ever Rollerski Sprint Race held in Cunjunction with Boise, Idaho's famous Twilight Criterium drew several thousand spectators to the streets of Downtown Boise. Despite an intense thunderstorm that delayed the start by nearly an hour, 38 racers rolled up to the starting line at 8:10 pm. Strong contingents from Boise and Sun Valley, along with top racers from Park City, Minneapolis, Bend / XC Oregon, the Maine Winter Sports Center and the US Ski Team made for an outstanding field and some exciting racing.
The Men's field broke open early, with Torin Koos of the US Ski Team quickly establishing a solid lead and easily taking the one lap preem, a pair of Italian Ski-Skett rollerskis. A pack of three, including Levi Hensel of XC Oregon, Steve Scott from the Maine Winter Sports Center and junior Casey Simons out of the Park City Nordic Team and the University of Utah gave chase. Koos, however, proved strong to the end and took the win with a comfortable margin, claiming the $500 first prize. Hensel and Scott continued to battle for second and third, with Hensel finally prevailing in a hard-fought sprint. Outstanding sprinter Simons held on for fourth overall, and grabbed the Junior title (as well as a pair of 2004 Rossi X-iums) by 9 seconds over local favorite Steve Rudzinski of Boise's' Bogus Basin Nordic Team. Sun Valley / Dartmouth's Mike Sinott rounded out the top three for the Junior Men.
On the Women's side, the race came down to the wire, with Maine Winter Sports Center's Haley Johnson leading after the first lap, closely followed by junior skier Sara Studebaker of the Bogus Basin Nordic Team and Dartmouth, and another junior, Sun Valley's Kaelin Kiesel, skiing for the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. A second lap battle saw Studebaker move to the front in the last 100 meters to take the win (as well as the skis) for both the Junior and Open Women, followed closely by Johnson in second and Kiesel third in Open Class and second Junior. Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation's Margii Driscoll rounded out the top 3 for the Juniors and finished fourth in the Open.
Next year's event is already in the works, with the possible addition of hill climb, distance, and sprint relay events.
A Big Thanks to our sponsors: Wells Fargo, Rossignol, Tamarack Resort, Bogus Basin Mountain Resort, the BBLSEF Nordic Group, World Cycle and Idaho Mountain Touring.
Most of all, we'd like to thank everyone that made the trip to Boise – we hope to see you next summer!