This week’s Central Collegiate Ski Association race took place amidst the Telemark Noram. Racers awoke Saturday morning to brisk temperatures but no wind. Fortunately, the previous evening, event organizers had decided to move the race start times back one hour to accommodate the conditions. By the time the first event, the women’s 5 kilometer skate, went off, temperatures were comfortably above the FIS minimum and warming quickly.
The women’s interval start race was missing some important players: Sigrid Aas and Erinn Whitmer of UAF and NMU’s Lindsey Weier, Lindsey Williams, and Morgan Smyth. Johanna Turunen effectively stood in for Aas winning the race with an Aas-like margin of 35 seconds over teammate Sigrid Lagerfelt. NMU had the next three finishers in Rachel Daw (3rd), Caitlin Compton (4th), and Victoria Koskenoja, but UAF’s 1-2 punch, along with Kassandra Rice’s (UAF) 6th, was too much to overcome and UAF took the win 75 to 72. UWGB finished third in the team standings with 55 points. Their top finisher freshman Tanya Cook from Rhinelander, WI was 11th.
The men’s 10 kilometer was a tight race between teams UAF and NMU. NMU’s Bryan Cook took the win and was followed by teammates Hjalmar Westie and Adriaan Ostrander who were 4th and 6th respectively, but their results weren’t good enough to beat UAF. UAF’s Jonas Tetlie (2nd), Brent Lowen (3rd), and Jed Kallen-Brown (5th) scored 65 total points to better NMU’s 64 by just a point. Gustavus Adolphus College, led by Erich Ziegler’s 10th place finish, was third in the team standings with a score of 43.
On Sunday the races were mass start classic. Organizers chose to run all men’s 15-kilometer competitors together, so Noram, Collegiate, JI/OJ, and Citizen competitors began en masse and in a frenzy. While the first kilometer was barely wide enough to accommodate such a start, things went remarkably smoothly and the top competitors were able to get to the front. On this occasion, the NMU men controlled the college race. Again Cook took the collegiate win in 48:18, and in the process was able to pull Ostrander and Gus Kaeding to 3rd and 4th place finishes. Although UAF’s Tetlie broke the NMU pack apart with his 2nd place (48:26), his teammates Kallen-Brown’s 6th and Lowen’s 7th places weren’t enough, and NMU won 67 to 62. In this event, Wisconsin-Green Bay skied into 3rd position in the team event led by Trevor Walz’s 10th place finish.
In the women’s mass-start 10 kilometers, Johanna Turunen again led the way for the collegians. She finished 4th overall in 37:07 (Rebecca Dussault’s winning time was 36:12.). The collegiate competitor closest to Turunen was NMU’s Koskenoja who finished 7th overall in 38:11. Despite Turunen’s dominance over the collegians, NMU took the team title, as Daw skied to a collegiate 3rd and then Stephanie Howe finished 5th for collegians. This time Gustavus took third place for the team, led by Ingrid Olson’s 12th place result.
The Telemark Noram was extremely well-received by collegians for its race organization and challenging course. The course, which slightly exceeded FIS guidelines for max climb and total climb was difficult and a little technical, but athletes called it “a lot of fun.”
Complete collegiate results available at <www.finishlinesports.com
Corey Coogan recently issued the second edition of her book on collegiate skiing called One Week in March, a Peterson's-like guidebook on all the collegiate teams and clubs in the U.S. This guide book is especially helpful for high school skiers and parents who are looking at college ski programs. <More info available here.