Rocky Mountain Nordic Declares 2005-06 Women’s and Men’s State Champions
The inaugural season of the Colorado Cup series of nordic ski races is in the record books. Overall and age-group champions for men and women were named after tallying nine races around the state in classic, freestyle, and pursuit formats. On the women’s side, Karen Waeschle won the overall title needing only a few races to build up a big point total due to her high placing. In second place was former CU skier, Maria Wik (Boulder Nordic) who also needed only a few races to earn her points. Sharon Crawford came out of the women’s 60-69 age class to take third overall by virtue of strong racing and consistently scoring in many races. On the men’s side, Ben Blaugrund (Boulder Nordic) took the title after winning the last race of the series staying ahead of Stephen White (Vail Nordic) in second and overtaking previous leader, Mike Hogan (Salomon), who finished third overall. From a promoter’s perspective, virtually all the races in the Colorado Cup this year saw increased racer registration and ski area directors voiced strong satisfaction with the race series. A good omen for the goal of the Colorado Cup: To foster nordic skiing in the region, develop competition, and support competitors, ultimately, on the international level.
The men’s side was a tribute to citizen’s racing, all three podium finishers were amateurs and beat out the state’s strong professional skiers, among them Nathan Schultz (FsX), Casey Ward (Alpina-Madshus), and Eric Meyer (Subaru Factory Team) who had other commitments to national level races that allowed them to do only a few races in Colorado. Blaugrund stands out in particular; he took some time away from his profession as an attorney to pursue other interests and showed remarkable talent by improving with every race, a rare feat, and finally beating out the state’s established, dominant skiers.
Age group winners for the women were Megan Wilder, Erin Hammer, and Jill Ewing (tie, 10-19), Maria Wik (Boulder Nordic, 20-29), Monique Merrill (30-39), Karen Waeschle (40-49), Marty Richardson (Summit Nordic, 50-59), and Sharon Crawford (60-69). On the men’s side, it was Jacob Peterson, Colin Struthers (Boulder Nordic Juniors), and Bobby LeGaye (tie, 10-19), Tyler Magnan (20-29), Ben Blaugrund (Boulder Nordic, 30-39), Mike Hogan (Salomon, 40-49), Dawes Wilson (Vail Nordic, 50-59), Sim Thomas (60-69), and Henry Hermes (70-79). For the first year, there was a slight scoring difference between the â€œColorado Cupâ€ and the â€œColorado State Championâ€, but, the overall champions were not affected by this technicality. Full results can be found at www.natronnordic.com.
The Colorado Cup thanks its sponsors: Skifire.com, Natron Nordic, Steve Parcell (Naturopathic Doctor), Gold Run Nordic Center, Steamboat Touring Center, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Snow Mountain Ranch, The Ute Mountaineer along with the Owl Creek Chase, The Vail Recreation District, and the Vail Nordic Ski Club.
This was the Colorado Cup’s first season. The Colorado Cup will return for the 2006-07 nordic ski season along with many improvements for racers, sponsors, and venues; chief among them being the transfer of ownership to Rocky Mountain Nordic (RMN), the region’s official governing body for cross-country skiing.