Stowe, Vermont – James Southam (APUNSC/Atomic) and Kristina Strandberg (Saab Salomon Factory Team) combined to win all four races at the SuperTour weekend in Stowe, VT.
Southam, who has spent the last several weeks training in New England following the Whistler World Cups, defeated fellow APU skier Lars Flora (Saab Salomon Factory Team) in both races. In Saturday’s 10km freestyle, Southam skied to a 12 second victory over Flora, with Dartmouth’s Nils Koons in third, +:28. The SuperTour races were combined with the EISA UVM Collegiate Carnival and an Eastern Cup, making for a large and competitive field.
Following Koons were two more collegiate skiers, Sylvan Ellefson (Bates) and Glenn Randall (Dartmouth). Colin Rodgers (Fischer/Craft) finished 6th and David Chamberlain (Fischer/Craft) 7th. Randall was just half a second behind Ellefson, and Rodgers only .1 behind Randall, in the hotly contested event.
In the women’s 5km freestyle, Kristina Strandberg (Saab Salomon Factory Team) added to her steadily growing overall SuperTour, posting a solid 18 second victory over UVM’s Caitlin Patterson. Dartmouth’s Rosie Brennan was 3rd, only 1.2 seconds in back of Patterson in the battle for the collegiate victory. Lindsey Dehlin (USST) took 4th, another 3.4 seconds back.
Racing continued on Sunday in challenging waxing conditions with a 10/15km classic race. Typical New England weather greeted racers, coaches and fans alike – a little bit of everything today, starting with overnight rain, then snow and wind, plummeting temperatures, and sunny skies. There was no perfect wax, with the entire gamut of possibilities eventually used. Hard wax, klister, harries, waxless – all had advantages and drawbacks.
In the end, though, the same two stood atop the podium. Southam overcame a lost pole (the shaft came detached from the grip) to once again defeat Flora, this time by just under 20 seconds. Juergen Uhl (UVM) finished third while claiming the collegiate victory, a significant 45 seconds ahead of Ben True (Dartmouth). Williams College’s Dimitri Luthi was a surprising and impressive 5th and veteran Justin Freeman (Saab Salomon Factory Team) capped an excellent weekend and bettered his 8th place skate result and finished 6th. Chamberlain, solidly consistent, was once again 7th.
In the women’s 10km, Strandberg won her third straight SuperTour, beating out Patterson for the second straight day. Patterson, 31 seconds behind Strandberg, edged out Colby Freshman Lucy Garrec by 2.1 seconds. Ida Sargent (Dartmouth) was 4th and Dehlin 5th.
44-year old Nina Gavrylyuk turned in her second top-6 of the weekend, taking home a 6th on Sunday to go with Saturday’s 5th.
Over 400 skiers participated on each day.
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Photos courtesy of Kris Dobie – www.krisdobie.smugmug.com
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.