As the first day of Nordic competition kicked off at the 55th annual NCAA championships, 78 of the best male and female skiers from around the country have descended upon Rumford, Maine for two days of intense racing.
The day before the races, the weather didn’t look promising as it was raining and temperatures were approaching 40 degrees. The temperatures plummeted during the evening, dropping down to the teens. This in turn caused the groomers to set tracks late to try and keep them from becoming straight ice. None the less the conditions still called for tricky waxing as coaches had to use klister and multiple covering layers to try and produce the best results for every athlete.
Today’s results proved that the championships are going to be a battle as western dominance has been shattered by senior UVM catamount Juergen Uhl. Uhl posted a time of 24:14.9 in the 10k classic race, beating his competition by just over ten seconds. Taking second place was UAA skier Raphael Wunderle who was followed closely by DU racer Jesper Ostensen.
As temperatures were in the mid twenties throughout the day, the wax did not change much from the men’s to the women’s race.
The women’s race proved to be a close race with DU Pioneer Antje Maempel taking top honors in the 5k classic with a time of 13:52.4. Maempel beat out UNM skier Polina Ermoshina by just over six seconds. Rounding out the top three was UAA skier Sadie Bjornsen who was 17 seconds off the lead pace.
As today closes the first day of Nordic competition, it sheds some light on the excitement that is to come with the 15k and 20k mass starts on Saturday. As for now its anyone championship with DU leading with 330 points, followed closely by UVM with 326 and Utah with 318.
Complete men’s and women’s results can be found here: