The competitive season began today for the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) at the MSU Invite at Bohart Ranch in Montana. After an early lead on Friday, the Colorado Buffs won the nordic portion of the meet with another good day on Saturday. After both days the final nordic standings have CU in first with 481, followed by NMU with 395, DU with 391, UAA with 367.
This race kicks off the 2010 season for RMISA competition. The region will hold five classic and five skate races over 5 meets, tallying points using a modified NCAA scoring system to determine who they will send to the National Championships in March. This year, The RMISA has spots for 20 skiers to send to nationals, which will be hosted by the CU Buffaloes in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Snow temperatures were just below freezing for Friday’s mass start classic race, and stayed that way for Saturday’s early freestyle starters before rising a few degrees above zero for the later skaters. There were plenty of spectators out on the Bohart trails to enjoy the action, and the race course and outer trails were in terrific shape. Both of this weekend’s races followed the new 5K course from November’s SuperTour stop, with the women skiing the loop once and the men skiing the loop twice. It was a challenging route with plenty of climbing, including a couple of tight, washed out turns and two very difficult herringbone hills near the end of the loop.
DU skier and NCAA champion Antje Maemple was easily the fastest lady both Friday and Saturday. On Friday she was 32 seconds ahead of second and 41 seconds ahead of third. On Saturday she was 17 seconds ahead of second place and 30 seconds ahead of third.
“Antje picked up where she left off last year with a convincing win today,” DU Nordic head coach David Stewart said in his team’s press release. “She was able to ski relaxed and had one of her all time best collegiate performances.”
On Friday, Eliska Hajkova (CU) was second 32 seconds back, Laura Rombach (UAA) was third, Polina Ermoshina (NMU) was fourth, and Joanne Reid (CU) was fifth.
The field’s results were similar on Saturday. Eliska Hajkova (CU) was second 17 seconds back, Polina Ermoshina (NMU) was 30 seconds back in third, Maria Graefnings (UNR) was 33 seconds back in fourth, and Laura Rombach of UAA was 35 seconds in fifth.
Martin Kaas of New Mexico was Friday’s clear winner for the men, skiing the 42 minute race 23 seconds in front of a strong 2, 3, 4 pack of CU Buffs. Matt Gelso, Vegard Kjølhamar, and Jesper Øysteinsen finished 23, 30, and 49 seconds back to put the Buffs an an excellent position going into the second day. UAA Freshman Michael Schallinger finished fifth.
On Saturday Canadian professional Gordon Jewett of the Alberta World Cup Academy won the interval start 10K race by 30 seconds. Glenn Randall (BSF) was second 30 seconds back in second, Martin Kaas (NMU) was third 44 seconds back, and Vegard Kjølhamar (CU) was a close fourth finishing right with Kaas. UAA’s Michael Schallinger finished another 20 seconds back for another fifth place.
Today the RMISA nordies will recover on the Lone Mountain trails before watching their lift-riding counterparts finish off the MSU invite at Big Sky. The entire Rendezvous trail system was groomed last night in West Yellowstone, so some teams will make a stop tomorrow for a change of scenery and higher altitude before “descending” down to Heber and the Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow to finish off the nordic portion of the Utah Invite.