Continental CupRacingEllefson, Graefnings Take Owl Creek Chase Titles

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 13, 2011

The 2011 Owl Creek Chase field may have been dominated by collegiate skiers, but Sylvan Ellefson (Team Homegrown) made sure they knew their place.

The Vail, Colorado native won his second race in two days, and with the Owl Creek Chase doubling as a SuperTour event, Ellefson continued to move up the US Continental Cup standings.

Ellefson bested Glen Randall (BSF) by just under a minute over the winding 21k point-to-point course running from Snowmass Village to Aspen. Randall’s BSF teammate, Leif Zimmermann finished third, 1:21 off the pace in the freestyle event.

With Brayton Osgood (XC Oregon) in fourth, Miles Havlick (UU) was the first collegiate skier to finish besting Tyler Reinking (MSU). Brian Gregg (CXC Elite) six seconds behind Reinking, took sixth.

After Gregg, the men’s result sheet read like a standard college event, with just a scattered few non-academic skiers joining the fray.

All told, 39 men contested the elite distance, with just 11 not representing a college program.

In a rare occurrence, the women’s elite race featured a larger field of 41 skiers. This time, the college skiers dominated the results, taking six of the top-10, and two of the first three spots.

Maria Graefnings (UU) narrowly edged Sugar Bowl Academy coach Chelsea Holmes, taking a 2.7 seconds victory. Eliska Hajkova (CU) couldn’t quite hang on, and settled for third, +16.3.

Morgan Smyth (APU) placed fourth, a full 1:50 behind Graefnings. Smyth beat our Evelyn Dong (XC Oregon) at the line for one of the closest finishes of the day. Nicole DeYong (SVSEF) and Caitlin Compton (CXC Elite) finished 6th and 7th respectively.

All told, nearly 500 skiers participated in one of the races, ranging from 1km to the full 21 in length.

The Owl Creek Chase is separated into an elite class and a citizen class. Dan Weinberger skied to victory over Scott Krankkala in the men’s citizen category, posting a time of 1:02:50, nearly a minute and a half clear. Weinberger’s time would have placed him 28th in the elite race.

Jay Henry took third, another 43 seconds back.

Sarah Wright claimed the top spot in the women’s citizen category, outpacing Mia Gaw by 38 seconds. Diana Finkel was third. Wright matched Weinberger, posting a time that ranked her 28th in the elite class.

Complete results from all races

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