Sprint Race

nhoffman1989August 28, 2012

On Saturday, I joined the National Elite Training Group camp that was happening here in Park City for a classic sprint race on the roller ski track at Soldier Hollow, the 2002 Olympic Venue for cross country. The race was run just like a race in the winter with one individual start preliminary round followed by heats (where 6 skiers start together): a quarter final, a semifinal, and a final. In order for everyone to gain experience, no skiers got eliminated as the rounds went on. However, after each round, the slowest skier in the A heat was moved to the B heat, and the fastest skier in the B heat was moved to the A heat.

I explained why results from races in the summer don’t mean very much in my post about our race in the Oberhof ski tunnel. Roller ski races mean even less. Not only are no two pairs of roller skis the same speed, but everybody is on a different brand of skis. Ski speeds can vary by minutes in a ten minute race. Even the same pair of skis changes speeds based on the temperature and humidity and will speed up or slow down over time.

That being said, the race on Saturday was a good chance for me to go fast against some great skiers from around the country. Sprinting is not my strong point, and any practice I get is a great opportunity to learn. For instance, in the preliminary round I double poled (a technique without kicking with my legs) all but one short steep climb. Then in the heats, I found it was faster to kick double pole or stride in several places. There is also a large draft effect on a long downhill right before the finish. The race can be won or lost by using or not using the draft.

Here is some video from the U.S. Ski Team coaches of the race:

And here are the results from the race. Again, comparing skier to skier is meaningless. What you can look at (with a grain of salt) are how a skier speeds up or slows down over the course of the race (but roller skis were getting faster as it warmed up) and how two skiers did against each other compared to the other heats.

NTG CL RS Sprint

Soldier Hollow | 1.3km women, 1.5km men

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Men’s Qualifying

1 Ryan Scott 03:48.7

2 Tad Elliott 03:56.6

3 Noah Hoffman 03:58.6

4 Eli Hoenig 04:08.8

5 Will Wicherski 04:13.4

6 Cal Deline 04:13.6

7 Adam Martin 04:14.5

8 Max Scrimgeour 04:20.1

9 Paddy Caldwell 04:25.4


Women’s Qualifying

1 Becca Rorabaugh 03:15.7

2 Emily Hannah 03:22.0

3 Jessie Knori 03:27.2

4 Heidi Halverson 03:28.5

5 Mary O’Connell 03:28.8

6 Marion Woods 03:38.4


Men’s Quarter 1

1 Ryan Scott 03:52.0

2 Tad Elliott 03:52.3

3 Noah Hoffman 03:53.5

4 Eli Hoenig 04:04.7

5 Will Wicherski 04:06.6


Men’s Quarter 2

1 Adam Martin 04:15.7

2 Max Scrimgeour 04:17.0

3 Paddy Caldwell 04:18.9

4 Cal Deline 04:19.3


Women’s Quarter 1

1 Becca Rorabaugh 03:16.2

2 Emily Hannah 03:20.4

3 Jessie Knori 03:26.8


Women’s Quarter 2

1 Heidi Halverson 03:25.5

2 Mary O’Connell 03:30.6

3 Marion Woods 03:43.1


Men’s Semi 1

1 Ryan Scott 03:52.6

2 Noah Hoffman 03:53.2

3 Tad Elliott 03:54.5

4 Adam Martin 04:06.8

5 Eli Hoenig 04:07.4


Men’s Semi 2

1 Will Wicherski 04:13.3

2 Cal Deline 04:14.5

3 Max Scrimgeour 04:21.6

4 Paddy Caldwell 04:22.4


Women’s Semi 1

1 Becca Rorabaugh 03:15.3

2 Emily Hannah 03:16.0

3 Heidi Halverson 03:35.9


Women’s Semi 2

1 Jessie Knori 03:24.8

2 Mary O’Connell 03:32.4

3 Marion Woods 03:39.8


Men’s Final 1

1 Ryan Scott 03:54.5

2 Tad Elliott 03:54.7

3 Noah Hoffman 03:55.4

4 Adam Martin 04:06.0

5 Will Wicherski 04:08.4


Men’s Final 2

1 Eli Hoenig 04:15.3

2 Max Scrimgeour 04:19.6

3 Paddy Caldwell 04:20.2

4 Cal Deline 04:20.3


Women’s Final 1

1 Becca Rorabaugh 03:13.4

2 Emily Hannah 03:21.2

3 Jessie Knori 03:28.9


Women’s Final 2

1 Heidi Halverson 03:23.3

2 Mary O’Connell 03:35.5

3 Marion Woods 03:38.9

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