U.S. Senior Nationals Skate Sprint Rundown (Updated)

Jason AlbertJanuary 2, 2020


The top name on the men’s side was no surprise: Gus Schumacher. The 19-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska captured his first career Senior National Championship today in the 1.5-kilometer skate sprint in Houghton, Michigan.

Schumacher (USST/AWS) qualified in second at 3:10.85, behind JC Schoonmaker (UAA) in first (3:08.88). Schumacher won the second quarterfinal, and the second semi in a smoking time of 3:04.16. 

Gus Schumacher (bib 2), during the men’s skate sprint at the 2020 Senior Nationals in Houghton, MI. (Photo: Reese Brown)

Post-race interview with Gus Schumacher

The men’s final shook out with Schumacher in first (3:02.95), Ben Saxton (SMST2) in second (3:03.88), and Bill Harmeyer (UVM) third (3:04.84). 

Norway’s Kjetil Baanerud (NMU) placed fourth (3:05.33), Canada’s Julien Locke (CNST) placed fifth (3:05.77), and Thomas O’Harra (APU) sixth (3:07.32). 

The Men’s podium from 2020 Senior Nationals in Houghton, MI. Ben Saxton in second, Gus Schumacher first, and Bill Harmeyer third (l-r). (Photo: Reese Brown)

Post-race interview with Ben Saxton

Men’s Results 


The women’s skate sprint final: Hailey Swirbul (bib 1), Alayna Sonnesyn (bib 2), and Caitlin Paterson (bib 3). Photo: Reese Brown

Post-race interview with Hailey Swirbul

For the women, the day’s fastest qualifier, Hailey Swirbul (USST), also won the skate sprint final in 3:36.47. Alayna Sonnesyn (SMST2) was second (3:36.81), and Caitlin Patterson (USST/CGRP) third (3:37.32). 

This was Swirbul’s first career Senior National win and podium. She placed fourth last year in Craftsbury at Senior Nationals in the 20 k mass start skate and sixth in the skate sprint.

Canada’s Cendrine Browne skied to fourth (3:38.32), Erika Flowers (BSF) fifth (3:38.36), and Laura Leclair of Canada sixth (3:39.84). 

Women’s Results

Racing continues tomorrow with a 10 k/ 15 k interval start skate race.

We will be updating this article throughout the day.

The women’s skate sprint podium at Senior Nationals. In third, Alayna Sonnesyn, first place went to Hailey Swirbul, and third to Caitlin Patterson. (Photo: Reese Brown)


Caitlin Patterson (bib 3) and Alayna Sonnesyn: 2020 US National’s skate sprint. (Photo: Reese Brown)


Bill Harmeyer during the 2020 Senior National’s skate sprint in Houghton, MI. (Photo: Reese Brown)

Jason Albert

Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.

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