Racing at the 2020 U.S. Senior Nationals wrapped on Tuesday with a 1.5-kilometer classic sprint. Although the day came down to six skiers in both the men’s and women’s finals — as is the norm — what flummoxed a few skiers of note were the dicey conditions, which left the tracks covered with slow-me-down lake effect snow.
Post-race interview with Hunter Wonders
Canada’s Julien Locke (CNST) won the men’s final in 4:03.83 — a time indicating the high-burn but slog-like effort needed to finish the course. The first American, and by default, the U.S. champion, was Hunter Wonders (APU) in second overall (4:05.75). Luke Jager skiing for the University of Utah was third overall and the second American in 4:09.52.
Jager came into the finish double poling, while Locke strode in an adjacent track. Just feet before the line, Jager looked like he’d nip Locke by a toe. Amidst the thick snow, it appeared Jager’s wax simply iced up and his ski stopped abruptly, causing a fall. He quickly righted himself and crossed the line for third.
Tyler Kornfield (APU) placed fourth overall (third American) in 4:11.26. Peter Holmes (SVSEF) was fifth, and Canada’s Julian Smith (NST-NTDC Tbay) was sixth (+4:18.40).
Hailey Swirbul (APU) concluded a stunning Nationals week with her second sprint title of the 2020 Nationals. Swirbul also won the 20 k classic National Championship in Houghton and placed third in the 10 k skate.
Post-race interview with Hailey Swirbul
Swirbul won today’s classic sprint in 4:41.79, after posting the fastest qualifying time in 4:18.11. Caitlin Patterson (CGRP) was second in 4:42.03, and Alayna Sonnesyn (SMST2) third (4:42.14).
Cendrine Browne of Canada placed fourth (4:50.08), and University of Alaska Fairbanks skier, Mariel Pulles of Estonia, skied to fifth (4:54.32), and Rosie Frankowski (APU), known for her distance skiing, was sixth (4:59.24).
Post-race interview with Cailtin Patterson