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.
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).
Post-race interview with Ben Saxton
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).
Racing continues tomorrow with a 10 k/ 15 k interval start skate race.
We will be updating this article throughout the day.