CXC Team members continued to show improvement in the USSA SuperTour races last weekend, December 5-6th, at the Lake Creek venue in Sun Valley, Idaho. Saturday’s competition was a 1.3k classic sprint race, followed by a 15/10k distance classic mass start on Sunday.
In the women’s classic sprint race on Saturday, CXC Team member Natalia Naryshkina finished 21st in the qualifiers. That effort gave Naryshkina a guaranteed spot in the quarterfinals but unfortunately did not advance any further and placed 15th overall in the final results. Abbie Drach placed 30th overall and 8th for Junior Women in the qualifying round, advancing her to the quarterfinals and placed 29th overall in the final results. The winner of the women’s 1.3k sprint was Becca Rorabaugh (Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) who finished just one second ahead of Kaitlynn Miller (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) followed by Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) in 3rd.
In the men’s classic sprint races, CXC Team member Kyle Bratrud placed 29th in the qualifying round, advancing him to the quarterfinals and stayed consistent with a 29th overall finish in the final results. The winner of the men’s 1.3k sprint was Dakota Blackhorse – Von Jess (Bend Endurance Academy) who had a 1.13-second lead ahead of Reese Hanneman (Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) and Tyler Kornfield (Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) who finished 3rd.
Tough competition continued on Sunday for the 10/15k classic mass start, where racers skied a 2.2k loop for the distance race due to little snow in Sun Valley. In the women’s competition, CXC Team member Abbie Drach had a solid race placing 27th overall and 6th in the Junior Women’s race. Natalia Naryshkina started the 10k race but did not finish due to altitude sickness. The winners of the women’s 10k classic race was Chelsea Holmes (Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center) who had a 9.7 second lead over her teammate Becca Rorabaugh, followed by Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) in 3rd place.
In the men’s 15k competition, CXC Team member Kyle Bratrud had an impressive 5th place finish overall, just one minute behind winner Scott Patterson (Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) who also had a significant 31.6 second lead over 2nd place finisher Mads Stroem (Colorado University Ski Team) and teammate Eric Packer (Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center) who finished 3rd.
“I felt much better this weekend compared to last weekend in West Yellowstone, MT. I definitely feel I was a little more acclimated and I think that allowed me to showcase my form a little more than the previous weekend. I still didn’t race as well as I know I can, but for sure this was a step in the right direction.” CXC Team member, Kyle Bratrud.
“Snow conditions were a little thinner than what we had in West Yellowstone, MT last weekend but thanks to Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) and the volunteers shoveling snow on to the course, we were able to do both races in town.
In the classic sprint it was great to see everyone qualify for the senior heats. Natalia in her quarter final put in a great effort to move herself up a few spots in the overall rankings and almost make the semifinals.
The distance race was a challenging course with 6 laps of brutal climbing. It was great to see things finally click for Kyle with his result. He’s been feeling good in training so it’s good to see the results where we think they should be.
Abbie Drach had a great weekend of racing consistently placing right in there with the top juniors. She’s put in some hard work this summer and fall during her post grad year and it should be an exciting season for her.
The plan going forward is to come home and get some solid training in before US nationals at the beginning of January.” – CXC Team Head Coach, Andy Keller
The races in Sun Valley, Idaho wraps up the end of Period I of three competition periods of the USSA SuperTour. Period II begins January 3-9, where racers will compete at the U.S. National Championships in Houghton, MI.
Sunday’s 10/15k Classic Results:
Men’s & Women’s
Mary Kozloski is CXC’s Communication and Media Coordinator. Mary has a Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she majored in Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration, competed as a member of UW-Grean Bay Nordic Ski Team and was team captain for two years.