MARQUETTE, Mich. (Jan. 26, 2019) – Brian Gregg (Minneapolis) braved sub-zero temperatures Saturday to take a dominating win in the men’s 50k classic at the Noquemanon Ski Marathon near Marquette. Gregg now leads the CXC Marathon Cup after three races. Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minn.) won the women’s 50k classic.
In the men’s 50k freestyle, Andy Liebner (Cheboygan, Mich.) took the win with Mari Harden (Minneapolis) winning for the women.
Gregg came out of the start flying, moving into the lead and holding a strong margin over second place Tylder Kobilarcsik (Chanhassen, Minn.), winning in two hours, 37 minutes and 32.5 seconds – a nine-minute victory.
It was the second CXC Marathon Cup win for Gregg after a narrow victory over rival Matt Liebsch a week ago in the 22k Ski Rennet classic. It was also the veteran’s first time skiing the Noquemanon.
“It’s really nice to finally ski the Noque,” said Gregg. “It was the nicest skiing I’ve done all year 50k point to point, cold hard tracks. I stayed warm – the hot drinks at the aid stations was nice. At one point you looked out over Lake Superior and see those rays of sunshine, it was great – they have a lot of snow here in the UP.”
Hett picked up her second victory in three CXC Marathon Cups, having won the opener earlier this month in the Seeley Hills Classic. Hett, an All American from Northern Michigan University, took an early lead over Erica Wagner (Duluth, Minn.) to win in three hours, nine minutes 51.1 seconds.
The Noquemanon trail is a favorite on the CXC Marathon Cup, starting at Al Quaal Recreation area in Ishpeming and winding its way through rolling terrain with a downhill trend, finishing in Marquette.
“Kudos to the Noque organizers for a great race despite cold temperatures,” said CXC Sport Development Director Joe Haggenmiller. “They made good preparations and provided a great race experience for everyone.”
Nearly 900 took part across all the classes from ski to snowshoe to adaptive.
Andrew Wonnacott (Negaunee, Mich.) and Camille Bigsby (Marquette, Mich.) were winners in the 3k adaptive. Central Cross Country Skiing is integrating adaptive classes into all of its major CXC Cup and CXC Marathon Cup events.
NOQUEMANON SKI MARATHON
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 / Marquette, Mich.
Men’s 50k Classic
- Brian Gregg, Minneapolis, 2:37:32.5
- Tyler Kobilarcsik, Chanhassen, Minn., 2:46:50.5
- Thomas Kendrick, Minneapolis, 2:47:27.8
Women’s 50k Classic
- Vivian Hett, Burnsville, Minn., 3:09:51.1
- Erica Wagner, Duluth, Minn., 3:17:18.3
- Lindsey Dehlin, Marquette, Mich. 3:25:30.5
Men’s 50k Freestyle
- Andy Liebner, Cheboygan, Mich., 2:39:43.4
- Zach Varty, Elk River, Minn., 2:40:28.5
- Mitchell Campbell, Madison, Wis., 2:45:05.4
Women’s 50k Freestyle
- Mari Harden, Minneapolis, 2:53:11.7
- Jenna Ruzich, Baxter, Minn., 2:57:40.1
- Diana Finkel, South Fork, Colo., 2:57:40.1
Men’s 50k Touring Class
- Todd Leigh, Marquette, Mich., 5:34:49.5
- Hans Gottsacker, Marquette, Mich., 6:11:53.2
- Doug Kitchel, Marquette, Mich., 6:15:36.7
Women’s 50k Touring Class
- Heather Henter, San Diego, Calif., 5:21:23.8
- Holly Einess, Minneapolis, 5:55:32.9
- Fiona ORtiz, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 5:58:09.1