She wasn't even supposed to be there.
Lindsey Weier of Northern Michigan University won the 10-kilometer classic FIS SuperTour race Sunday at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wis., striding to victory in 27 minutes, 44.6 seconds, easily ahead of runner-up Laura Valaas from Team CXC (28:11). Lindsay Williams of NMU took third in 28:13.
Weier, a two-time Olympian, bested a women's field of 75 racers, most of them college skiers from Central Collegiate Ski Association schools. Weier and Williams raced at Telemark only because the Under-23 World Championships, where they had planned to compete in Tarvisio, Italy, were recently postponed until mid-March due to low snow conditions.
NMU, coached by Sten Fjeldheim, showed off its depth in the women's race with six skiers among the top 14. The Wildcats also won a CCSA team tally for the weekend, besting the Alaska Nanooks 370-348.
In contrast to Saturday's freestyle race, held on natural snow with considerable debris on the trail, Sunday's event was contested on a 2.4-kilometer loop of mostly man-made snow, although two inches of fresh snow fell the night before the race. Women skied four loops while the men circled the course six times.
Sunny skies and temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees greeted the racers. The classic race initially was scheduled to be a mass-start, but officials changed the format to an interval start because minimal snow prevented a longer course. With all the laps and skiers leaving every 15 seconds, the course featured plenty of congestion.
In the men's race, Vahur Teppan of the Alaska Nanooks was third in the 15K freestyle in 38:33 while teammate Marius Korthauer took fifth in 38:47. Teppan's bronze was his second SuperTour podium in as many weeks. Martin Banerud from NMU placed eighth and Jesse Lang of Michigan Tech was ninth. Lars Flora of Subaru Factory Team won his fourth straight SuperTour race in 37:45. Zachary Violett of Team FSX was runner-up in 38:18 a day after finishing third in the 45-kilometer classic Noquemanon Ski Marathon in Marquette, Mich.
The pair of races made up the third of four NCAA qualifiers for the CCSA. The final qualifier is the Central Region Ski Championships Feb. 17-18 in Marquette.
The Telemark races were also a Midwest qualifier for the 2007 Junior Olympics and thus drew hundreds of youth skiers. The SuperTour is a series of races in North America that draws many elite skiers, from juniors to collegians to members of regional development teams as well as the U.S. Ski Team.
For full results from Saturday and Sunday, visit www.ccsaski.com.
Listed below is a CCSA points tally from the weekend's racing, as well as each school's best overall finisher.
OVERALL TWO-DAY COMBINED RESULTS (men + women)
1. Northern Michigan University, 191/179 = 370 (Lindsay Weier, 1st, CL)
2. Alaska Nanooks, 173/175 = 348 (Marius Korthauer, 3rd, FR; Vahur Teppan, 3rd, CL)
3. Michigan Tech University, 149/162 = 311 (Kristina Owen, 9th, CL; Jesse Lang, 9th, CL)
4. Gustavus Adolphus College, 138/96 = 234 (Sarah Willis, 19th, CL)
5. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 92/126 = 218 (Santiago Ocariz, 28th, FR)
6. St. Olaf College, 113/86 = 199 (Linn Dale, 17th, CL)
7. College of Saint Scholastica, 70/121 = 191 (Jason Kask, 23rd, CL)
8. College of St. Benedict, = 96 (Anna Roessler, 29th CL)
9. St. John's University, = 87 (Erik Hendrickson, 47th, CL; Tom Dehler, 47th, FR)
10. Northland College, 36/46 = 82 (Sara Domek, 40th, FR)
11. St. Cloud St. University, = 39 (Melissa Walden, 71st, CL, FR)
12. Finlandia University, = 28 (Adam Huey, 119th, CL)