Team Cross Country Ski Headquarters (XCHQ) earned its sixth Michigan Cup win Sunday, March 9 at the 2014 Michigan Cup Relays, held on their home trails. The conditions were quite possibly the best they have ever been for this almost-springtime race, and skiers enjoyed fast, plentiful snow without any rain, bare spots, or sunburn! It was a record turnout for the Relays, too; just under 170 skiers participated in this annual grand finale of races, whose course featured the Manitou and Rolling Hills trails on XCHQ trail system.
Cross Country Ski Headquarters team with the overall 2014 Michigan Cup
The team won the 18-race series championship for the second consecutive year, and the sixth time in the 31 year history of the series. Says Team Captain, Frank Rynalski:
“We finished the season on a high note by winning the overall MI Cup award, and also an un-expected 2nd place finish in the Brumbaugh Cup competition had the team pumped!!! Throughout the season, team XCHQ had a strong presence at most of the races with some great team and individual performances. We pulled together for another impressive team showing at the Relays, along with the fastest overall relay team. I am very proud and thankful of the efforts put forth from all the XCHQ team members who helped contribute to another great racing season. The team is looking forward to another exciting race season.”
The 152-member race team fielded a record 20 three-skier teams in this year’s Michigan Cup Relays, some traveling in from as far away as Minnesota!
Brumbaugh Cup winners Hanson Hills/Cross Country Ski Shop
Relay Race Recap
As usual, the six divisions in this year’s race were determined by the combined ages of the three team members on each relay team, one who skied the course classic style and two who skied it skate style. Male, female and co-ed teams were split into classes under 164 years and 165 years and over.
XCHQ’s Alex Smith Team, made up of Alex Smith, Phil Tosteson, and Ryan Halstead, were the overall male winners, taking first place in the Men 164 and under class with the fastest time of the day at 0:57:15. Second in Men 164 and under went to HH/CCSS’s Sexy Sweepers, Ryan Harris, Bob Smith and Steve Seager, and third went to Vasa’s West Guys, Sean Brownell, Jacob Dean and Andrew Dyke of Traverse City.
Team Alex Smith, top male relay team (Mariah standing in for Ryan Halstead)
Overall female winners, with a time of 1:08:53, were HH/CCSS’s Hens and Chick, which included Ann, Kaitlyn Patterson, and Brenda Carlson, who raced in the Female 164 and under class. Second in Female 164 and under was Vasa’s Sister Chicks and Mom, Jesi Schaub, and her daughters Heidi and Emma, and third went to Vasa’s Babes in Boas, Jennifer Brown, Judy Vajda and Susan Vigland.
In the Male 165 and over, GRNST’s team Bear Bottoms, including Randy Bladel, Don Camp and Stephen Smigiel took first with a time of 1:00:27 (second overall). Second was Vasa’s Curt Peterson Team, Curt Peterson, Glenn Goodman and Cliff Onthank, and third was team Nordic Ski Racer’s Nordic Vortex, Allen Sorgenfrei, Doug Cornell and Ken Dawson.
Hens and Chick, top female relay Team
In the Female 165 and over first place went to Foxy Females, Amy Kostrzewa, Linda Allen and Karen Dawson, of Nordic Ski Racer, who came in 32nd overall with a time of 1:28:53. Second was Like Fine Wine, Marnie Sutter, Barb Beauregard and Melinda Mitchell of Vasa, and third was Snow Turtles, Lynne Frye, Christine Fowler and Barb Slovinsky of XCHQ.
In Co-ed 164 and under, first place and the overall co-ed win went to Darn Kanolies, Larry Kanaby, Cheryl Darnton, and Mariah Frye Colie of XCHQ. Their time, which was 1:05:02, was ninth overall. Slippery When Wet, Laura Webb, Craig Webb and Randy Smith of Vasa were second, and third went to Canada Eh?, Laura Thibodeau, Alex Lake and Dave Lomas, who came all the way from Canada!
BBQ on the sun deck
The Co-ed 165 and over race was won by CCR, Christine Seager, Cris Jones and Robin Luce of HH/CCSS with a time of 1:14:16 (21st overall). Second was Good Ol Boys & 1 Queen, Carrie Orbain, Hap Wright and Tom Sutter of Vasa, and third went to Big Three, Dale Ernst, Linda Weeks, and Bob Eastley of XCHQ.
Great to see so many of the MI Cup teams represented in the top 3 for each division! Thanks to all the volunteers and staff who helped make it a great event, and to all the skiers who participated for keeping it fun.