In what could be considered brutal conditions, with a starting temperature around 10 but winds with a wind chill of -20F or colder, a number of skiers changed from the 50K to the 27K at today's North American Vasa. Still, the usually suspects took the top position in the both the 50K and 27K events.
Bryce Dreeszen shows what happens when you race in frigid temperatures, in high winds, when it's snowing
Alex Vanias added to his Michigan Cup wins this season by winning the overall Vasa 50K in 3:13:21. Trailing in second and third were Dennis Paull (3:18:08) and Ryan Halstead (3:24:41).
Kaitlyn Patterson (3:32:48) was the top 50k woman, easily beating the women's field and, as seventh overall, most of the men. (Kaitlyn is pretty much winning everything she enters this year).Mary Lannin (4:15:22) was second and Erica Dombro (4:21:12) third.
In the 50K classic, Douglas Watts made it two wins in two weekends. Last weekend he won the White Pine Stampede 50K classic. This weekend, it was the Vasa 50K Classic, with a time of 3:49:01. Allan Magi (4:02:03) and Daniel Novak (4:22:03) were second and third.
Only two women raced the 50K Classic. Ellen Wiitala, who also won the White Pine Stampede 50K classic last weekend, was the fastest 50k classic women, finishing in 4:25:02. That time was good for fourth overall in the event. Paula Dreeszen was second in 6:21:04.
Karen Kirt and Brenda Carlson at start. They finished 50 km later also about 4 ft apart with Brenda leading. (Photo: Curt Peterson)
Milan Baic (1:37:55) and John O'Hearn (1:38:29) finished first and second in the competitive 27K Freestyle. Steve Kuhl came in third in 1:43:24.
Erica O'Hearn won the women's division in 1:52:57. Rebecca Davis and Susan Vigland took second (1:56:02) and third (2:00:47).
In the classic division, Scott Howard, Michael Davis, and Sean Kelly were the top three in 2:02:07, 2:04:59, and 2:06:41.
Wendy Anderson, a former top Michigan Cup racer who has not been on the circuit for a few years won the 27K classic womens' race in 2:32:25. Jennifer Brown and Caroline Urbain were second and third in 2:35:59 and 2:36:13.
Matthew Wiberg, Gordy Fitch, and Rob Crompton finished on top in 54:12, 59:16 and 59:25 in the12k Freestyle. Gwen Junker was the top women in 56:58 and second overall in the race. Kirsten Hallstrom and Danielle Hudson were second and third in 1:11:25 and 1:12:22.
In the classic, Steve Vannocker (1:05:19), Bryce Tanner (1:05:19) and Jerry Suminski (1:17:17) were first, second and third. Clare Tanner was the top women and second overall in 1:16:18. Gwenn Stevenson and Christie Shore were second and third in 1:24:23 and 1:25:35. Stevenseon later commented, "Cold does not describe it!"
Finally, in the 6k Freestyle, Michael Klettner, William Chown and Andrew Amato were the top three men in 25:15, 28:12, and 28:44. The top women were in Kelly Klertner, Katie Erhardt, and Kaysen Moertensen-Chown in 30:50, 33:51, 35:37.