It was two wins over two weekends for both winners of the 48km North American Vasa today. Winners Jay Woodbeck (Team NordicSkiRacer) and Mariah Frye-Colie (Cross Country Ski Headquarters) were at the top of the podium in last weekend's White Pine Stampede, too.
The Vasa race was skied in reverse direction this year and the trail was some of the best skate skiing this year. It was firm from rain earlier in the week but not icy and easy to edge on, leading to some fast 50k times.
The lead group was 7 after the first lap, then 5 after 30k. John O'Hearn let go at about 35k, leaving Sam Holmes, Ben Lannin, Boris Nikitenko and myself. I made a move around 10k to go and put a gap on the others. Sam and Ben dropped Boris and I opened the gap to about a minute by the finish. Sam out sprinted Ben and the three of us were the podium for the long race.
Woodbeck finished in 2:20:14. Sam Holmes was third in 2:21:23, with Ben Lannin just a few seconds back in 2:21:30 for third.
Frye Colie won in 2:44:19, 10 minutes ahead of Megan Madion (2:54:41). Third place was Cheryl Darnton in 2:56:02.
In the 28K freestyle, Kevin Tarras (1:20:18), Anders Gillis (1:21:20), and Ethan Kennedy (1:22:14) were the top three men. Rebecca Davis (1:32:01), Kelley Peterson (1:32:30), and Sara Nestor (1:36:48) took the women's podium.
The 11k podium was colored in Maize 'n Blue, as five of the six top spots were won by members of the University of Michigan Ski Club. For the men, UofM'ers Nick Amato (33:59), Lars Hallstrom (34:17), and Sandy Mouch (34:27) took the top three position. Abby Potts topped the women's standings in (39:03), with the only non-UofM skier, Laura Wicksall, taking 2nd in 41:22. UofM's Elizabeth Callison was third in 43:04.
(Any Spartans out there???)
The 6km Freestyle was the junior event. Reid Goble charged away from everyone to win by almost 3 minutes in a time of 15:52. Ted Roe and Andrew Amato took second and third in 18:48 and 18:55. For the girls, Emma Schwab won in 19:29, followed by Kelly Klettner (19:51) and Abigail Jean (20:34)
There were no classic results: This year, the North American Vasa was scored freestyle only. Tomorrow's Vasa Classic will have 34k, 16k, and 6k classic distances. Stay tuned!
The North American Vasa is part of the nation-wide The American Ski Marathon Series.