After a successful weekend of racing at Silver Star a week ago, the fate of our challenging North American SuperTour/NorAm race season was going to be tested again and again (and again).
We finished the two races a week ago Sunday hoping that the lack of snow in Whistler, BC at the 2010 Olympic Park would not mean an early trip home and an end to our Western racing series. Fortunately the organizers and volunteers at Sovereign Lake Nordic Center agreed to hold more races that were scheduled for Whistler with a few modifications to the formats and schedule.
CXC Caitlin Compton finished first in 15K skate race
This past Thursday's event was another distance Skate race on the Sovereign Lakes World Cup trails that we were getting really familiar with, but this time it was a 20K Mass Start for Men and a 15K Mass Start for Women. CXC had great skis and posted the results to prove it. Thanks Coach Fish! Brian Gregg led the chase pack with his strongest race of the season so far, topping the CXC men with an 8th Place (third American) while Garrott Kuzzy posted another strong result a few seconds back in 10th and Bryan Cook followed closely in 14th. In the women's race Caitlin Compton charged to 1st place, skiing off the front of the mass start group to a 27 second victory. Kristina Owen finished strong in 13th, Johanna Winters in 17th, Maria Stuber in 21st, and Heather Zimmerman in 24th.
Friday, the next day, offered a Classic Sprint around the same course that was used for the previous Skate Sprint. Many athletes, including Garrott Kuzzy opted to use their upper body strength and double pole the whole 1.1K course on Skate Skis. The tactic worked as Garrott posted the fastest Qualifying time. For the first time all male and female members of the CXC Team made the heats. Garrott finished a strong 5th place overall, with Bryan Cook in 19th and Brian Gregg in 22nd. On the woman's side Johanna Winters led the way with a very strong quarter final, finishing 13th overall. Caitlin Compton finished 19th with Kristina Owen in 28th and Heather Zimmerman in 29th.
For the third day in a row, and the fifth race in eight days, the Classic Men's 15K and Women's 10K interval race took place "under the lights" on Saturday evening in an attempt to beat the predicted cold front. As it was, the race was run in sub-zero temperatures. Some CXC members opted to not race due to either; (a) the number of races being held back to back, (b) frigid temperatures, or (c) the onset of a possible cold. However, four rugged CXC athletes did venture out onto the cold and very dark course. Bryan Cook was the lone man finishing in 20th. Kristina Owen, Johanna Winters and Maria Stuber raced to solid 18th, 22nd, and 30th finishes respectively.
The CXC Team is off the International racing circuit for the next three weeks for rest, training, family, and preparing for Senior Nationals in Anchorage, Alaska January 3rd through 8th. WHEW!!