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Traverse Nordic rises to capture Brumbaugh Cup

Wed, Mar  25, 2009 - By Ernie Brumbaugh

Traverse Nordic Ski Team is the 2009 winner of the Brumbaugh Cup.  They narrowly beat out Hanson Hills/Cross Country Ski Shop by 2 points, 100 to 98.  Straits Striders were a close third with 92 points followed by the Grand Rapids Nordic Ski Team with 86.  Nordic Ski Racer edged the Traverse City Nordic Junior Team by one point 66 to 65 for fifth place and Cross Country Ski Headquarters came in seventh with 41 points.  

The Brumbaugh Cup was instituted last year to reward the team with the best high placement skiers on the Michigan Cup Circuit.  Teams are awarded points for the Overall Men's and Womens Winner (5 points), Age Group Placements (1st=5 pts, 2nd=3 pts and 3rd = 1 pt.) and finally the Power Rankings award points to the top 20 Senior & Master Men Combined starting with 20 for 1st and down to 1 for 20th.  The top ten Women are scored starting with 20 and going down by 2 and the top five Junior Men and Women starting with 20 and going down by 4 pts for each place.

Traverse City Nordic wins Brumbaugh Cup in 2009

Travese City Nordic wins the 2009 Brumbaugh Cup
(photo by Jim Pryor)

Nordic Ski Racer won the inaugural Brumbaugh Cup in 2008.  Traverse Nordic won in 2009 using a small group was quality skiers with a combination of the Overall Men's Michigan Cup winner (Milan Baic), Age Group wins (Susan Vigland, Todd Vigland, Milan Baic and Cliff Onthank) and Power Group Ranking of 1, 3 and 4 in Men (Milan, Cliff and Todd), and 2 and 9 in Women (Susan Vigland and Amy Wichern).

Hanson Hills/Cross Country Ski Team used more depth to amass their second place total with one Age Group win (HIllary Witbrodt), six seconds (Ann Wagar, Gussie Peterson, Ross Williams, Garret Dawe, John Gravlin and Cris Jones) plus one Age Group third, (Bike Shop Bob Smith).  In the Power Rankings they scored #2 Junior Man (Ross Williams), 4,5 and 7 Women, (Ann, Gussie and HIllary) and 8, 12 and 19 Men (John Gravlin, Glenn Goodman and Bob Smith).

Tracy Hardin lead the Straits Striders to third place with and Overall Womens Michigan Cup, her third and second in a row.  The Striders won the 50-59 Age Group Women (Tracy Hardin) and swept 60-69 (Lorraine Lund, Amy Wilks and Connie Mendyk).  Denny Paull was second in Men 40-49 and Jim Harrington took third.  In the Power Rankings the Striders placed 1 and 8 in Women (Tracy and Lorraine) and 2, 5 and 13 in Men's (Denny, Jim and Chris Weingartz).

  Team Overall
  Traverse City Nordic 5 20 75 100
  Hanson Hills/Cross Country Ski Shop   24 74 98
  Strait Striders 5 18 69 92
  Grand Raids Nordic   14 72 86
  Team NordicSkiRacer   19 47 66
  Traverse City Junior Nordic   5 60 65
  Cross Country Ski Headquarters   20 21 41

Grand Rapids Nordic Ski Team, minus a few stalwarts this year, gamely skied to fourth lead by Age Group Winners Melzar Coulter and Amy Todd and bronze medalists Candace Angell, Carole Mueller-Brumbaugh, Randy Bladel and Ernie Brumbaugh.  In the Power Rankings the Women finished #3 and 9, Amy and Carole and the Men were #6, 7, 10, 14 and 16, Melzar, Dell Todd, Randy Bladel, Don Camp and Mike Seaman.

Nordic Ski Racer, smarting from the loss of several power skiers to the UP and Vermont, tried valiantly but couldn't defend their Brumbaugh Cup 2008 win.  Age Group wins by Brendan Baic, Bill Kaltz and Bill Haefner, a silver by Kelly Mikolajczyk and a bronze by Natalie Dawson plus Power Ranking placements of #1, Junior Men, Brendan, #5 Junior Women, Brady Brennan, #11, 15, 17 and 18 Senior Men (Ken Dawson, Mike Muha, Doug Heady and Yvon Dufor) were enough to allow them edge Traverse Nordic Junior by one point.

In their first year of team Michigan Cup competition the Traverse Nordic Juniors showed up in force compiling all of their points in the Junior ranks.  Greg Brown, Ray Innis and Alex Lance went 3,4,and 5 in Junior Men and Maria Frick, Julia Otwell and Rachel Swaffer went 2, 3 and 4 in Junior Women to secure a sixth place finish.

Cross Country Ski Headquarters used Age Group wins in Junior Women, Kaitlyn Paterson and Jean Murray, silvers by Katerina Gulledge, Beth Caldwell and Marvin Stevenson plus a bronze by John Caldwell and Power Ranking of #1 Junior Women, Kaitlyn and #20 Senior Men, Larry Kanaby, to finished in seventh spot in the Brumbaugh Cup.

The Brumbaugh Cup was designed to reward the Team with the best skiers and it certainly does that.  Traverse Nordic, using a small number of quality skiers, surprised everyone but themselves with the victory.  Well, judging from Cliff's reaction, he was pretty surprised himself. 

Congratulations to the Traverse Nordic Team on a quality win.  Congratulations also to Hanson Hills Cross Country Ski Shop for their second place finish two years in a row.  This year was much closer, 2 points, and watch out for them next year, they have got to be hungary.