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Soft Snow Conditions Greet Chestnut Valley Racers

Sat, Jan  3, 2004

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   Results
   Pictures taken be Team NordicSkiRacer member Doug Cornell
   One racer's experience at the race.
It was mashed potatos and gravy out on the course today as racers competed in the first Michigan Cup points race of the season. With temperatures above freezing for more than 24 hours prior to the race, the ample snow cover had softened and thinned. Gusty winds and temperatures in the 30's greeted racers under the mostly cloudy skies. The valleys between hills tend to be water soaked, while uphills had very soft, damp snow. Still, the snow held up well enough on the three lap course across the gently rolling Chestnut Valley Golf Course that skiers didn't need to worry about "naturally rilling" the bottoms of their skis. Race Director Nick Baic warned skiers to "don't skate, just double pole across any wet, black sections of the course - we're not sure whats under there!"

Milan Baic (33:35) beat out Andrew Triebold (34:02) and David Maclean (34:26) to win the 11 km Men's race. In the 7 km women's race, Megan Madion (30:11) finished first, followed by Jesi Schwab (31:25) and Amy Todd (37:10).

This was a USSA Great Lakes District Olympic Qualifier race, so lots of juniors attended. Jared Cregg came all the way down from Marquette to beat fellow Marquette resident Thomas McFadden 25:22 to 30:34. Kyle Endicott was third in 31:54.

Among Junior Women, sisters Julia and Anna Coulter of Traverse City finished one-two in 30:11 and 31:25 respectively, followed by Ingrid Fjeldheim of Marquette.

Some skiers thought the race should have included the very hilly Nubs Knob trail system. A group of us skied that section of trail after the race. Although parts of the trail had great snow, the downhills were fast and only had a thin layer of snow. Snowplowing skiers would have quickly scraped up rocks and sticks. The tops of some of the uphills were also showing dirt. I think the race director made a wise decision in the interests of most racers by having the race remain on the golf course.

Full results of this race will be published as soon as I receive an electronic copy from the race director. If any of you took digital photos of the race, please send me copies and I'll post them on the site!

-Mike Muha