Unseasonably warm conditions have taken hold of the Midwest and even the woods of Northern Wisconsin are no refuge from heat. Thursday night it rained with a low of 40`F. On Friday, the day before the first of the weekend’s Telemark NorAm SuperTour events, the temperatures soared into the upper forties for a record smashing all time high. With the course melting underfoot, race organizers first chose to delay course inspection until 4:00 pm (in hopes that the course would be firmer in later day temps) and then cancelled it all together for the sake of maintaining the best possible course conditions. On Friday night, as forecasters promised, the temperatures did indeed drop into the teens. Thus, you can predict the result for Saturday’s 9:00 am start time: icy rails for tracks and frightful descents on the technical World Cup course at Telemark Resort. All racers and coaches commended race organizers and volunteers for preparing the best possible course and running a professional event under difficult circumstances. Coaches and athletes, for their part, overcame difficult waxing conditions and tricky descents to record strong performances.
Though the temperature had dropped below freezing on Friday night, it had done so for only a short time, and temperature was quickly rising. Thus, even the first starters skipped the blue klisters and went immediately to purples. The consensus from the women who went out around 9:00 am in the B and A seeds was that the wax that worked was either warmer than one might expect (some added a few dots of red), or thicker than one would normally recommend. Later in the day, the temperature did make its way into the high thirties, so later starters (the men, high schoolers, and Junior 2’s) dealt with snow that was rapidly transforming or transformed.
In the women’s five-kilometer individual start race, contested during the “icy times,” Shayla Swanson (BSF/x-c.com) beat out Natasha Naryshkina (Rossignol/RSSS) by the narrowest of margins one second: 16:34 to 16:35. APU’s Erin Hood was close behind the two, recording a 16:40. Swanson and her x-c.com teammates arrived early to the venue to do group wax testing. Although Swanson said that it was a challenge to find a wax that kicked, she felt “that [her] selection worked.” Swanson said that her skis were “a little slippery but fast.” She felt that what she gave up in time by having to do a few more herringbones than she might have liked, she made up for in ski speed. Laughing good-naturedly about the race, Swanson called it “a challenge.” She explained: “You never knew if your kick would take you up the hill in front of you. The downhills were terrifying. It was a bit of a balancing act to make it around the corners with out landing in the trees.” However, she asserted, “The groomers did excellent job given what they had to work with.”
Unlike at Mt. Itasca last weekend, none of the female collegians broke into the top-three overall at Telemark, although University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Johanna Turunen came closest. As the collegiate winner, Turunen took fourth overall in the field, posting a 16:44. Teammate Pavla Havlova finished second among collegians, while Northern Michigan University’s Tami Kochen was third. While official collegiate scores have not yet been tabulated, the results of Turunen and Havlova in combination with Aurelia Korthauer (second Older Junior, fourth collegian) make UAF the obvious team winner.
The men’s ten-kilometer race was two laps of the same five-kilometer loop. Dave Chamberlain (Atomic) captured a decisive win over Chris Cook (Atomic/Sun Valley) 27:26 to 27:45. Zach Violett (FSx/Auburn Ski Club) skied into third with a 28:25. Just as in the women’s race, a UAF skier broke into fourth place overall. This skier was Marius Korthauer whose 28:48 bettered the nearest collegian by more than a minute. Colin Rodgers FSx/Maine Winter Sports Center took fifth place in 28:51.
Among the collegians, second to Korthauer was teammate Bart Dengel 29:56. Northern Michigan University’s Gus Kaeding was third in 29:59.
Top JOQ athletes included OJ’s Katie Bono (Team Piotr) and Jesse Lang, J1’s Rita White (MSC) and Michael Mommsen (MSC), J2’s Danielle Berndt(Minn Val) and Hans Nygren (MN Val), J3’s Elizabeth Simak (Hayward) and Michael Howe (Nordic Works), J4’s Olivia Amber (Hayward) and Matthew Wald (Wausau Nordic), Other category winners included High Schoolers Kristi Buerkle (Nordic Werks) and Jamison Hull, (Nordic Werks), and Master Mark Parman (skinnyski.com) .
For results of those events, as well as complete NorAm SuperTour and collegiate results, go to www.itiming.com. All race information is available at www.cxcskiing.org.