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UW Nordic Skiers Continue to Improve at World University Games

January 31, 2011

The University of Wyoming Nordic ski team heads into the final two days of competition this week at the World University Games in Erzurum, Turkey. The team has progressed after two days of opening competition.

"The sprint race on Saturday went extremely well with almost all our athletes moving up in the standings," UW Coach Christi Boggs said.

Laramie's Gwynn Barrows had the highest finish for the women in the 5km classic race, placing 41st overall, while Jackson's Dan Lewis was 44th to lead the Cowboys. Official times were not available.

"The top 15-20 people are currently racing on the World Cup circuit and our UW athletes are competing well. We're extremely proud of them," Boggs says.

The UW women's team struggled Monday in the pursuit race -- a competition that is the classic style of cross country skiing for the first leg. Competitors then switch skis and poles and complete the second half skate.

Only two UW women -- Barrows and Lander's Marie Cartwright -- managed to finish the race, but the top professional racers lapped most of the entire field. More than a dozen competitors didn't finish the race.

"Gwynn and Marie skied it out and hung tough," Boggs said. "It was rough out there, but they gave it everything they had and that's all anyone can ask."

The UW men fared better with strong performances from two freshmen, Nathan Hough of Casper and Kai Sharp of Atlantic Mine, Mich., leading the way with Eliah Pederson of Lander and Lewis the top Cowboy finishers. No official results were available.

"It was a tough day but everyone skied their hearts out. We couldn't be more proud of them," Boggs said.

UW's team has Tuesday off. Action resumes Wednesday for the 4x10km relay for the men and a 3x5km relay for the women. The final event for UW will be the mixed sprint relay Thursday. The race features one man and woman alternating around a 1.5km loop for a total of three loops around the course.

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