UW Nordic Ski Team Fares Well on Final Day at World University Games
The University of Wyoming Nordic ski team did not medal Thursday on the final day of competition at the Winter World University Games in Erzurum, Turkey, but the two mixed relay teams provided the Cowboys and Cowgirls with their best efforts of the week.
The UW sprint relay teams placed ninth and 11th, respectively, in their semifinal heats for the highest placing in any event during the week-long competition.
"We saved the best for last. This was, by far, our best race. The team just got stronger as the week went along, despite the fact that our best athletes raced every race. Most of the other athletes in the team sprint raced just a few events," UW Coach Christi Boggs wrote in an e-mail. "No one around us raced two days in a row like our team did. Despite this, our UW athletes skied amazingly."
The final day of competition for the UW teams was the mixed sprint relay, featuring one man and woman alternating around a 1.5km loop for a total of three loops around the course. UW had two teams entered in the competition -- Laramie's Gwynn Barrows teamed with Dan Lewis of Jackson and Lander's Marie Cartwright partnered with Nathan Hough of Casper.
In the first semifinal race, Lewis and Barrows placed ninth in a time of 18:03.4, edging out teams from Turkey and Slovakia. In the other semifinal heat, Cartwright and Hough completed the three loops in 18:11.
Boggs said despite the fact that she knew UW would not medal against some of the world's top winter sports athletes, many of whom compete on the World Cup circuit, competing in the week-long games was a good experience.
"We are truly proud of our athletes and their attitude and determination. They made a positive impact on everyone with whom they interacted" Boggs said. "Even the head of the entire World University Games made a point to tell us how great our UW athletes were and how glad she was that we had come. Our team did UW and Wyoming proud, both on the trails and off. "