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February 20, 2013 — There is no doubt about which teams are the best in the region.
Both University of Wyoming Nordic ski club teams dominated last weekend’s home Cowboy Chase races at the Happy Jack trails east of Laramie. The UW men and women picked up victories during two days of competition to widen their overall conference points totals.
The Cowboys won Saturday’s 10km skate race with a season-low seven points, followed by Colorado Mesa University (CMU), which had 21 points. Western State College (WSC) placed third with 37 team points and the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) had 38.
Casper juniors Nathan Hough and Patrick Rodgers led a one-two finish for the Pokes. Senior Kyle Bochanski of Fairfax, Vt., placed fourth; Casper freshman Taylor Vignaroli took ninth; Willie Via, a Fairbanks, Alaska, senior was 11th; and Cheyenne sophomore Sindre Solvang placed 13th.
The Cowgirls were just as dominant, winning their division with a team-low eight points. CMU was the runner-up with 16 and USAFA scored 35 points.
Cody junior Sierra Jech led the Cowgirls with a first-place finish; Bridget Weiner, a Casper sophomore, was third; one place back was Sarah Johnson, a senior from Duluth, Minn.; Laramie junior Catherine Schmidt placed fifth; Britta Schroeter, of Ironwood, Mich., was seventh; and Binny Loveless, from New York City, N.Y., was the final UW skier in 12th.
In Sunday’s 10km classic, Rodgers, the conference’s second-ranked skier, and Bochanski were first and second, respectively, for the UW men. Hough placed fourth; Vignaroli eighth; Via ninth; and Solvang finished 14th.
The Cowboys again scored a team-low seven points to place first overall, followed by CMU with 21, the USAFA scored 36 and WSC was one point back in fourth.
Jech, the overall conference points leader, won for the second straight day to take the women’s title, while teammates Weiner, Johnson and Schmidt placed third through fifth.
The Cowgirls won the day’s race with eight points, while CMU scored 15 and the USAFA had 31.
The UW men lead the conference with a season-low 81 points, while CMU Is second with 178, WSC has 208 and the USAFA has 237.
The Cowgirls have 70 points total on the season to lead their division, CMU has 113 and the USAFA totals 241.
The UW Nordic teams will next compete at the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) championships March 3-9, in Sun Valley, Idaho.