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February 4, 2014 — Different invitational, same results for the University of Wyoming Nordic ski teams.
Both the UW men’s and women’s teams swept weekend competitions at the Western State Colorado University (WSCU) invitational. Last Saturday, the Cowboys and Cowgirls won their respective divisions of the 21km skate race, which was a United States Collegiate Ski Association qualifier. The two clubs also dominated the next day’s relays.
The Cowboys scored a team-low six points to win Saturday’s race, while Colorado Mesa University (CMU) had 23. The other two league clubs followed the pack: the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) placed third with 34 points, and the host WSCU team had 38.
Casper’s Nathan Hough paced the UW team with a runner-up finish, and teammates Patrick Rodgers of Casper and Kyle Bochanski of Fairfax, Vt., were right behind.
The Cowgirls swept the top four positions: Elise Sulser of Casper; Sierra Jech of Cody; and Bridget Weiner and Lindsey Hall, both from Casper.
UW’s women won the day’s race with six points, followed by WSCU with 24, the USAFA scored 30, and CMU had 36.
The Cowboys again claimed the top spot at Sunday’s relay, again with six points. WSCU came in second nine points back, the USAFA scored 24, and CMU had 33.
The Pokes’ team of Rodgers and Bochanski won the relay, followed by three other UW pairs: Sam Wiswell from Jackson and Ben Noren of Ironwood, Mich.; Hough and Taylor Vignaroli from Casper; and Andrew Hill from Casper and Kyle Carpenter of Anchorage, Alaska.
UW’s Britta Schroeter of Ironwood, Mich., and Weiner, along with Jackson’s Yara Thomas and Hall, were the top two teams in the women’s division. The Cowgirls once again scored a team-low six points to claim the relay race. CMU placed second with 15 points, WSCU scored 24, and the USAFA had 33.
Last Friday, some UW team members competed in a Division I competition, which attracted several teams on full scholarships. The University of Colorado hosted the 5k women’s classic and a 10k men's race at Steamboat Springs.
“Every man on our team who competed had his best Division I race of the season,” UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs says. “They did great in a field of former World Cup racers and scholarship athletes.”
Bochanski led the Cowboys in 30th place. He was followed by Will Timmons, Anchorage, Alaska; Rodgers, Noren, Hill and Vignaroli. All the Cowboys were within two minutes of each other.
“The Cowgirls also did fantastic, ending the day only two points behind the CU women,” Boggs says.
Sulser had her second top race of the season, placing 15th. Jech was 14 seconds behind Sulser and skied to her first top 20 finish in a Division I race, placing 19th. Weiner placed 28th and Schroeter finished 31st.
The UW teams will compete in their final Division I race at this weekend’s New Mexico Invitational in Red River, N.M. The Cowboys and Cowgirls host their annual competition at the Happy Jack trails Feb. 15-16.
University of Wyoming team members Andrew Hill and Taylor Vignaroli, both of Casper, race along the trail in Crested Butte, Colo. Both the UW men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams had another successful weekend. (Christi Boggs Photo)