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UW Men Maintain Lead at National Nordic Ski Competition

March 4, 2015

The University of Wyoming men’s Nordic ski team kept a firm grip on the overall team lead after Wednesday’s competition in the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) championships at Mount Bachelor in Bend, Ore.

And for the second straight day, the Cowboys produced an individual race champion. Senior Kyle Bochanski, from Fairfax, Vt., finished first in the 1.5km freestyle sprint competition.

In fact, the Pokes had half of the top 10 place winners at the USCSA championships, which has a record-breaking 513 collegiate athletes representing 70 universities across six regions competing in 24 winter events this week.

Rounding out the Cowboys’ top place winners were: Ben Noren, a senior from Ironwood, Mich., in third; and taking the sixth, seventh and eighth positions were Casper junior Taylor Vignaroli; Will Timmons, an Anchorage, Alaska, sophomore; and Sam Wiswell, a Jackson sophomore.

“The men easily won the day,” UW co-head coach Christi Boggs says.

The Pokes scored a team-low 10 points to outdistance runner-up Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.), which had 27 points. St. Olaf (Northfield, Minn.) was third with 35.

The Cowboys now lead the overall team standings with 20 points, opening up a lead over St. Olaf, which has 59 points after two days of competition.

The UW men are seeking the program’s fifth national title; they were national runners-up last season.

The UW Cowgirls were not as productive on the second day of competition after grabbing the early lead Tuesday.

“Our women just had a rough day,” Boggs says of her defending national champion team. The UW women have won six national titles in the program’s history.

The Cowgirls’ best finish in the 1.5km freestyle sprint race Wednesday came from Cody junior Sierra Jech, who placed sixth overall. The only other UW team member to finish among the top 10 was Jackson sophomore Yara Thomas in ninth place.

Casper junior Elise Sulser, who was the individual national champion in the opening7.5km race, had a ski malfunction during Wednesday’s race and placed a disappointing 11th. Finishing one place back in 12th was teammate Leann Bentley, a Laramie freshman. Junior Britta Schroeter, from Ironwood, Mich., rounded out the Cowgirls’ scoring by placing 14th.

The Cowgirls finished second on the day to St. Olaf College. The Minnesota team had a team-low 8 points, while the UW women had 26. Clarkson University was third with 40 points.

St. Olaf took the overall women’s team lead with 21 points after two events, while the Cowgirls dropped to second with 37 points.

Nordic ski teams have Thursday off, and action resumes Friday with the 15km freestyle competition. The national championships conclude Saturday with the men’s and women’s team sprint.

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