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UW Men’s Nordic Ski Team Close to National Title

March 6, 2015

Simply put, the University of Wyoming men’s Nordic ski team was perfect Friday at the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) national championships in Bend, Ore.

The Cowboys posted a perfect low score of six points in winning the 15km freestyle competition at Mount Bachelor. With just Saturday’s final team sprint left in the weeklong competition, the Pokes are close to winning UW’s fifth national title in the men’s division. The Cowboys won the title in 2013 and were the national runners-up a year ago.

With an insurmountable 68-point lead over St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minn.), it would take a disastrous turn of events to prevent the Cowboys from taking the overall team championship.

“All the men have to do is finish the relay race Saturday and they will win the title,” says UW co-head coach Christi Boggs.

The UW men have a team-low 26 points, while St. Olaf has posted 94 points after three events.

Earlier Friday, the UW women set the pace and placed first in the 15km freestyle race, and are still mathematically in the chase for a national championship as well. After the day’s competition, the Cowgirls trailed front-running St. Olaf by just 15 points.

“Relay places are worth nine points, so our women would need to win the relay and another team would have to beat St. Olaf,” Boggs says. “However, if they can win the relay, they will have won three of the four daily national championship races.”

If the UW women don’t win their seventh national title, unfortunate circumstances in Wednesday’s sprint race would be the team’s downfall. One of the team’s better skiers had a technical issue, costing her a chance to win the individual title, and perhaps the Cowgirls winning the overall race.

Both the UW men and women again had the overall individual champions Friday afternoon. The UW men have stood atop the podium in all three races.

Will Timmons, an Anchorage, Alaska, sophomore, was the day’s champion followed by teammates Mason Vincent, a Laramie freshman, and Jackson sophomore Sam Wiswell. Senior Kyle Bochanski, from Fairfax, Vt., rounded out UW’s top 10 finishers, placing ninth.

Other place winners for the Pokes were: Ben Noren, a senior from Ironwood, Mich., who placed 11th; Anchorage senior Kyle Carpenter, 16th; and Cheyenne junior Sindre Solvang, 21st.

St. Olaf placed second to the Pokes on the day with 35 points, and Colorado Mesa University was third with 36 points.

The Cowgirls found their winning ways when Casper junior Elise Sulser placed first among all skiers, giving the UW women two of the three individual race champions this week. Cody junior Sierra Jech was the fourth-place finisher, while two other UW team members finished among the top 10.

Leann Bentley, a Laramie freshman, and Jackson sophomore Yara Thomas, were fourth and ninth respectively. Junior Britta Schroeter, from Ironwood, Mich., took 13th; and Laramie sophomore Meghan Kent placed 16th.

“Our women beat St. Olaf, giving us the daily national title by one point. It was a fantastic race,” Boggs says.

The Cowgirls scored 12 points on the day; St. Olaf had 13; and third went to Colorado Mesa University with 41 points.

The USCSA championships have a record-breaking 513 collegiate athletes representing 70 universities across six regions competing in 24 winter events this week.

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