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UW Men’s Nordic Ski Team Wins National Title

March 7, 2015

The University of Wyoming men’s Nordic ski team went wire to wire in capturing the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) national championship Saturday in Bend, Ore.

The Cowboys were perfect all week in winning four separate events during the week’s competition at Mount Bachelor and were never really challenged by the pack. The national title was the Pokes’ fifth overall in team history since Nordic skiing was brought back as a club sport at UW about 15 years ago.

The UW men last won a national title in 2013 and were national runners-up last season. This year was much different, with a young team dominating the field at this week’s national meet, which drew a record-breaking 513 collegiate athletes representing 70 universities across six regions competing in 24 winter events.

The Pokes’ margin of victory was a whopping 72 points over perennial power St. Olaf College of Northfield, Minn. The Pokes scored a weeklong low of just 32 points in four different styles of Nordic skiing, while the Minnesota school put up 109 points. Clarkson University of Potsdam, N.Y., placed third in the national event with 140 points.

The UW Cowgirls, who enjoyed an unbeaten regular season, needed outside help Saturday in attempting to capture the program’s seventh national title. But the UW women’s efforts fell short as St. Olaf won the overall team title with a team-low 40 points -- a 24-point margin victory over the Cowgirls. Clarkson was a distant third in the standings with 154 points through four races.

“It was an amazing week. Everyone skied so well,” says UW co-head coach Christi Boggs. “Our men were amazing; such depth. We won all three individual races, but it wasn’t the same person once. Our women had some bad luck, and St. Olaf was just really strong this season.”

The final men’s team sprint relay of senior Kyle Bochanski, from Fairfax, Vt.; Casper junior Taylor Vignaroli; and Ben Noren, a senior from Ironwood, Mich., capped off the week in high style for the men, with a Cowboy team member standing atop the podium after each race.

Bochanski was the overall top men’s skier for the week, with the Pokes sweeping the top three positions, in another dominating performance. Will Timmons, an Anchorage, Alaska, sophomore, was the national runner-up, and Laramie freshman Mason Vincent was third.

Three more Cowboys finished among the best nationals skiers, giving UW’s men six of the week’s top 10 point producers. Jackson sophomore Sam Wiswell was fifth overall; Noreen placed seventh; and Taylor eighth.

The St. Olaf women won the final team relay Saturday, while the Cowgirls were second and Clarkson University third. Competing for the UW women were an all-Wyoming trio of Cody junior Sierra Jech; Yara Thomas, a Jackson sophomore; and Casper junior Elise Sulser.

Sulser capped the season as the overall third-place individual during the week, while Jech was fourth. Thomas completed the top-10 place winners for the Cowgirls with a seventh-place showing. Leann Bentley, a Laramie freshman, was just out of the top 10 in 11th place.


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Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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