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UW Men March Toward Nordic National Title; Women Hold Narrow Lead

March 11, 2016

The University of Wyoming men’s Nordic ski team continued its dominance Friday at the 38th annual United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national championships, almost assuring itself of a second straight national title.

UW’s women, meanwhile, hold a narrow lead at the event in Lake Placid, N.Y., and will have to win Saturday’s freestyle team relay race to capture the national championship.

Led by top-10 finishes by Will Timmons, Mason Vincent, Sam Wiswell and Taylor Vignaroli, the Cowboys once again took first in Friday’s 1.5km classic sprint, defeating Western State University, of Gunnison, Colo., by five points. That extended the overall team lead to 33 heading into Saturday’s concluding competition.

“The men will be tough to catch, regardless of where they place in the relay,” co-head coach Christi Boggs says.

Timmons, of Anchorage, Alaska, took third Friday, following his individual national championship in the 7.5km race on Wednesday.

Vincent (Laramie) was fourth in the 1.5km, Wiswell (Jackson) finished eighth, and Vignaroli (Casper) took 10th. Other UW finishers were Ben Noreen (Ironwood, Mich.) in 12th and Trevor Willoughby (Casper) in 24th.

Once again Friday, UW’s women squeaked by Clarkson University of Potsdam, N.Y., in the 1.5km. The one-point margin gave the Cowgirls a four-point lead heading into Saturday’s relay race.

“Despite the fact that the women were national champions in three races, the overall title will come down to who wins the relay,” Boggs says.

Elise Sulser, of Casper, who already has won two individual titles in this year’s competition, finished third on Friday, followed by Yara Thomas (Jackson) in fourth, Britta Schroeter (Ironwood, Mich.) in seventh, Leann Bentley (Laramie) in 14th, Bridget Weiner (Casper) in 18th, Meghan Kent (Laramie) in 21st and Victoria Hollingsworth (Jackson) in 32nd.

Clarkson University has finished right behind UW in all three events of this year’s competition. A victory Saturday would put the Cowgirls back at the top after a second-place finish in 2015. UW’s women won the championship in 2014 and have captured six national titles since 2003.

More than 500 skiers nationwide are competing for national collegiate titles in alpine and Nordic skiing, and snowboard/freeski events, at Lake Placid this week. UW’s Nordic club teams compete in Division II at the national meet.

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