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UW Nordic Team, Coaches to Compete at World University Games in Kazakhstan

January 18, 2017

University of Wyoming Nordic ski club team members and coaches are part of the USA team that will compete at the Universiade World University Games (WUG) Jan. 29-Feb. 8 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

UW is among several U.S. teams invited to compete in the games, known as the Winter Universiade, an international sporting and cultural festival staged every two years in a different city. It is said to be second in importance only to the Winter Olympic Games. More than 50 countries are expected to compete.

UW’s teams will compete against some world-class athletes who have competed in past Winter Olympics. This is the fourth time UW’s contingent has been invited to the WUG, having previously competed in Turkey, Italy and Slovakia.

The Cowboys are the two-time defending United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national champions, while the Cowgirls have been runners-up the past two seasons.

UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs is the USA Nordic team leader, and UW co-head Coach Rachel Watson is the national team’s head coach. Two former UW team members also will have roles on the USA team: Kyle Bochanski, Fairfax, Vt., is an assistant coach, and Sindre Solvang, Cheyenne, is a ski wax technician.

Current UW team members selected for the USA team -- based on last year’s individual point standings in United States Collegiate Ski Association-sanctioned races -- are men’s team members Will Timmons, Anchorage, Alaska; Mason Vincent, Laramie; and Sam Wiswell, Jackson.

Timmons will compete in the 10k classic, 10k free and relay race; Wiswell will compete in the same three events and the 30k classic; and Vincent is in the 10k classic, 10k free and classic sprint.

UW Cowgirls on the team are Meghan Kent, Laramie; Elise Sulser, Casper; and Yara Thomas, Jackson. Sierra Jech, former UW team member from Cody, who now attends graduate school at Syracuse University, also is a USA team member.

Kent, Sulser and Thomas will compete in the 5k classic, 5k free, relay and 15k classic races; and Jech is entered in the 5k classic, 5k free, relay, classic sprint and team sprint.

UW’s team opened the season with a pair of competitions earlier this month, including the United States National Championships at Soldier Hollow, Utah.

The event attracted 600 of the best competitors in the nation. Even though UW’s team members did not finish among the top placers, Boggs says the early competition will help in the long run.

Competing for UW were men’s team members Ben Noren, from Ironwood, Mich.; Timmons; Wiswell; Vincent; and Trevor Willoughby, Casper. Cowgirls competing were Ella DeWolf, Laramie; Kent; Sulser; Thomas; and Sydney Wiswell, Jackson.

Both men’s and women’s team members competed last weekend at a Division I race hosted by Montana State University. Vincent had UW’s best showing among the Cowboys with a 21st place finish in the 20k classic, and Sulser led the women by placing 16th in the 5k classic race.

Upcoming competitions for the team are the Stagecoach Classic in Winter Park, Colo., this weekend; the Colorado Mesa University Invitational Jan. 28-29; and the Western State Colorado University Invitational Feb. 4-5.

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