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UW Women’s Nordic Ski Team Leads Region

January 31, 2018
woman Nordic skiing
University of Wyoming Nordic skier Sydney Wiswell, of Jackson, had a strong weekend of racing that has moved her to the top position as the region’s overall points leader. (David James Photo)

A successful weekend has propelled the University of Wyoming women’s Nordic ski team atop the overall regional standings after three rounds of competition.

The Cowgirls tied for first place in the 5km classic on the first day of competition last Saturday at the Colorado Mesa University Invitational on Grand Mesa, located near Grand Junction, Colo. The UW women then captured first place the following day in the 10km skate race.

The men’s team is struggling with illness among some team members, co-head Coach Christi Boggs says. The Cowboys managed second place both days and are currently fourth in the overall regional standings.

During Saturday’s competition, Sydney Wiswell, Jackson, won the classic race by 15 seconds. Laramie’s Ella DeWolf placed sixth. Teammates Leann Bentley, Laramie, and Maddy Tinker and Kat Gruner, both from Casper, were eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively. Morgan Robins, Lander, placed 13th; Rylie Garner, Casper, took 16th; and, in her first race, Machaela Forty, Westford, Mass., was 18th.

“The women are starting to come on form, and we have high hopes for the next few races as they continue to be challenged by a very strong Western State Colorado University (WSCU) team,” Boggs says.

The men also had a good day with Trevor Willoughby, Casper, skiing into third place, just four seconds out of second. Laramie’s Mason Vincent placed fourth, only two seconds behind his teammate. Nick Edwards, Laramie, finished 16th, and Sheridan’s Ben Romanjenko came in 22nd.

“Ben continues to improve and, with the return of Mason for just one race last weekend, we see the potential of the men’s team when they finished second, just eight points out of first place,” Boggs says.

Sunday’s race was a mass-start 10km freestyle, with the Cowgirls having a plan to ski together at the beginning of the race in a “pain train,” where different team members helped set the pace, Boggs says.

DeWolf won her first race with a 26-second cushion, while Wiswell placed third, followed by Bentley’s sixth-place showing. Tinker placed 10th, Robins 13th and Forty 16th. The Cowgirls had a team-low 10 points.

Vincent, the men’s team’s leader, missed Sunday’s competition due to illness. Willoughby had UW’s best finish, placing seventh. Edwards had his best race of the season and skied into 14th, while Romanjenko improved his place from the day before by skiing into 21st place. The men ended up fourth on the day.

The top individual points leader wears the leader bib in races each week and, after last weekend’s strong showing, Wiswell now wears the leader bib. She has a four-point lead over Air Force’s Becki Bryant. With her Sunday victory, DeWolf moved from eighth to fourth in the overall standings, and Bentley is the third Cowgirl in the top 10 with seventh place. Willoughby is the Cowboys’ top skier in third place.

The UW teams will compete in WSCU races this weekend in Crested Butte, Colo. Saturday is a 21km freestyle, and Sunday is a 5km classic race.

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