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The nationally recognized University of Wyoming Nordic Club ski teams opened the new year sweeping a pair of events last weekend.
The UW women won by comfortable margins both the classic race Saturday at Snow Mountain in Winter Park, Colo., and the skate competition at Devil's Thumb Ranch, also in Winter Park. The UW Cowboys edged Colorado Mesa University (CMU) by just a single point in the skate race, but won by 13 points over CMU in the classic competition.
The United States Air Force Academy and Colorado School of Mines also competed both days.
"It was a great way to start the season. Good, solid racing but nothing that might indicate that we have some athletes peaking too soon," says UW Coach Christi Boggs, a lecturer in Outreach Credit Programs. She coaches the club again with Rachel Watson, molecular biology lecturer.
"There were some rough days for our athletes that returned from low elevation, but they will start feeling better in a couple of weeks," Boggs says. "We're excited that many of our new skiers are doing so well and that our returning athletes are starting in a solid spot."
Freshman Bridget Weiner from Casper won the skate competition and placed second in the classic. Transfer student Sierra Jech, a Cody sophomore, was fourth and third in the skate and classic races. Freshman Linnea Dixson of Steamboat Springs, Colo., placed fifth in both races. Her sister, Sarah, a sophomore, took sixth both times.
In the skate, Laramie senior Catherine Schmidt was seventh; Shanna McCleary, Casper sophomore, eighth; junior Sarah Johnson, Duluth, Minn., ninth; and Cara Noseworthy, Medford, N.J., senior, 12th. In the classic competition, McCleary took seventh, Schmidt eighth, Johnson ninth and Noseworthy 10th.
The Cowgirls had a team low 10 points in the skate competition followed by CMU with 16 and Air Force scored 32. In the classic race, UW had 10 points again, CMU 16 and the Lady Falcons 27.
In the men's classic, UW had a team low nine points to take first place followed by both CMU and Air Force with 22 points each. In the skate race, UW edged CMU 16-17 for the team title. Air Force placed third with 26 points and Colorado School of Mines had 32.
Individually for the UW men, Casper sophomore Patrick Rodgers placed fourth in both races. In the skate he was followed by Adam Looney, Anchorage, Alaska, senior, fifth; Nathan Hough, Casper, sophomore, sixth; Willie Via, Fairbanks, Alaska, junior, ninth; Devin Oderwald, Granby, Colo., senior, 10th; and Adam Karges, Grand Rapids, Minn., senior, 14th.
In the classic, UW freshman Kyle Bochanski, Fairfax,Va., was just four seconds out of first place. Other Cowboys placing were Hough in third and just two seconds behind Bochanski; Rodgers fourth; Looney sixth; Oderwald ninth; and Via 10th.
The UW Nordic teams face stronger competition in a pair of Division I races the next two weekends for the University of Colorado and Denver University races.