UW Nordic Ski Teams Host Regionals

February 15, 2012

The University of Wyoming's nationally ranked Nordic ski teams will host the regional meet at Tie City on Happy Jack Road east of Laramie this weekend for the annual Cowboy Chase. The public also has an opportunity to compete.

The weekend also features a pasta dinner and auction, with all proceeds helping to send the club to the 34th annual United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) championships March 5-10, in Sunday River, Maine.

A 10km/5km freestyle race is open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, and a 10km/3km classic pursuit starts at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Children's competition is offered both days.

Registration is from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Saturday and 8-9 a.m. Sunday. Cost is $20 per race for adults or $30 for both. The fee for children is $5 per race. Registration is at the Tie City parking lot.

The UW Nordic ski teams will host a pasta dinner/auction at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Laramie Junior High School. Cost is $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for children.

For more information about the weekend races or the dinner, call UW Nordic ski Coach Christi Boggs at (307) 760-7150 or email uwski@yahoo.com.

The UW teams did well at last weekend's Aspen Nordic Festival. UW's elite team competed in three separate races spread over two days, with results counting in the national points race. Both nationally ranked UW teams remained unbeaten on the season in conference competition.

Saturday began with a 1.4km classic. Team members then competed in a 5km for the women and a 10km race for the men. UW's entire rosters competed in the second race.

Cody's Sierra Jech, a sophomore, won the 1.4 km college division, followed by teammate Bridget Weiner, a Casper sophomore. The Cowboys' Nathan Hough, a Casper sophomore, was the top men's finisher, with teammates junior Kyle Bochanski, of Fairfax, Vt., and Patrick Rodgers, Casper sophomore, trailing.

The women's 5km college division was dominated by Weiner, who outraced early season points leader Brooke Bosman, Colorado Mesa University, by 35 seconds. In her best race of the year, Sarah Dixson, a Steamboat Springs, Colo., sophomore, placed third, just one second ahead of Jech. The rest of the Cowgirls dominated, taking fifth through eighth place: Linnea Dixson, Steamboat Springs, Colo., freshman; junior Sarah Johnson, Duluth, Minn.; Cara Noseworthy, Medford, N.J., senior; and Laramie sophomore Catherine Schmidt.

The Cowgirls scored a team-low 8 points to win the competition, followed by Colorado Mesa University with 21 and the United States Air Force Academy scored 27.

"By far the best showing by our UW women this season," Boggs says.

The UW men also did well. The Cowboys had 12 points, Colorado Mesa 24, Air Force 26 and Western State College 54.

Hough was second overall, 59 seconds behind Western State's Chris Lange. Bochanski skied to fourth and teammates Rodgers, Willie Via, Fairbanks, Alaska, junior, and Adam Looney, Anchorage, Alaska, senior, took the sixth through eighth positions. Devin Oderwald, Granby, Colo., senior, rounded out the top 10.

"The second day was a 21km brutal freestyle race over the top of a mountain," Boggs says of the competition in which both her teams won team titles.

Looney was the top Cowboy in the men's college race finishing third, followed closely in the next two positions by Bochanski and Rodgers, with Hough rounding out the team's top four in seventh. Oderwald finished eighth and senior Adam Karges, of Grand Rapids, Minn., took 12th. Cheyenne freshman Sindre Solvang, who just learned to ski this year, finished 14th.

The Cowboys won the grueling race with 12 points; Air Force had 23, Western State 28, and Colorado Mesa 29.

"It was an impressive race by the men," Boggs says. "And our women also skied amazingly. The top three Cowgirls had never skied a 21km before, but sure rocked it."

The UW women took the top three positions with Weiner winning the race followed by Jeck and Linnea Dixson.

"This was the first perfect score (1, 2, 3) by the Cowgirls this season and we hope it's a good indication for nationals," Boggs says.

Five more Cowgirls finished among the top 10: Sarah Dixson was fifth; Shanna McCleary, Casper sophomore, sixth; Johnson seventh; Noseworthy eighth; and Schmidt 10th.

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