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Published January 24, 2018
Being low in numbers and fielding young clubs for both the men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams mean a rebuilding season for the University of Wyoming.
The UW women, United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) third-place finishers from a year ago, placed second in the first official qualifier last weekend in Winter Park, Colo. The three-time USCSA national champion UW men’s team placed fourth in the competition.
“We have a very young, small but excited team that competed, and they did great. And, for some, it was their very first college qualifier,” UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs says. “The snow conditions this year have made racing tough.”
The UW teams competed in the Stagecoach Classic 15km, where competitors start at Devil’s Thumb Ranch and finish in downtown Winter Park.
The Cowgirls scored 17 points, placing behind front-running Western State Colorado University (WSCU, Gunnison, Colo.), which notched a team-low 12 points. Colorado College (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was third with 33 points.
UW sophomore Sydney Wiswell, of Jackson, led the Cowgirls with a third-place finish, followed by senior Leann Bentley, Laramie, in sixth. Another Laramie skier, junior Ella DeWolf, also finished among the top 10 skiers, placing eighth.
Freshman Maddy Tinker, Casper, and Morgan Robins, a Lander junior, were 10th and 11th, respectively. In 15th place was Casper freshman Rylie Garner.
“There were 26 women in the race, so all our girls placed in the top half,” Boggs says. “We were especially excited by Leann, who has improved an amazing amount this season and is doing a great job of leading the team.”
After graduating a large group from the men’s team last spring, the Cowboys are left with just four competitors on the team, and one of them was sick last weekend.
The men were led by junior Trevor Willoughby, Casper, who placed third after winning a sprint to the finish. Laramie sophomore Nick Edwards placed 17th. And, in his first qualifying race, freshman Ben Romanjenko, Sheridan, placed 22nd.
The Cowboys placed fourth overall as a team with 35 points. WSCU also won the men’s competition with 16 points; Colorado Mesa University (Grand Junction, Colo.) placed second with 18 points; and third went to the U.S. Air Force Academy with 26 points.