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Published February 16, 2018
Two days of racing, including a competition open to the public, are on tap for the University of Wyoming Nordic ski teams at Happy Jack ski trails Feb. 24-25.
The teams will have a full sprint race Saturday afternoon, Feb. 24, scheduled after the completion of the Wyoming state high school races.
“This consists of a qualifier round, where competitors start one every 30 seconds to establish a ranking. Then, we do three rounds of head-to-head racing, where the top two from each heat go on to the next round until we establish the top six in the final round,” says UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs. “It’s fun to watch the rounds.”
Racing begins at 1 p.m. with the qualifier, followed by the elimination rounds at approximately 1:45 p.m.
Sunday is the Laramie Loppet, which is an open, half-marathon citizen race for all ages and abilities. Competition begins at 10 a.m. Prizes and participation gifts for all participants will be available. The day’s open race is a fundraiser to help send the UW teams to the year-end United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national championships March 6-10, in Lake Placid, N.Y., home of the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Four regional teams will compete alongside UW in the home meet: U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado College, Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and Western State Colorado University (WSCU). About 65 individual competitors will compete over two days of action.
The UW women are the current Rocky Mountain Conference leaders with a team-low 81 points through six races on the season. WSCU is second with 138 points; Air Force has 195; Colorado College has 200; and CMU has 242.
The UW men are currently third in the region with 173 points. WSCU heads the pack with 77 points, while CMU is second at 162. Air Force is fourth with 193 points and, in fifth, is Colorado College with 379.
For more information, and to register for the Laramie Loppet, visit the website at https://laramieloppet.weebly.com/.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls have competed the past two weekends with successful results.
UW posted a double individual win at the WSCU Invitational at Crested Butte Feb. 3-4.
Trevor Willoughby, of Casper, won his first collegiate race, taking the 21km freestyle race by 20 seconds. Cowgirl teammate Ella DeWolf, of Laramie, won her second consecutive race by nearly 90 seconds. With her win, she took over the overall regional point total lead, securing the racing bib from teammate Sydney Wiswell, of Jackson.
Both teams finished in second place to WSCU during the day’s competition.
Individually for the Cowboys, Laramie’s Mason Vincent placed fourth; Nick Edwards, of Laramie, finished 13th; and Sheridan’s Ben Romanjenko came in 21st. For the Cowgirls, Casper’s Maddy Tinker placed sixth; Laramie’s Leann Bentley was seventh; Wiswell took ninth; and Michaela Forty, of Westford, Mass., was 11th.
UW again produced the top individual men’s winner during the 5km classic race, with Vincent taking the race by a slim three-second margin.
Willoughby was the only other Cowboy to finish among the top 10 skiers, placing fourth. The Cowgirls had five skiers in the top 10, led by Wiswell in third. Casper freshman Kat Gruner placed fifth; Bentley garnered sixth; DeWolf took eighth; and Tinker was ninth.
Both teams were runners-up again to WSCU.
The UW teams competed last weekend at the Denver University Invitational in Minturn, Colo.
“Saturday was a full-on blizzard, cold, windy, and it snowed about 10 inches during the races,” Boggs says.
Vincent’s fourth place was the top finisher for the Pokes during the men’s 10km skate race. The only other UW Cowboy to place among the top 10 was Willoughby in seventh. UW placed third on the day.
“The weather worsened, and the snow got deeper for the women’s race, but our team skied with grit,” Boggs says.
DeWolf won her third skate race in as many weeks, finishing 18 seconds in front, while retaking the leader bib again from teammate Wiswell. The Cowgirls placed first in the competition.
Last Sunday’s weather cleared, making it ideal for the classic race, Boggs says.
Vincent led the UW men with a third-place finish, while Willoughby placed fifth.
Wiswell came through again to retake the leader bib by placing second in the competition. Bentley had her best race of the season, finishing fourth. DeWolf was sixth; Morgan Robbins, of Lander, placed seventh; and Tinker rounded out the top 10 in ninth.
The Cowgirls placed first on the day, and the Pokes took third in the men’s division.