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Published March 08, 2023
Even a quickly revamped schedule at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) Championships this week could not deter the University of Wyoming’s Nordic ski teams on the opening day of competition Tuesday at Mammoth, Calif.
With a record snowfall this winter in the California mountains -- and another storm looming later in the week -- USCSA officials had to alter this week’s schedule for the more than 500 competitors competing for team and individual titles in alpine, Nordic, snowboard and free ski events. More than 100 individual Nordic skiers are on the trails, representing more than a dozen schools. UW competes in USCSA’s Division II.
Nordic ski teams will compete in at least three straight days of races, which differs from previous seasons when competitors skied on back-to-back days, took Thursday off and then wrapped up the week with races on Friday and Saturday. With a storm in the forecast this week, competition race-day schedules may have to be shortened.
The UW Cowgirls got off to a good start, placing second in the opening 7.5km classic race, while the Cowboys were fourth overall in the men’s competition. Teams only had 14 hours’ notice that an opening race actually would be held.
“We got a race off today -- amazingly,” UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs said. “Athletes, organizers, volunteers and coaches were scrambling to get the race off, but it turned out to be a beautiful day and a great race.”
The Cowgirls had three team members place among the top 10 finishers, with Anne Miller, a kinesiology major from Minneapolis, Minn., leading the way for the UW women’s team with a podium finish of third place. Teammates Krisanna Andrews, a secondary education major from Laramie, and Sammy Veauthier, a zoology major from Casper, were seventh and 10th, respectively.
Also placing for the UW women were Dan “Doris” Yan in 37th place; Xi “Caroline” Cheng placed 41st; and Shiqi “Abby” Deng was 45th. All are visiting students from Shanghai University Sport in China.
The Cowgirls had 20 points on the day, just two points behind front-running St. Olaf College, of Northfield, Minn. Paul Smith’s College, in Paul Smiths, N.Y., took third with 37 points.
As for the Cowboys, the UW men placed fourth overall with 36 points. Paul Smith’s College won the day with 14 points; Western Colorado University, in Gunnison, Colo., was second with 17; and Clarkson University, in Potsdam, N.Y., took third with 35 points.
“Our men did well, but not as well as they wanted,” UW co-head Coach Rachel Watson says. “We had a lot of ups and downs, but everyone fought hard and skied technically well.”
Andrew Siegel, an MFA student in creative writing from Bethel, Maine, was the Cowboys’ top finisher, placing third. Kaj Taylor, a chemical engineering major from Palmer, Alaska, was 15th; Matt Williams, a kinesiology major from Jackson, was 21st; Jamie Peacock, a physiology major from Jackson, came in 25th; Laramie’s Spencer Canen, an outdoor recreation and tourism management major, took 28th; and Sean Kraemer, an earth systems science major from Evergreen, Colo., was 41st.
Shanghai University Sport students Xudong “Ray” Yang and Baitu “Leo” Li were 55th and 57th, respectively.
Both UW teams hope to move up in the rankings today (Wednesday) after the skate sprint race.