- Apply to UW
- Programs & Majors
- Cost & Financial Aid
- Current Students
- UW Life
- About UW
Published March 09, 2023
Andrew Siegel became the University of Wyoming’s first Nordic ski individual champion at this week’s U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) Championships at Mammoth, Calif., when he won the skate sprint race Wednesday afternoon.
Siegel, an MFA student in creative writing from Bethel, Maine, topped the competition in a blinding blizzard in the mountain trails, finishing ahead of conference rival Albert Hesse, of Western Colorado University (WCU), located in Gunnison, Colo., by nearly three full seconds.
The win pushed Siegel to the overall points leader after two races, with just one more individual race to go this week.
“A common expression is that ‘skiers are made in the summer.’ Andrew exemplifies this. He trains year-round, running peaks, roller skiing up Snowy Range passes and backpacking desert canyons,” UW Nordic ski team co-head Coach Rachel Watson says. “He is a scholar of skiing, a true pro, and we see every aspect of this embodied in yesterday’s win.”
With California mountain ranges experiencing record-breaking snowfall this winter, and another storm lurking this week, USCSA officials have had to scramble to try and fit an entire week’s schedule into a few short days. More than 500 athletes are competing this week 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.
“Everything yesterday took place in a blizzard. All of the alpine events were canceled; just the Nordic skiers and a couple of snowboard events were able to finish,” UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs says. “The hope at the beginning of the week was to get just one race off, and it looks like we are going to get three out of four. Miraculous.”
Siegel’s win propelled the Cowboys to third place with 24 team points, finishing behind front-running Paul Smith’s College, in Paul Smiths, N.Y., and WCU. Both teams scored 18 points. Paul Smith’s College is the overall team leader with 32 points, while WCU is second at 35 points through two events. The Cowboys sit third with 60 points.
Kaj Taylor, a chemical engineering major from Palmer, Alaska, was the only other UW team member to finish among the top 10, placing ninth on the day. Jamie Peacock, a physiology major, took 15th, and Matthew Williams, a kinesiology major, was 21st. Both are from Jackson. Laramie’s Spencer Canen, an outdoor recreation and tourism management major, placed 41st; and Sean Kraemer, an earth systems science major from Evergreen, Colo., was one place behind his teammate.
UW team members Baitu “Leo” Li and Xudong “Ray” Yang, both visiting students from Shanghai University of Sport in China, were 53rd and 55th, respectively.
The UW women continued to hold on to the national runner-up spot for the second day, finishing behind front-running St. Olaf College, of Northfield, Minn. The Minnesota school took the top spot, finishing with 17 points, while the Cowgirls were second with 20.
St. Olaf’s is the overall team leader with 35 points, while the Cowgirls have 40.
“The women fought so hard, start to finish. We couldn’t ask for anything more,” Boggs says.
The Cowgirls had three individuals finish among the top 10 skiers. Anne Miller, a kinesiology major from Minneapolis, Minn.; Sammy Veauthier, a zoology major from Casper; and Krisanna Andrews, a secondary education major from Laramie, were third, eighth and ninth, respectively. Izzy Bergemann, a civil engineering major from Minneapolis, Minn., placed 27th.
Also placing for the UW women were Dan “Doris” Yan in 36th place; Shiqi “Abby” Deng in 38th; and Xi “Caroline” Cheng in 39th. All are visiting students from Shanghai University of Sport.
Both the men’s and women’s 15km skate scheduled for Thursday morning (today) will have starts within 10 minutes of each other in an attempt to beat the storm.