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UW Men’s Nordic Ski Team Halfway to National Three-Peat

March 9, 2017
women in a Nordic ski race
UW Nordic ski team member Yara Thomas, a Jackson senior, placed for the first time in her career, taking third place in the sprint skate race at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national championships Wednesday. (Christi Boggs Photo)

The University of Wyoming men’s Nordic ski team is halfway to completing a three-peat as the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) national champions.

The Pokes won the second leg of individual races, scoring a team-low 16 points during Wednesday’s skate sprint competition at the USCSA championships at Mt. Bachelor, Ore., near Bend.

With just two races remaining Friday and Saturday, the UW men hold a nearly 20-point lead over the runner-up club. The Cowboys have 24 overall team points, while regional rival Western State College University (Gunnison, Colo.) is second with 43 points. St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minn.) is a distant third with 60 points.

The UW Cowgirls were third for the second straight day, finishing with 31 points and are third overall in the women’s standings. The UW women have 61 total team points, trailing national leader Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.), which has 34 points; and St. Olaf College, which has scored 41 for second place.

The Cowgirls have placed second at the USCSA championships the past two seasons.

Wednesday’s skate sprint race featured the top 20 competitors from the qualifier round. The racers go into five heats of four participants each, and then race in head-to-head elimination rounds.

Sam Wiswell, a Jackson senior; Trevor Willoughby, a Casper sophomore; Mason Vincent, a Laramie junior; and Will Timmons, a senior from Anchorage, Alaska, all made the rounds.

man Nordic skiing
Will Timmons, a UW senior from Anchorage, Alaska, is second overall in the overall individual point standings after two rounds of competition. He is the overall defending national champion. (Christi Boggs Photo)

Despite breaking a pole, Vincent managed to win the “B” final with Wiswell right on his heels. Timmons finished third.

UW placed first with 16 points, Western State scored 28, and St. Olaf was a close third with 32 points.

“The men were pushed all the way but still managed to get in there for the win,” says UW co-head Coach Christi Boggs.

Three UW Cowgirls qualified for the rounds competition: senior Meghan Kent and junior Leann Bentley, both from Laramie; and Yara Thomas, a Jackson senior, who made it to the “A” final. It was the first time in her career that Thomas made it to the podium. She finished third overall.

In the overall national individual point standings, teammates Timmons and Vincent are second and third, respectively. Timmons is the defending national champion in the overall rankings. The Pokes also have two others in the top 10: Wiswell is seventh and Willoughby ninth.

As for the UW women, Thomas is the highest individual in fifth place. The only other Cowgirl in the top 10 is Kent in ninth.

Action resumes Friday with a 15km skate, and the closing team sprint classic Saturday wraps up the week.

The national championships, taking place in the Cascade Mountains, have more than 500 collegiate athletes competing in alpine, Nordic, snowboard and free ski events.

A record-breaking 555 collegiate athletes representing 66 universities across six regions are competing in 24 events during a five-day period. The championships represent the best collegiate athletes from around the country. USCSA has member schools in every geographic region of the United States.

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