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UW Nordic Ski Teams Improve at National Championships

March 7, 2018
man cross-country skiing
Trevor Willoughby, of Casper, skis through the course during Tuesday’s opening race at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association Collegiate National Championships at Lake Placid, N.Y. (Linsey Fagan Photo)

The University of Wyoming Nordic ski teams produced strong results during the second leg of the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association Collegiate National Championships Wednesday at Lake Placid, N.Y.

“The men did great, with all three making it to the rounds, placing in the top 30 in the qualifier,” UW co-head Coach Rachel Watson says.

The top two in each classic sprint race heat go on to the next round until the final six make the finals. Laramie’s Nick Edwards did not make it out of the quarterfinal round, but teammates Mason Vincent, from Laramie, and Trevor Willoughby, of Casper, easily made the semifinal round.

In the semifinals, Vincent qualified for the “A” final, which is for the top six skiers. Willoughby qualified for the “B” final, for the number 7-12 finishers.

Watson says Vincent skied “tactically smart throughout the race” and reached the podium as the third-place finisher. Willoughby skied to the runner-up positon in the “B” race to earn second-team All-America status.

For the day, the Pokes placed fourth in the team standings, just six points off the podium.

The Cowgirls also had a better second day on the mountain, with six team members making the rounds.

Casper freshman Maddy Tinker qualified for the semifinals in her first college sprint competition, placing 12th. She was followed by Leann Bentley, of Laramie, in 16th; Jackson’s Sydney Wiswell, 19th; Ella DeWolf, of Laramie, 23rd; Morgan Robins, from Lander, 27th; and Casper’s Rylie Garner, 29th.

In the process, the Cowgirls moved up one place in the team standings to fifth place.

"The conditions Wednesday were really tough for waxing and racing. It was snowing and blowing, and the temperature was continually changing,” Watson says. “Selecting the right wax was a challenge and a minute-to-minute activity. Some athletes skied on the same skis and wax for all the rounds, and some changed their skis four times. But, overall, it was a good day for us.”

Teams have a rest day Thursday, and action resumes Friday with the 15km classic mass start and the final team relay, which concludes the competition.

More than 500 athletes are competing for national collegiate titles in alpine, Nordic, snowboard and free ski events in the Adirondack Mountains.

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