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Midwest Junior Championships, March 7, 2015

Zak Ketterson with coaches Julia Curry and JR Wessling, Canadian Nationals, March 21, 2015

Midwest Junior Championships, March 8, 2015

Moose Nordic Urban Sprint Championships, March 18, 2015

Minnesota Pursuit Championships, March 1, 2015

Rebecca Sauber, Buck Hill Birch Bump, May 3, 2015

Highlights

Midwest MTB Report
May 26, 2015
Information on a new Alexandria based MTB club developing new trails, college skiers now MTB racers, Kask MTB programs for juniors are all part of Jay Richards MTB Report this week, along with the look ahead to some big weekend events.
Related:
Jun 13 Celebration of Life For David Cook

Midwest MTB Report
May 20, 2015
Jay Richards MTB report this week covers the Minnesota series from St. Croix Falls, WORS from Crystal Lake, Gooseberry Park trails (Moorhead), Cable-Offroad's latest minute cancellation, along with upcoming camps, clinics and races.

Big Bay Relay Results
May 18, 2015
Over 30 teams races the Big Bay Relay Saturday in Marquette. "Running Noses" from the Junior division posted the top time on the day.
Related:
Results: Big Bay Relay

CityTrail Loppet Coverage
May 18, 2015
Over 500 runners participated in the Loppet Foundation's CityTrail races on Sunday. The events started in downtown Robbinsdale and finished next to the famous spoon at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Matt Flaherty hammered out an incredible sub-hour time in the 10 mile for the mens victory, with Angie Voight the top female. In the 10K race, Kevin Johnson and Christina Roberts collected the titles.
Related:
Photoset from Steve Kotvis: CityTrail Loppet
Results: CityTrail Loppet
CityTrail Recap

Midwest MTB Report
May 12, 2015
Jay Richards posts his weekly MTB report, this week covering motocross as cross-training, highlighting a number of area clinics, a report on Movil Maze trails, and a look ahead to upcoming events (including the sudden cancellation of the Cable Off-road Classic).

US Ski Team Nominations Released
May 11, 2015
The nominations for the 2015-16 US Ski Team have been posted. Midwest skiers show strongly across all levels, with Jessie Diggins continuing her run on the A-team, and now Caitlin Gregg on the B-team, with Ben Saxton on the development squad.

Collegiate Cycling Nationals: Saturday
May 10, 2015
Mindy Benton reports in from the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, being held in Asheville, North Carolina this weekend. Saturday's event was criterium racing on a tough, hilly course.

Midwest MTB Report
May 5, 2015
Jay Richards MTB recap this week has race stories from the opening MNMBS and WORS series, an ageless note on US Nationals, a first-hand trail report from the Paul Bunyan State Forest, highlights on endurance training diets, trail building, womens and adaptive clinics, and a brief look ahead!

Fossavatn Ski Marathon Coverage
May 5, 2015
Steven Gromatka reports: The 2015 Fossavatn Ski Marathon held last Saturday in Isafjordur, Iceland was a blast. Now that it is a part of the World Loppet circuit, it had it's largest field ever. The 25km skate race on Thursday was won by Olympic Bronze Medalist Iliya Chernousov and Finland star Riita-Lisa Ropenon, both also each went on to win the 50km classic on Saturday as well. 25km classic champions went to Dagur Benediktsson and Anna-Maria Danielsdottir.
Related:
Photoset from Steven Gromatka: 6 photos
Video: Fossavatn Ski Marathon
Results: Fossavatn Ski Marathon

Birkie Registration Open
May 3, 2015
Birkie trail registration opened officially on Monday. Get in on the early pricing, and guarantee your spot on the 2016 starting line!

Buck Hill Birch Bump Coverage
May 3, 2015
Dry and unusually hot conditions for the first MNMBS race of the season as Buck Hill was the venue for the Birch Bump. In the afternoon expert race, veteran Jeff Hall survived the early pressure and took over about half way into the race to take the mens victory. Rebecca Sauber dominated the womens elite field, winning by over four minutes. Ryan Guy and Cindy Schafer won the comp divisions. Photos from the expert/comp afternoon races.
Related:
Photoset: Expert/Comp - 194 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Buck Hill Birch Bump

Snake River Canoe Race Results
May 2, 2015
Don Olson reports: Race was held on Knife Lake due to low water in Snake River but on a beautiful day with sunshine and very little wind. Winning entries: Pro Boat - Dana Henry/Devin Arenz (same time Al Rudquist/Joe Manns); Open - Brett Arenz/Ed Arenz; Solo - Jonah Lidberg; Kayak Male - Joe Zellner; Kayak Female - Lana Voynich.
Related:
Results: Snake River Canoe Race

National Sports Center Velodrome Announces Spring-Summer Season and Intro Classes
April 30, 2015
The track-cycling velodrome at the National Sports Center in Blaine is finishing up a substantial renovation and training and racing will begin in mid to late May and run through the summer. Expanded introductory classes are open to all levels of athlete, and include equipment rental. Nordic skiers are warmly invited to discover or rediscover the track at its new beginning

Midwest MTB Report
April 28, 2015
Jay Richards has a first-hand recap from the Decorah MTB Time Trials, a big writeup on a MTB skills clinic in Colorado, a report on the newer singletrack at Wirth, and the look ahead to the first weekend of Midwest racing.

Kyle Bratrud and Alice Flanders Join CXC Team
April 28, 2015
CXC has announced the addition of Kyle Bratrud and Alice Flanders to their 2015-16 CXC Team. Applications are being accepted thru May 15th.

Birkie Registration Opens Monday
April 28, 2015
Registration for the American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet events opens next Monday, May 4th. Registration is open for the Fat Bike Birkie, as well as the Trail Run and Birkie Tour.

Midwest MTB Report
April 21, 2015
Jay Richards is back with this regular Midwest MTB Report, kicking things off with a recap of the recent Frog Hollow event out in Utah and the epic Sea Otter Classic, an update on the Minnesota River Bottoms issues, and a look ahead of some of the upcoming events.

Worldloppet: Holly Brooks Finishes Third Overall in Series
April 11, 2015
The Worldloppet FIS Marathon Cup wrapped up on Saturday morning with racing in Khanty-Mansiisk, Russia, in a 50K freestyle race. American Holly Brooks had a narrow 4 point lead coming into the final race. Still waiting for the final race results, but final points totals for the series have Brooks finishing third overall.

Biathlon: US Team for 2015-16 Season Nominated
April 10, 2015
US Biathlon has released their preliminary nominations for the 2015-16 season team. Included on the top tier squad is Minnesota's own Leif Nordgren. In addition, Siena Ellingson was named to the National Development Group.

Worldloppet: Holly Brooks Goes for the Title Saturday
April 9, 2015
Holly Brooks is racing Saturday morning in Khanty-Mansiisk, Siberia at the Ugra Ski Marathon, hoping to secure her Worldloppet title! Brooks has a 4 point lead going into this final race of the Worldloppet and FIS Marathon Cup circuit. The event is a 50K freestyle technique race, and organizers have promised a more challenging course (previous edition was quite flat). Racing begins at 1 am CDT Saturday morning.
Related:
Ugraloppet Ski Marathon
Worldloppet Results/Standings
Holly Brooks Blog

2015 Bjorn Bakken Ski Championships of America Schedule Posted
April 8, 2015
Organizers of the Bjorn Bakken Ski Championships of America, scheduled for this Saturday, April 11th at Spirit Mountain, have posted their official schedule. The event will feature sprints and relays, and yes, on snow! Check out the course preview video...
Related:
Video: Course Preview
Facebook: Bjorn Bakken Ski Championships of America

US Ski Team: The Season in Review
April 8, 2015
USSA reflects on the 2014-15 Nordic season, breaking it down into five key points.

Out There Bike Kits on Sale Now
April 7, 2015
Out There shop has their Podiumwear bike kits available for order for a limited time -- get your order in by the April 19th deadline.

Birkie Announces Slumberland as new Title Sponsor
April 6, 2015
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has announced an extended partnership with Slumberland Furniture with the signing of a three-year agreement as overall Title Sponsor of the American Birkebeiner.

Team Gregg Welcome Home Celebration April 6th
March 29, 2015
The Loppet Foundation is hosting a welcome home celebration for Caitlin and Brian Gregg on Monday evening, April 6th at Theodore Wirth. Watch some video from the season, pick up posters, and catch remarks from Caitlin and Brian.

SuperTour Sun Valley: Freestyle Marathon
March 26, 2015
The Spring Series SuperTour event in Sun Valley wrapped up on Thursday with the mens 50K and womens 30K freestyle races. Caitlin Gregg remained on her A-game, besting in the womens field by over two minutes with Liz Stephen and Sadie Bjornsen rounding out the podium. In the mens race, Canadian Ivan Babikov took the victory with Rune Oedegaard and Noah Hoffman finishing second and third. Brian Gregg was 8th.
Related:
Results: Freestyle Marathon

SuperTour Sun Valley: Freestyle Sprints
March 22, 2015
Sunday featured the freestyle sprint races in the Sun Valley SuperTour series. Sadie Bjornsen took the womens title while Andy Newell just edged out Simi Hamilton for the mens victory. For the Midwest Caitlin Gregg had the top Midwest qualifying time posting the 6th fastest time.
Related:
Results: Freestyle Sprints

SuperTour Sun Valley: Classical Races
March 21, 2015
The SuperTour Spring Series in Sun Valley, ID, started Saturday with a pair of classical races. Some solid results from Midwest skiers including Ben Saxton finishing 6th mens 15K, with Rosie Frankowski 10th and Annie Hart 13th in the womens 10K. The Bjornsen's made it a family sweep as Erik and Sadie captured the titles.
Related:
Results: Mens 15K, Womens 10K

SuperTour: Spring Series Returns to Sun Valley
March 20, 2015
The SuperTour wraps up the 2014-15 season with a final series of events in Sun Valley. Classical races start the week on Saturday, with freestyle sprints Sunday, mixed relays Tuesday, and concludes with 30K/50K skate marathons on Thursday.

Midwest MTB Report: Special Edition Birkie Fat Bike
March 20, 2015
Jay Richards files a special edition MTB report, digging into the Fat Bike Birkie with some interviews and posting a couple of early summer updates, including the 25th anniversary Laddies Loppet.

Finland Border to Border: Days 5-8
March 15, 2015
Ritva Taipale provides a wrap up her and father Ahvo, along with a group from the Midwest and Alaska, completed the border to border ski across Finland. Read the journal entries from days five thru eight and check out the photos.

World Cup Oslo: Womens 30K Freestyle
March 15, 2015
Racing at the historic Holmenkollen venue in Oslo, Norway, the prestigious womens 30K freestyle marathon title was decided on Sunday. While Norway's Marit Bjoergen won the race (with Norwegians sweeping the podium), the American crew had some great results. Liz Stephen finished 9th, Jessie Diggins 14th, and Caitlin Gregg 19th!
Related:
Results: Womens 30K Freestyle

World Cup Oslo: Mens 50K Freestyle
March 14, 2015
Wrapping up the World Cup season, two giants races at the famous Holmenkollen venue in Oslo, Norway this weekend. Saturday was the mens 50K freestyle race, which came down to a sprint and photo finish -- in the end Norway's own Sjur Roethe was awarded the victory over Dario COlogna, with Martin Johnsrud Sundby third. Canadian star Alex Harvey was with the lead group most of the race, but came off in the final 5K and finished 13th. Brian Gregg was the top American, posting 35th.
Related:
Results: Mens 50K Freestyle

Canadian Nationals Start Up in Thunder Bay
March 13, 2015
The Canadian Nationals start this Saturday, March 14th, and run through next weekend, with races nearly everyday. This year's competition is being held at Lappe Nordic in Thunder Bay.

Skiwerx Series/Cities Cup/MNSA Banquet set for March 22nd
March 10, 2015
Sunday, Mar 22nd, skiers and supporters will come together for the annual Skiwerx/Cities Cup, and MNSA banquet at Theodore Wirth. In addition to handing out the series awards, Ahvo Taipale will be recognized by MNSA for their Lifetime Achievement Award. Tickets must be purchased by Mar 17th!

Black Lake Loppet Coverage
March 9, 2015
David Harrington posts an event recap of the eclectic Black Lake Loppet event last Sunday, which was "won" by Doug Johnson and Wanda Arenz. View a full set of photos from the donut-loving snowy contest.

Finland Border to Border: Days 3-4
March 8, 2015
Ritva Taipale reports in on days three and four of Border to Border ski across Finland. Highlights include an epic snowstorm and awesome feed stops -- now only 318K to go!

Midwest Junior Championships Freestyle Coverage
March 8, 2015
The Midwest Junior Championships wrapped up a busy weekend of events with a full slate on Sunday at Theodore Wirth. Photosets from all of the mass start freestyle races posted.
Related:
Springloppet Coverage Posted

World Cup Lahti: Classical
March 8, 2015
The Lahti World Cup on Sunday was 10K and 15K classical races. While the races were won by Marit Bjoergen and Francesco De Fabiani, the American women skied another strong set as Sadie Bjornsen was 14th and Jessie Diggins 17th. Erik Bjornsen was the top US male finishing 38th.
Related:
Results: Classical 10K, 15K

Sleeping Giant Loppet Coverage
March 7, 2015
The annual Sleeping Giant Loppet in Thunder Bay always attracts a number of America skiers to compete for the titles, and this year was no exception. St. Scholastica's Chris Hecker strided away from the mens 50K classic field to win by over seven minutes. Erin Tribe was the womens champ, with Kerrie Berg of Grand Marias second. Hecker's teammate, Gerrit Garberich, finished second in the mens 50K freestyle, with Harry Seaton the clear winner. Two more St. Scholastica skiers, Liz Peterson and Ellie Evans, finished 1-2 for the women. Brady Harkonen and Paula Rich went first and second overall to collect the 35K crowns. Scott Hill and Jennifer Jackson won the 20K titiles. Results posted, along with a short highlight video.

Pepsi Challenge Results
March 7, 2015
Giants Ridge had great conditions for the Pepsi Challenge races Saturday with over 300 skiers competing across the events. Matt Zak and Sara Graves won the 48K freestyle races with David Nelson and wife Josie Nelson sweeping the 48K classic. In the 24K skate, Calvin Mehrhof and Hannah Bettendorf took the titles, with classic victories by Ian Ivens and Erika Fox.
Related:
Great Bear Chase Results

Fat Bike Birkie Results
March 7, 2015
Over 700 participants in the 2015 Fat Bike Birkie showed the enormous growth in this sport, as cyclists battled for titles on the Birkie trail Saturday morning. Will Ross won the mens 47K event, just ahead of the legendary Ned Overand, with Brendan Moore third. Jenna Rinehart was well in front of the womens field, winning by almost five minutes. The 20K titles went to Thomas Meyer and Rebecca Ireland.
Related:
Results: Fat Bike Birkie
Press Release: Ross and Rinehart Win 3rd Annual Fat Bike Birkie

World Cup Lahti: Freestyle Sprints
March 7, 2015
The weekend World Cup races at Lahti, Finland, featured freestyle sprint races on Saturday. Midwest's own Jessie Diggins had a great day, qualifying 5th and advancing with Kikkan Randall to the women's final where Randall finished 3rd and Diggins 4th. Andy Newell was the top American male, qualifying 13th and making it to the semis. Norwegians Eirik Brandsdal and Marit Bjoergen won the sprint titles.

Finland Border to Border: Day 1-2
March 6, 2015
Finn Sisu's Ahvo Taipale along with his daughter Ritva and half dozen other Minnesotans are participating in the Border to Border ski across Finland. Ritva brings us up to date, including the first two days of skiing this epic 440 km journey.

US Ski Team: Americans Still Going Strong in Lahti
March 6, 2015
The World Cup circuit resumes this weekend with some big races in Lathi. Many of the top skiers, including from the US squad, will be back in action. Jessie Diggins will be racing in the sprints Saturday and classic race on Sunday.
Caitlin and Brian Gregg, along with Birkie champ Holly Brooks, will be racing in the WorldLoppet Engadin 42K freestyle marathon on Sunday.
Related:
Biathlon: IBU World Championships Live Video Coverage this Weekend

Wisconsin Biathlon Cup #5 this Weekend
March 2, 2015
The final event of the 2015 Wisconsin Biathlon Cup Series will take place this Saturday, Mar 7th at Blackhawk Ski Club. Included will be an open race and novice event, perfect for first timers.

Birkie Establishes Award Honoring Shellie Milford
March 1, 2015
The American Birkebeiner has announced the establishment of a new award, The Shellie Milford Spirit of the Birkie Award. Milford, the director of race operations, is retiring next month after 28 years with the Birkie.

Nordic Spirit Coverage
March 1, 2015
After being rescheduled due to poor snow conditions in January, the Nordic Spirit ski races were held under much better conditions including perfect temperatures. Nikolai Anikin edged out Chris Parr for the mens 26K freestyle title, with Elaine Nelson posted the top womens time. Kendall Hill won the 14K skate with Sara Zimmer the top female. Results linked in, along with a photoset from Eve Graves.

World Championships: Mens 50K Classical
March 1, 2015
The World Championships in Falun, Sweden, concluded on Sunday afternoon with the premiere event, the mens 50K classic. Falling snow and tactics lead to a slow pace for much of the race, with a large pack of roughly 20 still in the hunt going into the final kilometers. Reclaiming his crown as the king of Nordic, Petter Northug skied a conservative race until the final 500 meters, moving up to third coming into the stadium then unreleased a brutal double pole to win! Lukas Bauer, switching to new skis for the final lap, took second with Johan Olsson settling for third. American Noah Hoffman skied much of the race near the lead pack to finish 31st.
Related:
Results: Mens 50K Classical
Fischer: Petter Northug sprints to his 13th carreer's gold in 50k classic mass start

World Championships: Live Video Coverage Survey
March 1, 2015
Help out the US Ski Team and possibly the future of live streaming Nordic ski races like the World Championships by participating in a survey.
Related:
USSA Network Falun World Championships Video Coverage
Universal Sports Falun World Championships Full Event Replays

Squirrel Hill Skiathlon Results
February 28, 2015
Minocqua Winter Park celebrated great conditions Saturday with their Squirrel Hill Skiathlon events. In the full 24K skiathlon, Andy Keller easily skied away with the title winning by nearly three minutes. Paulette Niemi was unchallenged in the womens race, handily besting the field.

Stump Farm Race Results
February 28, 2015
Nearly 100 skiers turned out Saturday morning on the Reforestation Camp trails for the Stump Farm Races. Andrew Bailey and Paula Kastenson collected the 15K freestyle titles, as Kevin Berg and Elizabeth Slaby won the 4K races.
Related:
Our Neighbors Race Results

Snowjourn Coverage
February 28, 2015
The 35th annual Snowjourn races were held at Buena Vista ski area on Saturday morning. The 12K freestyle titles went to Jenna Truedson and Brad Kuzel. Classic victories for Darla Lenz and Mark Walters. Results and photos posted.
Related:
Rainbow Resort Coverage

World Championships: Womens 30K Classical
February 28, 2015
In Saturday's World Championships, the women's 30K classical featured a dominating performance by Norway's Therese Johaug. Johaug put down a blistering pace early on, shredding the field, and then held on to win by nearly minute over teammate Marit Bjoergen. Sweden's Charlotte Kalla third. The US had some solid numbers with Liz Stephen 11th, Rosie Brennan 16th, and Sadie Bjornsen 20th.
Related:
Results: Womens 30K Classical
Fischer: Therese Johaug celebrates outstanding success in in 30k classic mass start

World Championships: Mens Relay
February 27, 2015
The mens 4x10K relay at the World Championships Friday afternoon in Falun proved to live up to billing with an exciting battle between Sweden and Norway. After a number of lead changes, it was Petter Northug dropping the hammer on the final short climb into the stadium and then out sprinting Sweden's Calle Halfvarsson for the victory. France pulled off the bronze medal, staying with the two superpowers the entire race. Canada was 10th, USA 11th.
Related:
Results: Mens Relay
Fischer: Norwegian becomes relay World Champion ahead of Sweden and France

Pepsi Challenge Updates
February 27, 2015
Pepsi Challenge organizers are reporting ideal conditions for the big race next weekend. Online registration closes on March 5th.

World Championships: Womens Relay
February 26, 2015
The womens relay was the featured event on Thursday at the World Championships in Falun. Norway took control of the race by the third leg and never looked back as Marit Bjoergen coasted across the finish line for the team victory. Finland and Sweden fought it out for the remaining podium spots, with Sweden's young star Stina Nilsson taking the sprint finish for second. The US squad came back to finish 4th, matching their best performance ever.
Related:
Results: Womens Relay
Nordic Combined: Impressive Day for Fletcher
Fischer: Norway's women celebrate relay title followed by Sweden and Finland

World Championships: Mens Freestyle
February 25, 2015
The World Championships mens 15K freestyle race was Wednesday afternoon in Falun, Sweden, on another warm and wet day. Sweden's own Johan Olsson topped the field. Noah Hoffman was the top US skier at 34th, Minnesotan Kyle Bratrud finished 52nd.
Related:
Video: Behind the Scenes in Falun with Fischer Nordic Racing Service
Results: Mens Freestyle
Fischer: Johan Olsson World Champion in 15k free race

Annual Yellowstone Rendezvous Race Fast Approaching
February 24, 2015
The Rendezvous Ski Race, back in West Yellowstone, MT, is coming up in less than two weeks. Organizers report great conditions and are excited for the 36th annual event!

USSA: Let's Celebrate!
February 24, 2015
USSA President Tiger Shaw celebrates the historic US podiums at the World Championships, and encourages the skiing community to show their continued support via their RallyMe campaign!
Related:
NNF: A Dream Come True - Historic U.S. Podium in Falun

World Championships: Womens Freestyle
February 24, 2015
A truly historic day for the United States (and Minnesota!) as Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg rock the world finishing second and third overall in the womens 10K freestyle at the World Championships in Falun, Sweden! Sweden's own Charolette Kalla dominated the field for the victory. Liz Stephen completed the incredible American performance with 10th!
Related:
Video: Womens 10K Freestyle Replay, Post-Race Interviews, Highlights
Results: Womens Freestyle
Salomon Congratulates Diggins - Carbon Skate Lab Skis at Gear West
ESPN: U.S. skiers win silver, bronze
Fischer: Charlotte Kalla goes for gold in adverse conditions
Star Tribune: Miracle on snow for Minnesota skiers in Sweden

Tackling the Giant at 90
February 23, 2015
The Sleeping Giant Loppet celebrates local legend O.E. (Olie) Olynyk returning to participate again this year, still enjoying the skiing at age 90. The Sleeping Giant Loppet races are March 7th in Thunder Bay, with online registration closing on March 4th.

World Championships: Team Sprints
February 22, 2015
Sunday featured the team sprint events at the World Championships. The day was dominated by Norway, which easily swept the mens and womens titles. The US women finished 8th, with the men taking 7th.
Related:
Results: Team Sprints
Fischer: Norway wins gold in both teamsprints

American Birkebeiner Coverage
February 21, 2015
Nearly perfect snow conditions greeted the skiers participating in the 42nd annual American Birkebeiner. Sergio Bonaldi of Italy collected top honors in a sprint men's finish for the 50K Skate while USA's Holly Brooks was the women's champion. Ole Christian Mork strided to the fastest men's spot in the 54K Classic with Natalia Naryshkina winning for the women. In the 24K Korte Skate, Daniel Pederson and Hannah Bettendorf topped the podium. Mac Fitzpatrick and Diane Meinholz posted the fastest times in the 24K Korte Classic. Results linked in, along with photosets from Double OO and the finish area.
Related:
Birkie Live Video Feed
Press Release: Brooks and Bonaldi Win the American Birkebeiner

World Championships: Skiathlon
February 20, 2015
Saturday featured the skiathlon format events at the World Championships in Falun, Sweden. Skiers raced freestyle mass start, then switched to classical equipment on the fly, halfway through the race. Norway and Sweden topped the podium for the women's 7.5K/7.5K race with 1-2 going to Norway's Therese Johaug and Astrid Jacobsen, followed by sweden's Charlotte Kalla in 3rd. The top US women's finisher was Liz Stephen in 11th. For the men, Russia's Maxim Vylegzhanin powered his way to 1st, followed by Dario Cologna of Switzerland and Canada's star Alex Harvey in 3rd. The top US male finisher was Erik Bjornsen in 38th.
Related:
Results: Skiathlon 15K, 30K
Fischer: Therese Johaug and Maxim Vylegzhanin capture gold medals in skiathlon

Birkie Friday Coverage
February 20, 2015
A little fresh snow greeted skiers on Friday for another full day of events at the American Birkebeiner. The Junior Birkie raced in almost balmy temperatures (low teens), followed in the afternoon with the Barnebirkie and Family Tour/Nikkerbeiner events. Plus the bib pickup and the expo were busy all day. Weather looks very good, as do the trail conditions, for the 42nd annual American Birkebeiner race on Saturday morning.
Related:
Photoset: Junior Birkie/Team Relays - 200 photos, Barnebirkie, Tour - 53 photos, Expo - 27 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Junior Birkie Results

Buena Vista Snowjourn is On
February 20, 2015
The Snowjourn ski races at Buena Vista, just north of Bemidji, are on for Saturday, Feb 28th. Snowjourn features a 12K classical and skate race and a variable distance tour of up to 12km.

Birkie Thursday Coverage
February 19, 2015
The American Birkebeiner festivities were well underway on Thursday as bright sunshine and light winds made for a beautiful afternoon in Hayward. On Main Street, spectators checked out the views from the International Bridge, then watched the Barkiebirkie skijor races. As the sun began to drop, the opening ceremony was held with skiers of all age levels. Founders Jackie Lindskoog and Ernie St Germaine helped lead a procession from the bridge down Main Street to the torch lightning. The afternoon wrapped up with the hilarious Giant Ski event.
Related:
Photoset: Thursday Events - 203 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

World Championships: Classical Sprints
February 19, 2015
The 2015 World Championships opened under warm conditions Thursday in Falun, Sweden with classical sprint events. The mens final was an impressive show of power with Canadian's Alex Harvey nearly pulling off an upset of the winner Petter Northug. Marit Bjoergen bested the womens field. Simi Hamilton and Sophie Caldwell both advanced all the way to the semi-finals before being bumped out.
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints
Fischer: Double Triple Victory for Fischer at the World Championship Kick-off

Birkie Double Header
February 18, 2015
Cancelled due to forecast cold weather. Ever thought you wanted to ski the Birkie course from Hayward back up to Telemark? And maybe do it the morning after the official Birkie race? Now's your chance...

Biathlon: Minnesota Biathletes Race at World Junior Championships
February 18, 2015
A number of Minnesota biathletes are racing at the World Junior Championships this week in Minsk, Belarus. Siena Ellingson and Amanda Kautzer had great ski races on the first day of competition.

31st Annual Pepsi Challenge XC Race Mar 7th
February 18, 2015
The 31st edition of the Pepsi Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, March 7th at Giants Ridge. The event offers 10K, 24K, and 48K distance classic and freestyle races. Register before Monday, Feb 23rd, to avoid the next price jump.

US Ski Team Gets Funky Before the World Championships
February 18, 2015
Showcasing their prowess at producing great music videos, the US Ski Team has posted their rendition of Uptown Funk on the eve of the World Championships in Sweden! Racing action starts Thursday morning at 6 am (Midwest) with the classical sprint qualifiers, sprint finals around 8:15 am. Watch it all online, via the US Ski Team website or Falun 2015 Live Arena app (Apple App store)!
Related:
US Ski Team: Nordic Worlds Live Stream Schedule Announced
Official Falun 2015 World Championships Website

Junior Birkie Changes
February 18, 2015
Due to the forecast cold temperatures on Friday morning, the Junior Birkie will start one hour later -- 10 am.

US Ski Team: Nordic World Championships Live
February 15, 2015
The FIS Nordic World Championships kick off on Wednesday, February 18th, in Falun, Sweden. The US squad includes one of the largest Midwest representations ever, with Jessie Diggins, Caitlin Gregg, Kyle Bratrud and Ben Saxton expected to compete along with Adam Loomis in the Nordic Combined. Even better, this year you can catch all the action live online!

West Yellowstone Rendezvous Ski Race
February 14, 2015
Wind down your season the same way you ramped up... return to West Yellowstone, March 7th, for the annual Rendezvous Race. The race offers everything from 2K up to 50K, providing options for a full range of skiers. The field is limited, so register online pronto!

World Cup Oestersund: Classical Sprints
February 14, 2015
The World Cup is holding the final set of races before the World Championships next week, racing in Oestersund, Sweden Saturday. Simi Hamilton had a strong sprint, qualifying 12th and advancing to the semi-finals before getting bumped out to finish 11th. Andy Newell finished 12th on the day. Sadie Bjornsen and Sophie Caldwell finished 20th and 22nd, advancing to the quarterfinals before exiting. Canadian Alex Harvey was second in the mens final, which was won by Finn Haagen Krogh. Marit Bjoergen took the womens sprint.
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints

Birkie Gets Bigger
February 11, 2015
Did you know the American Birkebeiner races are longer this year? The classic race now covers 55K and while the skate is a genuine 51K. Read about these, and other changes in store for the 2015 edition.

US Ski Team: Ben Saxton Added to World Championships Team
February 10, 2015
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced the addition of Minnesota native Ben Saxton to the Falun World Championships roster. The naming comes on the heels of a sixth place finish at the U23 World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan last week.

MN Pursuit Championships Add Chip Timing
February 10, 2015
The Minnesota Pursuit Championships, scheduled for March 1st at Theodore Wirth, have contracted for chip timing this season. The unique event features a 5K classical race, on-the-fly equipment change, followed immediately with a 5K freestyle race.

Wisconsin Biathlon Cup #4
February 9, 2015
The fourth event of the 2015 Wisconsin Biathlon Cup will take place this Saturday, Feb 14th, at the McMiller Sports Center in Eagle, WI. There will be an open race and a novice event, perfect for first time participants.

North End Classic Coverage
February 8, 2015
Over 200 skiers turned out Sunday morning for the North End Classic races in Cable. John Wessling and Kelly Skillicorn won the two lap, 25K classic race, while John Hallet and Sydney Bramer took the 12.5K titles. Results linked in, along with a photoset from Kelly Randolph.

Junior Nordic Competition (U18) Relay Results
February 8, 2015
The Junior Nordic Competition (U18 Nations, Scando Cup) held relay races as they concluded competition Sunday. Zak Ketterson helped take the boys relay team to a fourth place finish, just 15 seconds off the podium! The girls also had a great relay race, finishing 5th but only 12 seconds from third.
Related:
Results: Relay Results

WJC Relays Results
February 8, 2015
The World Junior Championships in Kazakhstan wrapped up on Sunday with relay races. The USA women had a solid result finishing 8th with the US men taking 11th.
Related:
Results: Relays Results

Vasaloppet USA Coverage
February 7, 2015
Scraping together every inch of snow in the county, the Vasaloppet organizers pulled off their full series of races Saturday morning on Mora Lake. In the premiere 58K (17K) freestyle race, Matt Liebsch broke away early and won by over a minute as Greg Kilroy, Thunder Bay, finished second with Andrew Brown taking Mark Johnson in a photo finish. Natalja Naryshkina was the clear womens champion, and 17th overall. Starting the morning off, the 42K (13.6K) classical race had skiers double poling four laps (many on skate skis). Devin Arenz proved to be the strong man, taking the mens victory just seconds ahead of Nikolai Anikin. Josie Nilsson (aka. Nelson) was the womens champ. In the big 35K (10.2K) race, Mora's own Paul Olson took the finishing sprint with Nathan Porath. Kathleen DeWahl held off a late run by Ashley Herman to take the womens title. Results linked in, plus photosets from the morning races.
Related:
Big Island and Back Results

Pre-Birkie Results
February 7, 2015
The annual Pre-Birkie race in Hayward Saturday morning drew skiers looking to make their final training runs for the big show in two weeks. The 42K freestyle race came down to a sprint with Zach Handler winning in a photo finish over Jan Myrda. Gear West's own Jan Guenther was the top female. Brothers Henry and Alex Reich took first and second in the original 27K freestyle race, with Kara Salmela taking the womens title. In the classical divisions, 42K winners were Jake Boyce and Lynne Cecil, 27K striding crowns for Andy Warren and Bri Paulsen.

Junior Nordic Competition (U18) Freestyle Race Results
February 7, 2015
At the Junior Nordic Competition (U18 Nations, Scando Cup) in Sweden Saturday, skiers competed in 5K and 10K freestyle races. The Midwest's Zak Ketterson pulled out an amazing 6th place finish in the men's 10K, with teammate Mackinley FitzPatrick coming in 53rd. Hannah Halvorsen of the US Sugar Bowl Academy skied to a stellar 3rd place podium spot in the 5K while the Midwest's Nicole Schneider placed 29th for the women with Abigail Drach skating to 40th. (Photo: Rich Jortberg)
Related:
Results: 5K, 10K Freestyle Results

U23 Skiathlon Results
February 7, 2015
Saturday the U23 skiers had their crack at the mass start skiathlon events for World Junior Championships in Kazakstan. Teammates Anne Hart and Deedra Irwin finished 33rd and 39th respectively in the 7.5K/7.5K women's race. In the 15K/15K men's race, Kyle Bratrud placed 37th with Ben Saxton finishing 41st.
Related:
Photoset from NNF: Skiathlon photos
Results: 15K, 30K Skiathlon Results

IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Wrapup
February 6, 2015
Michael Jorgensen files a final report on the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Championships which wrapped up in Cable last weekend. Truly a memorable and inspiring event for all who witnessed it!

Minnesota Finlandia Officially Cancelled
February 6, 2015
The lack of snowfall this winter, combined with a dry and warm forecast, has caused Minnesota Finlandia organizers to cancelled the 2015 event. Registrations will carry forward to next season.

Nordic Combined: World Champs Team Announced
February 6, 2015
Bryan and Taylor Fletcher headline a team of five nordic combined athletes named to compete in the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Falun, Sweden. Olympic champion Billy Demong was named to his seventh World Championship Team. In addition to the veterans, two first-time team members, Ben Berend and Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) were selected.

Junior Nordic Competition (U18) Sprint Results
February 6, 2015
The Junior Nordic Competition (U18 Nations, Scando Cup) in Sweden got underway Friday with classical sprint events. For the Midwest, Zak Ketterson qualified 13th, Abigail Drach 46th, Nicole Schneider 62nd. Ketterson finished 5th in his quarterfinal. American Hannah Halvorsen made the girls sprint final, finishing 5th!
Related:
Video: Live Replay
Results: Classical Sprints

WJC Skiathlon Results
February 6, 2015
On Friday, the World Junior Championships in Kazakstan featured mass start skiathlon format events. The American team had quite a day! Katharine Odgen posted an incredible sixth place finish, just 13 seconds back! Alayna Sonnesyn was the lone Midwest women, finishing 50th. For the men, Minnesota's own Ian Torchia put the world on notice, racing from a 60th place seed to finish 11th overall!
Related:
World Junior/U23 Championships and U18 Nations Guide
Results: WJC 10K, 20K Skiathlon Results

U23 Freestyle Results
February 5, 2015
The U23 skiers took on 10K and 15K freestyle courses Thursday at Almaty, Kazakhstan with the US men showing some impressive depth. Midwest's own Kyle Bratrud finished 19th, with two other Americans in the top 15! Paige Schmeber was the lone Midwest skier in the U23 womens racing, finishing 38th.
Related:
Results: U23 10K, 15K Freestyle Results

WJC Freestyle Results
February 4, 2015
The World Junior Championships featured 5K and 10K freestyle races Wednesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A good day for the NMU skiers as Ian Torchia was the top American, finishing 35th in the mens 10K and Vivian Hett was the top Midwest gal in the womens 5K, finishing 46th.
Related:
Results: WJC 5K, 10K Freestyle Results

Vasaloppet Offers Unique Double, Triple Vasa Opportunities
February 3, 2015
With the changes in race format due to the low snow conditions, all Vasaloppet races will be run on Mora Lake (right next to downtown Mora). As an added incentive this year, they are offering the rare opportunity to actually compete in multiple races -- coined the Lake Mora Double and Triple Vasa.

WJC/U23 Classical Sprints Results
February 3, 2015
The WJC/U23 competition in Almaty, Kazakhstan, began on Tuesday with classical sprint races. Midwest skiers Ben Saxton and Annie Hart were the top performances on the day. Saxton qualified 10th and then advanced all the way to the mens final, where he finished 6th after tangling with another skier! Hart qualified 21st for the U23 women but did not advanced from the quarterfinals.
Related:
Results: WJC/U23 Classical Sprints Results
Pillar Project Success: Saxton Sixth at U23 Sprint

Birkie Fever Bash Set For Feb 19th
February 2, 2015
Join Ben Popp, executive director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, and Birkie Founder John Kotar for the Birkie Fever Bash on Thursday, Feb 19th in Hayward (Birkie Week). Seats are limited to the first 350, get your ticket today.

Biathlon: Nordgren 19th in Open European Championships Pursuit
February 1, 2015
US biathlete Leif Nordgren posted a top-20 finish Sunday in the men's pursuit at the IBU Open European Championships in Otepaa, Estonia. Nordgren is from Marine-on-the-Croix, MN.

City of Lakes Loppet Freestyle Coverage
February 1, 2015
The City of Lakes Loppet wrapped up their three day festival on Sunday, featuring the freestyle races. In the Best of the Loppet wave, Matt Liebsch took off flying, attempting to erase a roughly 1:30 deficient to Torin Koos in hopes of winning the overall title. Liebsch performance was impressive, as he kept eating into the lead with each lap, and eventually surpassed it to win by almost two minutes, and collected the overall title. Natalia Naryshkina cruised to victory with a 1:30 margin, completing her series sweep. In the shorter Puoli division, Mark Herman and daughter Ashley (4th overall!) collected the titles. Results linked in, along with photosets from the four freestyle races.
Related:
Loppet Festival Recap

City of Lakes Loppet Classical Coverage
January 31, 2015
After an evening of sprint races and fireworks on Friday, the City of Lakes Loppet got down to the core races with classical events Saturday morning on the snowmaking loop at Theodore Wirth. The mens shortened marathon (16.5K) quickly turned into a tight duel between Matt Liebsch and Torin Koos, as the pair weaved around lap traffic at high speed. Staying together to the finish, the race was decided in a double pole dash to the line with Liebsch just ahead of Koos for the victory. Natalia Naryshkina won the womens division, with Kathleen DeWahl nipping Josie Nelson at the line for second. In the shorter Puoli event (9.9K), Rich Ryan pulled away on the second lap to take the overall, with Amelia Schurke topping the womens field (and finishing 4th overall). Full results linked in, photos coming later today.
Related:
City of Lakes Loppet Saturday Event Results
Press Release: City of Lakes Loppet Ski Races Draw Former Olympian

Wolf Tracks Rendezvous Results
January 31, 2015
Great conditions Saturday for the Wolf Tracks Rendezvous races at Minocqua Winter Park. In the 42K freestyle race, Anders Osthus finished just seven seconds ahead of Henry Reich for the win. Christi Nowak was the top female and finished 14th overall. The 42K classical was dominated by Adam Swank, winning by over four minutes, and Elizabeth Paddock was the decisive womens champ (and 7th overall). In 24 skate race, Daniel Hagen and Michelle Bjerke collected the victories, with Phillip Strong and Joanna Pace taking the 24K classical titles.
Related:
Mt. Ashwabay Summit Ski Race Results

Junior Birkie 2015 Changes
January 29, 2015
The 2015 edition of the Junior Birkie includes a number of changes, including a new venue, new race format, and online registration system. The Junior Birkie has three race divisions for juniors/youth, and will be held Feb 20th.
Related:
Junior Birkie History


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