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Subcategory Season

Archives: 5/1/2014 to 4/26/2015

Regional, National and International Elite Camps Announced
April 24, 2015
USSA and NNF have a busy summer planned again in the development of the US juniors Nordic skiing. Regional Elite Group camps across the country have been scheduled, and new this year, an International Junior Camp in Sweden and Norway! Watch for more details, including nominees, later this spring.
Related:
National Nordic Foundation

U16 National Camp Named
April 22, 2015
Nominees for the summer U16 Camp have been named, and on the list are a number of Midwest skiers including Erin Moening, Anna Johnson, Abigail Jarzin, Siri Bohacek and Kelly Koch. The elite camp will be July 24-31 in Burlington, VT.

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.

Section 7 Coaches/Assistants Honored at the MSHSNSCA Season Awards
April 21, 2015
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton lead the way in the Minnesota State High School Nordic Skiing Coaches Association awards with Glen Sorenson named Coach Of the Year, Ben Croft, Assistant Coach Of the Year and Volunteer of the Year Brent Smith.

CCSA: NMU Sweeps NCAA Central Region Season Honors
April 21, 2015
Northern Michigan University have swept the NCAA Central Region skiing awards for 2015, landing the male and female athletes of the year as well as men's and women's coach of the year for head coach, Sten Fjeldheim.

Midwest Junior Committee Meeting this Saturday April 25th
April 21, 2015
The Midwest Junior Committee will be meeting this Saturday, Apr 25th, at Dooley's Pub in Eau Claire. A revised agenda has been published, with recent topic additions on JNQ course difficulty and review of organizing committee and contract timer standards.

NNF 2015 in Review - Part I: The Results
April 17, 2015
The National Nordic Foundation reflects on the past season, the tremendous amount of success aboard, all possible by the support your donations made possible.

Coaches Spring Meeting
April 15, 2015
The annual spring meeting for the Minnesota High School Nordic Ski Coaches Association is this Saturday, April 18th at the Vasaloppet Nordic Center in Mora. Topics on the agenda include state meet survey, eligibility, state meet review, and meet standards.

2015 Collegiate Tally Board
April 14, 2015
The 2015 edition of the Collegiate Tally Board is online! Find out where the Midwest senior skiers are heading next fall, and send us your plans.

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.

Jessie Diggins Welcome Home Reception April 20th
March 29, 2015
Welcome home Jessie Diggins from her highly successful 2014-15 skiing campaign on Monday evening, April 20th at the Stillwater high school. Diggins will sign posters and give a presentation on her season, including the historic silver medal performance at the World Championships.

Victor C. Dunder Deadline March 31st
March 27, 2015
Nominations for the Victor C. Dunder awards need to be submitted by Tuesday, March 31st. The Dunder award provides skiing equipment to help first-year skiers.

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

Midwest Junior Committee Meeting Saturday April 25th
March 25, 2015
Planning for the 2015-16 juniors season will be getting underway with the spring Junior Nationals committee meeting on April 25th in Eau Claire, WI.

Ski Mountaineering Report: Pierra Menta
March 23, 2015
Former Minneapolis Southwest and Univ of Vermont skier Eric Carter has been competing in the Ski Mountaineering World Cup, a sport that requires the skier to climb and descend alpine mountains using backcountry equipment. Eric's father, Rick Carter, supplies an update and some great photos from Eric's racing action earlier this month.

Local Stars
March 23, 2015
On to the Next - Adam Loomis puts a wrap on his 2014-2015 Nordic Combined season and already begins to prep for the next season.
Mountain Men - Eric Carter recently finished 15th in the team competition at the Pierra Menta World Cup Mountaineering races, featured in this report from his father Rick Carter.
Fast Female - Caitlin Gregg reports on the Fast and Female event held out in Sun Valley during the SuperTour series.
Going out with a bang - Jessie Diggins begins to wind down her epic 2014-15 season as she returns stateside, gets sidelined with a cold, yet hopes to catch a little SuperTour action.
Mindsets - Rosie Frankowski covers her OPA Cup racing and her approach to racing performance and expectations, along with some "sweet" photos.
One Shot - Brian Gregg raps out a recap on his Holmenkollen experience racing in the final World Cup race of the season, where he posted the top American finish.
Last Dance - Annie Hart is out in Sun Valley and blogs on her Fast and Female experience and how dancing correlates with skiing.
And a couple of other interesting stories from the past week...
Tech-No Workout? - Star Tribune looks at the role technology might be impacting our workouts.
Soldout - Thinking of doing the Swedish Vasaloppet race?  You had less than 90 seconds to act.

Birkie Bonus Coming April 1-2
March 23, 2015
Lock in your Birkie registration and get in on ground-floor pricing for a number of Birkie events throughout the upcoming year. No joke -- April 1-2, two days only!

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

Canadian Nationals: Freestyle Races
March 21, 2015
The Canadian Nationals have been going all week, but on Saturday a number of Midwest skiers traveled across the border to compete in the mass start distance skate races. Zak Ketterson continued his strong season, winning the U18 15K freestyle, Luke Brown made the podium with a 3rd place in the U20 30K and Erin Moening was 6th in the U16 7.5K.
Related:
Results: Freestyle Distance
All Canadian Nationals Results

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.

Moose Nordic Urban Sprint Championships
March 18, 2015
Luke Brown reports: The Moose Nordic Urban Sprint Championships on Wednesday showed the power of teamwork and belief by overcoming the lack of snow in the Twin Cities. Out of a pile of ice and snow on the St. Thomas campus arose a technical and sturdy sprint course that challenged the skiers with cornering, jumps, and endurance. The defending champion, Tamer Mische-Richter, led the group after the qualifier round; however, Zach Goldberg of Dartmouth College proved victorious after the competitive head-to-head rounds and took home the coveted championship.
Related:
Photoset from Luke Brown: 38 photos

Giants Ridge Fat Bike Race
March 17, 2015
Cancelled due to poor trail conditions. Giants Ridge is hosting a Fat Birkie race this Saturday, Mar 21st. Race distances are 10 or 20 miles.

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

NCAA Championships Nordic Only Team Scoring
March 14, 2015
We've tallied up the points from the cross-country ski portions only of the NCAA Championships. NMU men finished second to only Colorado. NMU women were sixth, MTU 12th, and CSS 14th. When combining the team totals, NMU finished fourth.

Junior Nationals: Classical Relays Coverage
March 14, 2015
The final day of racing at the 2015 Junior Nationals featured classical relays. Tough snow conditions had the organizers modifying the distance and times for the events, with all races switching to a 3 x 2.5K format. Starting off, leading FU16 girls took 2nd. The top MU16 boys finished 12th. The FU20 gals crushed, taking 1st and 4th! The FU18 girls also podium, finishing 3rd. And finishing it off, the MU18 boys take another team title!

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

Junior Nationals: Midwest Relay Teams Posted
March 14, 2015
The lineup for the Midwest relay teams in Saturday's classical 3-person relays has been posted. Note: Exact order on each team may be changed, and some additional Midwest skiers will be competing on mixed relay teams. Races start at 11 am CDT.
Related:
Junior Nationals Preview
Full Relay Start List

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.

Junior Nationals: Classical Coverage
March 13, 2015
Junior Nationals dried out and brought the heat back for Friday's classical races at Auburn Ski Center in Truckee. In the boys U20 race, Ian Torchia took a tumble on the final downhill while leading, still pulled out 2nd! The finish of the boys U18 came down to a big sprint with Zak Ketterson getting 5th (4th American). Vivian Hett skis strong for the Midwest, taking 2nd in FU20 with Anna French 4th! Anders Sonnesyn was the top MW skier at 26th in the U16 boys. Anna Johnson provided the most dramatic finish of the day, rocking the final straightaway to nearly steal first, finishing 2nd in the FU16 by only 3/10 of a second!
Related:
Junior Nationals: Classical Race Reports

NCAA Championships: Classical Coverage
March 13, 2015
An incredible day of racing at NCAA Championships on Friday morning in Lake Placid for the classical mass start races. In the mens 20K, NMU's own Fredrik Schwencke takes the victory in a four man sprint as two of the skiers crash! Teammates Kyle Bratrud and Soederman were in the mix, finishing 7th and 11th. In the earlier womens race, Emilie Cedervaern, UNM, took a two way sprint over Wednesday champ, Veronik Mayerhofer, UU. Top Midwest woman was Felicia Gesior, NMU, at 13th. Great photos from Karen Brown posted, plus links for full video replays.
Related:
NCAA Championships: Classical Race Reports
CCSA: NMU’s Schwencke crowned NCAA Champion, Gesior takes 13th in classic event

Junior Nationals: Classical Seed List Posted
March 12, 2015
The seeding list for the mass start classical races at Junior Nationals on Friday have been posted. Racing action starts at 11 am CDT.
Related:
Junior Nationals Preview
NCAA Championships Preview

Junior Nationals: Freestyle Coverage
March 11, 2015
A rain/snow mix made for tough racing conditions Wednesday at the Auburn Ski Club for the Junior National freestyle races. In opening U16 races, Abby Jarzin and Kelly Koch notched top ten finishes, placing 7th and 10th. Patrick Acton was the leading Midwest boy at 25th. Vivian Hett, NMU, crushed the FU20 field, winning by 15 seconds to take the national title. Sarah Bezdicek and Allison Ternes were 4th and 5th. In the FU18 race, Nicole Schneider was back on form taking 5th, with Abigail Drach 6th, and Margie Freed 9th. Ian Torchia hammered out a great race to finish 2nd in the U20 men with Luke Brown 4th. In the final race, Zak Ketterson narrowly missed the big U18 title, finishing 2nd by five seconds. Mack FitzPatrick nailed 5th, with Leo Hipp 9th. Results linked in, photos from Caroline Brisbois, Jackie Schneider, Mindy Benton, Keely Jackson and Jennifer Brisbois. Plus photos from the midweek awards.
Related:
Results: Preliminary semi-live results
Twitter: Skinnyski race updates
Junior Nationals: Freestyle Race Reports

NCAA Championships: Freestyle Coverage
March 11, 2015
The NCAA Championships held the individual start freestyle races on Wednesday on Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails near Lake Placid. Kyle Bratrud, NMU, posted the top Midwest time, finishing 7th (4th American) in the mens 10K race. Patrick Caldwell, Dartmouth, was the mens champ. In the womens 5K, Jordyn Ross, NMU, was the top Midwest skier finishing 12th (4th American!). Veronika Mayerhofer, Univ of Utah, was the womens champion. Results linked in along with some great photos from Karen Brown.
Related:
NCAA Championships: Freestyle Race Reports
CCSA: NMU’s Bratrud 7th, Ross 12th at NCAA Championship freestyle race

Blackhawk Race Report March 7
March 10, 2015
Wisconsin Biathlon supplies a race report from the Wisconsin Biathlon Cup at Blackhawk Ski Club last weekend.

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!

Junior Nationals: Freestyle Start List Posted
March 10, 2015
Start lists for Wednesday's freestyle interval start races at Junior Nationals have been posted. U16 boys go out first at 11 am CDT, with most divisions doing 5K except the U18/U20 boys who'll be skating 10K.
Related:
Junior Nationals Preview

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.

Junior Nationals: Freestyle Sprints Coverage
March 9, 2015
While the day started a little windy and chilly, the sun broke out and temperatures rose quickly for the first day of competition at Junior Nationals in Truckee. In the morning qualifying, Midwest skiers did well with a lot of skiers advancing! Some of the top qualifying: MU20 Jon Delaney 5th, Sam Boardman 6th; MU18 Zak Ketterson 2nd, Cory Rouw 9th; FU20 Vivian Hett 3rd, Allison Ternes 8th; FU18 Claire Benton 10th; FU16 Anna Johnson 4th, Erin Moening 5th, Siri Bohacek 6th. Sprint finals: Zak Ketterson finishes 2nd in grueling MU18 final! Sarah Bezdicek takes 3rd in the FU20 A final, Vivian Hett 4th. In the FU16 final, Erin Moening takes lead into stadium but is edged out at the line to finish 2nd! Photos from parents Jennifer Brisbois, Jackie Schneider, Mindy Benton and Keely Jackson.
Related:
Video: Opening Ceremonies Parade
Junior Nationals: Sprint Race Reports

Junior Nationals: Freestyle Sprints Start List Posted
March 9, 2015
After some delays, the sprint list for Monday's freestyle sprints has been posted. Midwest spectators: remember to add two hours to the times for Central timezone.
Related:
Junior Nationals Preview

NCAA Championships Preview
March 8, 2015
The NCAA Skiing Championships are this week in Lake Placid, NY. The Midwest sends a strong group of skiers, a number of whom could reach the podium this year. We've got a preview/guide with event details, resources, and a look at the Midwest skiers. And be sure to catch the live video coverage on Wednesday and Friday (subtract an hour for Central timezone)!

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

Section Shakeup 2015
March 7, 2015
The Minnesota high school league has performed their biennial competitive section assignment review, and for Nordic skiing, some major changes are on the horizon for the 2015-16 season! We've got a breakdown on the changes along with some commentary for each new section alignment.

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

Midwest Junior Championships Classical Coverage
March 7, 2015
The Midwest Junior Championships is a two day celebration of youth skiing, and a culmination the Skiwerx and Youth Cup series, with carnival of events at Theodore Wirth. We dropped in for the classical races on Saturday, as temperatures climbed into the upper 30s under bright skies.
Related:
Skiwerx, Cities Cup, MNSA Awards Banquet Coming up March 22nd

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

CCSA: Fjeldheim and Salmela named CCSA Coaches of the Year
March 5, 2015
Northern Michigan Head Coach Sten Fjeldheim and St. Scholastica Head Coach Chad Salmela have been selected CCSA Coaches of the Year; Fjeldheim for the men's team, and Salmela for the women's.

Weekend Racing
March 4, 2015
Another busy weekend of racing yet...
Mar 7 Pepsi Challenge - 24K or 48K freestyle and classic races on the famous Giants Ridge trail sytem.
Mar 7 Sleeping Giant Loppet - Just across the border, beautiful course at Sleeping Giant Park near Thunder Bay.
Mar 7 Great Bear Chase - The UP's great spring marathon, running on the Swedetown trails.
Mar 8 Black Lake Loppet - A low-key donut race with equalizer starts.
Mar 8 Springloppet - Grand Rapids features races at Sugar Hills.
And the Midwest Junior Championships are this weekend at Wirth. Check out Racing Outlook for any event updates.
Related:
Waxing Recommendations

Junior Nationals Preview
March 3, 2015
Junior Nationals starts on Monday, March 9th, at the Auburn Ski Club near Soda Springs, California. The Midwest is bringing one of their biggest squads ever, packing a lot of podium potential! We've posted a preview of the team along with a collection of resources to help follow all the action.

CCSA: Field Announced for 2015 NCAA Championships
March 3, 2015
The Midwest field for the 2015 NCAA Championships, March 11-14, in Lake Placid, NY, has been announced. Northern Michigan leads the CCSA representation at the NCAA Championships with a full allotment of six skiers.
Related:
NCAA: 74 men, 74 women named as 2015 skiing championship participants

Racing Outlook
March 2, 2015
Posting updates on races coming up this weekend, including the Pepsi Challenge, SpringLoppet and many others.

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.

Midwest Junior National Team Naming
March 1, 2015
The final roster for the Midwest Junior National team has been released. The team will bring 54 athletes, along with a big coaching/support staff to Soda Springs, CA, for the Junior National competition the week of March 8-14.
Related:
Midwest U16 Championships Team Named

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

NCAA Regional Championships Classical Coverage
March 1, 2015
The Midwest NCAA Regional competition held 15K and 20K classical races on Sunday at Al Quaal. Fredrik Schwencke, NMU, took the mens 20K victory with Logan Hanneman, UAF, and Adam Martin, NMU, just seconds back. Ulrika Axelsson, MTU, won the womens 15K in a sprint finish over teammate Deedra Irwin, with NMU's Felicia Gesior less than 15 seconds back for third. Results linked in, photos from Jennifer Brisbois.
Related:
CCSA: Michigan Tech’s Axelsson, NMU’s Schwencke win classic event at NCAA Central Regionals

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

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

NCAA Regional Championships Freestyle Coverage
February 28, 2015
The Midwest NCAA Regional competition got underway Saturday with the 5K and 10K freestyle races at Al Quaal in Ishpeming. Alice Flanders, MTU, continued her hot hand in skate races, winning by three seconds with NMU's Jordyn Ross second, and Sharmila Ahmed, CSS, third. In the mens 10K, Erik Soderman, NMU, took the victory by 30 seconds with Logan Hanneman, UAF, second and Håkon Hjelstuen, MTU, third. Results linked in along with some photos from Jennifer Brisbois.
Related:
CCSA: NMU’s Soderman, Michigan Tech’s Flanders win freestyle race at NCAA Central Regionals
Post-Birkie Invite 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.

Junior Nationals: Course Update
February 26, 2015
Very sparse snow conditions are forcing Junior Nationals organizers to scale back courses and limit access to the trails as they prepare for the 2015 event in less than 10 days. Skiers going out early may need to plan for alternate workouts.

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.

Midwest Junior Championship and Festival
February 23, 2015
The Midwest Junior Championship and Festival is March 6-8 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. The event offers a huge range of events including relay races, SkiCross obstacle course, paintball biathlon, tug of war, scooter soccer, and of course, classical and freestyle ski races.

Birkie Wrap
February 22, 2015
A sampling of the big Birkie coverage over the weekend:
Birkie Video Recap - The American Birkebeiner put out an excellent event recap video, showing highlights from both the mens and womens races.
Full Birkie Replay - CXC's Livestream channel has the full Birkie video replay.
Birkie Shootout - Sawyer County Record's feature article on the mens and womens races at the Birkie.
Brooks Wins 2nd Title - Alaska Dispatch highlights Holly Brooks second womens Birkie champion title.
Skiers Swarm the Birkie - NorthlandNews article and video features on the Birkie races.
Bridge Reviews - The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram had skiers extolling the International bridge addition for the Birkie.
Liebsch Skis On - Duluth Tribune featured Matt Liebsch and his Birkie aspirations.
And we've got our own Skinnyski photosets posted and you'll find more on the Birkie Facebook photo page.

Minnesota HS Nordic Ski Coaches Association Award Winners
February 22, 2015
The Minnesota High School Nordic Ski Coaches Association announced the winners for coach, assistant coach, and volunteer of the year, at their banquet back on Feb 11th. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton swept the awards with Glen Sorenson coach, Ben Croft asst coach, and Brent Smith, volunteer.

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

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 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

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.

Weekend Racing
February 18, 2015
Pretty quiet weekend on the racing schedule...
Feb 21 American Birkebeiner - Only the biggest race in North America!  A whole weekend filled with events, Hayward is the center of the Nordic skiing universe for the next few days.
You can check our Racing Outlook for updates on this, and upcoming events.
Related:
Birkie Week Event/Spectator Guide and Live Feeds
Waxing Recommendations

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

Skiwerx Series/CXC Youth Cup and Cities Cup Points Update
February 18, 2015
Skiwerx, Youth Cup and Cities Cup point totals have been updated. Just a few races left in the series, including the Junior Birkie this Friday.

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.

Price Hikes
February 17, 2015
A couple of price hikes coming up this week...
Mar 1 Nordic Spirit - The race in on, register by Feb 20 to save some cash.
Mar 7 Pepsi Challenge - The next price hike comes on Feb 23.
Related:
Racing Outlook

Birkie Elite Sprints Cancelled
February 17, 2015
With forecast high temps around zero on Thursday, the Birkie has cancelled the elite sprints. Prize money will now be award as a sprint bonus at Hwy OO during the Saturday race.

Minnesota State Meet Recap
February 16, 2015
We take a look back at last year's Minnesota high school championships, the State Meet at Giants Ridge. We highlight the strong performances, some of the surprises, movers and shakers, and review our not-so-hot predictions.

Junior Birkie Closes Thursday Evening
February 16, 2015
Registration for the Junior Birkie will close Thursday evening, so don't delay in your registration (no race day registration!). The Junior Birkie starts Friday morning near the Hayward Primary School and finishes on Main Street.

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!

Midwest Junior National and U16 Championships Teams Released
February 15, 2015
The preliminary list for the Junior Nationals and U16 Championships (NENSA) was released following the completion of competition on Sunday. Expect changes to this list as athletes decline and possible additions are named.
Related:
Midwest Junior Nationals Points Updated
Junior Nationals Trip Information
U16 Championships Trip Information

Mayor's Challenge JNQ Freestyle Sprints Coverage
February 15, 2015
A bit warmer, and a lot less windy conditions prevailed Sunday for the Midwest JNQ finale as skiers participated in freestyle sprint races at Wirth. Sarah Bezdicek, recently crowned State champion, had no problems powering away from the womens elite field to take add the sprint title her collection this week. In the mens elite sprint, Sam Boardman proved to be best of the bunch, cruising in for the mens victory. Patrick Acton and Erin Moening took the U16 titles. Results posted, along with a photoset from the elite sprints.

Midwest Junior Nationals Points Updated
February 15, 2015
The 2015 Midwest Junior Nationals points from the JNQ series have been tallied and posted. The preliminary team was announced at 3:30 pm, but is not being made public at this time.

World Cup Oestersund: Freestyle Races
February 15, 2015
Wrapping up the final competition before the World Championships later this week, top World Cup skiers were battling in a 10K and 15K freestyle races is Oestersund, SWE on Sunday. Sweden's own Charlotte Kalla provided hope that the Norwegian's won't sweep the World Championships as she won the womens 10K, finishing ahead of four Norwegians, including Marit Bjoergen. Jessie Diggins had good tune-up numbers finishing 17th. Norway's KROGH Finn Haagen Krogh won the mens 15K, with Noah Hoffman, coming off a broken leg in late November, to finish 38th in his first race back!
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K Freestyle Results

Slavic Cup: Nove Mesto Classic Races
February 15, 2015
The US juniors continued competition in the Slavic Cup series in Nove Mesto na Morave, CZE, on Sunday, racing in revised classical races. The US women posted strong results across the board in the 10K with Julia Kern hitting the podium in third place, followed by Katharine Ogden 4th and Annie Hart 5th. Paige Schember was 20th. In the mens 15K, Zak Ketterson was 16th.
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K Classical Results

Mayor's Challenge CCSA/JNQ Freestyle Results
February 14, 2015
Cold temps and strong winds combined for some nasty conditions Saturday morning at Theodore Wirth, resulting in a two hour delay for the start of the CCSA/JNQ races. Erik Soderman and Fredrik Schwencke posted the two sub 20 minute 10K times to take first and second place for NMU, with CSS's Paul Schommer collecting third. Alice Flanders, MTU, was flying as well, the only women to go under 14 minutes in the 5K for the win. Jordyn Ross, NMU, and Sharmila Ahmed, St. CSS, rounded out the podium. Top U20 times went to Tom Bye and Nichole Bathe. U18 victories for Liam Schmelzle and Rocci Wohlk. The top U16 times were posted by Kelly Koch and Luc Golin.
Related:
CCSA: Flanders, Soderman Win Freestyle Titles at CCSA Championships

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!

Michigan High School State Championships Results
February 14, 2015
Michigan High School State Nordic Skiing Championships held their distance races on Friday, featuring a morning classical race followed in the afternoon with a pursuit start freestyle race. Mitch Delong, Copper Country, held off teammate David Jasczczak by nine seconds to win the boys pursuit title. Sarah Goble, Lake Michigan, dominated the girls events posting the best classic and skate times and winning by over a minute.

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

Slavic Cup: Ben Saxton Wins Nove Mesto Freestyle Sprints
February 14, 2015
Ben Saxton continued his hot streak in sprinting collecting a victory in the Nove Mesto freestyle sprints in the Czech Republic on Saturday, as part of his final tuneup for the World Championships. Zak Ketterson had a good run as well, finishing 12th. Annie Hart made the womens final, taking 4th, with Paige Schember posting 6th!
Related:
Results: Freestyle Sprints

CCSA: Classic Distance Championships Results
February 13, 2015
Northern Michigan University's Felicia Gesior and Fredrick Schwencke took the top honors in Friday's classic mass start race at the CCSA Distance Championships held at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis.
Related:
CCSA: Northern Michigan’s Gesior, Schwencke win classic event at CCSA Distance Championships

Midwest Junior Nationals Updates
February 13, 2015
The Midwest Junior National team will be named on Sunday, after the sprint races at Theodore Wirth. We've collected some updates, including snow conditions at Truckee, as well as Midwest JN trip information (forms, costs, etc), as well as the selection process.

Minnesota State Meet Coverage
February 12, 2015
Bright sunshine and light winds made the subzero start for the boys skate race at Giants Ridge for the Minnesota State Meet seem quite tolerable. Leo Hipp, Forest Lake, hit the course flying to take a 17 second lead after the morning skate race. Five boys will start within a second of each other in pursuit of Hipp this afternoon. Sarah Bezdicek, Osseo, dominated the girls skate field, posting a nearly 30 seconds faster than Margie Freed, Eastview, with Wayzata's Michaela Keller-Miller another 16 seconds back. In the afternoon classical pursuit, Leo Hipp held off a late charge by Sean Cork to take the boys overall title, with Cory Rouw winning a sprint of the pursuit pack for third. Sarah Bezdicek brought the power again, hammering away to decisively take the girls title, With Michaela Keller-Miller second, and Margie Freed holding on for third. The Forest Lake and Wayzata girls repeated as team champions both winning by nearly 30 points. Results posted, along with photosets from all four races.
Related:
Pioneer Press: Osseo's Sarah Bezdicek too fast to catch at state meet
Star Tribune: Nordic skiers from Forest Lake, Osseo survive cold to win state titles
Pioneer Press: Leo Hipp of Forest Lake wins boys state title
State Meet Lost and Found Items

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.

Charlie Banks Relays Results
February 11, 2015
Enjoying relatively warm, but blustery conditions at Giants Ridge Wednesday, teams from across Minnesota competed in the Charlie Banks Coaches Association Relays. Fielding a team with two eighth grade striders, the Armstrong girls topped Ely by 15 seconds for the title. The boys relay race was even closer, as Osseo edged out Grand Rapids by nine seconds, with Stillwater just another six seconds back.

Weekend Racing
February 11, 2015
Feb 14 HinderBinder - One the Wisconsin old school races, held on the trails at Rib Lake and Camp Forest Springs.
Feb 14 Snowflake/Inga-lami - Separate mens and womens races, hosted by Gear West, out at Elm Creek.
Feb 14-15 Mayors Challenge - Collegiate and/or JNQ racing at Wirth, including sprints on Sunday.
Feb 15 Winter Trail Assail - Held at Nashotah Park with plenty of snow, 7.5K and 13K races.
Feb 14 Book Across the Bay - Evening race across frozen Chequamegon Bay with nearly 1000 of your winter buddies.
There are many more events on the calendar, including the North American Vasa and the Michigan HS Championships.   Check the Racing Outlook for our latest event updates.
Related:
Waxing Recommendations

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.

Local Stars
February 10, 2015
Zak From Sweden - MN State Champ Zak Ketterson files a report from his racing action in Sweden (where Zak took 6th in the 10K freestyle).
Davos - Jessie Diggins updates from Davos, enjoying some fun times and painful training.
Behind the Scenes - Shellie Milford, the person that has orchestrated much of the Birkie magic for nearly 30 years is retiring after this race.
Legally Blonde - Annie Hart writes from Kazakstan, where she draws some  funny analogies to the movie 'Legally Blonde'.
Taking on the World - Caitlin Gregg shares her interview with FasterSkier about the upcoming World Championships.
Out on Top - Forest Lake skiers Rocci Wohlk and Leo Hipp were featured in the Pioneer Press.
Craftsbury - Rosie Frankowski writes about time out East for the Craftsbury SuperTour.
BMT Lemonade - Brian Gregg blogs on the Boulder Mountain Tour, and the sudden change in plans.
Top Workout - Hastings Nordic ski team and their workouts hit the spotlight earlier this winter.
Race Day Rituals - Paige Schember, taking part in the U23 Championships, recaps the many race day traditional/rituals.
And leaving most of us Midwesterners shaking our heads...
Too Much? - New England struggling to deal with three major snowstorms in three weeks.

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.

Racing Outlook
February 10, 2015
A number of updates on upcoming events including: State Meet delayed until noon; Sawtooth Festival has some cancellations/changes; Wirth JNQ registration closes Tuesday at midnight!
Related:
Skiwerx Series/CXC Youth Cup Points Updated

Minnesota State Meet Preview
February 9, 2015
With perhaps the specter of cold weather again looming over the Minnesota State High School Nordic Championships, we present our annual preview guide. Find out the changes in store, check out our favorites and predictions, as well as some opinions from the last year's champions! The start lists are posted, and we'll be on-site Thursday providing same day coverage.
Related:
Live State Meet Radio Coverage from WELY 94.5 FM
Racing Outlook
Minnesota State Meet Music Survey
Minnesota State Meet Start Time Delayed Due to Cold Weather
Candidates for the Coach, Assistant Coach and Volunteer of the Year
Waxing Recommendations

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.

Wisconsin High School Nordic Championships Classical Results
February 8, 2015
The Wisconsin High School Nordic Championships Sunday featured a classical pursuit format, based on the finish times in Saturday's freestyle races. Will Bodewes, Lakeland, overcame three second deficit to Dan Delestry, Chippewa Valley, and went on to win by nearly 30 seconds. The girls race was even closer, as Alissa Niggemann, Independent, made up a 14 second gap to Abigail Jarzin, Ashwaubenon, and appeared to have the race well in-hand until a crash on the final descent greatly reduced the margin. Niggemann recovered in time to collect the victory by less than two seconds. Team titles were awarded to the Lakeland boys and Peak Nordic girls. Results linked in, plus photosets from the pursuit races.

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

Wisconsin High School Nordic Championships Freestyle Results
February 7, 2015
The Wisconsin High School Nordic League held their freestyle championship races on the Telemark trails in Cable Saturday. Dan Delestry, Chippewa Valley, topped Will Bodewes, Lakeland, by three seconds for the top time on the day. In the girls race, ninth grader Abigail Jarzin, Ashwaubenon, was first with Alissa Niggemann, Independent, just 14 seconds back. With such close margins, all eyes will be on Sunday's pursuit start classical races.

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

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Final
February 6, 2015
We post our final take on the Minnesota High School Nordic skiing rankings, with the State Meet handing out the official titles next Thursday. The number ones remain, but a fair amount of shaking in the rankings after conference and section championships.
Related:
Minnesota State Meet Music Survey

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

Minnesota Section 7 Championships Coverage
February 5, 2015
Racing on the State Meet courses at Giants Ridge, the northern powers fought for the Section 7 titles Thursday. The little Mesabi East girls team pulled off an amazing three point victory over traditional power Duluth East for the team title. Anna Johnson led the way for Mesabi East, taking the individual title. Duluth East boys defeated Mesabi East to take the team title by nine points. Mesabi East's Reed Melicher and Duluth East's Keaton Long had an epic battle for the overall, as Melicher bested Long by just over a second to win the boys title. The Mesabi East boys and Duluth East girls were the runner up teams qualifying for State. Full results posted, along with photos from Joe Bianco.

Minnesota Section 2 Championships Coverage
February 5, 2015
Wrapping up four days of high school racing at Theodore Wirth, Section 2 championship titles were decided on Thursday. Wayzata girls, missing star Nicole Schneider (racing overseas), still had plenty of star power to take the team title, led by Anna French and Michaela Keller-Miller going 1-2. Young gun Anders Sonnesyn, Wayzata, cruised to the boys title in posting the top classic and skate times. The boys team race was extremely close, as Eden Prairie took 4,5 and 7,8 positions, but Wayzata counter-punched with the 1, 3, 9, 10 spots, giving them the single point victory. The Eden Prairie girls completed the runner up sweep. Full results posted, photos coming this evening.

Minnesota Section 4 Championships Coverage
February 5, 2015
Bright sunshine reigned on Thursday for the final day of section racing in Minnesota. Section 4 held their championship on the snowmaking loop at Hyland, using the full 5K. Rocci Wolhk, Forest Lake, kept her dominating streak going as she took the girls title by over a minute and half. The Stillwater girls powerhouse dominated the standings, as they collected second thru sixth positions to easily take the team title. Leo Hipp, Forest Lake, won the boys crown, receiving the most pressure from his own teammate, Quinn Duffy, just 20 seconds back. The Forest boys pulled off an improbable victory for the team title as they were missing one of their star four, with teammates exceeding expectations to just top a Stillwater crew that posted five in the top eight. Runner up team titles went to the Forest Lake girls and Stillwater boys. Full results posted, along with photos of the morning classical races.

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

Minnesota Section 5 Championships Coverage
February 4, 2015
Racing on the snowmaking loop at Wirth, enduring some gusty afternoon winds, Section 5 titles were handed out on Wednesday. Xavier Mansfield, Minneapolis Patrick Henry, posted the top classical and freestyle times to take the boys title. Andover boys collected the team title, with Irondale the runner up. Sarah Bezdicek showcased her strong form, easily besting the girls field by over a minute and a half. The Roseville girls took the team crown with Irondale gals completing the second place sweep. Full results posted, along with photosets of the afternoon pursuit races.

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

Minnesota Section 8 Championships Coverage
February 3, 2015
Maplelag Resort dished up some fast conditions for the Section 8 championship on Tuesday. The girls race came down to a thrilling afternoon pursuit race, as Mora's Sadie Peterson started with a ten second lead after the morning skate, but was challenged by both Berit Ramstad Skoyles, Detroit Lakes, and Katie Williams, St. Cloud Tech, during the classical pursuit with Peterson just pulling ahead in the end for margin of victory of just two seconds! Cory Rouw, St. Cloud Tech, easily captured the boys title posting the top skate and classical times. The girls team title was extremely close as well, as Mora girls won the section by a single point, and St. Cloud Cathedral needing to go to tie-breakers to defeat Little Falls for second place. The St. Cloud Tech boys pulled off the upset of Brainerd, topping them by just three points for the team title. Results posted, along with photos from Jay Richards.

Minnesota Section 1 Championships Coverage
February 3, 2015
Brian Abery reports: Section 1 held their championships at Hyland Recreation area Tuesday on new man-made snow for the classic race in the morning. Snow squalls in the afternoon slowed things down a bit, but the racing remained exceptional. The girl's race was all but over after the morning classic event with Eastview junior Margie Freed building up a 43 second lead over New Prague's Marie Berg. Freed bested the field by over 1 minute in the afternoon freestyle race to win the pursuit by over 2 minutes. Eastview's Annika Martell overtook Berg in the freestyle to take 2nd position with Prior Lake Senior Kaija Ornes in 3rd. Eastview took the team title with Lakeville North in the runner-up position. The Boy's event was a tighter race with Winona/Cotter senior Noah Poling leading Eagan sophomore Patrick Acton by 13 seconds after the classic event. Acton stormed back in the afternoon freestyle, however, besting the field by 43 seconds to take an easy win. Poling held on to 2nd place with Eagan sophomore Ryan Steger taking 3rd. Eagan won the team title with Winona/Cotter in the 2nd position. Results posted, along with photos from the morning classical races.

Wisconsin High School Nordic Championship Predictions
February 3, 2015
Ken Schoville rings in with his annual predictions on the Wisconsin High School Nordic Championships. The Wisconsin championship is this weekend, Feb 7-8, on the Telemark Trails in Cable.
Related:
Wisconsin High School Nordic Championships

NNF Launches 2015 Auction
February 3, 2015
The NNF Fundraising Auction will begin on February 4th, 2015 and last two weeks. Proceeds will support the NNF pillar projects, skiing development projects focused on up-and-coming U.S. skiers.

Minnesota Section 3 Championships Coverage
February 3, 2015
Section 3 held their championships at Theodore Wirth Tuesday, with the afternoon pursuit races punctuated by a passing snowstorm that dropped 2-3" of fresh snow on the course. Tamer Mische-Richter, Bloomington Kennedy, easily topped the boys field to take the individual title by almost two minutes. Erin Moening, St. Paul Highland Park, powered to a big lead in the morning classic race, then held off Kelly Koch, Burnsville, in the skate pursuit (Koch posted the top skate time). The Minnehaha Academy boys and Burnsville girls walked away with the team titles, but the race for that new second state meet team qualification was extremely close. St. Paul Central knocked off Minneapolis Washburn by two points for the boys number 2 team, while St. Paul Highland Park earned the girls runner up position by a single heartbreaking point over St. Paul Academy. Results up now, along with photos of the afternoon freestyle pursuit races.

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

Racing Outlook
February 2, 2015
Updates on the upcoming races, including some of the sections and the Vasaloppet.
Related:
Waxing Recommendations

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.

Minnesota Section 6 Championships Coverage
February 2, 2015
Section 6 started off the week of Minnesota high school sectional championships with racing on the snowmaking loop at Theodore Wirth Monday. The girls race came down to an exciting race of two top contenders, as Hannah Rudd, Armstrong, started the skate pursuit with a four second lead over Benilde-St.Margaret's Amanda Kautzer. Rudd kept the pace on but Kautzer was able to close the gap on the final lap, moving ahead to win by 8 seconds. Claire Benton, Hopkins, took third. Sean Cork, St. Louis Park, took a 15 second lead from the classical race and extended it to 20 during the skate in a strong performance for the boys title. Tom Norman, Armstrong, held off a flying Liam Schmelzle (fastest skate split), St. Louis Park, as they finished second and third. St. Louis Park won the boys team title, with Minneapolis Southwest taking the second state meeting qualifying position. The Armstrong girls were the top team, with Hopkins finishing second just nine points off. Results posted, photos coming this evening.
Related:
Minnesota State Meet Music Survey
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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

Minnesota College Championships Results
January 31, 2015
Minnesota colleges competed on a fast track at Snowflake Nordic in Duluth Saturday for the Minnesota College Championships. While St. Scholastica won the mens and womens titles, the performance of the day went to Jake Brown, St. Olaf, who took his relay team from fourth to second place by posting the fastest split.

World Junior/U23 Championships and U18 Nations Guide
January 31, 2015
Over a dozen top juniors from the Midwest will be competing in top international competitions this week at the World Junior/U23 Championships and U18 Nations competition. We've pulled together a program guide, including official websites, event details, and most importantly, result links.

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

Minnesota Sections Preview
January 30, 2015
The Minnesota high school Nordic skiing sectional competition runs next week as skiers and team battle to advance to the State Meet. Check out our preview of the section matchups, some predictions, catch up on the new State Meet selection process, and review the full schedule (which includes four straight days of racing at Wirth).

Metro East Conf Championships Coverage
January 30, 2015
Winding down a busy week of racing, the Metro East Conference held their championships at Hyland on Friday. The afternoon pursuit races proved to be exciting finales, as both saw comeback victories. In the boys race, Will Caturia, Hastings, reeled in Christopher Prokosch, Henry-Sibley, to take the title by 30 seconds. The girls race was won by a blazing 7th grader, Libby Tuttle of Mahtomedi, who started third after the morning classic. Team titles were earned by the Hastings boys and Henry Sibley girls. Race results posted, along with photosets from the afternoon pursuits.

Birkie Change Requests Due Today
January 30, 2015
If you are thinking of changing your Birkie/Korte technique, or switching between races, you need to call in your request by 4 pm today (Friday)!

Midwest JNQ Points Standings Updated
January 29, 2015
The Midwest JNQ points standings have been updated to included last weekends Twin Cities Championships races. In general, the points are based on the skiers best four results. The final Midwest JNQ will be after the State Meet, on Feb 14-15 in the Twin Cities.

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

Vasaloppet Moves to Mora Lake
January 29, 2015
With the low snow conditions, Vasaloppet officials have announced next weekend's ski races will be held on Mora Lake, right next to downtown Mora (not Knife Lake). The race will use a 3.2K loop, with shortened event distances. The Moraloppet, scheduled for this weekend, will now be a walking event at the beautiful Nordic Center.

IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Report
January 28, 2015
Michael Jorgensen reports from Cable and his experiences with the incredible athletes and inspiring stories that make up the International Paralympics Nordic World Championships going on this week. There are still some events left -- don't miss your chance to see this unique international event here in the Midwest.

Excellent Conditions for Wolf Tracks Rendezvous
January 27, 2015
The Wolf Tracks Rendezvous, set for this Saturday, Jan 31st, is reporting excellent conditions for their 42K and 24K races. Registration has been rising quickly, with a field limit set at just 300 skiers.

IMAC Conference Championships Coverage
January 27, 2015
Most of the Minnesota conferences are holding their Nordic championships this week. IMAC held their event at Elm Creek Tuesday, racing classical in the morning, then hammering out freestyle pursuit format races on some slushy snow in the afternoon. The Minnehaha Academy boys dominated the event, posting six members in the top nine (with some wild sprint finishes), as Tyler Radtke claimed the title. In the girls race, Ingrid Thyr, Breck, cruised to the title with Ellen McCarthy finishing second to lead St. Paul Summit Academy to the team victory. Results up, along with photosets from the pursuit races.

Loppet Races Moved to Wirth
January 27, 2015
The Loppet Foundation has announced that the lake courses couldn't withstand the warm weather this week, and are now planning to run the ski races at Theodore Wirth, using the snowmaking loop and running laps. The Luminary Loppet will still be held at Lake of the Isles, using the asphalt walking paths.
Related:
Racing Outlook
13th Annual City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival Revises Plans Due to Weather

Local Stars
January 26, 2015
Skills - Annie Hart uses her experience to handle hectic travel arrangements to Kazakhstan. 
Community - Caitlin Gregg updates on her recent races and training, as she connects with the Midwest skiing community. Husband Brian has a similar blog update
Lucky - Alice Flanders updates last week with some "snappy news" and recaps on the Telemark races.
Sapporo - Adam Loomis updates from Japan where he is racing on the World Cup Nordic Combined circuit, sharing his travel and dining experiences.
Nordic Meccas - The Birkie Trail and the City of Lakes Loppet Festival make Outside's list of Nordic skiing favorites.
Woodies - Greg Fangel's wooden ski business is drawing attention worldwide.
Fear Not - Tom Carlson from Gear West provides a primer on using klister.
Sawmill Ski Tour - With the brown winter across much of the region, enjoy some video and photo montage from the 2015 Sawmill Tour in Quetico Park (Canada).

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 6
January 26, 2015
No major changes at the top, but definitely some interesting racing over the past week. Check out the notable performances and find out who's on the rise in our latest set of Minnesota high school Nordic ski rankings.

Price Hikes
January 26, 2015
A number of price hikes rolling in this week...
Jan 31-Feb 1 City of Lakes Loppet - Tuesday, Jan 27, is the last day to register online -- after that, prices go up and must register in-person.
And the rest of these events all have price jumps coming Feb 1st...
Feb 7 Vasaloppet
Feb 14 Minnesota Finlandia
Feb 28 Squirrel Hill Skiathlon
Mar 7 Sleeping Giant Loppet
Mar 7 Fat Bike Birkie

US Ski Team: Strong XC Team Named for World Champs
January 26, 2015
Liz Stephen, Kikkan Randall, Jessie Diggins and Simi Hamilton lead a team of 16 cross country athletes named by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to compete in the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships Feb. 18 – March 1 in Falun, Sweden. In addition to Diggins, Caitlin Gregg and Kyle Bratrud were selected from the Midwest!
Related:
NNF Pledges $8K Support for World Championships Team

Loppet Course Preparations Underway
January 26, 2015
The Loppet Foundation is busy preparing race courses for the weekend events. At this point, it is looking like a lake course -- very similar to the original Loppet! They are seeking your assistance in staying off the lake courses to avoid further damage, and help in the form of shoveling parties.

Twin Cities Championships CCSA/JNQ Freestyle Coverage
January 25, 2015
With temperatures in the mid 20s, the Theodore Wirth course provided some blazing fast conditions for the freestyle races of the Twin Cities Championships Sunday. Alice Flanders, MTU, topped the womens 5K field, posting the only sub-15 minute time. Matt Liebsch gathered some redemption today, flying around the mens 10K in just under 21 minutes for the fastest time. Zak Ketterson and Sarah Bezdicek were the top juniors. Patrick Acton won the junior boys 5K. In the citizens mass start race, Mark Johnson and Sarah Daniels collected the victories. Results linked in, along with over 800 photos.
Related:
Iola Norseman Challenge Results Posted

World Cup Rybinsk: Skiathlon
January 25, 2015
Sunday wrapped up the weekend series in Rybinsk, Russia, with the unusual skiathlon format events. Racing 7.5K classical, then switching to skate for another 7.5K, Jessie Diggins capped a fantastic weekend finishing 5th! Teammate Liz Stephen was just less than 10 seconds back, in 7th, with Sadie Bjornsen 13th and Rosie Brennan 20th. Matt Gelso was the lone American in the mens 15K/15K race, finishing 48th. Champions were Russian's Yulia Tchekaleva and Maxim Vylegzhanin.
Related:
Results: Skiathlon 15K, 30K

Twin Cities Championships CCSA/JNQ Classical Coverage
January 24, 2015
Mild weather, even balmy by afternoon, made for toasty racing Saturday at Theodore Wirth for the first day of the Twin Cities Championships races. In the mens 15K classical mass start race, a Northern Michigan trio of Fredrik Schwencke, Adam Martin, and Erik Soderman broke away early to sweep the podium. Zak Ketterson posted the top junior time, finishing 5th overall. The womens 10K came down to an exciting finale as Anita Kirvesniemi, CSS, reeled in Felicia Gesior, NMU, in the final kilometer to take the victory with junior sensation Michaela Keller-Miller, Wayzata, popping third overall. The boys 5K saw Eagan's Ryan Steger surge to the lead on the final lap to garner the win. Siri Bohacek, Stillwater, took control of the girls 5K early and held off a late rush by Erin Moening for the title. Earlier in the morning, Zach Handler won the mens citizen/open race, with Kim Rudd edging out Ingrid Leask for the womens crown. Results linked in along with over 1000 photos, covering the four CCSA and JNQ races.

Noquemanon Results
January 24, 2015
Another epic Noquemanon is in the books as skiers completed the point-to-point races Saturday morning, finishing in Marquette. The 50K classical titles went to Tad Elliott and Natalia Naryshkina, while Robert Douglas (NY) and Vicki Asmus won the 50K freestyle races. In the 24K races, Benjamin Wright and Joan Rundman won the classic divisions, Logan Zueger and Erica Ohearn the freestyle events.
Related:
Baker Shaker Results Posted

Nordic Combined: Dramatic Podium for Taylor Fletcher
January 24, 2015
Brothers Taylor and Bryan Fletcher worked together to move up in a FIS Nordic Combined World Cup in Sapporo Saturday, with Taylor coming out on the podium in dramatic fashion. Taylor was third, Bryan eighth as the USA picked up its first World Cup podium in two years.
Related:
Biathlon: Dunklee Races to 6th at Antholz World Cup pursuit

World Cup Rybinsk: Classical Sprints
January 24, 2015
Jessie Diggins posted her best result of season Saturday in Rubynsk, Russia, making the women's classical sprint final and finishing 5th! Sophie Caldwell just missed the finals, taking 7th. Ida Sargent qualified 5th overall, with Jessie Diggins 13th, Sophie Caldwell 16th, Sadie Bjornsen 17th. The US men also had great qualifying times: Simi Hamilton 6th, Andy Newell 16th, Erik Bjornsen 20th. Sweden's Jennie Oeberg and Italy's Frederico Pellegrino took the titles.
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints

Sleeping Giant Loppet Early-Bird Deadline Fast Approacing
January 24, 2015
The Sleeping Giant Loppet, in Thunder Bay, Canada, March 7th, is having their next price hike on Feb 2nd. With 20K, 35K and 50K distance events, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Big Island and Back 2015
January 23, 2015
The Big Island and Back race is on for 2015! This year, the race on Lake Minnetonka will include professional chip timing, prizes including brew from Excelsior Brewing Company, pint glasses, and more. Lake conditions are currently good, and official grooming will begin the week before the race.

World Cup Rybinsk: Freestyle Races
January 23, 2015
Liz Stephen skied into the history books Friday finishing second in the Rybinsk 10K freestyle World Cup, her career first podium! Jessie Diggins had a great day as well, finishing 12th with Rosie Brenann 13th. Norway's Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen won. Dario Cologna collected the mens 15K title. Erik Bjornsen was the top American at 40th. (Photo: Getty Images-AFP/Alexander Nemenov)
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K freestyle
Biathlon: Dunklee posts season-best 8th at World Cup sprint in Italy
Nordic Combined: Fletcher Jumps Into Contention in Japan

Chippewa Valley Nordic Invite Results
January 22, 2015
Ted Theyerl reports: The inaugural Chippewa Valley Nordic Invitational was held at Tower Ridge in Eau Claire, WI on Thursday evening with 75 skiers from Chippewa Valley Nordic (Eau Claire, WI), Red Wing and Winona doing a 4.7k mass start skate race under the lighted loops. Temperatures were in the upper 20's, on a hard packed, very fast course. In the boys varsity race, Ben Theyerl (CVN) won in 12:23, while CVN teammate David Ecker held off Winona's Jake Williams by a second for second and third. In the girls varsity race, Anni Skillicorn of Winona won by 45 seconds over CVN skiers Kaija Hudacek and Mikaela Walters. For the varsity boys team results, depending on which state (MN or WI) method used, Winona won with 4 skiers scored, CVN won with 3 skiers scored. The Varsity girls race was won by CVN using either state scoring method, with Winona second.

Win An Opportunity for a 2015 Birkie Entry
January 22, 2015
The Birkie office is running a special offer on 10 entries to the 2015 Birkie, Kortie or Prince Harkon races. Be one of the first 10 people to comment on an upcoming Facebook post, make a donation to benefit Life Link lll, and you'll earn one of the prized entries.

Vasaloppet Update
January 22, 2015
Vasaloppet USA has issued an update on their early February race. While still hoping for some major snow, they are making backup plans to hold the race on Knife Lake, which currently has plenty of snow cover.

World Cup Rybinsk Weekend Series
January 21, 2015
The World Cup series comes to Rybinsk, Russia for a three day weekend series. Friday features freestyle 10K/15K events, Saturday freestyle sprints, and then Sunday comes skiathlon format races.

South Suburban Conference Classic Results
January 20, 2015
Brian Abery reports: On a perfect day for klister skiing, the South Suburban Conference held its last regular season race prior to the Conference Pursuit Championships with a two wave mass start event on the Hyland trails. Skiing in the first wave in the Boy's race, Eagan sophomore Patrick Acton turned in the best time with 15:18 only to be topped by his team mate sophomore Ryan Steger who skied to a 1st place time of 15:13 out of the second wave. In 3rd position providing an Eagan sweep was sophomore Ryan Conroy. On the team front Eagan took 1st with ISD 196 in 2nd. The Girl's race was not as tight an affair with Eastview junior Margie Freed topping the field with a 16:39 finishing 35 seconds in front of her team mate Annika Martell. ISD 196 senior Camille Sjoquist rounded out the podium with her 3rd place finish. Team results on the girl's side had Eastview in 1st with ISD 196 taking the 2nd spot.

Skiwerx Series and Cities Cup Near Halfway
January 20, 2015
The Skiwerx and Cities Cup series are near the midpoint, and this weekend presents a double-points opportunity in the Twin Cities Championships events. Plus updated standings are now online.

Racing Outlook
January 20, 2015
Updates are rolling in for the weekend races, including the Wednesday night races, Baker Shaker (moved to Elm Creek), Montebello Niteski (cancelled), Dam Phunski (cancelled), Balsam Vinterfest (cancelled), and the big Noquemanon.
Related:
Loppet Course Shoveling Party Wednesday Jan 21st

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 5
January 19, 2015
Things start to shake in the Minnesota high school Nordic rankings, with a number of movers this week, including a new number one in the team rankings. Plus some commentary on JNQs and high school racing.

Boulder Lake Ski Race Results
January 18, 2015
A light turnout for the Boulder Lake ski race Sunday, as just under 100 skiers crossed the finish line on a very busy weekend for racing in the Midwest. Anders Osthus and Annalisa Peterson won the 32K freestyle titles, Matt Lee and Elspeth Ronnander the classical crowns. Shorter 11K freestyle victories for Joe Rauzi and Sarah Allen, classical to Kendall Hill.

Marine/O'Brien Coverage
January 18, 2015
Defying the low snow winter in the Twin Cities, the Marine/O'Brien race was successfully held on thin conditions at William O'Brien State Park Sunday morning. Organizers did trim two hill sections from the race loop, revising the distances to 10K and 20K. In the 20K classical, Tyler Gilbert and Nate Rhode broke away with Gilbert winning by nearly two minutes. Kathleen De Wahl was the womens champion. For the 20K freestyle race, Alex Reich cruised off the front to also win by nearly two minutes. Sara Graves topped the womens field. The 10K skate race featured a crop of fast Stillwater high school skiers, lead by Shad Kraftson and Fredrika Von Essen. The 10K classical titles were awarded to Jack Lange and Rachel Peterson. Results plus photos posted.
Related:
King Boreas Results Posted

Telemark CCSA/JNQ: Freestyle Results
January 18, 2015
Mass start skate events provided some exciting racing at the Telemark CCSA/JNQ in Cable Sunday. In the mens 15K, it was the unstoppable Kyle Bratrud taking another victory as he pulled away from the field to win by 11 seconds. Teammate Erik Soderman was second with St. Scholastica's Paul Schommer third. Jordyn Ross, NMU, topped the womens 10K field with Alice Flanders, MTU, second and Andrea Lee third. The the juniors 5K titles were taken by Abigail Jarzin and Mitchell Delong.

Holly Brooks Wins Dolomitenlauf
January 18, 2015
American Holly Brooks, racing on the WorldLoppet circuit, won the Dolomitenlauf in Lienz, Austria on Sunday.

World Cup Otepää: Team Sprints
January 18, 2015
Sunday on the World Cup circuit brought out the unique team sprint events, with pairs of competing in relay freestyle sprints, in Otepää, Estonia. The reign of Norwegian dominance ended, as Sweden team of Ida Ingemarsdotter and Stina Nilsson took the womens title and a pair of Russians, Alexey Petukhov and Sergey Ustiugov, won for the men. The US women nabbed sixth place with the surprising duo of Ida Sargent and Rosie Brennan (fresh from US Nationals). US men were 11th.
Related:
Results: Team Sprints

Telemark CCSA/JNQ: Freestyle Mass Start Seed List Posted
January 17, 2015
Sunday at Telemark will feature mass start freestyle races. The seed list for the start positions has been posted.
Related:
Video: CXC Livestream

ABC Relays Coverage
January 17, 2015
Mild temperatures, with a little morning sunshine, were on tap for the ABC Relays Saturday at Theodore Wirth. The boys relay race came down a tight final lap with Andover and Stillwater taking it right down to the line, with Shad Kraftson slipping in front of Ian Mead for the Stillwater victory. In the girls race, Armstrong over came some spills and an early deficit to roar back for a commanding victory. The fastest classic times went to Linder Wendt and Katie Breuckman, top skaters were Shad Kraftson and Hanna Torvi. Results and photosets are up now.

Telemark CCSA/JNQ: Classical Results
January 17, 2015
The Midwest JNQ and college CCSA series is competing this weekend on the grounds of the old Telemark Resort. Saturday morning's event format was interval start classical races. Kyle Bratrud, NMU, continued his hot streak this season, edging out teammate Adam Martin to take the mens 10K win by less than a second. In the junior boys 5K, Mitchell Delong posted the top time. The womens 5K had Deedra Irwin at the front of the field, posting the only sub 19 minute time on the challenging course.

Seeley Hills Classic Coverage
January 17, 2015
Racing with near perfect conditions, the Midwest unofficial classic crowns were handed out Saturday morning in the Seeley Hills Classic. The mens 42K race was a tight affair with Tad Elliott pulling away from Matt Liebsch and Brian Gregg to take the win. Natalia Varyshkina collected the womens 42K title. In the shorter 22K event, Santi Ocariz topped John Bauer, while Kim Rudd topped the womens field. Results linked in, along with a photoset from Kelly Randolph.
Related:
Lapham Loppet Results Posted

World Cup Otepää: Classical Sprints
January 17, 2015
After the big Tour de Ski series, the World Cup picked up the action again with classical sprints Saturday morning in Otepää, Estonia. Sadie Bjornsen was the top US finisher, posting the 15th fastest qualifier, with Sophie Caldwell 31st. The US men also placed two in the sprint heats as Andy Newell was 21st, and Simeon Hamilton qualified 30th. None of the US skiers were able to advance from the quarterfinals. Even with a number of the Norwegian superstars absent, the Norwegians still dominated the event as Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg took the womens victory, with teammates taking third and fourth. And for the men, it was Petter's younger brother, Tommas Northug sprinting to the mens title as Norwegians put five in the finals!
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints
Nordic Combined: Strong Race for Bryan Fletcher
Fischer: Tomas Northug celebrates surprising victory in classic sprint in Otepää

Telemark CCSA/JNQ: Classical Start List Posted
January 16, 2015
The Telemark CCSA/JNQ classical start list for Saturday is up. Skiers will be racing between 3K and 10K, depending on their division.
Related:
Video: CXC Livestream
Short-notice: King Boreas Start Times Moved up One Hour!

Farview Sprints Coverage
January 16, 2015
On Wednesday evening at Theodore Wirth, the Loppet Foundation held the Farview Sprints with nearly 60 Middle school racers coming out from Anwatin, Nellie Stone Johnson, Northeast, and Minnehaha Academy teams. Warm weather and good conditions made for a memorable event.

Rochester Nordic Invite Results
January 15, 2015
John Resman reports: The Rochester Nordic Ski Invitational was held at the Eastwood Golf Course on Thursday with over 200 skiers from Mounds Park Academy, Prior Lake, Red Wing, Rochester, and Winona skiing a 4.8K meandering course in the freestyle technique. The weather was a balmy 31 degrees - quite a change from the below zero weather just a couple days ago. In the boys race, Christian Gostout (Rochester) and Noah Poling (Winona) were in a sprint for the finish with Christian edging out Noah by a second. In the girls race, Kaija Ornes (Prior Lake) topped the field by over a minute. The Winona boys skied to the Invite's team championship. The Rochester and Prior Lake girls were in a close race for the team title with Rochester edging out Prior Lake by a single point.

World Cup Otepää Weekend Series
January 14, 2015
The World Cup resumes this weekend with a pair of sprint races in Otepää, Estonia. Saturday will feature classical sprints, and then Sunday has Team Sprint freestyle format. The US squad should be back in action this weekend, seeking some strong results, especially in the Team Sprints.
Related:
Video: Tour de Ski Highlights

Weekend Racing
January 14, 2015
Jan 17 Seeley Hills Classic - Great conditions for this unofficial classic championship of the Midwest!
Jan 17 Lapham Loppet - Racing at Lapham Peak, exact course still pending.
Jan 17 King Boreas - Old school racing at Phalen golf course (start time changed to 8am!).
Jan 18 Marine/O'Brien - Offers some big hills at William O'Brien State Park (thin conditions).
Jan 18 Boulder Lake Ski Race - Racing on Boulder Lake and part of the trail system.
Jan 18 Winter Trail Assail - Trails appear race ready at Minooka Park, part of Waukesha Jamboree.
Additional races include the Telemark CCSA/JNQs, ABC Relays, and Lappe Invitational. With some warm temperatures on tap, please check the Racing Outlook for the latest event updates!
Related:
Waxing Recommendations

Lake Conference Meet Coverage
January 13, 2015
The teams of the Lake Conference held a mass start classical race on the snowmaking loop at Hyland Lake Tuesday afternoon. Skiers started in wave groups, pitting the best skiers against each other in the 5K event. In the boys race, Henry Jarvinen, Edina, upset Wayzata's Anders Sonnesyn for the victory. The girls race saw an equally tight battle as Abby Drach, Eden Prairie, surged in the final 500 meters to take the win over top ranked Nicole Schneider, Wayzata, with Anna French, Nicole's teammate, right on her heels for third. Results and photos posted.

Racing Outlook
January 13, 2015
Updates on most of the upcoming races this week, including a short-notice cancellation of the Elm Creek Wednesday evening race.

Marine/O'Brien Race On for Sunday
January 12, 2015
The long-running Marine/O'Brien ski race is still planning to go on this Sunday at William O'Brien State Park, despite the challenging winter so far. The event features 12.5K and 25K skate and classic races, as well as some great kids events.
Related:
Racing Outlook

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 4
January 12, 2015
After a long holiday break, we attempt to break down the early January results and re-sort the rankings. Nicole Schneider takes over at the top of the girls rankings, as Zak Ketterson maintains a tight grip for the boys at number one. The Wayzata girls and Forest Lake boys continue their front runner positions.

CXC Marathon Team Embodies SISU in Ironwood
January 12, 2015
Andrew Poffenberger provides a report on the CXC Marathon Team's racing experience at the Sisu Ski Fest, including the course confusion that caused three of the CXC elite to ski an extra 12K.

Pre-Loppet Results
January 11, 2015
Over 200 skiers turned out Sunday morning for the Pre-Loppet event at Theodore Wirth. The race used a combination of the snowmaking loop and some of the backwoods natural snow trails to form an 8K loop, skied twice for the 16K freestyle race. The overall title was decided in a sprint finish with John Wessling holding off Erik Fagerstrom for the win. Kim Rudd posted the top ladies time.

Tour de Ski: Stage 7
January 11, 2015
The Tour de Ski wrapped up Sunday in Val di Fiemme, Italy with the exciting 9K hill climb pursuit. Liz Stephen captured fifth place (with the fourth fastest time), as Marit Bjoergen held onto her lead to win the series overall. The mens race proved to be a thriller as Martin Johnsrud Sunby overhauled Petter Northug to take the victory and series title. Stephen's performance was the best result ever by an American in the multi-stage event.
Related:
Results: 9K freestyle uphill pursuit
Nordic Combined: Two Fletchers in Top 10

Sisu Ski Fest Results
January 10, 2015
Cold weather forced a delay and some course shortening for the Sisu Ski Fest races Saturday morning in Ironwood. In the 31K freestyle race, Matt Liebsch and Claire Luby were crowned champions. Eli Brown and Sarah Allen won the 31K classical races. The 17K freestyle titles went to Thomas Meyer and Jenna Ruzich while Seth Mares and Kate Ellis topped the 17K classical fields. Some confusion on the course for the classical race had a couple of elite skiers logging an extra 11K, but overall skiers reported great conditions and were very thankful for the delayed start, allowing for warmer temperatures.
Related:
Snekkevik Results Posted

US Nationals: U23 Team Named
January 10, 2015
With the conclusion of racing at US Nationals Saturday, the U23 World Championship teams were named. Earning their place on the squad from the Midwest: Kyle Bratrud, Ben Saxton, Annie Hart, and Paige Schember.

Mesabi East Invite Results
January 10, 2015
Racing in some crisp temperatures Saturday on the full Minnesota State Meet courses, nearly 1000 high school skiers competed in the Mesabi East Invite. In the morning classical races, Sean Cork, St. Louis Park, and Rocci Wohlk, Forest Lake, dominated the fields, both winning by more than 45 seconds. In the freestyle races, Liam Schmelzle, St. Louis Park nipped Leo Hipp, Forest Lake, by just under two seconds to take the boys title while Anna French, Wayzata, topped Anna Johnson, Mesabi East, for the girls victory. In the team scoring, using the top two from each discipline, the St. Louis Park boys and Stillwater girls came away the titles.
Related:
Loppet Invite Results Posted

US Nationals: Freestyle Sprints
January 10, 2015
U.S. Nationals in Houghton held their final event Saturday with freestyle sprints. In the morning qualifiers, Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess and Caitlin Gregg posted the top times. In the sprint finals, it was Blackhorse-von Jess and Rosie Brennan collecting their second sprint titles of the week. Henry Gorman and Lydia Blanchet won the junior sprint titles.

Tour de Ski: Stage 6
January 10, 2015
The Tour de Ski enters the final weekend with racing action at Val di Fiemme, Italy. Saturday's events were mass start classical races. Liz Stephen, the only US skier still participating in the series, had a phenomenal race finishing 5th! Marit Bjoergen finally lost an event as she was edged out by fellow Norwegian Therese Johaug. The mens race came down to an exciting sprint finish with a nearly five wide spread as Tim Tscharnke took the victory. Sunday concludes the series with the epic hill climb pursuit.
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K classical (mass start)
Nordic Combined: Career Best for Loomis

US Nationals: U18 and WJC Teams Named
January 8, 2015
At the Thursday night banquet, following a tough day of racing, the U18 and World Junior Championship teams were named. The Midwest had a stellar week, earning numerous team selections: Zak Ketterson, U18; Mackinley FitzPatrick, U18; Nicole Schneider, U18; Abigail Drach, U18; Ian Torchia, WJC; Thomas Bye, WJC; Alayna Sonnesyn, WJC; Kristen Bourne, WJC; Vivian Hett, WJC; Caroline Brisbois, WJC-alt.
Related:
US Nationals U18 and WJC Final Points Tally

Tour de Ski: Stage 5
January 8, 2015
The Tour de Ski ran stage 5 in Toblach, Italy, featuring a freestyle pursuit event. The US ran a much smaller squad as they pull races out to prepare for events later this season. Liz Stephen provided the top performance for the US women, coming in 14th. Kikkan Randall took 25th, Jessie Diggins did not start due to illness. Overall victories went to Marit Bjoergen and Petter Northug.
Related:
Results: 15K, 25K freestyle pursuit

US Nationals: Classical Race Coverage
January 8, 2015
Another day of snowy, windy conditions made for some tough racing at US Nationals on Thursday as skiers competed in the exciting mass start classical races. The Junior men (U18/U20) took to the course first for 10K. Ian Torchia (NMU) smoked the field by nearly 30 seconds, followed by Thomas O'Harra (APU) and Ben Hegman (Univ. Vermont). In the Senior men's 30K, Kris Freeman rose to the top, with Alexander Treinen and Kyle Bratrud just 4 seconds back. In the Senior women's 20K classic, Rosie Brennan pulled ahead of Caitlin Patterson and Eliska Hajkova to grab the top podium spot. Racing concluded with the women's 5K, where Stratton Mountain's Katharine Ogden snagged the win from Julia Kern and Hailey Swirbul. The midwest's Alayna Sonnesyn, Vivian Hett, Caroline Brisbois, Allison Ternes, and Kristen Bourne all cracked the top 10. Results linked in, and photosets from all four races posted.

South Suburban Conference Meet Results
January 7, 2015
Brian Abery reports: In spite of the cold temperatures, the South Suburban Conference, along with guest team Winona, held a 5 km classic race at Hyland Recreation Area Tuesday afternoon. On the boy's side, sophomore Patrick Acton from Eagan battled it out with Burnsville sophomore Nate Blitchfeldt with Acton taking first place by 2 seconds. Acton's Eagan teammates Ryan Steger, and Ryan Conroy took 3rd and 4th place with the Eagan boys winning the team competition. In the girl's race the absence of Margie Freed, currently skiing at U.S. Nationals, gave other SSC athletes the opportunity to battle for the top spot on the podium. Burnsville Freshman Kelly Koch proved to be the fastest of the group skiing to a 19 second win over Eastview's Annika Martell. ISD 196 Senior Camille Sjoquist turned in her best race of the season to take third. In the girl's team competition, Burnsville skied to a narrow win over Eastview.
Related:
More high school results

US Nationals: Thursday Classic Race Seed List Posted
January 7, 2015
The start positions (seeding) for Thursday's classical mass start races at US Nationals have been posted. Forecast indicates very similar conditions: windy, snowy and cold.
Related:
Waxing Recommendations

US Nationals Trip Points Standings - First Two Races
January 7, 2015
Updated standings for the U18, World Junior and U23 championship trips, after the first two US Nationals races, have been posted.

Tour de Ski: Stage 4
January 7, 2015
Stage 4 of the Tour de Ski brought skiers to Toblach, Italy, for classical races on Wednesday morning. The US women continue to push the cusp of the podium, as Sadie Bjornsen finished 8th today, Jessie Diggins another solid race in 19th, with Liz Stephen 29th. Erik Bjornsen lead the US men, finishing The Norwegian women were once again dominate, sweeping the podium led by Marit Bjoergen. Alexey Poltoranin edged out Evgeniy Belov for the mens victory.
Related:
Results: Classical 5K, 10K

US Nationals: Classical Sprints Coverage
January 6, 2015
US Nationals held the classical sprints races on Tuesday, after delaying a day due to cold weather. In the morning qualifiers, Eliska Hajkova, Rosie Brennan, and Julia Kern posted the fastest times, racing in often very heavy snowfall. Vivian Hett was just seconds back with the 6th fastest qualifying time. For the men, top qualifying rounds went to Haakon Hjelstuen, Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess, and Miles Havlick with Ben Saxton rounding out the top four spots. After advancing to the mens Masters/Seniors Finals, Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess pulled off a dominant finish over Ben Saxton and Haakon Hjelstuen. Rosie Brennan also had several seconds over her nearest competitors in the womens Masters/Seniors finals, with Becca Rorabaugh and Liz Guiney finishing 2nd and 3rd. In the finals of Junior racing, Zak Ketterson topped the podium over Thomas O'Harra and Gavin Hess while Ann-Cathrin Uhl took top honors over Sarah Bezdicek and Emily Hyde for Junior women. Results linked in and some big photosets posted.

Tour de Ski: Stage 3
January 6, 2015
The Tour de Ski resumed Tuesday with freestyle sprint races in Val Müstair, Switzerland. The US women had some great qualifying times, with Sophie Caldwell 7th, Sadie Bjoergen 8th, Kikkan Randall 12th and Jessie Diggins 26th. Simi Hamilton lead the US men, qualifying 30th. In the heats, Caldwell, Randall and Hamilton all advanced to the semifinals before getting knocked out. Marit Bjoergen and Federico Pellegrino took the sprint titles.
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints

US Nationals: Tuesday Classic Sprints Start List Posted
January 5, 2015
The qualification start list for Tuesday's classical sprint races at US Nationals has been posted.
Related:
Jan 6 Michigan Tech Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe
NNF: Guide to the Development Trips Selected at US Nationals
Waxing Recommendations

Racing Outlook
January 5, 2015
Snow and/or cold conditions are making things tough for a number of races. Elm Creek series is still on for Wednesday, updates on Snekkevik and Sisu Ski Fest, Nordic Spirit in Duluth has cancelled, Mesabi East is on, Loppet Invite in on, and Pre-Loppet is evaluating two possible course options.

Belgium Adventure 2014-15: Final Days
January 4, 2015
Corey Coogan-Cisek wraps up her Belgium cyclocross adventure, recapping her final two races and looking ahead to the US National Championships next week.

Como Championships Results
January 4, 2015
Racing in very cold and windy conditions on the snowmaking loop at Elm Creek, the Como Championships titles were handed out Sunday. Andy Brown bounced back from near miss at Ahvo Klassic to take the victory for the mens race. Kathleen DeWahl scored her second victory of the week in topping the womens field.
Related:
Peter Westra Sprints Results

US Nationals: Freestyle Race Coverage
January 4, 2015
US Nationals got underway Sunday at Michigan Tech with the individual freestyle races. Snow, wind and cold temps made for some epic conditions. Northern Michigan University's Kyle Bratrud opened the racing with an incredible performance to win the men's 15K by 50 seconds over Kris Freeman, with Patrick Caldwell, Dartmouth, third. Matt Liebsch finished 8th, Adam Martin 13th, Brian Gregg 14th, Ian Torchia 16th. After a brief let up in the weather, the lake effect snow resumed, at times very heavy, for the womens afternoon skate race. Showing great recovery from her European tour, Caitlin Gregg staked claim to the womens 10K title with APU's Chelsea Holmes and APU teammate Rosie Brennan third. Rosie Frankowski finished 12th, Paige Schember 15th, Jordyn Ross 16th, Kris Bourne 17th, and Alayna Sonnesyn 19th. Results linked in, big photosets posted.
Note: Monday's sprint races have been postponed to Tuesday, due to forecast cold temps and windchills.
Related:
USSA: Bratrud and Gregg Take Opening Titles

Tour de Ski: Stage 2
January 4, 2015
Day 2 on the Tour de Ski circuit featured classical pursuit races, based on the skiers prologue times. Canadian Alex Harvey had a spectacular race, finishing less than a second behind winner Petter Northug, to take second place! Erik Bjornsen was the top finisher for the US men, notching 60th. USA women held their own, with Sadie Bjornsen taking 14th and Liz Stephen 15th. Marit Bjoergen extended her series lead with another victory. The Tour de Ski now moves to Switzerland, with the next event freestyle sprints on Tuesday.
Related:
Results: Classical Pursuit
Nordic Combined: Top 10 for Fletcher in Schonach

US Nationals: Sunday Start Lists Posted
January 3, 2015
The start lists for the freestyle 10K/15K races for US Nationals on Sunday have been posted.
Related:
US Nationals Preview (w/ links for live video feeds)

Tour de Ski: Stage 1
January 3, 2015
The Tour de Ski event began Saturday morning in Oberstdorf, Germany with freestyle prologue races. The US women showed some of their best performances of the season to date as Sadie Bjornsen and Liz Stephen went 7th and 8th, with Jessie Diggins 14th and Kikkan Randall 22nd in the 3K race. In the mens 4K event, Simi Hamilton was 26th, with Canadian Alex Harvey 13th. Saturday's leaders were Marit Bjoergen and Dario Cologna. Sunday's day 2 events are classical pursuit races.
Related:
Results: Prologue
FIS Tour de Ski Competition Guide

Biathlon: Teams for Youth/Junior World Championships, European Championships Named
January 1, 2015
The teams for the Biathlon Youth/Junior World Championships in Minsk-Raubichi, Belarus, and the Open European Championships in Otepää, Estonia, have been announced. From the Midwest, Siena Ellingson and Amanda Kautzer, along with Jakob Ellingson and Cam Christiansen, will all compete at the Youth/Junior World Championships in late February.

Price Hikes
January 1, 2015
A couple of additional price hikes in the new year...
- Jan 11 Nordic Spirit Ski Race - Duluth's premiere race goes freestyle this year.  Price jumps after Jan 2nd.
- Jan 18 Boulder Lake Ski Race - Popular mid-January race on the rolling terrain at Boulder Lake.  Price jumps after Jan 5th.
- Mar 7 Pepsi Challenge - Racing on the top notch trails at Giants Ridge.  Price jumps after Jan 10th.

Ahvo Klassic Coverage
January 1, 2015
Reviving a Twin Cities New Year tradition, the Univ of MN Nordic ski club held their first annual Ahvo Klassic at Theodore Wirth Thursday afternoon. Course conditions proved to be a little challenging for classical skiers as 1.5K was run on the man-made snowmaking loop, and another 2.5K run on the Back 40 trails, which had a thin and bumpy natural snow coating. The race appeared to be headed for a sprint finish between Andrew Brown and Tyler Gilbert, but Brown was upended in the final corner, allowing Gilbert to coast in for the victory. Kathleen DeWahl took the women's victory just ahead of Lindsey Marshall. Results and photos posted.

Belgium Adventure 2014-15: Diegem and Loenhout
December 31, 2014
Corey Coogan-Cisek reports on epic races in Belgium, Superprestige Diegem on Dec 28th and Azencross Loenhout on Dec 30th, and is especially grateful for the support crew she is working with this trip.

Holiday Weekend Racing
December 31, 2014
Jan 1 Ahvo Klassic - Bringing back the old school New Years Day race, kicking it at Wirth.
Jan 4 Como Championships - Moved to Elm Creek, Como Champs for the adults in the morning, then Peter Westra Sprints for high school skiers.
And starting Sunday, the US Nationals competition gets underway at Michigan Tech.   Check the Racing Outlook for our latest updates.
Related:
Waxing Recommendations

Elm Creek Series - Special Team Edition Coverage
December 31, 2014
The Elm Creek series hosted a special event Tuesday evening, offering a one-time team division format and the opportunity to win (and/or sample) Fulton Beer. Team Vakava came away with the winning combination, with Gustavus second and Fulton third. Top individual times went to Andy Brown in the skate race, and David Joda in the classic. Mattie Watts posted the fastest womens times for both events. Nearly 100 skiers helped to set a new record field for the Elm Creek series. Results and point totals posted, along with a few photos.

Tour de Ski Starts this Weekend
December 31, 2014
The FIS Tour de Ski event starts this Saturday, Jan 3rd. The event compasses four venues, six races over eight days, culminating in the epic hill climb at Val di Fiemme on Jan 11th.
Related:
FIS Tour de Ski

US Nationals Preview
December 30, 2014
The U.S. Cross-Country Ski Championships return to the Midwest this January, with a week of racing action on the Michigan Tech trails. We've got a breakdown on the events, course previews, maps, spectating locations, and even some suggestions for spending your freetime! And check back as we'll be on-site for most of the week, providing daily coverage.

Happy New Year from the Birkie
December 30, 2014
Ringing out the old year, the Birkie is almost half way to their fundraising goal for Phase I. Your year-end contribution could help them cross that threshold.

Biathlon: World Junior Biathlon Trials Day 2
December 30, 2014
The US World Junior Biathlon Trials continued Monday with the pursuit format, 10km and four shooting stages for both men and women on the trails at Mt Itasca. Top midwest results included Siena Ellingson, 2nd, Amanda Kautzer 3rd youth women; Jakob Ellingson, 2nd, Gerrit Garberich, 3rd junior men; Cam Christiansen, 1st youth men.

Biathlon: World Junior Biathlon Trials Day 1
December 29, 2014
Mt. Itasca is hosting the US Biathlon World Junior Trials after the event was moved from Anchorage, Alaska, due to a lack of snow. SUnday was opening day, with some Minnesotans posting top results. Jakob Ellingson placed 2nd in Junior Men, Cam Christiansen 3rd Youth Men, with Siena Ellingson and Amanda Kautzer placing 2nd and 3rd respectively for Youth Women. Racing continues Monday and Tuesday.

Racing Outlook
December 28, 2014
Racing Outlook has updates on the Elm Creek series (special team division this week, racing on Tuesday again), and the Ahvo Klassic race for New Years Day.

Belgium Adventure 2014-15: First Days
December 27, 2014
Corey Coogan-Cisek reports in from Belgium, covering her training days in Europe and the first race.

Belgium Adventure 2014-15: Introduction
December 25, 2014
Corey Coogan-Cisek, former Maine State Nordic skiing champ and these days one of the top Midwest cyclocross riders, is heading back to Europe, to race in winter cyclocross events in the Belgium. Coogan-Cisek updates her season and some of the obstacles she's overcome to reach new heights, and preparation for the return to the Euro circuit.

Birkie Tour, Seeley Hills Combo
December 25, 2014
The Birkie and Seeley Hills have teamed up for a combo event weekend. Come put those striding skills to the test on Saturday with the Seeley Hills Classic, then relax Sunday with a fun event on the Birkie trails. Register by Dec 31st to save some cash before the next price hike.

Price Hike: Sisu Ski Fest
December 25, 2014
There is plenty of snow in Ironwood and the Sisu Ski Fest is just a few weeks away now - January 10th! The next price hike is coming up before the end of the year. Registration by Dec 28th to get a break on this great point-to-point race.

Holiday Relays History
December 23, 2014
Kevin Brochman provides some history on the Holiday Relays, including a few of the former legends that made their own mark on the event.

NorthStar Development Cycling Info Session Dec 29th
December 23, 2014
NorthStar Development Cycling, an organization dedicated to developing youth cycling, is holding an information meeting next Monday, Dec 29th in Saint Paul, MN. Learn about their programs, planned trips and races, and past performances.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 3
December 22, 2014
The first Junior National Qualifiers last weekend provided some solid comparison data, and have shaken up the rankings for the third week of the season. Rocci Wolhk, Forest Lake, and Zak Ketterson, Bloomington Jefferson, remain the solid number ones, while Forest Lake boys and Wayzata girls top the team rankings.

Biathlon: January World Cup and IBU Cup Teams Named
December 22, 2014
The U.S. Biathlon International Competition Committee has announced the teams for IBU Cups 3 and 4 and for World Cups 4, 5 and 6. Included on the list are Minnesotans Wynn Roberts (IBU) and Leif Nordgren (World Cup).

Racing Outlook
December 21, 2014
The Elm Creek series moves to Tuesday evening this week, Boxing Day Classic is on, and changes are in the works for the Como Championships.

Michigan Tech CCSA/JNQ Classical Races Coverage
December 21, 2014
The opening JNQ series in Houghton wrapped up Sunday with some exciting mass start classical races. In the senior womens race, three skiers brought it to the finish line, with Kris Bourne, NMU, getting the victory over Natalia Naryskina and Ulrika Axelsson in a photo finish. NMU skiers swept the mens senior race podium, as Fredrik Schwencke and Adam Martin had their own sprint finish with Kyle Bratrud just trailing. In the womens U18/U20 event, top ranked Rocci Wohlk broke up what would have been another NMU sweep, finishing second to Vivian Hett, with Rebekka Schueder third and Caroline Brisbois just seconds back. Ian Torchia, NMU's freshman star, crushed the mens U18/U20 field, winning by over a minute, with Tom Bye second, and Zak Ketterson third. U16 titles went to Anders Sonnesyn and Anna Johnson. Results linked in, along with photosets from Jennifer Brisbois.

World Cup Davos: Freestyle Sprints
December 21, 2014
The US skiers put it into high gear Sunday morning for the Davos World Cup freestyle sprints. In the womens qualifying round, the Americans posted some of their best results this season as Sophie Caldwell and Kikkdan Randall went 8th and 9th with Jessie Diggins 17th. Simeon Hamilton lead the US men with a 17th place qualifying time. Randall and Caldwell both made it to the semifinals but had spills on the tricky snow conditions, finishing the day 9th and 11th respectively.
Related:
Results: Freestyle Sprints

Gear West Holiday Tuneup Results
December 20, 2014
Hammering out the laps in some sugary snow at Elm Creek, St. Scholastica skier Joe Dubay outsprinted Andrew Brown and Cory Ellertson to take the win in the mens 10K. Ingrid Leask topped the womens field, with Jan Guenther and Mata Agre rounding out the podium. The 5K titles went to Nathaniel Johnson and Molly Wilson. Results and an interview with Joe Dubay, posted.

Holiday Relays Coverage
December 20, 2014
With a Junior National qualifier and another race in town, the Holiday Relays drew a slightly smaller field as they competed on the snowmaking trails at Theodore Wirth. Stillwater continued their dominating tradition, taking both classical relays as well as a comeback victory by freshman Rana Kraftson in the girls skate relay. Wayzata boys pulled off their own comeback, taking the boys skate race in the final leg. Top times on the day went to: Meagan Weaver girls classic, Rana Kraftson girls skate, Sam Hanson boys classic, Carter Blankenship boys skate. Results posted along with photosets.
Related:
John Hugus Invite Results Posted

Michigan Tech CCSA/JNQ Classical Sprints Coverage
December 20, 2014
The Midwest Junior National Qualifier Series held their first event Saturday on the trails at Michigan Tech in Houghton. The event was also a Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) meet as well, bring the top juniors and seniors from around the region. In the womens seniors/masters final, CXC's Natalia Naryskina edged out Scholastica's Anita Kirvesniemi for the win with NMU's Felicia Gesior third. In the mens final, Håkon Hjelstuen, unattached, won with NMU skiers Fredrik Schwencke and Erik Soderman rounding out the podium. Top junior qualifying times on the day: Kris Bourne U20, Rocci Wohlk U18, Anna Johnson U16; Tom Bye U20, Zak Ketterson U18, Anders Sonnesyn U16. Results posted, plus photosets from Jennifer Brisbois.
Related:
Sunday Classical Mass Start Start List (seeding)

World Cup Davos: Freestyle 10K/15K
December 20, 2014
The World Cup resumed action in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday with a pair of distance freestyle races. The American women continue to improve as Liz Stephen notched a 12th place finish with teammates Jessie Diggins 27th, Sadie Bjornsen 28th. Norway remains unbeaten with Marit Bjoergen taking the victory. Germany's Nicole Fessel snuck in for second, with Norway's Heidi Weng third. In the mens race, Norway swept the podium: Anders Gloeersen, Petter Northug, and Chris Jespersen. Erik Bjornsen was the lone American, finish 54th.
Related:
Results: Freestyle 10K/15K

Michigan Tech CCSA/JNQ Coverage
December 20, 2014
Coverage of the opening Midwest JNQ series on the Michigan Tech trails in Houghton.
Related:
Results: Results
Webcam: Michigan Tech Start/Finish Area
Webcam: Michigan Tech Stadium
Classical Sprint Start List

Biathlon: Two Top 20 Results at Pokljuka World Cup
December 18, 2014
US Biathlon reports: The U.S. Biathlon Team got off to a strong start on Thursday as the third IBU World Cup of the 2014-15 season kicked off with the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Hannah Dreissigacker and Susan Dunklee both posted top 20 finishes with Dreissigacker ending up tied for 17th and Dunklee right behind her in 19th.
Related:
Biathlon: Bailey 16th in Pokljuka World Cup Sprint

Birkie Matching Challenge Grant Announced
December 18, 2014
The Birkie Foundation has announced a challenge grant, matching all donations made by December 31st, up to $10,000. Every dollar you donate will be doubled -- please consider help to fund Phase 1 of their future development.

CXC Spotlight: Oyvind Solvang
December 17, 2014
CXC highlights an interview by Peter Graves with their President Oyvind Solvang, discussing his background and goals for the development of CXC. CXC is holding their End of the Year fundraising drive, trying to meet a 1 for 2 challenge grant.
Related:
CXC End of Year Fundraising Drive
NNF Funding Allocations Announced

World Cup Davos Weekend Series Redux
December 17, 2014
Rescheduled from La Clusaz, France, the World Cup FIS series repeats again this weekend in Davos, Switzerland. The lineup this weekend includes a womens 10K and mens 15K skate race Saturday, with freestyle sprint races on Sunday.
Related:
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Bjorn Daehlie Interview
NNF: Davos Double Poling Distance with Chris Grover
US Ski Team: Davos Redux - 8 Things to Watch this World Cup Weekend

Price Hike: Boulder Lake Ski Races
December 17, 2014
The Boulder Lake ski races, Jan 18th, in Duluth, have their first price hike coming up this weekend. Registration by Friday, Dec 19th to get the groundfloor pricing.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 2
December 15, 2014
Week 2 of the Minnesota High School Rankings: some interesting results last week generated a shuffling in the rankings, including a new number one for the girls.

Racing Outlook
December 15, 2014
Updates on a number of races including the Elm Creek series, the opening JNQ series in Houghton, the Holiday Relays, and the John Hugus memorial race at Greenwood Hills.

Nordic Spirit Registration Open
December 15, 2014
The Nordic Spirit race, Jan 11th, at the Spirit Mountain trails in Duluth, is open for registration. They are also offering Facebook promo prize for the 100th "like" to their page.

Biathlon: US IBU Cup Trails / MN Cup #2 Results
December 14, 2014
Mt. Itasca hosted two days of biathlon racing this past weekend, featuring some of the top junior and senior skiers in the country.
Related:
Results: U.S. IBU Cup Trials / MN Cup #2

Collegiate: Wildcats Invitational Classical Pursuit Results
December 14, 2014
Northern Michigan University wrapped up the weekend Wildcat Invite with a set of exciting classical pursuit races on Sunday. Starting off based on Saturday freestyle time, mens race came down to a sprint finish with NMU's Adam Martin edging out teammate Kyle Bratrud by a boot throw! Freshman Ian Torchia posted the second fastest classical time, coming in just 10 seconds back for third. In the womens race, former NMU skier (now APU) Rosie Frankowski won the pursuit, but was closely followed by NMU's Kris Bourne, finishing first for the collegiate women and roughly 10 seconds back of Frankowski. Jordyn Ross and Felicia Gesior, also NMU, collected second and third. Results for both the pursuit and the classical splits are posted.

World Cup Davos: Freestyle Sprints
December 14, 2014
Sunday featured freestyle sprints in Davos, Switzerland for the World Cup. Norway continues to dominate, sweeping both podiums (including the top five women!). The US women qualified three for the heats: Ida Sargent 16th, Kikkan Randall 20th and Sophie Caldwell 22nd, but none were able to advance. Andy Newell qualified 15th, but did not make beyond the quarterfinals. The World Cup will remain in Davos for a pair of weekend races, rescheduled from France (due to low snow conditions).
Related:
Photoset from Ahvo Taipale: Race Day - 15 photos
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Bjorn Daehlie Interview
Results: Freestyle Sprints

Collegiate: Wildcats Invitational Freestyle Results
December 13, 2014
Racing in Marquette, at Al Quaal, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan faced off for the second weekend in a around, with St. Scholastica skiers joining in. In the freestyle races Saturday, NMU's Kyle Bratrud edged out teammate Erik Soderman for the victory in the mens 10K with Adam Martin third. NMU also dominated the womens 5K podium, with the order of finishing being Jordyn Ross, Kristen Bourne, and Megan Edic.

Hoigaards/Breadsmith Relays Coverage
December 13, 2014
Even with a bit of fog and temperatures around 40F, the Elm Creek snowmaking loop still provided a good, reasonably fast course for the Hoigaards/Breadsmith relays Saturday morning. The tandem of Leo Hipp and Zak Ketterson, both high school skiers, dished out a little lesson in dominance as they first won the masters race, then repeated again in the juniors event. A pair of Gustavus skiers Marit Sonnesyn and Mata Agre showed some college power in taking the masters womens title. Forest Lake stars Kate Schaaf and Rocci Wohlk combined for the girls junior title. Photos, videos, Facebook photos and results are posted.

World Cup Davos: Classical
December 13, 2014
Racing on a lap course involving man-made snow and snow trucked from the mountains, the World Cup skiers in Davos competed for the classical titles on Saturday. In the womens 10K race, Norwegians Therese Johaug and Marit Bjoergen took first and second, with finn Kerttu Niskanen taking third. The US women had a strong showing, as Liz Stephen, Jessie Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen went 20, 21, and 22! Norway also took the top two places in the mens 15K, with Martin Johnsrud Sundby taking another victory followed by Didrik Toenseth, as Dario Cologna took third for his adopted homeland of Switzerland. Canadian Alex Harvey was 17th, Erik Bjornsen the top American in 48th.
Related:
Photoset from Ahvo Taipale: Race Day - 24 photos
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Pre-Race Interviews, Classical Clips
Results: Classical
Nordic Combined: Near Miss for Taylor Fletcher

Price Hike: Minnesota Finlandia
December 12, 2014
One of the Midwest legendary marathons, the Minnesota Finlandia will have their first price hike coming early next week. Registration by Dec 15th to get in on the lowest pricing!

Metro West Meet Coverage
December 12, 2014
Metro West conference schools finally got their turn at the snowmaking venues, hold their first meet Thursday at Hyland. In one of the bigger upsets this season, and sporting some fast skis, St. Louis Park skiers Sean Cork and Liam Schmelzle bested the ranking front runners, Zak Ketterson and Tamer Mische-Richter. Benilde-St.Margaret's Amanda Kautzer cruised to the girls victory, with St. Louis Park's Rosa Hu second, and 7th grader Charlie Brown, Benilde-St.Margaret's, third. St. Louis Park sweep the team scoring. Results and photos posted.

Biathlon: U.S. Youth/Junior World Championship Team Trials Relocated to Mt. Itasca
December 11, 2014
Due to very limited snow conditions at the venue in Anchorage, Alaska, the U.S. Biathlon announced Thursday that the Dec 28-30 U.S. Youth Junior World Championships Team Trials have been relocated to Mt Itasca in Coleraine, MN.

Price Hike: Nordic Spirit
December 10, 2014
The Nordic Spirit ski race and tour in Duluth, January 11th, is having their first price hike weekend. Register by Friday, December 12th, to get in on ground floor pricing!

World Cup Davos Weekend Series
December 10, 2014
The FIS World Cup racing action moves to Davos, Switzerland this weekend. Saturday is scheduled to feature womens 10K and mens 15K classical races, Sunday are freestyle sprints. The distances races are shorter than originally planned, due to a lower snowfall.
Related:
Photoset from Ahvo Taipale: Venue Photos Dec 11 - 4 photos, Venue Photos Dec 12 - 5 photos
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Interview with Matt Whitcomb
Davos: Will Mother Nature Help Out?
Davos Team Rosters

Weekend Racing
December 10, 2014
Dec 13 Hoigaards Relays - Hoigaard's annual season opener event, relay racing for masters and juniors, at Elm Creek.
The collegiate racing season continues with another dual meet between Michigan Tech and NMU, this weekend at Marquette. As usual, catch the latest racing updates in our Racing Outlook.
Related:
Waxing Recommendations

South Suburban Conference Meet Coverage
December 10, 2014
Brian Abery reports: On Tuesday afternoon the South Suburban Conference, along with guest Forest Lake, staged a 5 KM freestyle race at Hyland Recreation area. Competition for individual honors among the top skiers was tight in both races. On the boys side forest Lake Senior Leo Hipp narrowly edged Eagan sophomore Patrick Acton by 3 seconds to take the Boys title. Forest Lake Senior Quinn Duffy placed 3rd another 22 seconds back. The team title was won by Forest Lake with ISD 196 in 2nd and Eagan in 3rd position. Competition in Girl's race was just as tight as Forest Lake Senior Rocci Wohlk edged Eastview Junior Margie Freed by 4 seconds to take the top spot on the podium. Burnsville's Kelly Koch took 3rd another 37 seconds back. The Eastview Girls won the team title placing four skiers in the top 10 with Burnsville taking 2nd and Forest Lake 3rd.

Boulder Lake Registration Open
December 9, 2014
The Boulder Lake Ski Race, January 18th in Duluth, has their registration open and is offering discount pricing up through Dec 19th. Plus catch a highlight reel from last year's event.

Skinnyski.com High School Rankings - Week 1
December 8, 2014
It's on -- we roll out the first week of Minnesota high school rankings as the racing season gets underway. Not a lot of changes from the preseason rankings, but definitely some notable performances in the opening week.

Racing Outlook
December 7, 2014
Wednesday Night Series continues at Elm Creek this week, with a special team event planned for late December.

Collegiate: Michigan Tech Opener Classical Results
December 7, 2014
Michigan Tech Opener meet featured classical races on Sunday. The striders shined in a pretty big shake up vs the skate results from the day before. NMU's Fredrik Schwencke won the mens 15K with teammates Adam Martin and Erik Soderman rounding out the podium. In the womens 10K, NMU also swept the titles with the order of finish Felicia Geisor, Kristen Bourne and freshman Vivian Hett.

Junior National and U16 Championships Coaches Named
December 7, 2014
CXC has announced the full lineup for coaches and staff for the Junior National and U16 Championships, coming up in March 2015. Chris Harvey will be head coach for the Junior National team with Bonnie Fuller-Kask acting as Trip Leader. The U16 team includes Kelli Skillicorn, head coach and Andrew Poffenberger as Trip Leader.

World Cup Lillehammer: Classical Pursuit
December 7, 2014
The Lillehammer World Cup wrapped up Sunday with the classical pursuit events. Sadie Bjornsen continues to shine for the US squad, finishing 18th in the womens 10K classical pursuit. Jessie Diggins was 44th. Erik Bjornsen again led the US men, taking 39th. Norway dominated the results, posting the top four womens and top five mens times.
Related:
Results: Classical Pursuit
Nordic Combined: Fletcher Cracks Top-10 in Norway

Collegiate: Michigan Tech Opener Freestyle Results
December 6, 2014
The Midwest collegiate racing season got underway Saturday with freestyle races at Michigan Tech. Alice Flanders, MTU, hammered out the top time for the women, posting the only sub 14 minute time for the 5K race. NMU women took the next five places, lead by Jordyn Ross and Felicia Geisor. In the mens 10K, Kyle Bratrud, NMU, took the victory, with teammates Erik Soderman and Adam Martin second and third. Sunday will feature classical racing on the Tech trails.

World Cup Lillehammer: Freestyle
December 6, 2014
Lillehammer was hopping Saturday morning with the womens 5K and mens 10K freestyle races. The Norwegian women swept the podium with Therese Johaugh taking the victory. Jessie Diggins skated to the top US time, finishing 15th with Sadie Bjornsen 20th, and Liz Stephen 22nd. Norway swept the mens podium as well, with Martin Johnsrud Sunby taking the win. Erik Bjornsen was the top US finisher at 51st.
Related:
Results: Freestyle
Caitlin Gregg Mini-Report: Lillehammer 5K

Mesabi East Invite Registration Now Open
December 5, 2014
Registration for the huge Mesabi East Invite, Jan 10th at Giants Ridge, is now open. The field is limited to 1300 skier, and generally fills, so don't delay in registering your team. Full meet information, plus suggestions on lodging, and the pasta feed registration, have been posted.

World Cup Lillehammer: Freestyle Sprints
December 5, 2014
Tough start for the US Ski team at the Lillehammer World Cup events Friday, as only Sadie Bjornsen was able to qualify for the freestyle sprint heats. Bjornsen posted a great qualifying time, finishing 16th, but did not advance out of the quarterfinals. Canadian Alex Harvey continues to fly, finishing 5th in the mens final! Minnesotans: Jessie Diggins 55th, Caitlin Gregg 78th.
Related:
Results: Freestyle Sprints

World Cup: Lillehammer Weekend Series
December 3, 2014
The FIS World Cup moves to Lillehammer, Norway, this weekend for three events. Friday is freestyle sprints, Saturday freestyle 5K and 10K races, and Sunday brings classical 10K and 15K pursuit races. Team rosters have been posted.
Related:
World Cup Lillehammer: Results
World Cup Lillehammer: Website

South Suburban Conference Season Opener Coverage
December 3, 2014
Brian Abery reports: The South Suburban Conference opened its competition season on Tuesday afternoon at Hyland Recreation Areas with a 4 x 2.8 km Freestyle relay. In the girl's race, the combined Lakeville North and South team took first place followed closely by the Eastview-1 team in 2nd and the Prior Lake-1 team in 3rd. Individual honors went to Eastview's Margie Freed who bested Burnsville's Kelly Koch by 23 seconds with Lakeville's Molly Wilson another 4 seconds back. On the Boy's side, the Eagan-1 team took the win by 48 seconds with the Lakeville South-1 in 2nd and ISD196-1 team in 3rd. Burnsville's Nate Blichfeldt skied the fastest leg for the boys with a time of 7:22, with Patrick Acton of Eagan 3 seconds back and Mitch McDonald from Prior Lake in 3rd 20 seconds behind.
Related:
Submitting Race Results and Photos

Birkie Drive in Eau Claire, Iola
December 2, 2014
The Birkie fundraising effort, Honoring the Legacy, Ensuring the Future, continues its tour of the Midwest, this week stopping in Eau Claire on Dec 4th and Iola next week, Dec 17th. If you can't make one of the stops, then please conside making a donation online.

Racing Outlook
December 1, 2014
The Midwest citizen racing season officially kicks off this Wednesday evening at the Elm Creek series gets underway.

Local Stars
December 1, 2014
United in Yellowstone - Endurance United posted an update from mid-week at the Yellowstone Ski Festival.
LNR Downhill - Loppet Nordic Racing held their second annual downhill time trial at Yellowstone.  Lots of photos in the Loppet photosteam.
Oles in Yellow - St. Olaf skiers also spent the past week in West Yellowstone.
Revving Up - Jessie Diggins updates from Finland, just before the first race last Saturday.
Grateful - Caitlin Gregg gives thanks for to her supporters as she prepares for Lillehammer.
Season Opener - Brian Gregg scores an excellent second place finish in the first SuperTour distance race of the season.
Ready to Race - Annie Hart blogs from Yellowstone as she was preparing for the first races of the SuperTour series.
Grinding - Rick Budde (aka. the ski test guys) has published the results of recent stonegrind testing.
So It Begins - Alice Flanders (MTU) has fired up her own blog, starting out with an update on the Yellowstone races.

Michigan Tech in Yellowstone
December 1, 2014
Michigan Tech University skiers competed in the pair of SuperTour races at the Yellowstone Ski Festival.
Related:
Nov 28 Huskies Open Skiing Season at West Yellowstone
Nov 29 Flanders and Hanson Lead Huskies at West Yellowstone

Price Hike
November 30, 2014
The City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival has their next price hike coming up! Register by midnight Dec 4th to save some cash on one of the most popular events of the season.

US Ski Team: Ruka World Cup Classical
November 30, 2014
The Nordic Opener weekend in the FIS World Cup wrapped up Sunday with classical races in Ruka, Finlandia. Sadie Bjornsen lead the way for the US, posting a top 20 result. Bjornsen finished 17th, as Norway's Therese Johaug dominated the field with an incredible 42 second margin of victory in the womens 10K. Jessie Diggins skied well, moving up to 39th. In the mens race, Erik Bjornsen had the top time for the US finishing 52nd after Noah Hoffman crashed out (and taken to hospital). Finland's own Iivo Niskanen won the mens 15K.
Related:
Results: Classical

SuperTour: Yellowstone Freestyle
November 29, 2014
The Yellowstone SuperTour held the skate races Saturday in West Yellowstone. Brian Gregg had a great performance, posting the second best time on the day, less than 10 seconds back of winner Matt Gelso. Matt Liebsch was in the mix as well, finishing 9th, and Ben Saxton rocking in 11th. In the womens race, Rosie Brennan took the victory with rising star Katherine Ogden second.
Related:
Results: SuperTour, Citizen

US Ski Team: Ruka World Cup Sprints
November 29, 2014
The Nordic World Cup opener fired up Saturday morning in Ruka, Finlandia with classical sprint events. Ida Sargent started the season strong, finishing fifth to a tough Norwegian team that put three skiers in the top four. The Norwegian men were just as dominate, sweeping the top four with Eirik Brandsdal taking the victory. Kikkan Randall had the top US qualifying time in 12th. Jessie Diggins finished 64th. Simeon Hamilton had sped to the 16th fastest mens qualifying time as the top American.
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints
Nordic Combined: Big Jump in XC for Fletcher

SuperTour: Yellowstone Classic Sprints
November 29, 2014
The SuperTour series opened Friday with classical sprints at the popular Yellowstone Ski Festival. Ben Saxton posted the top qualifying time, but it was Dakota Blackhorse-Von Jess taking the mens sprint final. Canadian Alysson Marshall topped the womens sprint field, with Jennie Bender taking third. Other top Midwest qualifying results: Brian Gregg, 15th; Gordon Vermeer, 16th; Annie Hart, 10th; Paige Schember, 15th. Racing continues Saturday with freestyle races.
Related:
Results: Qualifying, Mens Heats, Womens Heats

CXC Youth Cup and Skiwerx Series
November 28, 2014
Central Cross Country Ski Association and the Minnesota Youth Ski League have partnered to bring together a regional Youth Cup that compliments the metro Skiwerx Series for young racers.

Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race
November 28, 2014
Cyclova XC is hosting a Fat Bike race on the trails at Big Rock Creek near St. Croix Falls on December 20th. Register by Nov 30th to save some cash prior to the next price hike.

Nordic Combined: US Team Named
November 28, 2014
USSA reports: Three Olympians were named to the 2015 U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team that opens its FIS World Cup campaign this weekend in Ruka, Finland. The team includes Olympic champion Billy Demong along with World Championship medalists Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.
Related:
US Ski Team: XC Team Ready for Ruka Opener

Midwest Collegiate Nordic Page Offering Prizes for Snow Photos
November 27, 2014
The Midwest Collegiate Nordic Skiing page on Facebook is offering some cool swag for those Midwest skiers that post the best on-snow photos. Contest wraps up Nov 30th, so get snapping!

Minnesota Finlandia Registration Now Open
November 26, 2014
The Minnesota Finlandia registration is now open. The Finlandia has released a homebrewed promotional video to help get your amped up for the big races on February 14, 2015.

World Cup: Nordic Opener this Weekend
November 26, 2014
The FIS World Cup season opens this weekend in Ruka, Finland with a pair of events. Saturday, Nov 29th, will be classical sprints, and Sunday, Nov 30th, are womens 10K and mens 15K classical races. Minnesotans Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg are scheduled to compete as well and many of the top stars in the World Cup, including Kikkan Randall.
Related:
Video: Livesteam and Recaps
World Cup 2014-15 Season Preview
Ruka World Cup - Nordic Opener

NNF/WYSEF Masters Race in West Yellowstone
November 25, 2014
The National Nordic Foundation and the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation have joined to offer a masters ski race on Saturday, Nov 29th. The event will be a short 5K skate race, with interval starts.
Related:
A Thank You from NNF Executive Director, Dave Knoop

US Ski Team: Cross Country Team Named
November 24, 2014
The 2014-15 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team was announced today on the eve of the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup opener this weekend in Ruka, Finland. Midwest skiers include Jessie Diggins (A Team) and Ben Saxton (D Team).

Minnesota CX Championships Coverage
November 22, 2014
Given the cold November, relatively warm temperatures on Saturday generated some slick conditions for the Minnesota Cyclocross Championships at Bassett Creek. Still waiting for official results online, but former Maine cross-country skiing champ Corey Coogan-Cisek popped a great race to finish second overall in the womens cat 1/2/3 race. Photos from the Saturday afternoon races are up.
Related:
Photoset: Womens Cat 1/2/3 - 167 photos, Mens Cat 1/2 - 231 photos

Fall Coaches Update
November 21, 2014
A short update on the Minnesota HS Nordic Coaches Association happeneings, including another opportunity for USSA Level 100 certification, and discussion on State Meet formats.

Birkie: Honoring the Legacy - Ensuring the Future
November 13, 2014
Twin Cities skiers and supporters will have a chance to learn firsthand about the steps the Birkie Foundation is taking to preserve the race legacy, including the Telemark start, as well as significant updates to the course and finish area (like a new skier bridge). Please join them Thursday, Nov 20th, and support the legacy! Limited tickets available.

Short-notice: Rock Skate Race at Spirit
November 11, 2014
Nikolai Anikin is going full-tilt with the new snowfall, organizing a an informal, short-notice race at Spirit Mountain for this Wednesday evening, Nov 12th! Bring your headlamp and rock skis.

2014-15 Minnesota High School Nordic Season Preview
November 10, 2014
The Minnesota High School Nordic season kicked off Monday with a major winter storm - perhaps foreshadowing for the season? We provide a breakdown on the sections and even a preseason ranking to get the juices flowing.

Illinois Roller Ski Race Series Results
November 9, 2014
The Illinois Rollerski Race Series wrapped up Sunday with the final event in the four month series. Chris Pappathopoulos posted the top time and locked in his title as the overall series champion. Maxim Glyuka was crowned the junior champion.

Rivet Run Coverage
November 9, 2014
Eve Graves reports: Sunday's Rivet Run 5k trail run/walk at Pattison State park drew nearly 100 participants (double the previous event!). With temperatures hovering around freezing and sunny skies participants had a great experience. Rett Moreland won with a time of 21:21 while Kaelyn Williams won for the women with a time of 22:25. The first Master's male was Dan Duff with a time of 23:08 and the first Master's female was Jen Vos Benkowski with a time of 26:51.
Related:
Photoset from Eve Graves: Rivet Run
Results: Rivet Run

Vakava Time Trial Coverage
November 9, 2014
Squeezing in perhaps the last rollerski of the season in the Twin Cities, the Vakava training group held a pair of rollerski time trials on some quiet backroads near Afton Sunday morning. Temperatures were in the upper 30s for the interval start 5K skate race, followed shortly afterwards with a 5K classical event. Photos and results are up.

Arctic Commando Results
November 8, 2014
St. Paul Central ski team held their annual trail running races at Battle Creek Saturday morning. Craig Cardinal and Allie Rykken collected top honors, with Cardinal posting the only sub 20 minute time on the hilly 5K course.
Related:
Results: Arctic Commando Results

Birkie Capital Campaign Comes to the Cities
November 4, 2014
The American Birkebeiner has begun their Capital Campaign and will be in the Twin Cities on Nov 20th for a special evening presentation. Come talk with ABSF Director Ben Popp about the new permanent start area at Telemark, access to warm, indoor spaces at the finish, and the re-creation of Tony Wise's International Bridge! Tickets available now (and going fast).

Midwest Racing Season Preview
November 2, 2014
With the end of daylight savings time, the early sunset signals that winter is not far away! We've updated our racing calendar with the latest info on the citizen, collegiate, and high school events. Our annual preview covers some of the big changes on tap this winter, along with some new additions and a few losses.

Registration Open for January’s US Nordic Championships
November 1, 2014
Registration has opened for the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Skiing Championships, January 2-10, at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center in Houghton, Michigan.

Minnesota State CC Meet Coverage
November 1, 2014
The Minnesota high school cross-country running season wrapped up Saturday with the championships at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Cool temps and a strong breeze were tapered by some sunshine for the crowds that swelled along the course. The boys AA race appeared to be a two horse race between Wayzata's Connor Olson and Hopkin's Joe Klecker, with Olson breaking away in the final half mile to take the win but it was Chaska's Joey Duerr reeling Klecker on the final straightaway to take second. In the girls AA, Alexandria's twin stars Megan and Bethany Hasz put on a strong performance, easily taking 1-2. Shakopee's Tess Misgen just nipped Forest Lake's Emma Benner for third. Wayzata swept the team titles for class AA. In class A, champions were Shane Streich, Waseca and Emily Donnay, Eden Valley/Watkins/Kimball. Team titles went to the Trinity School girls and Mora boys.
Related:
Photoset: Boys AA - 134 photos, Girls AA - 118 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Boys A, AA, Girls A, AA

Midwest MTB Racing Report
October 28, 2014
Jay Richards wraps up his MTB reporting this season, going out big with coverage of the EndTombed 12 hour race, Minnesota and Wisconsin high school MTB series finals, and a half dozen other updates and stories. Thanks to Jay for another great season of keeping us all "up to speed"! -- Ed.

Price Hike: Sisu Ski Fest
October 28, 2014
Kicking off the January marathon season, Ironwood's Sisu Ski Fest features point-to-point races starting at ABR and finishing in downtown Ironwood. Act by Oct 31st to avoid the next price hike (and check this newsletter for a $5 off online coupon!).

Frozen Thunder Skate Races
October 27, 2014
Frozen Thunder, Canmore Nordic Centre's celebration of the start to skiing season, held skate races on their 2K snow loop Monday morning. Rosanna Crawford posted the top womens time, with Caitlin Gregg showing some strong form in finishing fourth and Jessie Diggins took 8th. Devon Kershaw bested the mens field, with veteran Kris Freeman taking second! Brian Gregg 17th, Ben Saxton 21st.
Related:
Photoset from Bow Valley Photography: Frozen Thunder Skate Races
Photoset from Nathaniel Mah: Mens 15K
Results: 10K, 15K freestyle
Noah Hoffman: Frozen Thunder Skate Races

Birkie Bridge in the Works
October 26, 2014
The Sawyer County Record covered the recent Hayward City Council meeting where plans were presented for a temporary skier/pedestrian bridge spanning Hwy 63 to help ease the traffic congestion during the Birkie finish.
Learn more: There will be an event in the Twin Cities on November 20th - more details forthcoming.

Frozen Thunder Classic Sprints
October 24, 2014
On Friday, the Frozen Thunder event at Canmore Nordic Centre hosted classic sprint races on 1.6K loop of recycled snow. Andy Newell and Ida Sargent won the sprint finals, with Jessie Diggins finishing fifth.
Related:
Photoset from Noel Rogers/Angus Cockney: Classic Sprints
Video from Tor-Arne Hetland: Mens Qualifying, Womens Qualifying, Mens Heats
Results: Qualifying Times, Heats/Finals
Noah Hoffman: Frozen Thunder Classic Sprints
Cross-Country Canada: Frozen Thunder Classic Sprint Report

SuperTour: Yellowstone Race Info
October 23, 2014
Detailed information on the Yellowstone Ski Festival races, Nov 28-29, has been posted. Covers the SuperTour events, as well as the masters, juniors and biathlon events.

Birkie Registration Closing Tonight!
October 23, 2014
The American Birkebeiner has reached their field limit and will be closing all registration for the 2015 Korte and Birkie races at midnight tonight (Oct 23rd) -- act quickly if you haven't already registered!

Request For Midwest JN Team Coaches Applications
October 22, 2014
Junior Nationals will be held March 5-15 in Truckee, California. Chris Harvey has been selected as the head coach, with Bonnie Fuller-Kask acting as trip leader. Applications are still being accepted for the glide and kick coaches, as well as general coaching staff positions. Application deadline is November 1st!

Midwest MTB Racing Report
October 21, 2014
Enjoying the fall weather, Jay Richards latest MTB report covers the Red Wing Classic, WORS finale, and Otter Creek 55. Plus a look ahead to the MN HS MTB race at Whitetail this weekend.

Mesabi East Update
October 20, 2014
The huge Mesabi East Invite is scheduled for Jan 10, 2015. With the new event center being constructed at Giants Ridge, the old dorms have been torn down. Coaches should make their lodging plans early - a listing of the area lodging options has been posted.

Midwest Collegiate Nordic Community
October 19, 2014
A new Facebook community was rolled out Sunday evening to help spearhead the support and growth of collegiate Nordic skiing (varsity and club programs) across the upper Midwest. Show your support for this new group by "Liking' their page.

State Nordic Coaches Fall Meeting Oct 25th
October 19, 2014
The annual Minnesota Fall Coaches meeting will be this Saturday, Oct 25th at the Vasaloppet Center in Mora. The big topic will be accommodating the new State Meet format (2 teams per section). There will also be a CXC/USSA Level 100 clinic option.
Related:
MNSCA Fall Meeting Oct 21 Update

Skijor Racing Coming to the 2015 Vasaloppet
October 16, 2014
The Vasaloppet USA is partnering with Skijoring USA to introduce the first-ever skijoring races at the 43rd annual Vasaloppet USA to be held in Mora, MN February 6-8, 2015. Two skijoring races will be held on Sunday, February 8th following the Miniloppet.

Kyle Bratrud: A Time for Reflection
October 16, 2014
Entering his senior season skiing for Northern Michigan University, Kyle Bratrud reflects back on his growing expectations and benchmarks, and appreciates the "free" benefits that have come with collegiate racing.

East Metro High School Cross-Country Ski Scheduling
October 15, 2014
Ramsey County and St. Paul Parks will be holding the high school winter scheduling meeting on Wednesday, Oct 28th in Maplewood. Ski coaches in the east metro should attend to reserve their dates and venues for the upcoming season.

Out There Athletes
October 15, 2014
Did you know Out There ski shop sponsors athletes from across the globe? Skiers from New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, Hungry and more!

Midwest MTB Racing Report
October 14, 2014
Highlighted in Jay Richards MTB report this week: Blacks Grove River Crossing recap, MN HS Cycling League first-hand report from Mankato, BrewMonster Enduro photos, big news for the Laddies Loppet, and the look ahead to some upcoming events.
Related:
Dec 20 Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race - Price Hike Oct 15th!

Sisu Ski Fest: Did You Sisu?
October 13, 2014
Sisu Ski Fest registration is now open and there are less than 90 days until the big weekend of events in the UP. The race offers early season 42K marathon and 21K half marathon point-to-point races, starting at ABR and finishing in downtown Ironwood.

Pepsi Challenge Coming March 7th
October 13, 2014
Pepsi Challenge will be back for their 31st annual event coming this March 7th. Package of the race registration includes a free pass for Nordic skiing at the Ridge on Friday (test those kids, check out the conditions).

Nordic Combined: First U.S. Title for Bryan Fletcher
October 12, 2014
USSA reports: Bryan Fletcher added another jewel to an already star-studded nordic combined career, winning his first national title at the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships in Lake Placid. Fletcher parlayed a strong jump to take the win in rollerskiing over brother Taylor, who won the rollerski. Adam Loomis (Eau Claire native) took bronze. Note: Ben Loomis, Adam's younger brother, finished 9th!

Gandy Dancer Trail Marathon Recap
October 12, 2014
Over 300 runners turned out Saturday for the inaugural Gandy Dancer trail marathon events, hosted by Cyclova XC. Mark Swiontek and Tammi Braund claimed the first marathon titles. In the half marathon, Dan Schoepke and Megan Felling posted the top times. Read the full event recap.
Related:
Results: Gandy Dancer Trail Marathon

LNR Afton Time Trial Coverage
October 11, 2014
Loppet Nordic Racing has a full schedule of training and racing this fall as the skiers make their final dryland push before the snowfall flies. Saturday morning the group held another time trial on the quiet, hilly roads near Afton. Results and photos posted.

Birkie Down to the Last 500 Spots
October 8, 2014
Still haven't registered for the American Birkebeiner or Kortelopet? You'd better do it now, as there are less than 500 openings left and they are going fast...

Midwest MTB Racing Report
October 7, 2014
As the season rolls into fall, Jay Richards catches up with the Minnesota and Wisconsin high school MTB racing, and the Heck of the North event. Plus previews of the upcoming Women's MTB retreat, Black's River Crossing, WORS Finale, and the MORC 20th anniversary gala.

Jackson Meadow CX Coverage
October 5, 2014
The Minnesota cyclocross series came to the unique community of Jackson Meadow, just above Marine on the St. Croix, for a full set of races on Sunday. The course featured a nice mix of prairie, road, and lots of woods, with the usual barriers and a pinwheel. We caught the womens cat 1/2/3 and mens 45+ and then the mens 1/2/3 and mens 35+ events in the afternoon.
Related:
Photoset: Womens Cat 1/2/3, Mens 45+ - 151 photos, Mens Cat 1/2/3, Mens 35+ - 160 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Jackson Meadow CX

Baker Rollerski Race Results
October 4, 2014
Clayton Keim reports: Cold and damp forecast kept many rollerskiers away this morning for the inaugural RollerskiShop.com Baker 10K Rollerski Time Trial. Skiers that came out actually found really nice conditions with the trail being dry and clear of debris thanks to the park staff who made a couple laps blowing it off this morning and clearing a couple trees yesterday from the high winds. We hope to make this an annual event as people seemed to enjoy it and we would like to thank everyone for coming out.

LNR Adventure Race Series Continues Thursday
October 1, 2014
The FAST KIDS Adventure Race Series has two events left: one this Thursday, Oct 2nd, and the final event on Oct 9th. The evening events at Theodore Wirth feature trail running through the woods and includes a number of obstacles along the way.
Related:
FAST KIDS Late Fall Sessions Start Oct 14th

Birkie Nearly Full
September 30, 2014
The American Birkebeiner staff are reporting the race field is nearly full for the 2015 event! Less than 750 openings were left as of Tuesday...

Midwest MTB Racing Report
September 30, 2014
Jay Richards latest MTB report includes a big first-hand report from the Deer Fly Chase, a number of updates on trails and trail maintenance, plus the usual look ahead to upcoming events.

Baker Rollerski Race this Saturday!
September 28, 2014
RollerskiShop.com is putting on a 10K rollerski time trial at Baker Park this Saturday, Oct 4th. The same course as the Ringer Roll will be used, allowing skiers to compare their times. And, the first 100 registered get a free pair of new rollerski ferrules!

LNR Afton Time Trial Results
September 28, 2014
Loppet Nordic Racing held a rollerski time trial Saturday morning in Afton, inviting some of the top juniors for an 8K freestyle race. Zak Ketterson took top honors, with Tamer Mische-Richter just 11 seconds back. Caitlin Gregg finished third, as Sarah Bezdicek pulled away from Amanda Kautzer on the Trading Post climb to post the top junior female time. Results and a few photos posted.

Roy Griak Invite Coverage
September 27, 2014
The 2014 edition of the Roy Griak Invite turned out one of the biggest fields in history on a warm Saturday afternoon on the Univ of Minnesota golf course. The Wayzata boys took the team title in the boys Gold race with Connor Olson finishing fifth. The Wayzata girls were outpaced by a powerful Saugus team (California), settling for second place. Bemidji's senior Jenna Truedson and Minneapolis Washburn's eight-grade sensation Emily Covert were second and third overall! In the Maroon races, Lakeville North boys and Notre Dame Academy collected team titles. St. Paul Academy's Mike Destache won the boys race, with another eight-grader, Sarah Olson of Blaine taking third for the girls.
Related:
Photoset from Bjorn Adelsman: Boys Gold - 33 photos, Girls Gold - 39 photos, Boys Maroon - 46 photos, Girls Maroon - 49 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Roy Griak Invite
Univ of Minnesota Griak Recap

Birkie Trail Run and Trek Coverage
September 27, 2014
A beautiful fall day in the northwoods of Wisconsin for the Birkie trail running events. Starting the morning off was the marathon field, which saw Craig Cardinal taking the lead just over half way into the race and holding off Scott Weispfenning to take the victory. Kari Brown was the womens champion. In the half marathon, Justin Rose pulled away from the field to win by over three minutes, with Tiffany Kari having a similar strong performance to top the womens field. More than 1100 competitors turned out of the events, which featured the newer Birkie Ridge trailhead.
Related:
Photoset: Marathon/Relay - 142 photos, Half Marathon - 109 photos, Finishers - 75 photos, Kids Race - 17 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Birkie Trail Run

USSA World Juniors and U18 Staffing
September 24, 2014
USSA has published application forms for coaching positions on the vaunted World Junior/U23 and U18 trips.
- World Juniors/U23 application - Jan 30-Feb 9 in Almaty, Kazakhstan
- U18 Nations application - Feb 1-11 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
Applications are due by Nov 1st.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
September 23, 2014
The Midwest MTB Racing Report by Jay Richards this week features recaps from the Singletrack Escape, Norseman Challenge, as well as upgrades from Interbike and the Cottage Grove Bike Park.

Birkie Trail Run and Trek this Weekend!
September 22, 2014
The American Birkebeiner excitement is ramping up, especially with excellent weather on tap for this weekend's Birkie Trail Run and Trek. Do the race solo, or form a relay team! Free food and beer post-race, cool hats, and prize drawings.
And make sure you get your Birkie ski race registration in, the event is nearly full!
Related:
Birkie Ski Race Nearly Full!

Bangin in the Brush Coverage
September 20, 2014
The Bangin in the Brush trail run was held at Korkki Nordic Saturday morning. Eve Graves reports: The first place male, Mark Johnson, dominated the men's field by nearly 5 minutes while the first place female, who was also 5th overall, Kaelyn Williams, dominated the womens' field by nearly the same margin.
Related:
Photoset from Eve Graves: Bangin in the Brush
Results: Bangin in the Brush

Trail Loppet Coverage
September 20, 2014
Nearly ideal conditions for the Trail Loppet (including a smooth bib pickup) as runners enjoyed temps in the mid 60s with bright skies and a decent breeze in the open sections. Chris Lundstrom took the mens half marathon victory, with skiers Matt Liebsch and Erik Fagerstrom sprinting it out for the remaining podium spots. Ladia Albertson-Junkans took the womens title, as well as posting 12th overall. In the 13.1K race, Michael Hartnett and Faith Leicht collected the titles. Andrew Quinn (posted the only sub 20 minute time) and Caitlin Gregg took the 5K victories.
Related:
Photoset: Half Marathon - 75 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Photoset from Steve Kotvis: Trail Loppet
Results: Trail Loppet
Trail Loppet Recap

Minnesota Fall Coaches Meeting and Education Opportunity
September 17, 2014
The annual Minnesota High School Fall Coaches meeting will be October 25th at the Vasaloppet Center in Mora. The 2015 state meet will be a primary topic. And if there is sufficient interest, there may be CXC/USSA Level 100 Coaches Certification session as well.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
September 16, 2014
A big Chequamegon recap is the primary feature this week in Jay Richards weekly MTB racing report, along with the usual look at upcoming events.

Northshore Inline Marathon Rollerski Race Results
September 13, 2014
A small by very competitive field cranked it up Saturday morning for the Northshore Inline Marathon rollerski race. Flying from Two Harbors to Canal Park in Duluth, Andre Watt and Caitlin Compton took top honors.

Chequamegon 40 Coverage
September 13, 2014
Brian Matter held off Jeremy Bishop to repeat as the Chequamegon 40 champion Saturday morning in Cable. Travis Woodruff along with five other riders all cracked the two hour barrier in the fastest race on record. Jenna Rinehart took the womens title, also posting a new course record time. Area crew did a fantastic job clearing the trail of major storm damage from the prior week, including a huge amount of fallen trees.
Related:
Photoset: Kids Race/Start - 20 photos, Rosies Field - 45 photos, Mid-race - 106 photos, Finish - 98 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival
Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival Saturday Recap
Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival Sunday Recap

Request For Midwest Team Coaches Applications
September 11, 2014
Junior Nationals will be held March 5-15 in Truckee, California. Applications are now being taken for the head coach, glide and kick coaches, as well as general coaching staff positions. Application deadline is November 1st.

Chequamegon 40 Course Update
September 11, 2014
Chequamegon organizers have published the course reroutes for the big 40 mile event (Short and Fat event will not have any reroutes). The biggest change is a reroute onto Phipps Fire Rd between water stops #2 and #3. There are many sections that will still have tree debris, generating some narrow passages.
Related:
Chequamegon 40 Course Reroute Map

FAST KIDS Fall Adventure Run Series
September 10, 2014
The Loppet Foundation's Fall Adventure running series for kids kicks off this Thursday, Sep 11th at Wirth. There will be four events in the series, including age-gap relays and singletrack races.
Related:
Photoset from LNR: FAST KIDS Adventure Race

Chequamegon MTB Race Will Have Significant Rerouting
September 10, 2014
Recent persistent rains and high winds have taken a toll on the courses of this weekend's Chequamegon Fat Tire Festiva. After review and consultation with responsible land managers and trail workers, organizers have decided to implement a wet weather contingency plan for the Chequamegon 40 race course from Hayward to the Telemark Resort in Cable.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
September 9, 2014
Jay Richards latest MTB racing report highlights the Treadfest WORS event, the first race in the MN high school MTB series, plus updates on the mighty Chequamegon and the rescheduling of Blacks River Crossing race.

Willow River Trail Challenge Oct 4th
September 9, 2014
Willow River State Park will be home to a trail running events on Saturday, October 4th. The course is a scenic mix of steep climbs and descents though Willow River State Park totaling 10.6K (with a shorter 6.6K option available).

Chequamegon 40 Update
September 8, 2014
The Chequamegon and Birkie crews have been active every day since the big storm rolled through last Thursday, knocking down a lot of trees and dropping a lot of water on the trail system. Progress is being made, but expect some reroutes along the course for the Chequamegon 40.

Illinois Roller Ski Race Series Results
September 7, 2014
Organizers report great conditions Sunday for race #2 in the Illinois rollerski race series. Jan Myrda and Maria Castellese posted the top mens and womens times in the 10K race. The next event will be Oct 5th.
Related:
Illinois Roller Ski Race Series Race Report

Climb to the Castle Results
September 6, 2014
Saturday brought out some of the best US skiers for the annual Climb to the Castle rollerski race in New York. The race climbs roughly five miles with an average 8% grade up the summit of Whiteface Mountain (just under 4900 feet). Caitlin Gregg did the Midwest proud again this year, finishing second only to champion Liz Stephens. Jessie Diggins was 7th, Anne Hart 13th, Paige Schember 17th. In the mens race, biathletes stacked the field with Tim Burke taking the title. Ben Saxton was the top Midwest result finishing a strong 8th.
Related:
Photoset from NNF: Climb to the Castle
Results: Mens, Womens

Midwest MTB Racing Report
September 2, 2014
Even after hosting a very busy and long weekend of racing at Maplelag Resort, Jay Richards still finds time to crank out his weekly report. Featured this week: recap of the Laddies Loppet stage race, report from Copper Harbor MTB Festival, updates on the Wisconsin and Minnesota high school racing leagues, a new IMBA Ride Center at Noque, and a look ahead to the weekend races.

Baker 10K Rollerski Race by Rollerskishop.com
September 1, 2014
Rollerskishop.com is hosting a fall rollerski race at Baker Park, and to encourage early registration, is offering free rollerski ferrules to the first 100 who sign up!

Laddies Loppet Sunday Coverage
August 31, 2014
Overnight rain showers and another cloudy day generated some greasy sections on the Maplelag MTB trails, forcing the organizers to alter some of the courses and distances to avoid trouble spots. Brendan Moore and Sara Kylander-Johnson dominated the expert cross-oountry races, sealing up the overall stage victory for the weekend.
Related:
Photoset: Kids Comp - 72 photos, Citizen - 77 photos, Sport - 147 photos, Kids Race - 44 photos, Comp/Expert - 245 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

Laddies Loppet Saturday Coverage
August 30, 2014
Light rain on Friday provided a nice tacky track for the events Saturday at the Laddies Loppet stage race. The morning featured a fast three mile time trial, with a mix of ski trail and singletrack. Short track racing around the Maplelag compound wrapped up the first two stages of the series.
Related:
Photoset: Time Trial - 192 photos, Short Track Kids Comp - 51 photos, Short Track Citizen - 41 photos, Short Track Sport - 46 photos, Short Track Comp/Elite Women - 69 photos, Short Track Elite Men - 61 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res) - Time Trial, Top Picks (high res) - Short Track

CCSA: Ternes, Hokanson Hope to Fill Big Ski Boots For Saints
August 29, 2014
With school starting up, the St. Schloastica Saints are looking forward to another strong season, and excited about their incoming freshman class, which includes top skiers Allison Ternes and Steve Hokanson.

Volunteer Program for IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships
August 27, 2014
Organizers of the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships taking place in Cable, Wisconsin, USA, have launched their volunteer program aimed at recruiting the multitude of helpers needed to host such a prestigious international event.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
August 26, 2014
Fall is on the doorstep as Jay Richards recaps the latest MTB racing news including reports from the Pre-Fat, Flugly, and WORS, while looking ahead to weekend events, including Maplelag's own Laddies Loppet stage race!

Urban Trail Marathon Coverage
August 23, 2014
While the clouds obscured the sun, the high dewpoint made for a warm and humid Urban Trail Marathon Saturday morning in Saint Paul. The sticky weather did little to slow down Gerad Mead, who took the marathon title in strong fashion. Kevin Johnson and Timothy Villaran rounded out the top three. Paula Marozas and Jan Guenther raced together for much of the marathon before Marozas pulled away in the final miles to take the womens title, with Megan Maiser collecting third.
Related:
Photoset: Indian Mounds Park - 83 photos, Battle Creek Woods - 39 photos, Battle Creek Prairie - 115 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Urban Trail Marathon

Midwest MTB Racing Report
August 19, 2014
Jay Richards MTB report this week features series racing taking place in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota with first-hand reports from the Minnesota and North Dakota races, mountain bike related items to note and the look ahead as summer starts to wind down and kids get ready to go back to school!

MNJRC Season Wrap
August 19, 2014
Jakok Ellingson reports: MNJRC, Minnesota Junior Cycling, concluded their road-racing season on Saturday at the Minnesota State Road Championships. Photo albums from the season season are posted. MNJRC supports junior riders ages 10-21, primarily in "drop-bar" cycling; Road, Track and Cyclocross. The outdoor riding season starts in April with a weekend camp, continues with a week long summer camp, and meets twice weekly through the end of the season.

Urban Trail Marathon Saturday
August 17, 2014
Endurance United hosts their second annual Urban Trail Marathon this coming Saturday, August 23rd. Racing from the streets of downtown to the trails of Battle Creek, the event offers distances ranging from a quick 10K to a full marathon. Online registration closes Thursday (onsite Friday/Saturday).

Trail Marathons Approaching
August 13, 2014
Three big trail marathons are fast approaching...
Aug 23 Urban Trail Marathon - Endurance Uniteds point-to-point race from downtown Saint Paul to Battle Creek.
Sep 20 Trail Loppet - The Loppet Foundation's big fall trail run is reporting big numbers of registrations and possible wave closures.
Sep 27 Birkie Trail Run and Trek - Save a little cash by registering before the next price hike on Aug 16th!

Midwest MTB Racing Report
August 12, 2014
Sporting a huge update this week, Jay Richards MTB report has two first-hand accounts from the Ore to Shore, a report from Single Speed USA, a feature on Copper Harbor MTB trail system, as well as a look at the busy upcoming weekend events!

Deux Pipe Coverage
August 11, 2014
Eve Graves provides coverages on the Deux Pipe paddling races last weekend in Cloquet.
Related:
Photoset from Eve Graves: Deux Pipe
Results: Deux Pipe

NorthShore Inline Marathon
August 10, 2014
The next big rollerski event is the NorthShore Inline Marathon rollerski division race, September 13th in Duluth. A full marathon (26.2 miles), many skiers opt for race rollerskis (usually race wheels/bearings).

Hoigaards Paddle Derby Wrap
August 9, 2014
Jim Lind reports: The ten race 2014 Hoigaard's Paddle Derby ended on a high note with a record 61 race boats at the starting line. We had an excellent year with strong competition in canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard divisions and paddlers aged from 9 years to 81 years old. With 33 seasons of paddle racing behind us we had the children and even the grandchildren of our early paddlers at the starting line this summer. Hoigaard's would like to thank everyone for showing up at Thomas Beach, paddle in hand, and we look forward to seeing you all next spring!
Related:
Results: Final 2014 Paddle Derby Results, Championship Awards

Ringer Roll Coverage
August 8, 2014
The Ringer Roll once again experienced great conditions for the annual 10K rollerski race around Baker Park, as skiers enjoyed light winds and temps in the mid 70s. CXC coach Andy Keller posted the fastest time on the day, racing on a pair of smoking race skis, following by Endurance United's Jeremy Hecker (also on race skis). Zak Ketterson was third overall, but tops in the stock skate rollerski division. Jen Rolfes edged out Bonnie Weiskopf-Albrecht by 11 seconds to take the womens stock skate division. Alex Larson and Sarah Bezdicek were the top classic division skiers. Results are up, plus a big batch of photos.

Minnesota Collegiate Skiing Meeting, Aug 12th
August 7, 2014
The focus group on Minnesota Collegiate Skiing is holding their next meeting on Tuesday, August 12th. The group will review recent progress including efforts on marketing materials, as well as updates on the current collegiate programs. The meeting is open to all interested (please note the new location!)

Midwest MTB Racing Report
August 6, 2014
Jay Richards latest MTB report contains race stories from Border Crossing, Wausau 24, and Wilderman, plus a look ahead to the Ore to Shore and UP riding.

Birkie Filling Fast
August 6, 2014
With more than 8,000 now registered, the Birkie events are filling fast and waves have been closing. If you're still planning to do the race and haven't registered, get to it!

Illinois Rollerski Race Series Race Report
August 4, 2014
Chris Pappathopoulos and Erica Mennerick took the opening titles in the Illinois Rollerski Race Series, held last Saturday. The series resumes with the next event in early September.
Related:
Rollerski Results 2014

Spotlight: Vakava Juniors Summer Program
August 4, 2014
As the Minnesota summer junior Nordic training programs wind down their season, we caught up with the Vakava Juniors at Battle Creek on Monday morning. After a short warm up, the group performed a three lap fitness test, later graphing the results to compare their performance improvements over the summer. They also went through a set of strength tests, finishing up the session with consultations with the Vakava coaching staff, led by head coach Ahvo Taipale.
Related:
Photoset: 113 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

Ringer Roll Racing This Friday
August 3, 2014
The annual Ringer Roll rollerski race at Baker Park is this Friday, August 8th. While the event features some of the top juniors from the Midwest, it is also open to citizen racers.

Firehouse 50 Coverage
August 3, 2014
The annual Firehouse 50 is one of the most popular citizen cycling races in the Midwest. Kelly Randolph shares photos from this year's event.
Related:
Photoset from Kelly Randolph: Road Race, Time Trial, Ride the Divide
Results: Firehouse 50

Jumping: U.S. Ski Jumpers Compete for Champs Title
August 1, 2014
U.S. Ski Team ski jumping and Nordic combined athletes will be vying for national championship titles this weekend at the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City Sunday, Aug 3rd.
Related:
Video: Aug 2 Springer Tournee Livestream, Aug 3 Large Hill Nationals

Spotlight: Loppet Nordic Racing
July 30, 2014
Loppet Nordic Racing (LNR) has one of the largest summer training programs in the nation, with more than 130 juniors participating. Wednesday morning we caught up with them for a rollerski time trial in the south suburbs. The skiers broke into groups with the coaches to get some pre-time trial advice and then skied a warm up out to the course. Racing in packs of 4-6 similar level skiers, they raced over a roughly 5K winding street course with a couple of moderate climbs. Comp team skiers Sarah Bezdicek and Zak Ketterson posted the top times for the day.
Thursday morning the LNR Comp team was back at it again, executing another time trial, this time on a rolling lap course in the west metro. Once again, Zak Ketterson and Sarah Bezdecik notched the fastest times, racing over a 10K course.
Related:
Photoset: Girls - 126 photos, Boys - 135 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Video: Thursday Time Trial Highlights
Results: July 30 LNR TT

Midwest MTB Racing Report
July 29, 2014
Race reports from the Red Earth Classic and Elm Creek 40 miler, and a tour of the North Shore MTB trails, plus the look ahead, fill Jay Richards MTB report this week!
Related:
FAST KIDS LNR 2014 Mountain Bike Series - Two Events Left!

Spotlight: Duluth Summer Training
July 29, 2014
Duluth has a very active skiing community, hosting multiple summer training programs. We dropped in earlier this week to catch two sessions. Monday evening featured a small set of Duluth XC juniors working out at Spirit Mountain, punctuated by five sets of six minute interval ski walks up the long downhills (with one of the best backdrops in the state). Tuesday morning Superior Performance brought some of their collegiate skiers to join the Duluth XC juniors for a tandem workout based out of the famed Duluth East High School. The group worked on rollerskiing agility and technique, including some video analysis, then did an easy skate out the smooth Lakewalk trail.
Related:
Photoset: Spirit Mountain Dryland - 76 photos, Rollerski Technique/Drills - 126 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res) - Dryland, Top Picks (high res) - Rollerski

Birkie T-Shirt Design Nominees
July 29, 2014
Voting is happening this week on the 2015 American Birkebeiner official t-shirt design. There are five candidates to choose from, cast your vote!

Illinois Roller Ski Race Series Kicks Off Saturday
July 27, 2014
The Illinois Rollerski Race Series starts this coming Saturday, August 2nd, with a 10K race (5K for juniors) at Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry. This first race will is the Leatherleaf Bog trail which is surfaced with crushed limestone and paved on the hills.
Related:
Ringer Roll Coming August 8th

Spotlight: SCAR
July 27, 2014
The St. Croix Area Racing program (SCAR) was out Sunday morning for an overdistance rollerski on the hilly backroads of Afton, led by coach Kris Hansen. The group was joined by Vakava masters/racing members, with skiers doing one or two big laps of the area (25K or 50K).
Related:
Photoset: Afton Rollerski Session - 46 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

Urban Trail Marathon Next Month
July 24, 2014
Endurance United's Urban Trail Marathon is less than a month away -- August 23rd. Races start in downtown St. Paul and finish at Battle Creek with a number of distances available, and even a relay format.

Weekend Events
July 23, 2014
Jul 26 Synergy TT - 20K and 40K time trial divisions, on the popular Withrow route in the NE metro.
Jul 26 Voyageur 50 - Epic trail running race from Carleton to Duluth and back again.
Jul 26 Board Across the Bay - Stand Up Paddleboard race across Chequamegon Bay.
Jul 27 Chisago Lakes Tri - Sprint and half format triathlon events based out of Chisago Lakes.
Jul 27 WI State Championship RR - The Wisconsin State Championships will be on the line in the Spring Prairie Road Race.

Tri-Loppet Bans Racing Boats
July 23, 2014
In an effort to provide a more level playing field, the Loppet Foundation is banning racing boats from the Tri-Loppet. From the Loppet website: After the wind of the 2014 event, organizers have concluded that race boats have no place at the Tri-Loppet ... Going forward, no race boats of any kind will be allowed at the Tri-Loppet. No race canoes. No race kayaks. No surf skis. ... The hope is that this rule change will make for a more "democratic" event.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
July 22, 2014
Jay Richards latest MTB racing report features first-hand reports from the Afton Avalanche and Dakota Adventist Academy race, an update on Brian Matter's US Nationals, as well as highlights of upcoming events including the Dakota Offroad series, the new Cycling Museum of Minnesota, and North Shore trail explorations.

Midwest Skiers Heading to National U16 Camp
July 22, 2014
The Midwest will be well represented next week at the National U16 Camp in Jackson, Wyoming. Earning their trip west: Claire Benton, Anna Johnson, Amanda Kautzer, Erin Moening, Hannah Rudd, and Henry Gore, plus Great Lakes division skiers Bethany Wright and Mitchell DeLong. The crew will spend a week (July 27-August 3) working out with top juniors from across the US, along with USST Development coach Bryan Fish and other elite coaches.
Related:
National U16 Camp Roster
U16 National Camp Schedule

Mt Itasca Run For Snow Results
July 22, 2014
Petra Cervenkova reports: Mt.Itasca Nordic Ski Association held its fourth annual 5K Run for Snow on Saturday, July 19 at the Itasca County Fairgrounds. Over forty runners came to support snowmaking at Mt. Itasca. Overall male winner was Sam Nelson (18), Minneapolis, with time 18:43, Jakob Ellingson (19), Minnetonka, finished second with time 18:52, and third placed Patrick Gibeau (16) from Grand Rapids, 19:42. Overall female winner Andrea Nelson (40), Bemidji, ran 20:41, followed by Siena Ellingson (17), Minnetonka, 21:11 with Dawn Fairchild (38) from Grand Rapids, 22:22 in third.
Related:
Results: Run for Snow

Birkie Announces New Director of Race Operations
July 21, 2014
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has appointed Allan Serrano as its new Director of Race Operations. Serrano will replace Shellie Milford, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

Spotlight: Nordicwerks
July 21, 2014
Enduring some of the hottest weather this summer, the Nordicwerks Skiklubb worked out on some quiet roads just south of Scandia Monday evening. The practice started with some balance drills in a parking lot under the eye of head coach Deno Johnson. The group then rollerskied out to an underdeveloped neighborhood where they did laps on a custom course that included sprint, slalom, and hill climb segments (with frequent waterbreaks). Practice winded down with an easy rollerski back to the parking lot.
Related:
Photoset: Skate Workout - 102 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

Hoigaards Challenge Standings
July 20, 2014
The 2014 Hoigaards Challenge standings have been updated, reflecting results from the first three events in the series: City of Lakes Loppet, CityTrail Loppet, and Tri-Loppet. The final event of the series is the Trail Loppet, set for Sept 20th.
Related:
Trail Loppet

Long Lake Lap Coverage
July 19, 2014
The Rice Creek Boat Club hosted their annual Long Lake Lap races Saturday morning in New Brighton. Participants raced 1, 2 or 3 laps around Long Lake, dealing with some current from fast flowing Rice Creek, as well as battling some gusty southerly winds.
Related:
Photoset: 252 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Long Lake Lap

Time Trial for the Common Man
July 17, 2014
Ride and Glide is hosting another trial time this summer, this one dedicated to the "common man". They encourage cyclists of all skill levels to come out and give it a try! Special award categories.

Midwest Junior Championships Registration Opens
July 16, 2014
The Loppet Foundation has rolled open the Midwest Junior Championships registration. The big event is scheduled for March 6-8, and is expanding again this year! Act before July 31st for the lowest pricing.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
July 15, 2014
Featured in Jay Richards MTB racing report this week, racing action from the huge WORS Cup and the MN MTB series in Duluth, plus some commentary on primitive trails, and the usual look ahead to upcoming events.

New Fall Rollerski Race Announced
July 15, 2014
Providing a great way to gauge the fall training, a new rollerski race will be held at Baker Park on Saturday, October 4th. Free rollerski ferrules for early registrations!

Loppet Registration Opens
July 13, 2014
The City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival registration opens today, Monday, July 14th. Note there are new field caps this season, and a number of events did fill last year -- so get your place at the start line secured today!

Rivet Run Coverage
July 13, 2014
Eve Graves reports: Perfect weather with temps in the upper 50's, low humidity, and a slight breeze made for a great Rivet Run today on the trails of Pattison State Park! Leah Holmes easily "chicked" all the males as she "jogged" in to win in 22:51, almost 3 minutes ahead of the next finisher. Leah, from Superior just finished her first year running for UW Milwaukee. The second finisher was Saif Robida a 14 year old who ran it in 24:49. Our youngest participant was 7 and the oldest 70! Rivets from ships are given out to age group winners.
Related:
Photoset from Eve Graves: Rivet Run
Results: Rivet Run 5K

Ringer Roll Coming August 8th
July 13, 2014
The annual Ringer Roll rollerski race at Baker Park will be Friday, August 8th. While the event features some of the top juniors from the Midwest, it is also open to citizen racers.

Illinois Rollerski Race Series
July 11, 2014
The Illinois Roller Ski Race Series consists of four races at Moraine Hills State Park with racers earning points towards the season champion awards. The series uses a mix of crushed limestone and asphalt trails. The first race is August 2nd!

Best of Both - Birkie and Loppet Trail Runs
July 10, 2014
The Loppet Foundation and the American Birkebeiner have teamed up to offer a "best of both" award for runners participating in both fall trail running races.
Related:
Birkie T-Shirt Design Contest

Midwest MTB Racing Report
July 8, 2014
Tips on negotiating trail obstacles, riding in the White Earth State Forest, the trend of endurance events, and a Lyme reminder all make up Jay Richards' MTB report this week.

REG Camp Tuesday Coverage
July 8, 2014
Tuesday morning brought cooler, cloudy weather for the Central Regional Elite Group Camp. The group held a skate distance and technique session on some quiet backroads near Spider Lake. USST Development coach Bryan Fish led the technique sessions, emphasizing quick, snappy power in V1, V2, and V2 alternate drills.
Related:
Photoset: Skate Distance/Technique Session - 101 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Video: Skate Distance/Technique
National Nordic Foundation: The Regional Elite Group Explained

Local Stars
July 7, 2014
Western Howe - Former Forest Lake and NMU skier, Stephanie Howe has had a stellar ultrarunning career, recently winning the Western States 100.
Eagle Glacier - Kyle Bratrud reports in from the Eagle Glacier in Alaska and some on-snow training.
Team - Paige Schember blogs from Sun Valley, discussing the major role a team plays in an individual's success.
Bend - The Canadian National team crossed the border to train in Bend, Oregon, in June.
More REG - In addition to the coverage we've posted, CXC has photos of the REG Camp running TT.

REG Camp Monday Coverage
July 7, 2014
The Central Regional Elite Camp on Monday featured a morning rollerski time trial on the hilly terrain of Hwy OO, racing from Seeley to the Birkie trailhead. Zak Ketterson and Nichole Bathe cranked out the top times, with some stiff competition. After a wet afternoon classic workout, Bryan Fish gave an extensive presentation on skate technique in the evening, complete with video review of top World Cup skiers.
Related:
Photoset: Rollerski Time Trial - 156 photos, Skate Presentation - 8 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: REG Camp - Skate Rollerski TT

REG Camp Sunday Coverage
July 6, 2014
The Central Regional Elite Camp is going on this week, July 5-11th, in the Hayward area. Top Midwest junior skiers are training and competing in a variety of drills and events, with USST Development coach Bryan Fish overseeing the workouts. Sunday's events included a strength assessment in the morning followed by an afternoon agility test on rollerskis.
Related:
Photoset: Strength Assessment - 84 photos, Rollerski Agility Test - 153 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Video from CXC: Rollerski Agility - Men, Rollerski Agility - Women
Results: REG Camp - Running TT, REG Camp - Strength Assessment, REG Camp - Rollerski Agility

Tofte Trek Results
July 5, 2014
Over 125 athletes came out Friday for the Tofte Trek trail run along the Northshore. Dan Schwamberger and Kaelyn Williams took the titles in the 10K.
Related:
Results: Tofte Trek

Midwest MTB Racing Report
July 1, 2014
Jay Richards' MTB report this week provides recaps on the Lutsen 99er and Buck Hill Birch Bump races.

Hoigaards Paddle Derby Update
June 29, 2014
The first five races in the Hoigaards Paddle Derby have been completed and updated results are now posted. The series takes a break this week (no race July 3rd), then picks back up again July 10th and runs to the finish week in August.

Tri-Loppet Coverage
June 28, 2014
Another epic Tri-Loppet event in the books Saturday in Minneapolis! Strong winds and high water played havoc with the start on Lake Calhoun, especially for the pro-class canoes, resulting some big shakeups in the paddling results. Jonathan Sanborn dominated the opening leg in a solo kayak, coming out of the water with nearly a five minute lead, then held Dave Nelson off in a sprint finish to take the mens title. Matt Liebsch nearly made up a 13 minute defect coming off the water to finish roughly a minute back in third. Josie Nelson, powered by a great opening paddle with husband Dave, cruised to the womens title by nearly seven minutes. Caitlin Gregg and Molly Moilanen rounded out the womens podium.
Related:
Photoset: Paddling Leg - 92 photos, Running Leg - 48 photos, Cycling Leg - 100 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Triloppet

Birkie T-Shirt Design Contest
June 27, 2014
Got some talent for design? The Birkie is accepting entries for their 2015 t-shirt design. The winning entry will receive a pair of Fischer skis and Swix Triac poles (besides all the prestige!). Entry deadline is July 15th.
Related:
Birkie Trail Run Price Hike Coming July 1st

Spotlight: Endurance United Juniors Program
June 26, 2014
Kicking off our summer tour, we visited the Endurance United juniors program Thursday morning (early, 6:30 am!) at Battle Creek. Head coach Kevin Brochman, along with assistants Kris Bourne and Sam Elfstrom, started the group off with a number of strength drills, including dips and lunges. The group's main focus for the day was double pole technique, which they worked on over the waterpark trails. Eventually the group split into an advanced group that went out for a long distance rollerski as the rest continued technique drills with coach Brochman.
Related:
Photoset: 88 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Endurance United Juniors Team Programming

Midwest MTB Racing Report
June 24, 2014
With the continued wet weather, event schedules are being juggled -- Jay Richards brings us up-to-date with reports from Duluth, Cable area, Cottage Grove and even Missoula, along with a look ahead to a couple of big events.

Ride and Glide TT #2 Coverage
June 24, 2014
The Ride and Glide Club held their second time trial of the season Tuesday night. The rain stayed north as the riders cruised the just over 13 mile course near Winthrop. Ian Stanford posted the top time of the night, averaging over 28 mph. Nicole Heininger was the top woman (and 8th overall), topping 25 mph for an average.
Related:
Photoset: 91 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Ride and Glide TT (spreadsheet)

Worldloppet Expands
June 22, 2014
On Sunday the Worldloppet organization voted in four new events to the Worldloppet Ski Federation. The Marchablanca/Ushuaialoppet (Argentina), Vasaloppet China (China), Fossavatn Ski Marathon (Iceland) and Merino Muster (New Zealand) grow the ranks of the series to 20 events now.

Landslide Closes Part of West River Parkway in Minneapolis
June 19, 2014
A section of the West River Parkway, a popular route for silent sport athletes in Minneapolis, was completed blocked by a major landslide Thursday due to the wet spring weather. The section is between the bottom of the Franklin Ave Bridge hill and the Washington Ave bridge overpass, on the west bank of the river.

NSGP Report: Amateurs Catch A Ride
June 19, 2014
Corey Coogan Cisek enjoyed a special opportunity provided to some amateurs to compete in last week's North Star Grand Prix Bike Festival. Corey provides an insight into the team preparations and racing experiences.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
June 17, 2014
Jay Richards' column on the Midwest MTB racing scene picks up this week with the Cuyuna Lakes MTB Fest, the WORS series, Loppet kids MTB, and rising cycling star Kelly Catlin, plus a look ahead to the Red Wing race in the Minnesota series.

Olympic Day Wrap
June 15, 2014
Bruce Manske wraps up their Olympic Day celebration Saturday. Part of the festival was a 5K run, which was dominated by LNR juniors with Scott Harrison and Vivian Hett posting the top times.

Chippewa Triathlon Results
June 15, 2014
Minnesota skiers once again dominated much of the Chippewa Triathlon event as participants paddled, mountain biked and trail ran across the terrain of NW Minnesota on Saturday. Dave Nelson and Elspeth Ronnander post the times in the mens and womens doubles, with Craig Rudd and Elaine Nelson posting the top times in the mixed category.

North Star Grand Prix: Menomonie Road Race Coverage
June 14, 2014
After a string of absolutely perfect weather, Saturday brought out the clouds and eventually rain for the later half of the North Star Grand Prix road race in Menomonie. The course featured a number of solid climbs (with points) as well as a couple of sprint primes, then finished on a criterium style course around the UW-Stout campus. Racing concludes on Sunday with the always exciting Stillwater course.
Related:
Photoset: Mens Road Race - 104 photos, Womens Road Race - 68 photos, Kids Race - 14 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

North Star Grand Prix: Time Trial Coverage
June 11, 2014
The North Star Grand Prix race series opened Wednesday morning with beautiful conditions for a time trial along the scenic East River Road in St. Paul. Alison Powers and Tom Zirbel topped the podium. Racing action continues Wednesday evening with a criterium race.
Related:
Photoset: Womens Time Trial - 191 photos, Mens Time Trial - 253 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

Midwest MTB Racing Report
June 10, 2014
In his weekly MTB report, Jay Richards reports on the Race to Sunset and Marquette Trails Fest events, highlights a possible new IMBA ride center, skills sessions for high school girls, along with some additional news items and upcoming events.

North Star Grand Prix Festival
June 9, 2014
The North Star Grand Prix (formerly the Nature Valley Grand Prix) starts this Wednesday and rolls through the weekend. Racing includes a double-header on Wednesday (morning TT and evening crit) and continues with races in Cannon Falls, Minneapolis and Menomonie before the traditional finale in Stillwater Sunday.

Canada to Host World Cup Stage Race
June 6, 2014
Canada will host an 8 stage World Cup series that will feature five iconic Canadian ski destinations as host venues. The series will wrap up the end of the 2016 FIS season.
Related:
2014-2015 FIS Cross-country Schedule Announced

Midwest MTB Racing Report
June 4, 2014
Jay Richards report on the regional MTB scene this week covers the Epic (Mt Borah Epic!), an epic mudfest at Bluff Riders Charge, and the Duluth Euduro series, along with the local ahead on a busy schedule.

New Minnesota State Meet Qualifying Process Approved
June 2, 2014
On Monday, the Minnesota State High School League unanimously gave its approval to the Coaches Association's proposal for a two-team per Section format for the State XC Skiing Championships.

Local Stars
June 2, 2014
Around Bend - Jessie Diggins reports in from the annual spring training camp in Bend, Oregon (with snow!)
Sea to Ski to Home - Brian Gregg recaps his recent trip back to his home state of Washington and the Sea to Ski race.
Week 2 - Rosie Frankowski updates from Anchorage, with some Minnesota comparisons (including swarms of mosquitoes!).
Northwoods Campers - CXC summer training is well underway with photos from Bill Pierce
In Deep - A couple of shots from wet double pole workout with the Greggs.
Old School - A look at rollerskiing from the 1950s!
Related:
US Ski Team 2014-2015 Candidates Officially Nominated

Birkie Registration is Open!
June 1, 2014
Registration for the 2015 American Birkebeiner is now officially open! Each season the race has been filling earlier, so don't delay too long in putting your name into the hat.

US Ski Team: Selection Criteria for the 2015 World Championship Team
May 29, 2014
USSA has published the selection criteria for the 2015 Cross Country World Championship Team. Selections are expected to be named in late January.

Hoigaard's Paddle Derby Opening Night
May 29, 2014
A perfect evening Thursday for the opening set of races in the Hoigaards Paddle Derby series. Temperatures in the mid 80s and relatively light winds made it feel like mid-summer as paddlers raced across Calhoun, around Lake of the Isles, and even some sprinting across to Cedar. The series continues Thursday evenings.
Related:
Photoset from Craig Stolen: Canoe Derby

Midwest MTB Racing Report
May 27, 2014
In his weekly MTB report, Jay Richards features the Paul Bunyan State Forest trails and the Midwest womens MTB clinic plus his usual look ahead to a number of feature events on the upcoming calendar.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
May 20, 2014
Jay Richards' MTB report rings in this week with race stories from the Cable Off-road Classic, Woolly Mammoth Classic, and Crystal Lake Classic as well as a look ahead to the Mt Borah Epic.

CityTrail Loppet Coverage
May 18, 2014
Over 400 runners participated in the inaugural CityTrail Loppet Sunday morning, as they weaved their way from downtown Robbinsdale over asphalt trails and singletrack dirt paths to finish at the big spoon in front of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Temperatures in the low 60s and light winds made it feel like summer had actually arrived.
Related:
Photoset: 10 Mile Course - 54 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: 10K, 10 Mile
CityTrail Event Recap

Minnesota College Skiing Working Group Meeting Tonight
May 15, 2014
Late notice: The working group on the Minnesota College Skiing/Racing will meet this evening, Thursday, May 15th at Finn Sisu. The group is open to all interested parties.
Related:
Minnesota College Skiing: April 17th Meeting Recap

2014 Collegiate Tally Board
May 14, 2014
The 2014 college tally board is growing, but with graduation parties firing up and the end of school just weeks away, we're looking for more updates. Let us know your collegiate plans!

Midwest MTB Racing Report
May 13, 2014
With a quiet scene last weekend on the MTB racing circuit, Jay Richards highlights the growth in Minnesota high school MTB racing, an interesting article on gels, and the upcoming weekend races.

Midwest Regional Talent ID Camp Coming in June
May 12, 2014
USA Cycling is hosting a Regional Talent ID Camp in Minneapolis, June 23-28. The camps are designed to provide USA Cycling with evaluations of juniors' talent and give juniors a pathway to develop their cycling ability. The camps are open to athletes racing age 14-21 and not limited to athletes living in the region.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
May 6, 2014
With the snow rapidly dispersing, the MTB bikes are rolling and we are once again fortunate to have MTB veteran Jay Richards keeping us updated in his regular MTB racing report. Kicking off the season, recaps on the Iola Stump and Jump, Decorah Time Trials, and exciting about the development of a new bike park in Cottage Grove!

Snake River Canoe Race Results
May 3, 2014
A late spring thaw combined with a run of wet weather made for high and fast water for the Snake River Canoe Race Saturday morning in Mora. Kate Ellis and Dana Henry posted the top time of the day, taking the Pro category. Grant and Elaine Nelson won the mixed open, with Bret Arenz and Ed Arenz as taking first place in the male open, Kari Henry and Jan Gunther taking the female open.
Related:
Results: Snake River Canoe Race

2013-14 Season Highlights
May 1, 2014
Catch highlights plus full results and photos from the 2013-2014 collegiate racing season.

2013-14 Season Highlights
May 1, 2014
Catch highlights plus full results and photos from the 2013-2014 high school racing season.


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