NewWeekend Skiing and Trail ReportsMarch 23, 2023
Still plenty of snow out there to get in some awesome Spring skiing this weekend! New reports from Rum River Central, Vadnais/Sucker Lakes, Bagley Nature, Wolverine, Cleary Lake, Pincushion Mtn, Hyland Lake2, Andes Tower Hill2, Lebanon Hills, Theodore Wirth North4, McCarthy Beach SP, Lakewood XC, Snowflake, Mother Bear2, Sugarbush, Piedmont, Biskey Ponds, Bird Lake, Portage, After Hours, Central Gunflint, Lester2, Baker, Elm Creek, Superior MF, Lauterman National, Giants Ridge, Aurora, Suomi Hills, Amen Lake, Timberland Hills, Blackwater Environmental, Northwoods, Minocqua Winter2, Mt. Ashwabay, Nine Mile Forest, Battle Creek West2, Wolf Lake, Escanaba, Univ of Minnesota Cloquet Forestry, Larson Lake, Flathorn-Gegoka, Birkie, Totogatic, Raven, Willow River SP, Swedetown and recent reports from Mount Itasca2, Cleary Lake, Maplelag, Battle Creek West, Theodore Wirth North2, Hyland Lake2, Tower Ridge, Superior MF, Bagley Nature, Lindenwood, Anvil National, Nicolet North, Rice Creek - Irondale Unit, Chain of Lakes, Moccasin, Elm Creek2, Timberland Hills, Swedetown2.
NewSki Hut: SMASH DXC Candlelight Ski this Friday, March 24thMarch 22, 2023
End the season on a high note with DXC this Friday for the final candlelight ski of the season, part of the 2023 Spirit Mountain Annual Spring Happenings (SMASH) events. There will be live music, giveaways, demos, and more, and registration is only $5, or free for season pass holders.
NewWorld Cup Racing: Lahti ScheduleMarch 22, 2023
The final weekend of the World Cup season is here and there's plenty at stake with three days worth of podiums up for grabs and several spots in the overall standings yet to be decided. A team sprint starts things off in Lahti, Finland on Friday, with a qualifying round taking place at 8:20 AM CDT, followed by the finals at 9:50 AM CDT. Then it's on to back-to-back classic events with individual sprints on Saturday (qualifiers at 4:30 AM CDT, heats at 7:00 AM CDT) and a mass-start 20K race on Sunday (women on course at 5:00 AM CDT, men at 6:45 AM CDT).
World Cup Tallinn: Freestyle SprintsMarch 21, 2023
Racing under the lights for a rare night competition on the World Cup, a one-off round of freestyle sprints was front and center in Tallinn, Estonia on Tuesday. The first time back in the country since 2019, it was also the first test run of a new protocol that had all athletes competing on the same wax. Seemingly unaffected by the circumstances, Norwegian athletes reigned supreme again, with Kristine Stavaas Skistad and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo both emerging victorious in the heats. It was another challenging day for US athletes as they struggled to break free from the heats, qualifying five—Ben Ogden, Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, Julia Kern, and Samantha Smith—but advancing none. Lahti, Finland, the host for three days of racing this weekend, is the end of the road for the World Cup and the last chance for athletes to shuffle the standings with a handful of podium positions still in contention for the sprint, distance, and overall titles.
MNSA Nordic Banquet Scheduled for April 2ndMarch 20, 2023
The Minnesota Nordic Ski Association (MNSA) is honoring Muriel Gilman (Bemidji) and Dave Johnson (Duluth) as the 2023 Minnesota Nordic Skiing Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. They will be presented at the Minnesota Nordic Skiing Lifetime Achievement Awards banquet on Sunday afternoon, April 2nd at Vasaloppet Nordic Center. The banquet will also recognize several Legacy award winners, as well as top high school, collegiate, biathlon and master skiers. Please RSVP.
World Cup Racing: Tallinn ScheduleMarch 20, 2023
With a week to go in the World Cup season, a day of freestyle sprints in Tallinn, Estonia is all that remains for athletes before they arrive at the final venue of the season in Lahti, Finland. For Tuesday's stop in Tallinn, the racing action gets underway at 10:00 AM CDT for the sprint qualifiers, with the sprint heats slated for 12:30 PM CDT.
World Cup Falun: Mixed Team RelayMarch 19, 2023
Just as it did last season, a mixed team relay capped off the World Cup competitions in Falun, Sweden, with the men's and women's fields teaming up for just the second running of the event. Gaps in the field formed early in the race, and through the first exchange a lead pack of four teams had emerged comprised of Sweden I, Norway I and II, and Italy I. Overcoming a 20 second deficit, the Germany I team would also make contact with the leaders, and it would from there on out remain a quintet until Sweden I's anchor, Jonna Sundling, took off with less than a kilometer to go, leaving the rest of the group to hash out who would finish second and third. In the end it was Norway I who would cross the line just ahead of Germany I, who in turn just outstretched Norway II (with Italy I nowhere to be seen). For the US, the early fracturing of the field left both of its teams out on an island, resulting in 8th and 11th place finishes for the two teams. One final midweek layover awaits athletes on Tuesday as the World Cup moves to Tallinn, Estonia for freestyle sprints.
Last Chance Race ResultsMarch 19, 2023
A strong turnout Saturday morning in Mora for possibly the final race of the season, the Last Chance Race. The Gregg family of Brian and Caitlin swept the 20K freestyle titles with Matt Liebsch losing to Brian in a photo finish and Alex Reich taking third. Kaia Hilgendorf-Roost and Kristi Nixon completed the women's podium. Victorious in the 10K freestyle races were Dylan Little and Jackie Larsen.
World Cup Falun: Freestyle SprintsMarch 18, 2023
Warm temperatures and soft conditions added an extra challenge to Saturday's sprint competitions for day 2 of the World Cup races in Falun, Sweden. Quickly becoming the answer to a Swedish team full of quality sprinters, Norway's Kristine Stavaas Skistad went toe to toe with the best the Swedes had to offer in the women's final and came out on top for the second time in a row (and third time this season). Meanwhile, it was just another day at the office for another Norwegian, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, as he calmly collected yet another sprint victory in the men's final. Although non of the five US athletes that qualified for the heats—Ben Ogden, Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, Julia Kern, and Samantha Smith—were able to advance, a highlight for the squad was that 17-year-old Smith made the heats in just her second World Cup start. The final day of racing in Falun will revisit the mixed team relay, a relatively new event of which the US team won last season at the very same venue.
CBS Sunday Morning to Feature American Birkebeiner March 19thMarch 18, 2023
This Sunday morning, March 19th, CBS News Sunday Morning will have an extensive feature on the American Birkebeiner. Scheduled for 8 am CST, check your local programming for times in your area. Or watch the replay on their YouTube channel.
Finn Sisu: Celebrating 100+ days of Snowmaking at Battle CreekMarch 17, 2023
Join Finn Sisu at Battle Creek Regional Park this coming Sunday, March 19th, to celebrate over 100 days of snowmaking at the venue, and thank Ramsey County and everyone involved for all they've done to make it possible. There will be poster boards to sign, swag raffled off, and mini technique lessons for anyone looking for pointers to close out the season. Bring your friends and family, and be sure to wear whatever Finn Sisu apparel you may have too!
World Cup Falun: Classic DistanceMarch 17, 2023
The opening day of the World Cup weekend in Falun, Sweden held an air of possibility as athletes lined up one by one for an interval-start 10K classic race. For Finnish athlete Kerttu Niskanen it was a day to flex her family's classic prowess, and she did exactly that, finishing ahead of the rest of the field by over 15 seconds in the women's race. Also out to send a message, Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo proved that he could still win both distance and sprint events as he put 10 seconds between himself and his next closest competitor in the final kilometer, winning the men's race. With four athletes placing in the top-15, there was no shortage of standouts for the US. Of the bunch, Jessie Diggins finished just off the podium in 4th, Rosie Brennan was another two places back in 6th, and Ben Ogden and Novie McCabe both crossed the line just outside of the top-10 in 13th and 14th respectively. Switching to freestyle technique tomorrow, sprints will be the main event for Saturday's set of races in Falun.
Lumi Experiences: Holmenkollen Ski Festival, The Greatest Show on SnowMarch 16, 2023
History was made last weekend when the first-ever World Cup women's 50K race was held at the Holmenkollen venue in Oslo, Norway, and Lumi Experiences was there to watch it happen. Hear firsthand impressions of the event from Lumi Experiences founder Garret Kuzzy in their latest blog post, plus save $300 when you reserve a spot on any 2024 trip before March 31st.
Midwest Collegiate Ski Association: USCSA National Championships RecapMarch 16, 2023
Following the conclusion of the USCSA National Championships in Mammoth Lakes, CA, the Midwestern Collegiate Ski Association (MCSA) issued their final update of the season, offering a deep dive into how the continent from the Midwest fared day-by-day, and a send-off for the 2023 edition of the competition.
Junior Nationals: Freestyle Mass StartMarch 16, 2023
Junior Nationals competition wrapped up Thursday at Birch Hill in Fairbanks, AK, with some incredible freestyle mass start races. Greta Hansen won the women's U20 division, crowned National Champion; Sydney Drevlow collected another podium with a third place finish in the U18 division. Other top performances - MU16: Logan Drevlow 6th; FU16: Anna Gilmer 24th; MU18: Oliver Miatke 6th, Daniel McCollor 9th, Davis Isom 13th, Tommy Simmonds 14th; FU18: Hanna Koch 4th, Lydia Kraker 5th, Fran Peterson 8th, Natasha Sortland 10th, Nina Fedje 15th; MU20: Ben Dohlby 7th, Ben Lewis 8th, Jonathan Saldin 9th, Victor Sparks 12th, Jonathan Clarke 13th, Aiden Van Straten 15th.
World Cup Racing: Falun ScheduleMarch 15, 2023
After back-to-back stops in Norway this past week, the World Cup circuit pays a visit to its neighbor, Sweden, for three days of racing in Falun. Beginning with an interval-start 10K classic race on Friday, the women's field will head out first at 6:00 AM CDT in the opening event, followed by the men at 7:15 AM CDT. Freestyle sprints will then be the focus of Saturday, with heat qualifiers at 4:50 AM CDT, and the heats themselves at 7:20 AM CDT. Finally, athletes' time in Falun wraps up the same way it did the previous year, with a mixed team relay, which is slated for 5:15 AM CDT on Sunday.
USCSA Recaps 44th Annual National Championships at Mammoth MountainMarch 14, 2023
With four feet of snow more than they started the competition with, the USCSA National Championships in Mammoth Lakes, CA wrapped up on Thursday, cutting short some of the planned events in the face of inclement weather. Despite the early curtain call, a majority of the nordic events had already been run by the time the competition came to a close, and a finalizing of the results meant that the St. Olaf women's team would finish atop the combined standings on the back of a sweep of the events by Lily Hubanks. Similarly for the men's field, an early ending meant that the University of Minnesota Twin Cities' team would solidify their spot as the best from the Midwest, finishing 5th in the combined standings.
Junior Nationals: Freestyle Sprint ResultsMarch 14, 2023
Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, Alaska, continued Tuesday a full day of freestyle sprint competition. Midwest's Sydney Drevlow earned another podium, taking third in the FU18 division. Other top results included FU16: Anna Gilmer 17th; MU16: Logan Drevlow 17th; FU18: Nina Fedje 7th, Lydia Kraker 10th, Hanna Wilsey 15th; MU18: Miles Miner 11th, Davis Isom 12th; FU20: Greta Hansen 4th, Hailee Zimpel 15th; MU20: Benon Brattedo 8th, Jonathan Saldin 9th, Ben Lewis 11th. The final day of racing is Thursday with classic mass start races on tap.
World Cup Drammen: Classic SprintsMarch 14, 2023
Less than two week are left in the World Cup season and the competition is heating up as athletes jockey for podium positions in the final standings. Tuesday's classic sprints in Drammen, Norway were the first of four individual sprint competitions remaining, and among the women's field there were skiers aplenty looking to make their mark. One such skier was the up-and-comer Kristine Stavaas Skistad of Norway, who had just notched her first victory before the World Championships and topped the podium again today. Also topping the podium again and sealing a home soil sweep was Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, who earned his 14th victory of the season in dominant fashion. Five US athletes made the heats in Drammen—Zak Ketterson, Ben Ogden, Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, and Julia Kern—with Kern the best of the bunch, advancing to the final where she finished 6th, and Ogden making it as far as the semifinals where he finished 11th. Ketterson looked to be advancing as well until a late crash took him out of contention. Athletes will now get a few more days of rest before a 3-day weekend of racing across the border in Falun, Sweden.
Gear West Job OpeningsMarch 13, 2023
Gear West is seeking candidates for Marketing Manager and Bike Service Manager.
Junior Nationals: Classic ResultsMarch 13, 2023
Junior Nationals competition got underway on Monday in Fairbanks, Alaska, with 7.5K classic interval start races. The Midwest came roaring out the door with a number of podiums: Sydney Drevlow won the FU18 title! Greta Hanson 2nd FU20, Logan Drevlow 2nd MU16, and Tommy Simmonds 2nd MU18. Other top performances: MU16: Quinn Holan 5th; MU18: Davis Isom 7th, Oliver Miatke 10th, Daniel McCollor 14th; MU20: Benon Brattebo 6th, Ben Lewis 9th, Jasper Johnston 10th, Andrew DeFor 11th, Ben Dohlby 15th; FU16: Helen Townley 10th; FU18: Lydia Kraker 5th, Hanna Koch 6th, Natasha Sortland 11th; FU20: Hailee Zimpel 6th, Lily Brown 8th, Jordan Parent 10th. Racing continues on Tuesday with freestyle sprints.
World Cup Racing: Drammen ScheduleMarch 12, 2023
Just two days after a historic World Cup weekend in Oslo, Norway, athletes will relocate to the neighboring town of Drammen for classic sprints on the city streets. Only a 24-hour layover before moving on to the next stop, Falun, Sweden, Tuesday's event starts at 5:30 CDT with a round of qualifying for all athletes, followed by the heats for the top-30 qualifiers at 8:00 CDT.
World Cup Oslo: Women's Freestyle Marathon; Historic Third for DigginsMarch 12, 2023
The first edition of the women's World Cup 50K event in Oslo, Norway was a grinding and grueling affair with many athletes hitting their limits and pushing past them. For roughly half of the race the field stayed relatively intact, but once the distance crossed into new territory fractures started to form and a group of less than a dozen was all that remained with two laps to go. The competition reached its crescendo coming down the final descent into the Holmenkollen stadium where an all out blitz between the remaining skiers collapsed into a three-way sprint between Norway's Ragnhild Gloeersen Haga and Astrid Oeyre Slind, and the US superstar Jessie Diggins. Just tenths of a second would separate the three as the race would finish in that order, with Diggins in third on the inaugural podium for the event. A long week lies ahead for athletes as all are back in action on Tuesday for classic sprints in Drammen, Norway.
Great Bear Chase ResultsMarch 12, 2023
Over 700 skiers turned out Saturday morning for the Great Bear Chase events on the Swedetown trails in Calumet, MI. The Gregg tandem of Brian and Caitlin collected another set of victories with Brian taking the 50K skiathlon and Caitlin the women's 50K freestyle. NMU's Lauren McCollor was the women's skiathlon champ, with Nikolai Anikin taking the 50K skate. Classic 50K titles went to Evan Wetzel and Carli Goddard. In the 25K events, Abby Scheller and Christian Byar had the fastest classic times while Pearl Harvey and Tom Wood had the best skate. Full results linked in.
NCAA Championships: FreestyleMarch 11, 2023
With temperatures hovering around freezing after a day where they were well above, the second half of competitions at the 2023 NCAA Championships resumed with two rounds of classic racing on Saturday. Flip-flopping with the men's field, it was ladies first for the 20K event as the field got on-course en mass. Looking dominant in the final push that would earn her a title sweep at this year's Championships, the University of Utah's Novie McCabe would finish first, followed shortly after by Hanna Abrahamsson of the University of Colorado Boulder, and another University of Utah Ute, Sophia Laukli. Following in the footsteps of the women's race, the men's race would also be decided late, with a Canadian from Harvard, Remi Drolet, securing the victory over second-place-sweeper John Steele Hagenbuch from Dartmouth. The men's podium would be completed with a third place finish by Jacob Nystedt from the University of Vermont. A more challenging day for Midwest skiers, the best results came from Northern Michigan University's Merle Richter who finished 21st, and Midwest native Zachary Nemeth of Colby College who finished 19th.
World Cup Oslo: Men's Freestyle MarathonMarch 11, 2023
There was no shortage of spectators on Saturday as fans lined the Holmenkollen course in Oslo, Norway for the men's mass-start 50K freestyle race. Marking the start of Period IV of the World Cup, it was the second 50K race in under a week for many athletes, and it showed in the legs of those who had just raced last Sunday. Perhaps the best distance specialist on the circuit at the moment, it was once again The Simen Hegstad Krueger show as the Norwegian overtook teammate Hans Christer Holund within the final few hundred meeters for the victory, his first at the hollowed ground. Charging in behind the pair was another of their countryman, Martin Loewstroem Nyenget, who led a late surge to move onto the podium in third. Showing their experience when it comes to distance events, Americans David Norris and Scott Patterson both ended the day within the top-20, finishing 17th and 18th respectively. Tomorrow the women's field will get their first ever opportunity to race 50K at Holmenkollen, with the stakes being just as high as the fever pitch of the crowd.
Junior Nationals Opens in FairbanksMarch 10, 2023
Junior Nationals fires up Saturday in Fairbanks, Alaska, with opening ceremonies. The racing action is scheduled to begin on Monday with classic interval start distance events. Tuesday is freestyle sprints and then competition wraps up on Thursday with freestyle mass start races (no relays this season). Livestreaming is planned for all three races.