USCSA Nationals Wrap Up
By Nels Dyste
March 15, 2005
|The following is a summary of race updates from
Nels Dyste, one of the St. Olaf skiers. -- Ed.
March 8th - Freestyle Sprints
The St.Olaf College Nordic team has been hard
at work in McCall, Idaho at the United States College Ski
Associations National Championships. The temperatures are
very warm, sunny and clear. Without new snow in a couple of
week the snow is reaching it's minimum, but the grooming at
Ponderosa State Park is top notch and has been doing a great
job to make the best of the conditions.
The St. Olaf team kicked off the week with a
1.5k skate sprint race. The Ole men had all four men finish
in the top fifteen in the preliminaries. In the final Nate
Erlandson finished in 1st, Oliver Garrison 5th and Jake Boyce
in 6th, Nels Dyste missed making the final but finished in
14th overall. The Olaf men finished in first place over the
University of Wyoming. The Olaf Woman are also had three women
in the finals with Linn Dale winning the title, Briaa Shurke
in 7th and Jennie Hedberg in 8th place. The Olaf women finished
in second place under the University of Wyoming.
March 9th - Mass Start Freestyle
The second day of races at the USCSA National Championships
in McCall, Idaho was beautiful. Clear skies and warm temperatures
made for fast conditions in the morning for the women's race
and increasingly slower for the men. The St. Olaf women dominated
the field with Linn Dale taking 2nd in a sprint finish completing
the 15k course in just under 47 minutes. Stephanie Block took
3rd, Bria Schurke took 4th, Jennie Hedberg finished in 7th
and Maddie McCauley finished in 16th. This fast performance
by the St.Olaf women pushed them into first place with 8 points.
The St.Olaf men's team also won their race though by only
three points. Nate Erlandson was the top finisher for the
Olaf team taking 2nd to St. Louis Park native John Erickson.
Ollie Garrison finished in 5th with a broken pole, Jake Boyce
in 6th, and Nels Dyste finished in 14th again.
March 11th - Classical
The USCSA Nationals concluded with an 8.5k classic race
and a 3 x 5k relay. The St. Olaf men's team had another dominating
performance skiing early on the icy crust of the steadily
melting Ponderosa course. Ollie showed his training paid off
this fall by taking 2nd place, just under Riley Hotmann of
The University of Wyoming. Nate Erlandson was the next St.Olaf
finisher again placing high with a 4th place. Jake Boyce entered
the stadium with one pole having skied the last kilometer
of the race with only one and still managed a 6th place finish.
Nels Dyste continued his streak of 14th place finishes and
the St.Olaf men won the National Classic race by a pretty
The St.Olaf women went out hard but the University of Wyoming
women had another plan. St.Olaf's own Linn Dale won the classic
race by over a minute but the University of Wyoming women
took the next three spots. Stephanie Block took 6th place,
Bria Schurke was 8th, and Jennie Hedberg took 9th.
March 12th - Relays
Though the day of rest may have taken it's toll on the women's
team in the classic race, it proved to be for the better with
the women's team winning the 3 x 5k relay by over a minute.
St.Olaf's scored team consisted of Stephanie Block skiing
classic, Linn Dale skiing classic, and Bria Schurke on the
anchor leg skating. Stephanie Block skied a good first leg
putting the team in a good position. Linn Dale again showed
her double poling ability by taking the field by 2 minutes,
this put Bria Schurke in an excellent position for an easy
finish to win the relay by more than a minute over second
place Wyoming. The St.Olaf women's team is made up of five
women so Jennie Hedberg skied two legs with teammate Maddie
McCalley. Jennie Hedberg had the race of her life beating
her teamate on the first team Stephanie Block by a couple
of seconds putting her relay team in fourth place.
The Men's team did equally well in the relay with all three
legs skiing very well. Heading off the relay was freshman
Jake Boyce who came into the stadium with both poles this
time and about a 30 second lead over the rest of the pack
by skiing the fastest classic leg of the day. He tagged off
to Ollie Garrison who also skied a great leg adding to the
already large lead by skiing the second fastest. Nate Erlandson
skied the anchor skate leg putting even more time on the field.
The St. Olaf men's team thus won their relay by over a minute.
In a recap of the week, the St. Olaf team men's team won
every event of the week, and placing three of their four skiers
on the All-American team, with Nate Erlandson winning the
overall combined title. The Women's Team won the overall team
combined title by only a point over the University of Wyoming.
The women's team found four of it's five skiers on the All-American
team with Linn Dale winning the individual combined title.