Elm Creek Series Results
Conditions: Air temp. 36F; no wind; natural snow mixed with man-made snow; great racing condition!
Tonight’s races were about Gustavus xc ski team against whoever were out there racing. Due to the shortened Valley Trail (short of about 1.15k un-groomed trail on the regular 5K race course), the race director decided to put up 2 laps of 3.85k course with a total distance of 7.7k. Many realized that their racing strategies would be quite different if one is used to the 5K all-out sprint. The racers definitely got their money’s worth for their physical endurance training and mental training due to the last-minute race strategy adjustment. In the stake race, a pack of 4 took off with Tony Squillace, Josh Blankenship, Zach Wagner and Tyler Gustafson leading in the first lap. It was Zach Wagner who broke away from the pack, followed by Tyler Gustafson in only 4-second behind, and Josh and Tony pushed to the very end, in an almost neck-to-neck finish. The team Coach and parents provided great encouragement and cheers for the racers. Craig Stolen said it was one of the hard all-out races after already skiing in a lot of Ks before the races. Great to see every racer put in a great hard efforts tonight. The snow condition was much slower than last Wed., the skate lanes felt slower than the hard packed tracks. Gustavus girls team members had very impressive races tonight, Erica Hett and Meredith Bache-Wiig were neck to neck until Erica took off and led the duo to the finish with only a few seconds apart. The chasing story of the night was Eric Lindquist after he was jammed entering the Thicket Trail during the first lap. After losing a bunch of time, it was hard to see and chase down his targets until he got back to the Valley Trail for the second lap. Eric’s hard-chase paid off. What an effort! It seems that Eric was doing the re-living of Matt Liebsch’s 2012 Green Archer jam and chase (though no broken equipment J). In the classic race (right after the skate race), again, Zach Wagner took the charge and led his teammates all the way to the finish line. Marcus Speca came in the 3rd place after Tyler Gustafson’s 2nd finish. The exciting photo finish of the classic race goes to between Craig Stolen and Josh Blankenship, between Erica Hett and Eric Wagner, and between Meredith Bache-Wiig and Mata Agre. Congratulations to all of your great efforts.
Race course: 2 laps of 3.85K (shortened Valley Trail, Thicket Trail, and Northern Light Trail). The race course was nicely groomed for both skate lanes and classic tracks with great depth of snow coverage. The pole planting areas along the classic tracks were a bit soft, but the tracks were very nicely groomed.
Race distance: 7.7K, both classic and freestyle, mass start.
Freestyle(F)/Classic(C) Zach Wagner 20:29 (F)/22:54 (C) – male winner of the skate race and the classic race Tyler Gustafson 20:33 (F)/22:58 (C) Josh Blankenship 21:06 (F)/25:35 (C) Tony Squillace 21:07 (F)/23:40 (C) Scott Williams 21:30 (F)/24:10 (C) Craig Stolen 21:34 (F)/25:35 (C) Eric Wagner 21:40 (F)/25:44 (C) Eric Lindquist 21:56 (F) Marcus Speca 22:08 (F)/23:18 (C) Laszlo Alberti 22:23 (F) Peter Larson 22:31 (F) Clayton Keim 22:53 (F) Erica Hett 23:42 (F)/25:43 (C) - female winner of the skate race and the classic race Meredith Bache-Wiig 23:44 (F)/28:06 (C) Dennis Curran 23:45 (F) Adam Johnson 24:13 (F) Ethan Richards 24:14 (F) Christi Nowak 24:25 (F) Mata Agre 24:46 (F)/28:07 (C) Dasha Terenteva 25:20 (F)/31:23 (C) Marit Sonnesyn 25:28 (F)/27:58 (C) Megan Allen 26:38 (F)/29:17 (C) Tim Hieb 26:53 (F) Ralph Schwartz 28:34 (F) Tim Dietz 29:42 (F)
--Amy Xu (Timer/Results), Melinda Silbernick (Race Director)