March 12, 2023

Great Bear Chase Wrap-up

Former Olympian Brian Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) and Northern Michigan University skier Lauren McCollor (Plymouth, MN) took the top spots in the signature 50km skiathlon event at the 43rd annual UP Health System Great Bear Chase on Saturday March 11. A total of 728 skiers took part in the event at the Swedetown trails in Calumet.

The skiathlon incorporates the two different styles of cross country skiing – 25 kilometers using the traditional classic diagonal stride technique and then 25 kilometers of the freestyle or skating technique. The Great Bear Chase also includes competition in each technique at distances of 50km, 25km, and 10km.

“Skiers reported very fast conditions,” said race director Angela Luskin, Health and Fitness Manager at UP Health System Portage. “The temperature was in the mid-20s, which is ideal for racing.”

The 50km freestyle titles were claimed by former Olympian Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) and Nikolai Anikin (Duluth, MN), and the 50km classic winners were Evan Wetzel (Madison, WI) and Carli Goddard (Ely, MN).

In the 25km races, Abby Scheller (Champlin, MN) and Christian Byar (Marquette, MI) were the classic winners. Tom Wood (Houghton, MI) and NMU skier Pearl Harvey (Marquette, MI) took the 25km freestyle titles.

In the 10km distance, the classic titles went to Hancock residents Grant Fredrickson and Ingrid Seagren, while the freestyle winners were Minnesotans Ingrid Halverson and Wells Huotari.

More than 100 volunteers help with the event, setting up the course and start and finish areas, working at the four on-course aid stations, and providing a huge pasty luncheon at the Calumet High School.

“We are grateful to the CLK school staff for their help in the registration and meal logistics, particularly the food service staff,” said Race Director Luskin.

A link to the complete results and more information about the Great Bear Chase is at