Sunday, January 31, 2010

Greetings from the North!

Hey! You guys are kicking butt! Congratulations on the great season so far and the newest addition to the team, the trailer! This is truly the end of an era, nationals won't be the same again!

So, I just realized a lot of people on the team don't know me anymore, but I am going to post anyway. Today I completed my first competitive 30k classic... and all I have to say is OUCH! hahaha. It was a beautiful race day, 25 degrees and sunny, we waxed with purple (I think?) klister, then 4 layers of extra blue and a bit of purple from the top of the kick zone to the just under the toe. Some people hate klister, but those who know me, know that klister is definitely my friend (I LOVE to stick!)...the race went well (under 2 hours!) and my wax actually was there the whole time, despite the presence of several hairpin corners, haha. I have started this year to choose the longer race option because something I never realized is that the older you get, the longer the race options are! The Anchorage race series offers a 15k skate, 30k classic, and a 30k skate! yikes! Making the transition from 5-15k races has not been easy, it pretty much translates into hours and hours on skis, and in AK that also means a ton of time in the dark! Moose have a tendency to blend in, that makes for interesting training! Enough about my boring racing and training though!

The biggest excitement around here lately is Holly Brooks making the Olympics! This is especially exciting since I am lucky enough to be a part of the circuits group that she and her husband run. Go OIA! I think Holly has a really interesting story, she was never an all star in college, she never made NCAA nationals, and here she is, 5 years later, going to the Olympics. Not only that, she is a coach who is beating her athletes! She has a blog that might be of interest to someone, it is cool to read about her reaction to racing in the world cup for the first time and her Olympic prep, check it out!

I hope everyone is healthy (The Gangl can flare up at any time!) and keep rocking!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting it done in the classroom!

Not only do they ski fast - they are awesome in the classroom.

Here is the list of UW Nordic Athletes who have been named to honor rolls for the fall semester!

President's Honor Roll (gpa 4.0)
  • Willie
  • Sarah
  • Kyle
  • Marie
  • Binny
  • Kara

Vice President's Honor Roll (3.5)
  • Jill

Dean's (gpa 3.4) and Freshman Honor Rolls (gpa 3.25)
  • John
  • Jacob
  • Fitz
  • Catherine


Monday, January 25, 2010

The Magazine of College SnowSports Rankings!

Check out the pre-season rankings for the CSS Magazine!

It seems that the UW Men's and Women's Teams are ranked well, we only hope we can live up to the hype!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Utah Invitational... Tough

We knew it was going to be a tough classic waxing when we read the forecast for 30's and tons of snow. Sounded like hairy's to us so we made sure we had all the right stuff and the few waxless skis that we had in the garage and headed out.

It turned out more interesting than we imagined. Hairy's we can handle but the wind was blowing so hard that we needed hairy's in one place, hard wax in another and klister in another, not the best fun for waxing. We thought we had it nailed right before the men's race when they re-groomed the course and our men went out first. The wax was rocking and we were stoked. Almost immediately after the start the wind came up and blew fresh snow into the tracks, then the sun came out, then it went away and the pellet snow started. The skis worked alright for about 3/4 of the first lap but then were really sticky. There was no "wax of the day" some teams had no kick, some had too much and some had both! We had too much, we looked like gods going up the hills but couldn't get going down the hills. Although the skis were not near as bad as poor Melissa had at Nationals in 2007!

Despite these rough skis the men did fine, not far off where they started in the classic race last year and Willie actually had his best classic % points ever so it was kinda a wash. The men who did well in the race were using "Zeros", skis specifically designed for temperatures right around zero degrees. This might be one of the first times we've actually been beaten by our club status, we just don't have 6 pairs of Zeros to throw on our athletes!

We did have enough waxless skis for all the women except Marie (she is just too light to kick any of the skis we had) so we put them all on completely new, too long, too stiff skis for their race. On the whole it went pretty well. Gwynn couldn't kick her's very well, Morgan crashed a bunch of times with the long skis and Marie was icing but we felt the damage had been minimized, at least they got around the course and weren't miserable!

Saturday had better potential, although there had been a ton of snow, the course was groomed perfectly and it was pretty cold. The women had a 15km mass start skate and despite their fear of being lapped, not completely unfounded since there were 2 US Olympic Team Women in the race, they did great! Gwynn and Gracey just kept pulling up and catching people, Marie held on amazingly well, Shanna finished her second 15km ever on the killer trails of Soldier Hollow and Morgan not only finished the race, she wasn't even in incredible pain! It was a solid showing for the first big race of the year.

The men didn't have it so easy. Fitz & Eliah didn't start due to illness. Less than 1 lap into the 4 lap/20km race Willie looked like he might keel over any minute so we pulled him out of the race. This left just Zhenya, John and Dan for our men. Zhenya and John spent 3 laps working together and picking off racers and Dan was struggling but hanging on, we had hopes of having a full men's team finish but it was not to be. At the end of the 3rd lap Zhenya stepped out of the race and left John to finish on his own. John did a great job catching a CU guy 30 seconds in front of him and finishing strong despite the tough trail and the mental hit when Zhenya quit. Dan also finished the race, looking tired but tough. Kinda a rough weekend when the team starts with 6 men and you can only get 2 to finish! Hopefully everyone will be well next weekend!

For the wax report. When we arrived for the women's race we realized that it was colder than predicted so we tested Fast Wax Tan and Fast Wax LF-Blue and the LF-Blue was running great so we put it on the front of their skis, they had Fast Wax LF-Red already on the skis. The women's skis seemed to be just fine and they skied really well.

We had the men wax one pair of skis with LF-Red and one pair with Swix HF-8 so they could find out which was faster on the day. They all test and chose different things. While standing up at the top of the hill, where the coaches were feeding, we rapidly discovered that it sure wasn't a wax race out there. Meaning that the wax seemed to make very little difference since teams that had men in the top 10 had on a wide range of wax from no-fluor to low-fluoro to high-fluoro to pure fluoro. The difference in the waxes was negligible, although the team with pure fluoro seemed to struggle a bit. The team that had the winning skier had on basically the exact low fluor wax that we had on one pair of skis and the team with 3 in the top 10 had on the same high-fluor wax that was on our second pair! It seemed to truly be across the board and not really matter in the long run!

It was a tough weekend of racing and we're extremely proud of the effort put out in tough conditions and tough races. We're now preparing for our first-ever trip to Grand Mesa for the Mesa State Invitational. Should be a blast!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Otepaa Video

Here is the link to watch the sprint final from Otepaa, Estonia. Zhenya's brother is bib 13.
We are talking double OG huge balla here.


adam k

Skiers of the Week - USAFA Invitational!

Although it's been a few days since the first set of races it's still extremely important for us to recognize our athletes of the week!

This was a hard decision, first there was Zhenya, who dominated both races in grand style and Gwynn and Gracie, who traded the wins in the two days. There were also several other great finishes but in the end we had to look at athletes who seemed to have made a step up already!

Male skier of the week = Devin Oderwald
Be sure to turn your sound down, some crazy coach was a little excited!

Devin started last season struggling and worked hard but was never quite able to pull together a solid group of races. This season has already started out better. Two great races this past weekend, solid finishes, good technique, great attitude - it couldn't have been any better!

The reason that we have chosen Devin as our skier of the week is that the points for his first two races are already 11 points higher than his best 4 races last year! Wow! You can't ask for more than that, it means that he is already faster than he ever was last season! Great place to start! Now we just need to keep healthy and it should make for a stellar season!

ale skier of the week = Marie Cartwright
Once again that crazy coach was out of control!

We're not sure what to say about Marie. She had a fantastic season last year, placing 6th in the skate at USCSA Nationals and finishing 9th Overall! As a coach you hope that your athletes will continue to improve as they move through college but Marie is starting this season by blowing the lid off last season!

In just two races she has already taken 34 points off her 4 best races from last season! Seriously, that's crazy for an athletes that has shown for two years that she just gets faster as the season goes. Not only that but our killer skater is starting to look like she might do some damage in classic! Woo Hoo! It seems that she is trying to make up for Kari's graduation and so far she's doing great!

We wait in breathless anticipation to see where Marie goes this season, it looks like the sky's the limit!

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Years Camp!

Wow! We're not even 24 hours into the New Years Camp and it's been amazing!

Due to illness we only had three athletes come up on New Years Eve, we're expecting more in the coming days but for now this is what we have!

They arrived late afternoon and we all went out to the premier Mexican Food Restaurant in Leadville, Casa Blanca. After a wonderful meal we then went for the most amazing moonlight ski I have ever done. First it was on the Blue Moon on New Years Eve but mostly it was just truly beautiful with the mountains across the valley and the incredible moon shadows. We were planning for 30ish minutes and went for 1.5hours! What a great way to celebrate the new year!

We woke up this morning and found the first stage of the Tour de Ski streaming live and watched that while we ate breakfast. Go Majdic and Northug!

After breakfast we did a great classic hill climb time-trial. It was a wonderful course and everyone had a fantastic time. We videoed in 3 places, for technique work, so we'll have those up on our YouTube Channel soon, . We're now getting ready for lunch, video analysis and some afternoon yoga and swimming. We may go out for another ski this evening, just to take advantage of the amazing moon!

Come on up and join us!