Thursday, February 18, 2010

Skiers of the Week - Catch up!

It's been a busy season and we have gotten hopelessly behind on the skiers of the week! I'm going to try to get them all in this posting, it will be a little shorter but they've all been amazing!

January 30 & 31 - Mesa State
It was our fist trip to the Mesa State Invite and to Grand Mesa. All I can say is WOW! What a wonderful and beautiful place! If you are reading this and don't want to come to Wyoming for school you should seriously consider Mesa, it's fantastic!

Anyway, the races were a freestyle sprint and a 10km Classic.

For our Men's Skier of the Week we have to go with Dan. Although we think it's likely we'll want to have him as a skier of the day for Nationals you can't ignore the weekend he put together by dominating a tough sprint with rounds that were extremely close together and then following it with an extremely tactically intelligent race to take the 10km classic from 2 Western State boys who wanted to show him what was up. It was an impressive set of races that showed his ski skill as well as his tactical ability. YOU ROCK OUR WORLD!

The Women's Skier of the week will be shared by two great performances in two separate races, both complete surprizes!

First came the sprint and Sarah! Who knew she can sprint, she's never done a sprint before but I think I see a great future for her. For a little context here... We are redshirting Sarah as a freshman because we think she's got a lot more to give with an extra year of nordic training and skiing. So far this season her best points have not gone below 604 and she hasn't broken into the top 10 this year. It was clear after the first round that the sprint was something different. After the qualifying round Sarah sat in 7th place with 320 points! Wow, that alone was a great finish but she continued on, just squeaking through each round until she found herself in the finals! By then she was exhausted but still managed a 5th place! Wow, way to rock the sprint Sarah! YOU ROCK OUR WORLD!




The next day came another surprise, well actually not so much of a surprise, we knew this was coming. Anyway, after a glorious day on Saturday Sunday was snowy, windy and foggy, a little rough for a race. This didn't slow Cara down a bit! In fact she skied like a maniac and had her best points, best place, best race ever! She had already bettered her best race from last season earlier in the year but this Classic race was an announcement that she wants to be taken seriously on her skis! She skied an amazing race and at the end had taken 12o off her best race ever, was only 10ish seconds away from qualifying for Nationals, was the 4th UW woman AND placed 8th in the race! Wow! YOU ROCK OUR WORLD!

February 5 & 6 - New Mexico Invitational
Our Men's Skier of the Week has become our most dependable athlete this year. Both on and off the snow John is a joy. He's skied well and consistently throughout the season and he's been the most helpful and wonderful person off the snow. Whenever I look around to find someone to help, John is not only there but is already helping!

The weekend of New Mexico turned out to be the best season weekend for John in the last two years, possibly the last 4! He not only finished both races with flying colors he had his lowest points for a two race weekend for the last two years. He rocked the classic race, despite not getting his split as his coach crashed and slid beside him. He then came out and despite feeling extremely tired, had a solid skate race. Throughout the weekend he was helpful, cheerful and a great example of a class act. YOU ROCK OUR WORLD - for so many reasons!

The Women's Skier of the Week had to be Morgan. In the classic race she rocked, giving nothing to the NCAA girls that wanted to dominate her. She had her first sub 300 point race ever and skied like a goddess! The second day was a little different, she still struggles with skate and this course was unforgiving. At 3.5km she was in obvious pain and I asked if she needed to stop. She shook me off and kept skiing. On the second loop I watched the other girls ski by and thought that I would have along wait for Morgan and her disfunctional legs when I looked up and there she was! Less than 2 minutes behind Marie! She was skiing well and appeared to actually be gaining ground on Marie and Shanna! Not only did she manage to finish the race she controlled her legs to the point where she could ski well and relatively well. She had one of her best skate points ever and could walk after the race! As I always say, Morgan's too tough for her own good but she really ROCKS OUR WORLD!


February 13 & 14 - Owl Creek Chase
Down to last weekend and the Owl Creek Chase.

For the Men's Skier of the Week we had to go with Zheyna. He had been sick for the last few weeks so none of us were sure how he would feel but he came out with a vengeance on Saturday only 8% and 2.5 minutes out of the top guys and skiing strong and well. He had a great race and felt good, we were extremely pleased. He followed that race with a great effort in the 21km, over the mountain, punishment otherwise known as the Owl Creek Chase. He skied hard and well and his points for the race were only bettered by one race in the last 2 years. It was an extremely great effort and with the inspiration that's bond to come from his brother's Silver we expect great things at Nationals. YOU ROCK OUR WORLD!

We thought long and hard about who to choose for the women, there were several standout finishes but we finally had to give it to the women's elite team on Saturday. As coaches you never have a purely good day and although Saturday was no exception the women's team did their best to give us a great day. All 5 women skied that 5km course better than we have ever seen! Skiing hard, well, fast and just generally looking and skiing amazing! 4 of the 5 women were in the top 25% of the race and most of them tying or bettering their best classic race of the year. It was a truly inspire performance and we appreciate your effort and dedication. YOU ROCK OUR WORLD!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Owl Creek Chase

It was a great weekend! The Elite team competed on Saturday in the Supertour Classic race and did extremely well. Then the Competitive team joined us, after a terrible, snowy drive, for dinner and the Owl Creek Chase on Sunday morning.

The Owl Creek Chase is a 21km point-t0-point race that climbs over a mountain from Snow Mass to Aspen High School. It's a crazy, hard, fun, exciting, exhausting race. The first time out it's usually just an accomplishment, the first hill seems to go on forever. It gets better after the first time you expect the first hill to go on forever and suddenly it actually ends!

We had a great showing from our team at this race. 5 men and 5 women did the elite race with an additional 4 men and 2 women doing the citizen class.

There were only 2 race casualties and 14 athletes finished one of the most grueling nordic races!

College results can be found on the Rocky Mountain Conference Site, http://rmcnordic.wikispaces.com/ and full results can be found at: http://owlcreekchase.aspenrecreation.com/

Great job everyone!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

WYO Pride!

Hey! Great job this weekend in NM! You definitely had the altitude on your side! I had to post and let you all know that tonight at my OIA (we call ourselves Only In Alaska...yeah, we are dorks) circuits group my friend Tor (he recently joined the UAA team) came up to me to tell me that Wyoming has more spunk than any other team he has ever seen, and that you guys made the race rock because of it last weekend! We then started to talk about the WY team a little more and he and another UAA alum skier were shocked to find out that UW is a club team that isn't fully funded! It just made me very proud of the team and being a product of it since you guys are doing such a great job keeping up an awesome reputation! Good job!

Friday, February 05, 2010

UNM Day 1!

It was a beautiful day for a classic race! Cold, fast snow, easy kick and beautifully groomed tracks.

The UW skiers took full advantage.

The rest of the teams only brought their top few racers so the field was extremely small AND extremely fast (they only brought their top racers). Despite this we managed to have some great races with some of the best % back and points of the year!

It was a good day!

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Skiers of the Week - Utah Invite

We totally forgot to get this up last week but better late than never!

As you know, if you've been reading this blog, the Utah race was very difficult. Retrospect and an analysis of times and % points shows that it actually went fairly well for an early season race, despite the feelings of the day. Both men & women were about where they have been in the past and Gwynn tied her best race of last year so things went better than we thought. The only downside was the fact that only two men finished the race on Saturday, John & Dan.

The Men's Skier of the Week is John

John had a really solid weekend with his skate race besting all but one of last year's points! He skied well and smart. With just one slight bobble when Zhenya quit with one lap to go. He pulled it back together though and caught a CU racer in the last 5km!

He struggled a little with rough wax and new skis in the classic race but still pulled off a respectable 254 points, which puts him just about where he started in the first Div-I race last year.

Most importantly, on a weekend of difficult conditions, tough waxing and emotionally difficult trails John was positive, realistic and gave his all to the race.

Great job John!
You'll see John on the first lap at about 1:10

The Women's Skier of the Week is Gwynn.

Gwynn is always a great skier to have on the team, she always works hard, doesn't complain, tries her best and even when she's skiing on too stiff, slow, waxless skis she has a smile on her face.

For the women's race we ended up throwing Gwynn on a pair of waxless skis that were too stiff for her. Despite this she worked hard and managed a decent race under horrific conditions. When asked how it went she said, "Alright." Not a glowing recommendation but considering the skis, wind, lack of track, etc. it is truly amazing!

The skate race went much better with Gwynn fighting from the start and spending most of the race picking people off. She skied the last 2 laps with two racers from CU and MSU. No matter what she tried, they wouldn't take the lead, they just hung on her butt hoping to beat her in the end. That's what they did, just at the finish, but Gwynn made a valiant effort to break them before then and skied hard to hold them off. The % points for that race were better than any of the Elite Team Skate races from last year, not a bad start!

Great job Gwynn, your attitude and toughness is an inspiration!