US Nationals took place over the past week in Salt Lake City Utah, providing a great chance for CCSA athletes to compete with the best professional skiers in the US. Athletes from Northern Michigan, Saint Scholastica, Michigan Tech, and St Olaf made the trek out to the west.
The skate sprint was Sunday, 1/2/22, brought one of the first challenges of the week- frigid temperatures, causing the races to be delayed in the morning. Katerina Hyncicova (NMU) and Anabel Needham (MTU) led the CCSA charge on the women’s side, qualifying in 20th and 25th respectively in the Senior women’s races Hyncicova finished the day in 9th and Needham finished the day in 19th. Lauren McCollor (NMU) qualified 7th in the junior Women heats finishing just off the podium in 4th place, Mia Case (CSS) qualified 19th and finished in the same position. On the men’s side, Adam Witkowski (MTU), Kjetil Baanerud (NMU), and John Schwinghamer (CSS) all qualified for the Sr Men’s heats, leading the big news of the day, with Schwinghamer having a strong performance in his quarter-final, placing 12th overall. Jasper Johnston placed 14th in the Junior Men’s heats.
The skate mass start started the warm up of the week, with temperatures rising from the rigid sprint day. In the Men’s 30k skate, Skylar Patten (MTU) raced to the top of the CSSA field in 20th. Teammates Mark Ousdigian and Tryg Solberg followed in 36th, and 40th respectively. In the women’s 20k mass start, Henriette Semb had a strong performance (MTU) in 20th, followed by Olivia Laven (MTU) in 32 and Anabel Needham (MTU) in 41. In junior races, Colin Freed was the top CCSA athletes in the men’s 10k, and Ingrid Halverson (MTU) was the top in the women’s 7.5k.
After some rain in the rest day between races, techs had to prepare skis in wild conditions for the classic individual starts. After dealing with some COVID contact tracing during the mass starts, both CSS and NMU athletes were back in the mix. In the women’s 10k, Henriette Semb once again led the field with a strong 28th. Teammates Anabel Needham and Olivia Laven finished 31st and 47th. In the men’s 15k Kjetil Banerud (NMU) mixed it up again, taking 37th followed by Skylar Patten (MTU) in 58th and Colin Freed (MTU) in 60th.
The last day of racing in Solider Hollow was the only SuperTour race of the series and proved to be a strong day for the CCSA athletes with strong performances in the qualifiers. Anabel Needham (MTU) and Henriette Semb (MTU) took their strong qualifiers (finishing 4th and 5th) into the heats, with Needham placing 11th overall. The men also had a strong day, with Kjtil Banerud (NMU) placing 12th, Kristoffer Karsrud (NMU) placing 15th, Daniel Streinz (NMU) 20th and Adam Witkowski (MTU) 28th. On the junior men’s side- Colin Freed (MTU), Hayden Ulbrich (CSS), Copper Lennox (NMU), and Jasper Johnston (MTU) qualified for heats. On the junior women’s side, Mia Case (CSS), Lauren McCollor (NMU), Gretchen Haggenmiller (NMU), Alice McKnight (MTU) all qualified for heats.
The CSSA now gets 1 weekend off before racing again in the Midwest.