The Western State Colorado University Mountain Sports Nordic Ski Team placed well in the season-opening intercollegiate races hosted by Colorado Mesa University on the Grand Mesa. With strong training to start the season, and abundant skiing options in both Crested Butte and Gunnison, the team was poised for positive results. Western competed against the University of Wyoming, Colorado Mesa University, Air Force Academy, Colorado College, and the University of Oregon-Cascades in two different disciplines over the weekend – a 1km classic technique sprint race on Saturday, and a 10km freestyle mass start event on Sunday.

Leading the way was junior Samantha Maddox with a strong 3rd place result in the 1km classic sprint on Saturday. For Maddox, this was her first time on the podium in a sprint race – clearly showing that her training is going well. For the men, Isaiah St. Pierre led the charge for Western with a strong 6th place showing in the sprint event. St. Pierre led much of the event, only to fade in the final stretch. He’ll be ready for all 4 rounds of sprint heats as the season progresses.

Sunday dawned with over a foot of new snow, but with fast skis and strong fitness the Western skiers were ready to roll. Freshman Cameron Moore placed 5th on the day with an impressive showing against the upper-classmen. Moore had moved into 3rd place before he caught a ski tip in the soft side powder and took a hard fall, but he bounced up and rallied for the strong 5th place result. Sophomore Kevin Geisen placed 9th on the day with a gritty race which saw him move up every kilometer. Sophomore Cam Smith, coming off of a recent shoulder injury skied with one pole and posted a fantastic race.

The team is looking forward to hosting the next stop on the USCSA Conference race series, at the Alley Loop Ski Marathon in Crested Butte on February 6th and 7th. Look for the team to post top results yet again as they build toward the National Championships in early March. # GoWestern