Local Nords outpace rivals
January 8, 2013
Park City natives led the pack at the second Smartwool Wasatch Citizens Series race of the season Saturday at White Pine. Daniel Guiney and Roxanne Toly both grew up here and learned to cross-country ski on the local golf course. Both have gone on to success in the sport at regional and national levels.
The men’s race was a tight one from the start. A pack of seven skiers stayed together, drafting one another from start to finish. Guiney had the most energy left for a sprint, and was able to beat runner-up Paul Clark up the final hill to the line. Just two seconds back was Bob Baldwin, who edged former U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team member Eric Camerota for third place.
The women’s race wasn’t quite as close. Stacy McCooey was about a minute behind Toly, with Anita Merbach getting the bronze medal.
Toly started out as a downhill racer and reached the World Cup level but joined the Nordic crowd when her alpine career ended in the ’80s. She was recently honored by the Park City Ski Team as one of the first two inductees into its Hall of Fame. Her cross-country results have been equally impressive, with many victories on her résumé.
After four good years on the University of New Hampshire ski team, Guiney has been concentrating on bike racing since his graduation last spring. A win in the Green Mountain Stage Race in September attests to his versatility. Home for the holidays, he decided to participate in a couple of local races and showed that he hasn’t forgotten how to move his skate skis over the snow.
Under beautiful sunny skies and with a perfectly groomed track, 300 skiers challenged the 16.2-kilometer distance (about 10 miles), three laps around White Pine’s loop. The winning time for this free-technique (skate) race was a very impressive 40 minutes, 34 seconds, which averages out to just 2:30 per kilometer. That’s 15 miles an hour, which is about as fast as most people can manage on their road bikes.
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Park City-area juniors once again led their age groups. Sienna Leger-Redel rose to the top of the 14-15-year-old group, with Lindsey Adams and Haley Batten close behind. Sydney Palmer-Leger had little difficulty in the next younger division, outpacing Janae Rasmussen by about 20 seconds for her second series victory in a row. Ellie Burton took home the 16-17 class gold.
In the oldest boys’ class, Luke Adams skied 10.8 kilometers in just 28 minutes to win out over Matthew Turner by more than two minutes. Among the 14-15 year olds, Alex Jackson posted a 14:14 for 5.4 km to edge Noah Putt by less than ten seconds. Aiden Rasmussen beat Mason Heimburger and Henry Silverman to the finish to win the 10-11 division.
In the 60-64 class, veteran racers Deborah Wagner, Nancy Fichter and Cyndi Schwandt topped the field. Tanya Swenson easily won her second in a row in the 45-49 group by outpacing KPCW reporter/producer Lynn Ware-Peek and Lisa Palmer-Leger. Lora Smith beat Dodi Wilson by a wide margin in the 40-44 division. Among the novices (those wishing to ski only one lap), Lori Leger took a close one over Andrea Putt, with Joanne Rasmussen right behind.
The only Park City age-group winner among the men was Paul Smith, who beat neighbor Torbjorn Karlsen to the line in the 55-59 division. Ben Crosby easily topped Noah Singer and John Fassio in the men’s novice class.
The next race in the Smartwool Wasatch Citizens Series will be a 10-kilometer free technique event on Jan. 19 at Soldier Hollow.