Park City’s Leah Lange, Utes win at Citizens Series |

Park City’s Leah Lange, Utes win at Citizens Series

Submitted by Dave Hanscom
The Utah Nordic Alliance
Leah Lange crosses the finish line at the Wasatch Citizens Series race at Mountain Dell on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Courtesy of Dave Hanscom

It was a good day for the Americans at the fourth Smartwool Wasatch Citizens Series race last Saturday at Mountain Dell. Several members of the University of Utah ski team decided to use this event to prepare for the Regional Championships in Alaska next week. They’ve had a winning season so far and wanted to stay in tune during an off weekend.

Winner of the women’s race was Park City’s own Leah Lange. Her time for the 10.5 kilometer classic technique race was 34 minutes, 33 seconds. Also taking home medals were Karianne Moe, a U of U skier from Norway, and ex-Ute Tyler Palmer.

Leah is having her best season ever. The U of Utah junior has several top ten finishes in college races this winter, and was just two places off the podium the week before in the New Mexico Invitational. While a member of the Park City Nordic Ski Club, Leah was on the US team that competed in the 2016 FIS Junior World Championships.

In the men’s race, Utah freshman Noel Keeffe took home the gold with a time of 30:18 for two laps around the perfectly groomed track. The Steamboat Springs Colorado skier was almost a minute ahead of teammates Jacob Engstroem, a senior from Sweden, and Bjorn Riksaasen, a sophomore from Norway. It’s great to see domestic skiers doing so well against the Europeans.

Park City juniors continue to excel in Wasatch Citizens Series events.

The duel between Milo Page and Lucas Fassio continues. This week was Milo’s turn to take home the gold, so each has won two so far. Skiers in the series accumulate points over the season, with the best four of the five events counting toward the final total. Overall results in this age group will come down to the last event next week.

Several other local juniors are leading their groups in season points.

Pearl Page has been on top of the podium in all four races so far, so she’s a sure winner of the under-8 class. Allison Berry has three second places and is in line to be runner-up to Pearl for the winter. Tegan Hoffman won her third race to wrap up the under-10’s. Sevi Miller also has three wins to lead the under-8 boys.

Many of the older junior skiers who usually participate in Wasatch Citizens Series races were in McCall, Idaho, last weekend for the final Junior National Qualifier. Several Parkites skied well enough to be selected to represent the Intermountain Division in Anchorage, Alaska, next month.

Sabine Wilson has dominated her races throughout the winter. Elena Grissom and McKinley Hibl will join her on the under-16 division team.

Victoria Olson qualified in the oldest age group. Wes Campbell will be the only Park City skier on the boy’s under-16 team, but Lane Myshrall, Skyler Patten, and Aiden Rasmussen all skied well enough to join the under-18 team. Our congratulations and well wishes to all these athletes!

The finale of the Black Diamond Wasatch Citizens Series is Utah’s longest cross country ski race. It’s a 20-kilometer free technique (skate) that includes three laps around White Pine’s farm track. Registration and post-race lunch will be at St. Mary’s Church at the north end of the course.


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