Wasatch Citizens Series finishes with day at the farm
What a difference a week makes! After about a month of extreme warm temperatures, we feared that the final event of the Black Diamond Wasatch Citizens Series on White Pine’s farm course would have to be canceled.
Then a couple of winter storms completely turned things around. Thanks to a major effort by White Pine groomer Lou Awodey, Saturday’s race was held on a perfect track in cold, sunny weather.
Several Park City juniors were the top performers in their classes in the event. Logan Chamberlain matched his earlier success in series races by turning in the fastest time of the day. The Wasatch Nordic Academy athlete won the open division by skating three laps around the hilly 6.7 kilometer loop in 53 minutes, 18 seconds.
In age group competition, Aidan Rasmussen easily outpaced his under-16 rivals with a one-lap time of just 17:45. This was an even faster pace than his older Wasatch teammate. Park City Nordic skier Lane Myshrall won the gold medal in the under-18 class by skating two laps in 36:02.
Sabine Wilson, also on the Wasatch Nordic team, took the under-16 girls title by turning in the fastest lap time of the day for any woman in any class. Close behind was PC Nordic standout McKinley Hibl. Wasatch skiers Jenae Rasmussen and Sarah Morgan topped the under-18 division.
All of these athletes were using this race as a tune-up for next week’s Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow. Based on their results, it looks like they’re ready to test their skills against the best in the country.
Parkite Roxanne Toly wrapped up the overall series title by winning the women’s open division race on Saturday. With a time of 60:51, she was the speediest female for the full 20 kilometers. Season awards are based on points accumulated in the five Wasatch Citizens Series events. Roxanne won three of those, including one in which University of Utah team members were competing.
Other Park City women took home blue ribbons in their age groups, several of whom also were award winners for the overall series. Deborah Wagner finished the winter with a perfect five victories in the 65-69 age group.
Close behind was Cyndi Schwandt. Also winning all their races were Marit Glenne, Kirsten Whetstone, and Amy MacDonald.
The series offers novice classes for those who prefer not to ski the full distance. In this race, novices skied only one lap around the course, rather than the full 20 kilometers. Local women made a clean sweep, with Molly Efrusy leading Alexandra Folmer and Mickey Palomaki to the finish.
Alexandra and Mickey were overall series leaders in that division.
On the men’s side of the ledger, the 60-64 class was dominated all winter by local Norwegians Torbjorn Karlsen and Geir Vik. Parkite Steve Bowling took home the bronze in this race. Park City skiers also led the 40-45 group. Thomas Cooke had the win this time over rival Todd Hageman, but Todd ended up on top in the series.
The winter was a mixed bag for the Black Diamond Wasatch Citizens Series.
We ended up with good weather and excellent skiing for most events, but several were real nail-biters for the organizers. The first event in December became a sprint on the only skiable snow in the state, a .7 kilometer stretch of man-made at Soldier Hollow. The second race had to be postponed two weeks due to lack of snow in early January, and the third happened only thanks to a big dump the night before the race. Happily, the storm that preceded our last event came several days ahead and didn’t generate as many gray hairs for the race director.
The only remaining cross country races in the area are the Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow next week. Be sure to go over at least one day to cheer on our local youngsters as they prepare themselves to become the next Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins when the Olympics come back to Utah in 2030.
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