Sugar Bowl Academy Nordic Team: A week of training and Super Tour races |

Sugar Bowl Academy Nordic Team: A week of training and Super Tour races

Special to the Sun
Mark Wiltz, to

WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. and#8212; Every year during Thanksgiving week, practically everyone in the North American Nordic Ski racing world descends on the tiny town of West Yellowstone, Mont., for a huge week of training and serious Super Tour Races.

The Sugar Bowl Academy Nordic ski team made the 14-hour drive to West Yellowstone with members of the Auburn Ski Club Team and the Eastern Sierra Nordic Team, all under the umbrella of Far West Nordic.

The teams were greeted by a huge amount of snow on the trails and frigid temperatures,-but the SBA team made the most of conditions with double training sessions for the first half of the week.

The second half of the week was devoted to Super Tour races and#8212; with day-time temperatures dropping to minus 17 Fahrenheit and#8212; where the SBA team battled head to head against the best skiers in the U.S. and Canada, including national team skiers, Olympic skiers, and most of the top college racers in the country.

The SBA Fighting Marmots posted outstanding results against tough competition, most notably from SBA Nordic Coach Chelsea Holmes, who posted a 5th, 9th and 11th. For the juniors, Austin Meng lit up the trails with an amazing 31st in the skate sprint, which was the second fastest time of all of the older juniors.

Also impressive in the sprint race were Evan Dio, with his best race result in three years placing him at 17th junior. Joe Piercy and Alec Wiltz cracked the top 20 for juniors, and Bria Riggs placing 42nd overall and top five for all J2 girls in the race.

The distance races included a 15K skate for boys where Meng again had a top performance showing.-

and#8220;Austin proved that he is among the top skiers in his age group in the countryand#8221; said Coach Jeff Schloss.

The classic race was a 10K for boys and Alec Wiltz was the top SBA finisher with a 20th for J1 boys and Dion was close behind with a 24th for OJand#8217;s.

and#8220;The whole week was a huge success and jump started the Marmots with tremendous on-snow time,and#8221; said Schloss. and#8220;It was a special treat to return home to six feet of snow and the prospects of fantastic skiing for a long, long time.and#8221;

The SBA Nordic team starts its local racing circuit on Dec. 12 at Royal Gorge.

and#8212; Submitted to

A 5k or 10K freestyle race for all ages at Royal Gorge Cross Country Center, start 10 a.m., register at or at Royal Gorge day of until 9 a.m. Pre-registration $15 juniors (19 and under) and $25 adults, less $10 season pass holders. Fifty percent of proceeds to fund Auburn Ski Club junior ski programs. Fairly flat course on the Lake van Norden trail system.

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