The Bridger Ski Foundation sent three Nordic programs to compete at the U.S. National Ski Championships in Houghton Michigan last week. Aside from showcasing the talent of the fastest domestic racers, the event served as qualification for several international competitions with the U.S. Ski Team. With spots up for grabs at the Scandinavian Cup, Junior World Championships and the World Cup, BSF athletes showed up ready to put everything on the line.
The week of racing kicked off with a 10km individual start freestyle event. Sarah Goble from the BSF Pro Team had an impressive fourth place finish. Sarah’s brother and fellow Pro Team member Reid Goble was BSF’s top male finisher in eleventh.
Two days later was a classic sprint race. After an individual qualifying lap, the top 30 racers advanced to a series of heats. Six skiers in each heat competed for the top two spots, which advanced them to the semi-finals, where again the top two moved on to the finals.
BSF’s Max Kluck punched his ticket to the Junior World Championship team as the top American U20 in the qualifying race. Pro Teamer Graham Houtsma had a strong fourth place qualifier and was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Sarah Goble was BSF’s top female finisher in 17th.
Next up was the 10- and 20-km mass start classic race. Racers were treated to glorious, sunny, cold conditions, perfect for classic skiing. Reid Goble and Graham Houtsma led the BSF men’s team finishing 7th and 8th, respectively.
In the women’s race, Mariah Bredal finished 6th and Hannah Rudd was 11th.
In the junior 10km event Max Kluck and Landon Wyatt finished 12th and 13th respectively. Wyatt’s result was enough to qualify him for the U18 Scandinavian Cup trip in Finland later this winter.
In the junior women’s race, Natalie Nicholas was BSF’s top skier, finishing 29th.
The final race, a freestyle sprint, followed the same format as the classic sprint. After a third place qualifier, Logan Diekmann, who was fresh off competing at the World Cup, finished fifth overall in the senior men’s final.
Sarah Goble was BSF’s top senior woman finishing third in her semi-final heat.
The BSF Pro Team is staying in the Midwest to contest the next stop on the SuperTour calendar with races in Cable, Wisconsin, this weekend. Meanwhile, the BSF Competition team will travel to Soldier Hollow, Utah, next week for the first Junior National qualifier.