Forty athletes from the BSF Nordic Devo, Comp, PG and Pro teams travelled to Soldier Hollow, Utah, for the first weekend of Intermountain Division (IMD) races, with the best skiers in the West racing, including juniors, collegiate skiers, and pros. BSF had racers from ages 13 to 31 competing.
Nordic Program Director Andrew Morehouse said, "Although there were several changes to race formats to minimize COVID risks, our athletes were excited to have the feeling of a "normal" race weekend and showed up motivated to ski."
Highlights include several top 10 performances from Erika Flowers, Hanna Kluck, Logan Diekmann, Max Kluck, Cale Woods, and Woody West, who won the U16 boys race on Sunday.
"These races provide a good foundation to build on, with our juniors looking ahead to the next IMD event hosted here in Bozeman and our Senior athletes competing in Colorado this weekend," said Morehouse.
Andy Newell, coach for the BSF Pro Team, said, "For the PG and Pro Team these races were an important opportunity to prove themselves against some of the best skiers in the country. The western collegiate teams are currently stacked with high level competitors, with several US Ski team members and top European athletes on the start list. Nearly half of the top 10 finishers were from a country other than the U.S. This was a great opportunity for PG and Pro Team athletes to score quality FIS points, which will help their national ranking for team selections in the future. Most of all I was proud of how the entire BSF club looked and felt like a team out there. It was so cool seeing young and old athletes cheering for one another and representing their BSF uniforms."
"We were impressed by the level of organization and the COVID precautions that were in place and want to thank the Olympic Legacy Foundation and Utah Nordic Alliance for hosting this event," noted Morehouse. BSF's junior athletes travelled and lodged with their families.
Bridger Ski Foundation will host the next IMD races on January 30 & 31 at Sunset Hills in Bozeman. The race's COVID committee, led by Dr. Erich Pessl, has consulted with the IMD and the Utah Nordic Alliance during the planning process, and their COVID management plan was approved by Gallatin County's health department. The course will be closed to the public from 7 am - 3 pm on race days. Racers will start at individual, 30-second intervals, and all coaches, volunteers, and spectators are asked to wear masks at all times. Athletes must be masked, except when racing, and are expected to only be at the race venue for their scheduled race. Spectators are limited to 2 per local athlete (and 1 per visiting athlete). No spectators in the start/finish area. Sorry, no general public this year.