Spring Nationals formally got underway in Duluth this weekend, with all the action designed to be fast and fun on back-to-back sprint days. An Individual Classic Sprint on Saturday was followed up by the debut of the Team Sprint as a stand-alone US Nationals event (the event was raced when Spring Nationals was combined with Canadian Nationals in 2022). Sunday’s format, by club and by design, helped make the final sweep of the NNF Cup competition more visible out on the snow. No longer the providence of number crunching, the premier domestic club competition helped spell out how pro clubs help foster the group dynamics and team cultures needed to boost American skiing at all levels of development.

After Thursday, Alaska Pacific University (APU) had opened up a slight gap on what otherwise was an NNF Cup competition that was virtually tied with the University of Utah (UU). Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) remained in third place, but a strong performance from Erin Bianco in the Women’s race had started to close the gap for the Bozeman, Montana club, and this weekend would see BSF shine through to take 2nd place in the Overall standings.

 The most striking feature of the weekend, however, came courtesy of the all-around performances of APU. Novie McCabe followed up her win in the 10 k Classic Thursday with victory in the Classic Sprint on Saturday. The Women’s Final also gave hints of what was on tap for the Team Sprint the following day as well; two clubs had two skiers in the final, Stratton Mountain School T2 (SMS T2), with Alayna Sonnesyn in third, and Lauren Jortberg in fifth place, and APU, which added Renae Anderson in sixth place to Novie McCabe’s win. The following day in the Team Sprint, those two pairs would wage a pitched battle through the snowy fields at Spirit Mountain, with Lauren Jortberg gaining a late advantage over Renae Anderson in their final leg that Alayna Sonneysn carried to give SMS T2 the win. APU’s second would solidify the club’s all-around strong performance on the weekend in both genders. Craftsbury Ski Club, leaders of the Women’s NNF Cup classification, also helped to keep their lead, as Alex Lawson and Margie Freed skied to a third place in the Team Sprint.

The Men’s sprint races were a matter of tracking two names through the weekend, and they both came with “(APU)” attached as a post-script. JC Schoonmaker, the top American male World Cup sprinter in a historic year for World Cup sprinting, returned to domestic competition this weekend. His teammate Zanden McMullen came into the weekend after a final World Cup period spent popping into sprint heats in Drammen and Falun. Combined, the pair would take home maximum points for APU in both sprint races this weekend. Schoonmaker edged out McMullen in the Classic Sprint Saturday, before the two combined to take a win over their teammates Michael Earnhart and Luke Jager in the Team Sprint on Sunday.

All combined, the NNF Cup gained real clarity over the weekend. What was a 47-point lead for APU has turned into a lead that now totals over 212 points going into the season finale 40 k skate in Duluth on Tuesday. The all-roundedness of the club’s performances, crossing both genders, and remaining strong through distance and sprint races, has proved to be decisive in helping the Anchorage, Alaska-based team to what would be a re-gaining of the Cup for the first time since the 2021-22 season.

Full Duluth CXC Cup SuperTour Information HERE

NNF Cup Standings


NNF Cup Standings After First 3 Days of SuperTour Finals in Duluth, MN


  1. Alaska Pacific University – 1080 points.
  2. Bridger Ski Foundation – 868 points.
  3. University of Utah – 816 points.


  1. Alaska Pacific University – 855 points.
  2. Bridger Ski Foundation – 487 points.
  3. University of Utah – 426 points.


  1. Craftsbury Ski Club – 544 points.
  2. Stratton Mountain School T2 – 448 points.
  3. University of Utah – 390 points.

The NNF Cup celebrates club excellence in America’s premier domestic ski competition by tallying performance of club teams across the SuperTour season. The NNF Cup was awarded to the University of Utah last season. The winners of the NNF Cup receive a $3000 cash prize, and the honor of the top domestic ski club in US Skiing.

NNF Cup Rules and Regulations can be found here.

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