Period II of the SuperTour coincided with the US Cross Country Ski National Championships last week, providing a full program of racing for a ski community gathered from across the continent on the once, and possibly future, Olympic venue at Soldier Hollow, Utah. The SuperTour schedule featured the full sweep of the sport’s disciplines and techniques – starting with an individual start 10 k classic, before back-to-back skate sprints and a 20 k mass start, and concluding the week with a classic sprint. With a holistic challenge came a holistic picture of US skiing’s top club programs, all of which jockeyed to bring some clarity to this year’s NNF Cup competition.
Through the highs and lows that come inherent with a full week of high-level racing, one club put skiers consistently near the front of the pack across both the Women’s and Men’s field. The University of Utah (UU) jumped out to a commanding lead in the NNF Cup, tallying nearly double the points of any other club over the course of the week.
UU’s success started early in the week, as Sydney Palmer-Leger and Karianne Olsvik Dengerud skied to a 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in Tuesday’s 10 k Classic behind champion Tilda Baangman (Montana State). The pair of UU skiers would remain steadily near the front of the pack the rest of the week, with Dengerud capturing the win in both the skate and classic sprint races, and Palmer-Leger skiing to a top 10 in the 20 k skate and making a Finals appearence in the classic sprint as well. UU Freshman Nina Schamberger would also score a top 10 to join her teammates in the 10 k classic. The UU Women were augmented by a Men’s team that saw contributions from a squad that proved pliable to a number of different disciplines. Joe Davies led the way in Distance racing, with a 2nd place in the 10 k classic and a 3rd place in the 20 k skate. He was also joined in the latter by Tom Mancini, who finished 2nd place behind champion John Steel Hagenbuch (Dartmouth Ski Team). Mancini also took 2nd in the classic sprint off APU’s Luke Jager to demonstrate the type of versatility that helped the UU team establish a dominant position in the Overall NNF Cup standings.
The club with the biggest surge in the NNF Cup standings was found in the Women’s field, where the Craftsbury Ski Club skied to 2nd place in the standings. The movement up the standings was made possible by the movement to the front of the pack that Margie Freed, back from a first round of competition on the IBU Biathlon World Cup. Freed opened the week with a 4th place finish in the 10 k classic, before skiing to a podium position in 3rd during the 20 k skate on Friday. Close behind Freed in that 20 k was teammate Alex Lawson, who also appeared in the skate sprint final, taking 4th place.
The Men’s field featured the two runners-up clubs in the Overall – Alaska Pacific University (APU) and the University of Colorado (CU) – trading top performances throughout the week to place themselves in the top challenger postion to UU in the Men’s standings as well. Top performers for APU included Luke Jager, who opened the week with a 3rd place in the 10 k classic, and closed it with a win in the classic sprint. In between, Michael Earnhart provided consistent skate performances for APU, making the skate sprint final to finish 4th, and taking 6th in the 20 k skate. The University of Colorado, saw their week accented by a win in the skate sprint from Will Koch, who also skied to a top 10 finish in the skate 20 k. Magnus Boee was the other top performer for the Buffs, skiing to a classic sprint final and multiple top ten performances throughout the week.
The NNF Cup competition gets a repreive after a frenetic week before the SuperTour heads East to Lake Placid, NY January 20th-21st for a duel weekend of classic action, with a classic sprint and mass start slated alongside the Eastern Cup.
Coverage of US Nationals in Soldier Hollow, Utah:
NNF Cup Standings After US Cross Country Ski National Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah.
- University of Utah – 546 points.
- University of Colorado – 261 points.
- APU Nordic Ski Center – 255 points.
- University of Utah – 261 points.
- APU Nordic Ski Center – 229 points.
- University of Colorado – 147 points.
- University of Utah – 285 points.
- Craftsbury Ski Club – 170 points.
- Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation – 156 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. Follow along on our website, Facebook, Instagram, and newsletter as we track this season’s cup!
NNF Cup Rules and Regulations can be found here.