Friday, March 2, 2012

Saluting Illinois' Top Birkie, Korte Skiers

I have not had time until today to list the top Illinois skiers from the 2012 American Birkebeiner and Kortelopet. People in top 6 in their age groups are highlighted. What great conditions after a snow drought for many of us this season!

(Overall places)

80. Jan Myrda, Palos Heights, 6th M40-44, 2:19:59.9
120. Jason Schisler, Gurnee, 26th M25-29, 2:23:43.1
257. Roger Prevot, Chicago, 14th M50-54, 2:33:31.4
324. Andrew Young, Savoy, 49th M25-29, 2:37:51.3
358. Michael Choate, Chicago, 28th M50-54, 2:39:15.6
373. Bill Kopanda, Crystal Lake, 2nd M60-64, 2:40:04.1
444. David Harkness, Rockford, 49th M50-54, 2:44:34.0
499. Ed Edinger, Capron, 52nd M40-44, 2:47:01.7
646. Todd Buck, Lombard, 85th M45-49, 2:53:34.5
661. Yuriy Ardashnikov, Skokie, 89th M45-49, 2:53:50.9
684. Jim DiDomenico, Elgin, 91st M45-49, 2:54:53.7
686. Mark McNeil, West Dundee, 85th M50-54, 2:54:58.0
699. David Vincent, Chicago, 58th M35-39, 2:55:30.6
801. Aiden Weber, Highland Park, 105th M18-24, 2:59:04.0
849. Bill Danielson, Bloomington, 111th M50-54, 3:01:11.6.

(Women's places)

94. Margie Prevot, Chicago, 12th F45-49, 3:02:43.6
117. Kielo Sauvala, Glenview, 5th F55-59, 3:09:28.5
255. Stephanie Hon, Wilmette, 30th F40-44, 3:39:51.7
433. Christine Palmquist, Geneva, 52nd F45-49, 4:13:38.1
547. Ruth Meade, Chicago, 68th F45-49, 4:43:40.0
559. Margaret Walsh, Chicago, 39th F55-59, 4:46:03.9
569. Barbara Menge, Marengo, 13th F60-64, 4:53:19.0
647. Mary Erdal, Waukegan, 127th F18-24, 5:30:29.0
652. Mary Roe, Villa Park, 75th F50-54, 5:38:38.8
655. Rachel Majors, Chicago, 75th F30-34, 5:40:56.5
685. Sarah Hraha, Clarendon Hills, 83rd F50-54, 6:17:57.0
699. Kathryn Dittemore, Chicago, 86th F50-54, 7:04:21.9
700. Cheryl Osman, Downers Grove, 57th F55-59, 7:04:36.4
708. Emily Wittenberg, Palatine, 87th F50-54, 8:12:23.9

(Overall places)

260. John Wherity, Chicago, 39th M45-49, 3:36:17.1
472. Daniel Henning, Chicago, 33rd M55-59, 4:04:18.3
501. Andreas Ruppert, Galena, 60th M45-49, 4:07:13.0
548. Seyamack Afzali, Evanston, 39th M25-29, 4:14:13.6
549. James Wegner, Mt. Prospect, 63rd M50-54, 4:14:35.2
556. Kevin Versino, Rockford, 41st M35-39, 4:15:01.7
573. Doug Schneider, Freeport, 41st M60-64, 4:16:57.2
584. Bob Walsh, Crystal Lake, 16th M65-69, 4:18:04.1
605. Doug McClerran, Naperville, 83rd M50-54, 4:20:38.9
705. Robert Ganson, Mundelein, 83rd M50-54, 4:33:35.9

(Overall places)

57. Alyson Chapman, Lake Forest, 14th F45-49, 4:00:51.4
109. Lisa Nadler, Chicago, 21st F45-49, 4:32:55.9
219. Lynette Carani, Highland Park, 13th F60-64, 5:47:37.4
263. Helen Schuetz, Batavia, 41st F50-54, 6:33:31.7
303. Claire Geiger, Evanston, 48th F18-24, 7:15:41.3
316. Laurie Larson, Palatine, 51st F50-54, 7:43:55.7
323. Jill Mecklenberger, Chicago, 50th F45-49, 8:00:25.8

(Overall places)

10. Andrew Nadler, Chicago, 5th M17-18, 1:04:29.1
211. Michael Meissner, Hinsdale, 6th M60-64, 1:27:36.3
285. Greg Painter, Galena, 10th M60-64, 1:33:06.4
402. Liam Hoy, Chicago, 46th M17-18, 1:39:20.0
421. Guy Larson, Barrington, 20th M45-49, 1:40:36.0

(Women places)

67. Tally Danielson, Bloomington, 8th F13-14, 1:32:25.9
120. Jenna Pederson, Chicago, 7th F25-29, 1:39:10.0
168. Stacey Jutila, Oak Park, 10th F35-39, 1:45:18.5
238. Michelle Mathieu, Naperville, 18th F45-49, 1:54:28.2
340. Jacqueline Bychowski, Winnetka, 25th F25-29, 2:06:51.5

2nd Diane McNeilly, Rochelle, 2:11:04.0

(Overall places)

47. Mark Wold, Glenview, 1st M40-44, 1:32:01.9
103. Steve Capps, Wheaton, 3rd M40-44, 1:40:49.0
158. Michael Dennis, Chicago, 11th M35-39, 1:49:17.0
159. Mark Baran, Minonk, 18th M50-54, 1:49:28.8
182. Paul Andraschko, Deer Park, 21st M50-54, 1:51:47.4

3rd Adam Lund, Chicago, 2:04:52.3
4th Art Kardatzke, Downers Grove, 2:00:52.7
6th Dick Storm, Palatine, 2:08:06.6

(Overall places)

59. Kerry Ebert, Oak Park, 3rd F40-44, 1:53:39.2
105. Lise Loberg, Chicago, 10th F40-44, 2:08:07.0
130. Leslie Holling, Kenilworth, 12th F45-49, 2:14:05.4
154. Amy Rust, Chicago, 6th F25-29, 2:22:00.5
210. Clemence Sullivan, Chicago, 11th F25-29, 2:32:45.7

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good Luck at the Birkie!

Best of luck to all the Illinois skiers, freestyle or classic, Birkie, Korte, Hakaan or one of the other races. This is the big weekend, the Super Bowl of Nordic skiing in North America. From all reports, conditions will be good. Now, it's up to us. As the famous Birkie song lyrics go, "Just get me to the start line, I'll be ready to go!"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Myrda, Choate Lead NIN at Pre-Birkie

A full contingent of Illinois skiers ventured to the Pre-Birkie this past Saturday. The 42K saw Jan Myrda place 16th overall in 1:58:47 and Mike Choate 61st in 2:09:08.3. Bill Kopanda of Crystal Lake was third from Illinois, placing 141st in 2:21:00.8. Other big names from NIN-land dotted the results in the 42K and 26K. Check out the results on Great job by all!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nadler, Schisler in Top 5 at Wolf Tracks

The debut Wolf Tracks Rendezvous 42K at Minocqua Winter Park on Feb. 4 was a big success as skiers from snow-starved areas north and south converged on the beautiful trails at MWP. The race was won by Adam Swank, 36, of Duluth, MN, in 1:58:42.2. Second went to Peter Koenen, 26, of Madison, WI, in 2:01:57.2, and third went to high schooler Andrew Nadler, 17, of Chicago, as he continued a strong season with a 2:04:20.4. Fourth was taken by Matt Zak, 38, of Eveleth, MN, in 2:06:44.9. You might remember Matt was the winner of the NIN the year we held it it in Kenosha. And fifth went to Jason Schisler, 27, of Gurnee, in 2:10:17.5. Other Illinois skiers did very well in this race, an interesting sign of what can happen when we aren't the only ones with no-snow for much of the season. And a special hats-off to race director Jim DiDomenico, who just happens to have plenty of Illinois roots himself.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Illinois -- OK at the Noque

Jason Schisler (M25-29 age group) of Gurnee flew to a 2:35.59.9 to place 28th at the Noquemanon 50K Freestyle race on Saturday, leading quite a horde of Illinois skiers from the Chicago and Rockford areas. Bill Kopanda of Crystal Lake posted another great performance, winning the M60-64 age category in 2:45:26.6. David Harkness of Rockford (M50-54) was the third Illinois skier in 2:51:54.4. Leading lady was Kielo Sauvala (who else?) of Glenview (F50-54), who had a very nice 3:16:09.9. Best in show in the 50K Classic race was Tom Dvoratchek of Streamwood, who finished 56th overall in 3:23:38.6. In the 24K Classic race, Charlie Carlson of Rockton won the M60-64 group in 1:34:34; and Art Kardatzke of Downers Grove and Tore Bakk-Hansen went 1-2 in M70-74 in 2:03:56.8 and 2:07:25.5 respectively. A lot of other skiers you and I know had great races. Please check out the results. I'm in somewhat of a hurry. I catch a plane to Munich in a few hours. Next up for Bill Weidner and me is the Konig Ludwig Lauf 50K freestyle Worldloppet event in frigid temps on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Nadler Makes JO Team

Andrew Nadler, 17, of Chicago, qualified over the weekend for the Midwest Junior Olympic team as a J1 skier. The team was chosen from combined OJ and J1 skiers. Here is the whole procedure from the skier himself. Thanks, Andrew, for giving us the skinny on the skinny skiing!
"I qualified as the ninth J1 out of the Midwest. There were eight qualifying races (six distance and two sprints) and the best four of eight races from each racer were taken. I'm a better skater than classic skier, so my best races were a 12th place at a 10k skate race in Ironwood,MI, 10th place in a 1k classic sprint in Wausau, WI, 11th place in a 15k skate in Minneapolis, and a 10th place in a 10k skate race in St. Paul. Unlike most people who qualified, I did not have one race that put me safely on the team (and world cup scoring greatly rewards top results), but rather consistently solid finishes.
"I got my training plan for the year from my ski coach, Igor Badamshin, coach of the CXC Junior Development Team, and probably averaged about two hours a day over six days of a week of training for the year with some high-volume weeks in the summer and some easier weeks in the fall and early winter when I had to also deal with school work. Junior Nationals are in Soldier Hollow, Utah, this year, the sight of the 2002 Olympic ski races. J1s compete in a 1k classic sprint, a 10k skate mass start, a 10k classic interval start, and a team relay. The races are during the first week of March. I'll definitely be putting in a lot of hours throughout February in preparation for Junior Nationals."

It is exciting to have an Illinois skier at this level. We'll try to keep you posted on what Andrew is doing as the nationals draw near.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Good Luck at the Noque!

From all I've seen and read, conditions will be ideal tomorrrow for the Noquemanon Ski Marathon and related events at Marquette, MI. Best of luck to all Illinois skiers from NIN Chicago and NIN Rockford. It should be a great race.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Choate Leads NINers at Lapham Loppet

Mike Choate put down the hammer against a lead pack of skiers who were younger and placed 11th overall and first in the M50-54 age group on Saturday at the Lapham Loppet 11K at Lapham Peak in Delafield, WI. Choate, 54, of Chicago, skied the tough hilly course in 36:41. Third through sixth of the 18 Illinois skiers in the race were Ed Edinger, 42, of Capion, 16th in 39:11; Tom Dvoratchek, 41, of Streamwood, 18th in 41:25; Jukka Lyly-Yrjanainen, 46, of Elk Grove Village, 23rd in 40:01; and Bill Kopanda, 60, of Crystal Lake, 24th in 40:18. Kopanda won his age group by 3:15. Top woman from Illinois was Kielo Sauvala, 54, of Glenview, who was fourth woman overall and second in her age group with a 46:45. Conditions were great and a lot of race-starved skiers were able to ski a quality event. From a personal standpoint, I was surprised how exhausted I was on the big climb that comes early in the race. I also was very relieved to make it down every hill without falling. Snow or no snow, the season is on!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nice Job at the Seeley Classic!

Mike Choate and Tom Dvoratchek led the way for Illinois skiers last Saturday at the Seeley Classic 42K on the Birkie Trail. Choate, 54, of Chicago, came in at 2:47:12.8, and Dvoratcheck, 41, of Streamwood, was across in 2:48:48.6. Two other names of interest were Alyson Chapman, 48, of Lake Forest, who finished in 3:12:26.2, and Lynette Crani, 62, of Highland Park, who was second in her age group with a 4:41:22.1 Way to go to all others from Illinois who skied this unofficial Midwest classic championship.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chicago's Nadler Wins SISU Fest 21K--Updated

Andrew Nadler, 17, of Chicago, topped the field on Saturday in the Heikki Lunta Half Marathon, winning the 21K race at the SISU Fest in Ironwood, MI, in 1:04:34.8.
"Conditions were perfect in Ironwood, Michigan, after receiving over a foot of snow just a few days earlier," Nadler wrote in an e-mail message. "The ABR groomers did a great job creating a fast and well-covered course out of the abundance of snow. I started out the race skiing in a pack with two other skiers, a skier from the nearby Gogebic Community College and my teammate Alex Larson from Hayward. About five kilometers into the race, Alex and I got a gap on the Gogebic skier, and we skied together through the flat section of the course. About five kilometers from the finish, we came to a long, slight uphill where I decided to make a move. I got a small gap that I was able to extend to about 45 seconds by the finish. It was a fun race."
Meanwhile in the main event, the 42K, Jan Myrda, 40, of Palos Heights, finished 11th overall and second in his age group with a 2:15:20.5. Other notable performances in the freestyle race were turned in Bill Kopanda, 60, of Crystal lake, who won his age group in 2:33:05, and Kielo Sauvala, 54, of Glenview, who finished fourth in her age group with a 3:13:18.8. In the 42K classic race, Heidi Schmidt, 55, of Elgin, was third in her age group in 4:24:09, and Mary Callis, 30, of Chicago, won her age group in 6:10:00.1. In the 21K classic race, Art Kardatzke, 70, of Downers Grove, and Peter Turula, 70, of Downers Grove, went 1-2 in their age group in 2:18:12.9 and 2:53:30.1. Awesome job up north! Full results are at

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

NIN, Joliet Nordic Races Cancelled

Unfortunately, because of the mild winter with almost no snow on the ground, the Northern Illinois Nordic this Saturday and the Joliet Nordic this Sunday have been cancelled. Neither event has been rescheduled. It is possible the Northern Illinois Nordic will be rescheduled, but many factors that include availability of Arrowhead, getting enough volunteers etc., will be part of any rescheduling decision. As of now, there are no plans to reschedule the Joliet race. Watch for updates. Think snow!