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 www.skinnyski.com.

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!