Photo: Haley Brewster of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail pushes up the big climb of Friday’s 5 kilometer Skate Race at Maloit Park in Minturn. Brewster recently qualified for the Junior World Cross Country Championships taking place in Europe next month.

VAIL, Colo. January 25, 2021 – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail was proud to host the DU Invitational for Nordic athletes year of birth 1997 through 2004 this week alongside the University of Denver. There was a diverse, highly competitive field at this International Ski Federation sanctioned event – including a large number of Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes taking part in their western regional series. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes year of birth 2002 through 2004 took to the course with enthusiasm, knowing that it is among the highest level of competition they will see this season. In the end, SSCV athletes took 15 top 10 spots in their age class between the two days of racing.  

Friday, January 22

The first day of competition featured a skate individual start event, with men racing against the clock to finish 7.5 kilometers and women, 5 kilometers. Magnus Boee, Samuel Hendry and Finn O’Connell took first through third overall for the men. At the end of three laps around the 2.5-kilometer loop, SSCV’s Tyler Wright came in sixth place for his age group, followed by teammates Owen Grimmer and Cole Flashner rounding out the top 10 for the U18s in ninth and 10th place. 

Later in the day, with staggered starts, the women rounded out two laps for the best times. Landing in first, second and third overall for the women were Novie McCabe, Astrid Stav, and Tuva Bygrave. Haley Brewster, an SSCV athlete that recently qualified for the Junior Worlds Cross Country Championships, skated into first place for the U18 age division and 15th overall. SSCV teammates Emma Reeder and Katy Jane Hardenbergh also landed in the top 10 for the U18s in third and seventh, respectively.

Saturday, January 23

On the second day of competition, Nordic athletes took to the course for a test of endurance in the classic individual start race. On the men’s side, Boee and Hendry once again took first and second place overall with Sigurd Roenning in third. SSCV’s Wright closed out the top five for the U18s with his teammates Cole Flashner and Dimitri Grewal grabbing eighth and ninth place spots.

The women’s classic individual start race also featured many of the same names from the day before. Stav and McCabe came in first and second respectively overall, followed by McCabe’s teammate, Sydney Palmer-Leger in third. Brewster and Reeder once again took gold and bronze for the U18 age division. Teammates Sarah Bivens, Hardenbergh, and Emma Barsness trailed close behind their teammates in fourth, seventh, and ninth respectively. SSCV U20 Molly Blasklee also scored a ninth-place finish in her age division.

“This was an exciting opportunity for our athletes,” said SSCV Nordic and Cycling Program Director, Dan Weiland. “These two days of competition allowed our athletes to go head-to-head with a diverse, competitive range of skiers. It’s a good learning experience for them, and we’re so grateful to all the volunteers that made this race possible – they’re doing an outstanding job navigating the COVID-19 restrictions put in place to keep everyone safe.”