Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Nordic program director, Dan Weiland, is in Rumford, Maine at the U.S. Nationals with three of SSCV’s athletes: Sylvan Ellefson, Max Burnell, and Christian Shanley.

“The U.S. Nationals are used for qualification to a couple of different international competitions,” said Weiland. “Our goal is to get two of the three skiers a spot on one of the international trips.  And hopefully to prequalify both our junior athletes, Max Burnell and Christian Shanley, for Junior Nationals.”

The snow on the cross-country track in Rumford is sparse, and most of the day on Saturday was spent shoveling snow on to the track so the competition could take place.

On Sunday, 1/2, Ellefson qualified 22nd for the 1.4k classic sprints.

“The conditions were tricky,” said Ellefson.  “It was raining and the temperature was right at the freezing mark making it difficult to wax.  Because of these conditions, I chose to ski on a pair of skis I had never used before.  My main goal was to qualify for the rounds of the 1.4k classic sprint, which I did, so I was glad that I gambled on using these skis.”

Ellefson led for most of the way but made a couple of slips on one of the hills and lost his momentum, which allowed some of the pack trailing him to ski past.

“It was the first race of the week and it was nice to get out there and get the cobwebs out,” said Ellefson.  “I’m looking forward to the distance races taking place later this week.”

The U.S. Nordic Nationals continue Tuesday, 1/4, with the 15k classical race. More infor and results can be found at