Cross Country – West Yellowstone Rendezvous Results

Rogan Brown in the men's 10km skate race.
Rogan Brown in the men’s 10km skate race.

On Saturday, November 26, SVSEF cross country skiers got back into the swing of racing in West Yellowstone, Montana, after spending a week of training on the Rendezvous Ski Trails there. West was hit with about a foot of snow the day before the Comp and Prep contingents were to depart Friday, November 18 – the athletes, who were prepared for a continuation of the running and roller ski training they’ve been stacking up all spring, summer and fall, stepped onto snow on Saturday, November 19. With two sessions a day, the skiers were fitting in a hefty amount of on-snow hours. Gold and PG skiers arrived Monday and got some solid time on snow before the races that were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Both races were FIS-sanctioned and drew athletes from across the U.S., most of whom consider West Yellowstone a staple in their schedule for early winter on-snow training. In the men’s 10km skate race on Saturday, Gold Team skier Rogan Brown powered into second place with a time of 20:59.1, behind SMS T2 skier Patrick Caldwell, who claimed victory in 20:32.4. Teammate Jack Hegman wasn’t far behind, taking fourth place overall, only .3 seconds out of third. PG skier Eli Jensen had a standout race, with a 17th place finish overall and a win in the U20 age group. In the women’s 5km skate on Saturday, Gold Team skier Mary Rose took sixth, Annie Pokorny 14 and Kelsey Phinney 16 in a field of 76 competitors. Comp Team skier Eve Jensen was 43, Lily Brunelle 51, Ella Wolter 55, Sophia Mazzoni 56, Laine Allison 59 and Katherine Estep 69. In the U16 men’s race, SVSEF’s Johnny Hagenbuch took the win in a time of 11:28.7 in a field of 24 on the 5km course.
Sunday featured a 10km/5km classic race. Gold Team skier Matt Gelso looked strong throughout and claimed silver in the men’s division, which included 70 athletes. He broke a pole with .5km to go, but was able to maintain composure and secure his spot on the podium. According to Chris Mallory, Gold Team Head Coach, most of the athletes opted to double pole the course, as the biggest climb was taken out of the race due to conditions. Gelso was one of only two skiers in the top ten to choose to use classic skis and kick wax. In the women’s 5km classic with a field of 74, Deedra Irwin was just out of the top ten, skiing to 11. PG Kae Fink came in 23, and teammate Sarah Goble was second in the U20 category and 32 overall. Kat Paul, an Australian skier who has skied for SVSEF in the past, was 34, Kirsys Campbell 54, Jenna Nurge 56, Chloe Tanous 57, Laura Anderson 63 and Michaela Petty 69.
With an influx of skiers throughout the week and warm temperatures, Mallory commended the organizers of the event, as they “put together some really good tracks with only a few inches of snow on the ground.” SVSEF Comp Team athletes head back to West Yellowstone today to join Gold and PG skiers who stayed there to get more training on snow – they’ve been getting in some good intensity workouts, and conditions should be better this weekend as a few more inches accumulated on Sunday. A total of 30 SVSEF athletes will compete in the SuperTour opener that was moved from Bozeman, Montana, for lack of snow there.
Results from last weekend can be found here.