Nordic Skiers on Fire at USCSA Nationals

News Release Date:
Thursday, March 4, 2010

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Whitman College Nordic ski teams are off to stellar starts at the U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association's national championships at Black Mountain near Rumford, Maine.

       Paige Devlin

The Missionary women in particular are lighting up the cross country trails. They stole the show in Tuesday's 1.4-kilometer classic sprint, taking first in the team scoring by filling three of the top six individual spots. They came back on Wednesday to place second in the 8.5-kilometer freestyle sprint. 

Meanwhile, the Whitman men placed fifth in the team scoring in their first two events.

       Paige Devlin

In Wednesday's freestyle event, Whitman junior Eloise Zimbelman finished third overall in 26:33.1. Paige Devlin, also a junior, was close behind in fifth place in 27:47.8. Sophomore Kira Peterson rounded out the team score, placing 12th in 28:43.0. 

Sophomore Aurora Bowers also competed for the Missionaries, placing 17th in 29:44.1. Emma Lee, skiing for St. Olaf's College, won the race in 25:31.8. A total of 40 skiers competed.

In the men's freestyle, senior Warren McDermott finished seventh in 23:52.4. Freshman Elliot Broze and senior Bailey Arend completed the team scoring, placing 32nd (26:46.5) and 37th (27:31.3), respectively. 

St. Olaf's Tim Jorgenson won the men's freestyle in 22:10.8. There were 53 racers in the men's event.

   Warren McDermott

In women's classic sprint races, Zimbelman (3:57.45), Bowers (3:59.22) and Devlin (3:54.87) advanced to the finals by placing in the top 10 in the preliminaries. Peterson added a 13th-place showing in 4:10.01.

Zimbelman and Bowers finished in the top two of their semifinals heats, advancing to the finals against a pair of University of Wyoming skiers, Gracey Lewis and Gwynn Barrows. Lewis won the final race with Zimbelman taking second and Bowers fourth. Paige finished sixth overall.

In the men's sprint, McDermott skated through the preliminaries in 3:12.19 and placed fifth overall. Also placing for the Missionaries were Arend (3:19.59, 15th) and Broze (3:58.54, 41st).

Wyoming's Evgeniy Panzinskiy took first place in the men's sprint.

In the overall team scoring, the Whitman women finished the first two events tied for first with St. Olaf's. The Missionary men were in fifth place after two events, although they trailed fourth-place Western State College by just 12 points.

The women's and men's cross country ski action resumes on Friday with 15-kilometer class races.

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CONTACT: Sean Kinney
Sports Information Assistant
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 522-4446;