Ashwaubenon Nordic Ski Team debuts on the big stage
By Cathy Putman
Special to The Press Times
DULUTH, Minnesota – The Duluth SuperTour Dec. 4-5 opened the Nordic Skiing season with star turns by nationally-ranked masters and collegiate skiers and a powerful chorus of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota high school racers gathered for a Junior National Qualifier.
They all skied the same European lap-style course prepped with man-made snow at Duluth’s Grand Avenue Nordic Center.
Coaches said Saturday’s sprint races were tough for the Ashwaubenon Nordic Ski Team (ANST) squad.
Ashwaubenon freshman Lauren Carlton was the only one to make it out of the qualifiers into the quarterfinals.
On Sunday, the action was in distance contests.
U16 skiers were called up first and matched to a 4.3-kilometer, two-lap course.
Carlton placed eighth in the girls’ race.
In light snow and winds, Ben Buchmann (Ashwaubenon) finished 24th for the boys.
More natural snow fell on the women’s 5-kilometer course, giving the skiers an edge navigating significant climbs and technical turns.
Greta Hansen (Green Bay Southwest) used it to her advantage in her swift final lap, notching 13th in the U20 category.
Four members of Ashwaubenon’s traveling ski team competed in the male U18 division.
The 11-kilometer course slicked up for their race, pitting speed against balance.
Joe Stumpf (Notre Dame Academy) slid across the line first of the ANST group in 19th.
He was followed in seconds by Noah Jahnke (West De Pere, 22nd) and Grant Rocheleau (Bay Port, 25th).
Jonathan Hanson (Pulaski) completed the five laps in 51st.
One skier setting the pace in the SuperTour was Abigail Jarzin, a former ANST member, now with the defending NCAA champions, the University of Utah Utes.
Jarzin skied to fifth overall in the women’s 5-kilometer, 27 seconds off the top time of 18 minutes and 59 seconds posted by Minneapolis native and 2018 Olympian, Rosie Frankowski.
The SuperTour continues Dec. 11-12 on the American Birkebeiner start course in Cable.
The ANST is a co-curricular activity in the Ashwaubenon School District open to any area middle or high school student.