Ashwaubenon Nordic steps up on World Cup course
By Cathy Putman
Special to The Press Times
CABLE – Cable recently hosted the Nordic skiing SuperTour for three days of racing in mid-December.
Prominent professional racers auditioned the World Cup course built by the American Birkebeiner organization as a bid to bring the World Cup to Wisconsin.
Elite junior racers from the upper Midwest expanded the field to almost 400.
The Birkie start course was an exacting test featuring multiple climbs, steep descents and corkscrew turns negotiated in three laps for women and four laps for men.
“Challenging courses like this one – the equivalent of a double black diamond in alpine – are about our skiers learning how to make transitions from descent to climb to turn swiftly and with confidence,” Ashwaubenon Nordic Ski Team (ANST) Coach Scott Putman said.
Grant Rocheleau (Bay Port) drew on seven years of skiing with the ANST and some newfound grit to place 16th in the 15-kilometer contest in the U18 division, improving on his 25th the previous weekend against a similar field.
Noah Jahnke (West De Pere) finished 23rd, and Joe Stumpf (Notre Dame Academy) was 30th.
Jonathan Hanson (Pulaski) improved 14 places to 37th.
Greta Hansen (Green Bay Southwest) finished 18th in the U20 women’s division, the fifth high school contestant in a category dominated by collegiate women.
The U16 skiers navigated two laps for 5 kilometers.
Lauren Carlton (Ashwaubenon) improved to sixth, up from an eighth-place position in the Duluth Junior National Qualifier the weekend before.
Ben Buchmann (Ashwaubenon) was 24th for the boys.
Top-six podium finishes on the SuperTour for the professionals and nationally-ranked collegiate skiers translate into World Cup starts and a possible Olympic berth.
Top finishes for the U18 and U20 juniors are points for Junior Nationals to be held this winter in Minneapolis.
The ANST is a co-curricular activity in the Ashwaubenon School District open to area middle or high school students.