Fairfield's Morgan Arritola, 22, was the big winner for the U.S. Nordic Team last weekend during USSA Cross Country Super Tour races at West Yellowstone, Mt. Arritola won Saturday's 10-kilometer women's freestyle skate race.
Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Olympic Development team racer Arritola was one of 45 SVSEF skiers who spent the week of Nov. 22-30 training on about 20 kilometers of snow-covered trails at Yellowstone's south plateau.
"Morgan has been on fire this week. Her training has been really solid," said U.S. Nordic team development coach Matt Whitcomb. "She has made some huge strides and improvements and we're seeing the benefit of it now."
Arritola (25:30) won Saturday's 10k skate race by four seconds over Canada's Shayla Swanson. On Friday, Swanson captured the women's 8k classic race, but Arritola podiumed in third place 55 seconds back.
"It was a good race," said Arritola after the classic race. "It was the first one of the season so I'm just warming into it, but I feel good about where I am right now. It wasn't really my kind of course—it was really flat—so to do well on it gives me confidence for where I am and what I've been improving on. I'm excited and ready for the season to start."
Arritola led the way for seven of her female U.S. teammates Friday. Meanwhile, SVSEF ODT racer Noah Hoffman finished fourth and the top junior in Friday's 16k men's classic race. Ketchum's Mike Sinnott was eighth overall in Saturday's 10k skate race.
Lack of snow forced the cancelation of SuperTour races at Bozeman, Mt. Tuesday, Dec. 2 and at Soldier Hollow, Utah Dec. 6-7, so SVSEF ODT racers will compete Dec. 6-7 at Silver Star, B.C., Canada. Visit www.cccski.com to follow it.
Top results and SVSEF racers from West Yellowstone:
Women's 10k skate, Nov. 29: 1—Morgan Arritola 25:30. 13—Kate Whitcomb 26:46. 19—Nicole DeYong 27:15. 31—Kaelin Kiesel (Montana State) 28:23 (56 finishers).
Men's 10k skate, Nov. 29: 1—Ivan Babikov (Canada) 21:33. 8—Mike Sinnott 22:45. 40—Willie Neal 24:31. 53—Ben Knowles 25:09. 54—Miles Havlick 25:21 (98 finishers).
Women's 8k classic, Nov. 28: 1—Shayla Swanson (Canada) 34:56. 3—Morgan Arritola 35:51. 13—Kate Whitcomb 37:10. 18—Nicole DeYong 37:41. 40—Kaelin Kiesel 39:20. 63—Julia Bowman 41:45. 65—Bronwen Raff 42:03.3. 66—Courtney Hamilton 42:03.5. 70—Makayla Cappel 43:00 (79 finishers).
Men's 16k classic, Nov. 28: 1—Ivan Babikov (Canada) 40:23. 4—Noah Hoffman 41:38. 12—Reid Pletcher 42:17. 24—Colin Rodgers 43:07. 36—Mike Sinnott 43:38. 39—Willie Neal 44:03. 42—Max Durtschi 44:19. 43—Miles Havlick 44:25. 44—Ben Knowles 44:35. 77—Sam Farnham 48:39. 84—Dan Sundali 49:17. 88—Scotty Phelan 50:28. 89—Scott Schoen 50:37. 97—Scott Tucker 51:58. 98—Sean Dumke 52:10 (107 finishers).