Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Turzian, Sinnott come close in big races

NCAA finals, Canadian marathon

Alexa Turzian, University of Colorado sophomore and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation alumni, looks ahead while out in front of the pack during Saturday’s NCAA women’s 15-kilometer freestyle final at Rumford, Maine. She won the silver medal. Photo by

Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation alumni Alexa Turzian and Mike Sinnott along with SVSEF Olympic Development Teamer Noah Hoffman logged outstanding results in big Nordic races last week.

Turzian, 20, was the women's 15-kilometer silver medalist for the University of Colorado during the 56th annual NCAA Alpine Ski Championships at Rumford, Maine. Beating Turzian for the gold medal in a photo finish was Antje Maempel of Denver Univ.

Coming within a second of giving Colorado its 81st individual title in school history, Turzian earned first-team All-American honors along with six of her Buffaloes teammates. Denver (659 points) won the overall title over Colorado (602.5) with New Mexico third.

Ketchum's Nordic hopeful Reid Pletcher of Colorado made the NCAA All-Academic Team (3.50 GPA or higher).

At Duntroon, Ontario Sunday, Sinnott and Hoffman placed second and third of 49 Open Men's finishers in the men's 50k mass start seven-lap freestyle event of the 82nd Canadian National and Haywood Ski National Championships.

Sinnott, 24, placed second behind Alberta's Gordon Jewett, 31, still competing at a high level after a debilitating back injury 11 years ago. Jewett's time was 2.08:53, ahead of Sinnott, 2.08:56 and Hoffman, 19, with a 2.09:00 clocking. Pletcher also raced but DNFd.

Rick Kapala, head coach of the SVSEF Junior Nordic ski team, said, "Events like these are important because we're now in a one-year selection cycle leading up to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver."

SVSEF ODT racers, accompanied by coach Travis Jones in Ontario, are now focusing on the U.S. Nordic National long distance races March 27 and 29 at Fairbanks, Alaska.

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