Category Archives: News

Grand Mesa Nordic Council Hosts Successful NRL Races

Grand Mesa Nordic Council hosted the NRL race on December 8 & 9, 2012 on top of Grand Mesa.  The races were originally scheduled for Breckenridge at the Gold Run Nordic Center with Summit Nordic Ski Club putting on the races.  Breckenridge had no snow and Joe Howdyshell, head coach for SNSC, put out a plea for any club who could take over the race.  The Grand Mesa Nordic Council under the leadership of their president Annie Deprey Murphy volunteered to take on the races.  They had three days in which to get organized for the races with 140 competitors.  SNSC collected all the entries and turned them over to GMNC organizing committee.

Annie Murphy said GMNC had experience organizing and conducting citizen races and they were willing to take on a bigger event if they could have a few questions answered.  The club energized their membership and with their Herculean efforts they put on a very successful NRL races.  Everyone connected to the GMNC organizing committee projected a can-do attitude that was very refreshing to work with.  They had some challenges with their sno-cat still in Grand Junction.  But they had three snowmobiles with adequate attachments for grooming that were driven by experience operators under the supervision of Chief of Course, Winslow Robertson .  It snowed eight inches Saturday night and the race had to be delayed one hour on Sunday.  It was also very cold during the classic race on Sunday.  The TD, Robert Myers, was heard to say that with the wind chill it was the coldest event he has ever worked.  RMN Executive Director, Mike Elliott, said he did not warm up until the following Tuesday.

The ski stadium was a little less than a kilometer from the parking lot, warming hut, and bathrooms.  Annie Murphy was busy carrying hot coffee to the numerous volunteers and timing crew in the stadium on Saturday and hot chocolate on Sunday.  Best hot chocolate I have ever tasted was heard by the cold but very capable volunteers.

Skiers were feeling the effects of skiing at 10,800 feet and breathing cold air.  However, most skiers and coaches were happy to actually be skiing and racing on snow rather than training on roller skis.

There were some outstanding results produced and the highlights are listed below.

The “Iron Maiden” for these races has to be J5 female skier Katy Jane Hardenbergh from Vail.  She won both races at last year’s December NRL in Steamboat Springs and she won her class on the first day of racing at Grand Mesa.  On the second day of racing, the temperature was dropping and the wind chill was rising as the day progressed.  The J5 female class was scheduled to race on Sunday at 12:45pm.  Skiers in earlier classes were withdrawing from the event because of the adverse conditions.  But Miss Hardenbergh was out watching her older brother and sister race and skiing around with a smile.  When the time arrived for her race, she was the only competitor.  She was asked, since you are the only competitor and you are declared the winner, do you want to ski he course?  The race officials were extremely cold and anticipated that they might be able to get into a warm car shortly.  However, without hesitation Miss Hardenbergh said yes she wants to ski the course so she can compare her time to the J5 males.  With excellent classic technique she skied the course that contained less than ten spectators, skiers, and volunteers while maintaining her bright smile.  Her performance and smile warmed up everyone still at the finish.

Skiers who won their class both days are as follows:

Eliska Hajkova                CU          SRF

Rune Malo Oedegaard  CU          SRM

Rachel Hampton             DNSC     OJF

Cara Piske                          SSWSC  J1F

Cully Brown                      SSCV      J1M

Charlie Greenberg          DNSC     J2M

Tyler Terranova             SSWSC  J3M

Jaden Carlson                  BNJRT   J4F

Ian Hardenbergh            SSCV      J4M

Katy Jane Hardenbergh SSCV      J5F

Wiley Corra                       DNSC     J5M

Complete Results for both days can be found at  Click on results on the home page.

Grand Mesa Nordic Council NRL Information

2012 Grand Mesa NRL

Saturday-Sunday, December 8-9, 2012

Hosted by:

The Grand Mesa Nordic Council

Team Information Sheet


Tuesday, December 4
7:00PM Deadline for registration
Wednesday, December 5
5:00PM Preliminary entry list published for review
Thursday, December 6
12:00PM Deadline for corrections to entry list
5:00PM Start lists published
Friday, December 7
12:00PM Course open for inspection
5:00PM Course Closes
Saturday, December 8
Skate Individual 15-Second Interval Starts
8:00-9:30AM Registration and bib pickup
9:00AM Coaches Meeting
9:50AM Course Closed
10:00AM 5K Skate Men (Senior, OJ/J1/J2)
10:45AM 5k Skate Women (Senior, OJ/J1/J2)
11:20AM 5K Skate Men Novice
11:25AM 5K Skate Women Novice
11:55AM 3K Skate Men J3
12PM 3K Skate Men J4
12:20PM 3K Skate Women J3
12:25PM 3K Skate Women J4
12:45PM 1K Skate Men (J5, J6)
12:50PM 1K Skate Women (J5, J6)
1:15PM 5K Freestyle Citizens Race MASS START
Sunday, December 9
Classic Mass Start
8:00AM Registration and Bib Pickup
8:50AM Course Closed
9:00AM 10k Classic Men (Senior, OJ/J1)
9:50AM 5k Classic Women (Senior, OJ/J1/J2)
10:20AM 5K Classic Men (J2)
10:50AM 3K Classic Men J3
10:55AM 3K Classic Men J4
11:15AM 3K Classic Women J3
11:20AM 3K Classic Women J4
11:45AM 1K Classic Men (J5/J6)
12:00PM 1K Classic Women (J5/J6)


  • TEAM ENTRY DEADLINE IS Tuesday, December 4
  • Email Joe ( for a registration sheet and waivers.
  • A USSA waiver is required for all non-USSA members.
  • Bibs will be collected at the finish on Sunday.
  • DNS and DNF bibs must be returned to the finish crew – not anyone else.
  • There will be a $50 fee for lost or damaged bibs.


Entry fees for Summit NRL:

  • Elite/J2-OJ:              $35 per race
  • J3:                                 $25 per race
  • J4-J6:                          $20
  • Citizens:                      $15 per race

Trail Fees are included.

Make checks payable to GMNC.



  • Backwards skiing on race courses at any time is strictly forbidden.
  • Never cross the finish line unless you are finishing your race.
  • Non-racers/Non-coaches are forbidden to ski on course at any time.
  • Skiers warming up on course must ski with their bibs inside out.
  • Saturday
    • All courses close at 9:50am
    • Classic tracks will be set single track best line. May change based on snow conditions.
    • Sunday
      • Courses will remain open for inspection until 8:50am.
      • Warm-up Areas
        • Snow dependant


Seed orders may be adjusted dependent on conditions and jury decision.

FIS/USSA = The lower of a skier’s FIS or USSA points.

Saturday: Individual Start

  • Female J2 and older, Male J1 and older:
  • Run BAC
  • “A” Top 15 USSA points random draw
  • “B” All remaining USSA points, lowest to highest
  • “C” No points, random draw
    • J2 Boys:
    • Run AB
  • “A” USSA points random draw
  • “B” No points, random draw
    • J3 and younger:
  • Random draw

Sunday:  Mass Start

  1. For Senior, OJ/J1/J2 USSA distance points, then USSA members without points, then results from Saturday’s race.

J3/J4/J5/J6 based on Saturday’s race.


Technical Delegate:               Robert Myers*

  • Assistant TD:                         TBA*
  • Chief of Competition:            Dave Ashwanden*
  • Chief of Course:                     Winslow Robertson
  • Chief of Stadium:                   Annie Murphy
  • Timing:                                   Four Corners Timing

* Race Jury


Venue is Skyway Trail System (east off of Highway 65, Mesa, Colorado).

There are no trail fees.

There is no electricity at the venue.  Teams are encouraged to set up their wax tables to the north of the start/finish area (near the warming hut).

There is no running water at the venue.  Teams are encouraged to bring their own water and water bottles.   We will have some water and sports drink, but it will be limited.  GMNC encourages its users to bring their own water bottles or cups in an effort to reduce waste.

Race Course will be available for inspection on Friday 12/7 at 12:00PM. There will be no fee for this.

There will be a 15 minute protest period after the posting of the unofficial results.

There will be at least 4 technique controllers on the classic course on Sunday.

Awards will be announced in the afternoon after the last race at the Start/Finish Area.

Parking: Only two vehicles per team will be allowed at the Skyway trailhead.  Other vehicles must be parked at the Mesa Top parking area, which is a couple miles south of Skyway on the west side of Highway 65.  It is a large lot with a changing area and restroom as well.  Please see map:

Weather:  Snow is expected Saturday night.  Please check updated weather here:

Given the short notice of this race, GMNC may need assistance with volunteers.  If any parents are available to help, please contact Annie Murphy at (970) 623-4424.

Lodging:  If lodging assistance is required, please contact Annie Murphy at (970) 623-4424.

RMN NRL Moved To Grand Mesa Dec 8 & 9, 2012

Joe Howdyshell, Head Coach at Summit Nordic Ski Club announced late Monday December 3, 2012 that the NRL has been cancelled at Breckenridge because of a lack of snow.   The Grand Mesa Nordic Council has agreed to put on the NRL on Grand Mesa following the original schedule for all classes.

Entries are still due to Joe Howdyshell ( by 7pm Tuesday December 4, 2012.  If you need an entry form you can contact Joe at 307 349-0713 or Mike Elliott, RMN Executive Director ( 970 769-8655)

Mass start on Saturday at 10am and interval start on Sunday at 9am..  More information will be posted on Tuesday December 4, 2012.

Anne Murphy will be the Chief of Competition for the NRL races.  She can be reached at

Sepp Kuss and Kaylee Blevins win Colorado High School State Mountain Bike Championships

Kaylee Blevins and Sepp Kuss from Durango won the Colorado High School State Championships in Mountain Biking on Saturday October 20, 2012.  Both cross country skiers competed for Rocky Mountain in the Junior National Championships in Soldier Hollow in early March, 2012.

At the Desert Classic in North Fruita in Grand Junction Blevins won her race in 1 hour, 4 minutes 39 seconds for the Durango Demons, two minutes ahead of anyone else on the 16.4-mile course, which coach Sarah Tescher described as fairly flat with nowhere to rest.

In the varsity boy’s field, Kuss finished first in 1:19:53, and by the time he rode in the last race of the day, Tescher said the desert course lines had “been turned into 4 inches of moon dust from so many riders.  Sepp went out strong and stayed there, finishing three minutes ahead of the rest of the field.”  Levi Kurlander, a RMN skier from Durango, finished fifth.

At the Mountain Bike National Championships in Sun Valley in July, Sepp was 4th in Junior 17 to 18 class, and Kaylee was 5th in the same class for females.

Durango HS freshmen Charlie Greenberg finished second in his race at the State Championships.  Greenberg’s finish put him atop the overall freshmen boy’s field for the league title.

But one more person affiliated with the mountain bike program received top honors at the race:  Sarah Tescher, J5 cross country coach for Durango Nordic, was voted Coach of the Year by the Colorado League committee.  “I am both honored and embarrassed to receive Coach of the Year, as in my eyes, the success of the team is due not to me but their parents, all the (Durango) DEVO coaches and the Durango community itself.  I am the one that is lucky to work with such amazing kids.” said Tescher.

Tescher is the Director for the Durango DEVO junior development program for mountain biking.  The program is arguably one of the best junior programs in the country for junior mountain bikers from 5 to 23 years old.

Rachel Hampton Colorado State XC Champion In 2A Division

Rachel Hampton a senior at Telluride High School won the Colorado State cross country championships Saturday October 26, 2012 in a time of 19:48.  It is redemption for Hampton because she has had to battle back from a broken foot suffered last spring during the track season.  Because of the injury Hampton had to rest and recover.  She had qualified for the Regional Elite Group Camp at the end of June in Park City, but had to decline.  For more information and a more complete story and for complete results for all classes from the Colorado State Cross Country Championships, visit the web site below.

As some of the readers might understand, this is not necessarily a surprising result from Rachel.  At the Junior National Cross Country Ski Championships at Soldier Hollow last March, Hampton skiing for Rocky Mountain was 14th in the Classic Sprint, 10th in the 10km Freestyle, 7th in the 5km Classic, and was on the Gold Medal RMN Freestyle Relay Team along with Mary O’Connell and Emily Hannah who are from Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Those results for Rachel Hampton were three out of four All American performances.

Hampton’s future plans include the West Yellowstone training camp and the Senior National Championships in Soldier Hollow as she hopefully will qualify for the World Junior Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic.  Also Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, Alaska in the second week of March 2013.

National Nordic Foundation Athlete Ambassador Drive For 25

Dear Rocky Mountain Skiers,

An anonymous donor has approached National Nordic Foundation (NNF) and challenged them in a fundraiser program.  The donor will match $5 for every $1 raised by a U23 or younger skier who benefited directly from contributions made by the NNF to a United States Ski Team trip or camp in the past.   The maximum the donor will contribute is $50,000.

However NNR needs to be able to accurately track the juniors who benefited from NNR funds, are really raising the money in “Drive for 25”.  All the money would have to be in to NNF by Thursday November 15, 2012.  So the effort is to raise $10,000 by juniors throughout the nation and then NNF would receive an additional $50,000 and consequently that would be $60,000.  All that money would be used towards helping to fund NNF who in turn help funds the U18 Nations Cup, WJC, U23 World Championships, J2 National Camp.

In my view it is important to the anonymous donor that skiers who have previously benefited from NNF funds, “Pay it Forward” to future skiers entering the USST pipeline. The goal is to have the junior skiers be the Ambassadors for the “Drive for 25” and to have at a minimum 10 donors for $25 each.

I have attached information from Dave Knoop with NNF that may be of help to you.  I have also attached a list of the other athletes in the United States who are doing the same thing.  You can visit the National Nordic Web Site ( to see what other athletes have done.  Click on Donate Cross Country.

Here is What You Athletes Need To Do

1. Go to and create your Drive for 25 Ambassador page

  • Create an accout
  • Upload a profile photo
  • Keep the Title as “Drive for 25-Cross Country”
  • Use your name as the URL (for example
  • Join or create a team if you would like
  • Set a goal. $250 = $25 from 10 people is a good place to start
  • End date is 11/15/2012, 11:59pm
  • Edit the story if you want to or leave it as is
  • Enable and create a thank you email
  • Any questions you can email James Southam at

2. Get as many people as you can to donate $25 or more to the National Nordic Foundation from now until Thursday November 15th USING YOUR PAGE  (this is CRITICAL!) if we cannot track the donation to you, the match does not happen!

  • Make sure you send donors to your page
  • Ask them to make a comment that you got them to donate
  • if somehow they don’t end up going through your page we can still see that the donation came from you
  • Offline donations will work as well, but we need to know the money was raised from you and have it by November 15th
  • Send them to:

National Nordic Foundation

32 West 300 South #149

Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Our goal at the NNF is to make these trips funded so that no athlete has to decline an opportunity because they cannot afford it. This can help make that a reality.

Every $1 you raise an anonymous donor will donate $5. This is an unbelievable opportunity for US Skiing and a statement that our next generation of athletes, YOU, are willing to step up.

The more we grow, the more we can help.

You are the only ones who can make this happen.

I Encourage You To Make it happen!

In addition:

  • Every Ambassador racing U23 or under that raises $100 will receive a U23 Ambassador only buff by Podiumwear.
  • All Ambassadors over 23 to raise $250 will receive an Ambassador only buff by Mt.Borah.
  • There will also be some sweet prizes for top fundraisers from our supporters in the ski industry.

Any questions you can email James Southam at

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Best Regards,

Mike Elliott

Executive Director RMN

970 769-8655

RMN Fall Meeting Saturday Sept 29, 2012 Frisco, CO

Rocky Mountain Nordic’s annual fall meeting is schedule for Frisco, CO Saturday Sept 29, 2012 11am – 2pm.  Meeting will be held at 621 Recreation Way, Frisco, CO 80443.  It is a big new building next to the Frisco Nordic Center.  Lunch will be provided by RMN as long as the attendees notify Mike Elliott,, ahead of time.

The Junior National Qualifying race schedule will be finalized and discussion will be held on the Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, AK.  Information will be disbursed regarding Selection Criteria for US Ski Teams competing in the Nations Cup races, World Junior Championships, and U23 World Championships.

RMN Fall Select Team Camp Frisco, CO Sept 28 – 30, 2012

Summit Nordic Ski Club


Town of Frisco Present:

2012 RMN Fall Camp and RMN Fall Meeting

Friday, September 28 – Sunday, September 30th




  • All meals except Saturday dinner will be on your own
  • It is suggested that attendees bring lunches and breakfasts, and eat out for dinners only.

Registration and Camp Fee

  • Athletes must bring registration packets and payment to camp.
  • Camp fee is $50. Make checks payable to SNSC
  • Coaches must email a list of attending athletes and coaches by Monday, September 24th .



  • Friday, September 28th

4:00PM: Bounding intervals

7:00PM: Welcome and camp orientation

Saturday, September 29th

8:00AM: Double Pole Intervals

11:00AM: RMN Coaches Meeting

4:00PM: Distance Skate

6:00PM: Movie night + Catered dinner

Sunday, September 30th

9:00AM: Skate Time Trial

2:00PM: Distance trail run

RMN Second In Alaska Cup Points At Junior Nationals

Rocky Mountain Nordic (RMN) was second in the final tally of
points in the competition among the ten Nordic Divisions that are represented
at the Junior National Cross Country events.  RMN had never finished higher than fourth in
previous Junior Nationals for the Alaska Cup. 
RMN usually held a tight grip on fifth place. 

New England won by a large margin.  RMN was happy with second place.  RMN demonstrated strength in all four
competitions, the sprints, the mass start, the interval start, and the
relays.  RMN had did not win a gold medal
until the relays and then they won the J1 male class in a very exciting
race.  The team was made up of Cal
Deline, Christian Shanley, and Max Scrimgeour. 
A Gold Medal was also won in another exciting relay with the OJ male
class.  The team was Charlie Von Thaden,
Mike Vigers, and Tucker McCrerey.  The J1
female class of Mary O’Connell, Rachel Hampton, and Emily Larson also captured
a gold medal in another very exciting relay.

The sprint competition was the first event and RMN placed
second behind New England as a division and two points ahead of Mid West.  In past Junior Nationals the sprints have not
been a strong event of RMN.  The goal leading
into the sprints was to qualify 25 skiers to move on to the heats.  RMN qualified 31 skiers.

Rocky Mountain knows the course well at Soldier Hollow and
they enjoy skiing at a lower altitude. 
All the other divisions race at lower altitude and they were concerned
at skiing at a high altitude.  Rocky
Mountain actually went down to a lower altitude to race at Soldier Hollow.

Cully Brown from Durango had an emergency appendectomy two
weeks before the first race at the Junior National Championships.  He still managed to place 3
rd in
the sprints and 2
nd in the interval start classic race.   Cully likes the classic technique and he
demonstrated that he can go fast skiing classic.

Charlie Von Thaden, who has taken a Post Graduate year of
training and racing in Steamboat Springs, was the Rocky Mountain nominee for
the Dave Quinn Award.  Jesse Knori from
Sun Valley, Idaho was the eventual winner of this outstanding award.  It is quite an honor just to be nominated for
this very prestigious award.

The 15 coaches who represent seven different clubs worked
together to provide the support for the respective skiers.  In the races, a pair of race skis were
handled seven to eight different times getting skis prepared by cleaning and
waxing each pair for the competitions. 
In the interval race, there were three different split timing stations
giving information to skiers as to where they were in relationship to the
competitors.  Coaches now use their
IPhones to provide splits.  It is a lot
easier to use and quicker that the old style split timer that costs $700 to
$800.  I am a little bias, but I believe
the level of support Rocky skiers receive may have been a cut above other
divisions.  The Wax Techs, Dan Weiland,
Eric Pepper, Brian Tate, and Nick Brown were awesome as were the coaches, Josh
Smullin and Lenka Palnova  who spent a
lot of time testing the wax.

Rocky Mountain Nordic took 48 skiers, 15 coaches to the JNs
in Soldier Hollow, Utah March 3 – 11, 2012. 
It was a fun week and we used a lot of sun screen.

RMN J3 and Younger Championships At Vail Cancelled

Dan Weiland, Nordic Program Director at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, sent an email to RMN Clubs stating, “Unfortunately
due to low snow and lack of interest from many of the teams we have decided to
cancel the RMN Junior Championships. Hopefully next year we can get some
momentum and make this happen!”