Woody Martineau takes sprint win
by Than Acuff
The Crested Butte Nordic Team (CBNT) skiers had a week to recover from their effort in Magic Meadows 7 as they headed to another Junior National Qualifier (JNQ) in Steamboat Springs Friday and Saturday, January 26-27.
Coach Molly Susla admits the week of workouts leading up to the JNQ weren’t the best, but it was of no real concern to her as there are more important things prior to a race weekend.
“Our training was a little off but it’s not the training the week before races that’s important, it’s their sleep and their health,” says Susla.
Well, it appeared their sleep and health were on par for the week as the CBNT posted some top results at the races in Steamboat, led by u20 age class racer Woody Martineau. Martineau bided his time through the qualifying rounds of the skate sprint races on Friday, only to explode in the semi-final heat and the finals. In both of the last two heats Martineau settled in behind the leader until the final uphill, passing him for the lead and then gapping the rest of the field for the win.
“I’m really stoked to say Woody won the whole damn thing—it was sick,” says Susla. “He skied the whole thing tactically and thoughtfully.”
U18 age class racer Robby Oberling came so close to making the cut from the qualifying heat in the morning, finishing in 31st place, one spot shy of making it into the series of heats that afternoon.
“He was really, really close, which is awesome for him,” says Susla.
Oliver White continues to hold his own as a first-year u14 racer, placing 15th in the sprints with Finn Veit closing the day with a seventh-place finish.
The team then returned to the track on Saturday for some mass-start classic racing. While Martineau admitted to his coaches that he wasn’t feeling it that day, he still remained in the lead pack for all 10 kilometers to finish in fourth place.
“He had a great race and skied it well,” says Susla. “Everyone took turns drafting and leading the pack, so it was good to see that.”
Oberling posted a 26th-place finish in his first 10-kilometer race, White finished in 16th place in his age class as he had a rough go with his wax, and Veit placed fourth.
“Finn skied really well,” says Susla. “The three guys ahead of him are crazy fast and he’s in a tough age group but he’s faring well.”
The team will now turn its attention to the Alley Loop this Saturday, February 3 right here in Crested Butte.