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Fearsome foursome: SVSEF quartet earns World Cup starts

December 04, 2012


When it mattered most, SVSEF Gold Team members Chelsea Holmes, Mike Sinnott, Reid Pletcher and Matt Gelso came up with the results needed to qualify for World Cup races this month in Canada.


In Super Tour cross country races at Bohart Ranch in Bozeman, Montana, all four turned in top 10 finishes to punch tickets to World Cup races in Quebec and Canmore.


"Overall, it was a pretty awesome series," SVSEF Nordic Director Rick Kapala said. "To ski this well early in the season and to get to these races is a very important benchmark for our program."


As reported earlier in the week, 25-year-old Reid Pletcher won the men's 1.6k sprint and will compete in a pair of races in Quebec this week; a team sprint on Dec. 7 and individual sprint on Dec. 8.


"He may sprint in Canmore as well. We will have to see," Kapala said.  


Chelsea Holmes unrelenting training this summer, especially in improving her classic technique paid off in a second-place finish in the women's 10k classic with a time of 40:07. She finished 18 seconds behind winner Sadie Bjornsen (APU/USST) and 10 seconds ahead of bronze medalist Rosie Brennan (APU).


"It is a big deal that Chelsea made all that progress, it paid off and now she gets the opportunity to capitalize on it," Kapala remarked. "The cool thing is all the hard work (coach) Colin Rodgers put in helping Chelsea with classic technique paid off. For her to go out in that race and finish second - well, it's a great thing. The course certainly played to her strengths in climbing and now she gets to tackle one of the toughest climbing courses in the world at Canmore."


Alexa Turzian was ninth overall in 42:42. SVSEF alum Sloan Storey, now in her freshman year at University of Utah, was the top junior and 23rd overall in 43:46. SVSEF's Maranda Stopol (49:45) was 7th in the junior class, followed by Laurel Fiddler (51:08) in 10th, and Katie Feldman (52:28) 14th.


In the men's 15k classic, Mike Sinnott was the first American and third overall. Sinnott was seven seconds off the first-place pace of Norwegian Mats Resaland (47:02) of the University of New Mexico. Another Norwegian, Rune Oedegaard (University of Colorado) was second in 47:04. Teammate Matt Gelso skied to ninth overall in 48:59 and Pletcher was 10th in 49:10. SVSEF's Patrick Johnson (49:54) was 16th. Kevin Bolger won the junior class and was 29th overall in 51:18. Ketchum Wilt (54:50) was the 12th junior across the finish line with Luke Costley (56:37) 18th and Stephen Pfeiffer (1:00.21) 30th.


The FIS World Cup series in Canmore are Dec. 13-16 and consist of 10/15k classic races, freestyle sprints and classic and freestyle skiathlons.