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Western Nordic wins 2023 National Championship 

A Nordic skier wearing a red Western racing suit competes in the national championship race.

Western’s Nordic team went to Mammoth Lakes, California, March 6-11, looking to claim a title that eluded them last year. When they came home, they were National Champions. 

But while the race brought out the best Nordic programs from around the country, it was the weather that served up the stiffest competition. With an “atmospheric river” bringing historic snowfall and gusty winds to the event, the conditions were like nothing the competitors had ever seen.  

An athlete wearing a red Western racing uniform competes in the national championship competition.

But after finishing the 7.5K individual start classic race second, the team skied what head coach Kevin Geisen called “an inspired race,” with Mountaineer men coming in 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th in the 15K skate. It was enough to let Western Nordic Men’s team ski away with the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s National Championship title with a seven-point advantage over Paul Smith’s College. 

In addition to the men’s title, Hannah Cryder skied her way to an All-American performance on all three days, with an 8th place finish in the 7.5K individual start classic, a 12th place finish in the skate sprint, and a 10th place finish in the 15K. To be named All-American, a skier needs to finish among the top 15 skiers

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