Successful weekend races for Vikings Nordic

Successful weekend races for Vikings Nordic

It was a balmy weekend at the Athabasca Loppet and Tawatinaw Loppet where sixteen Augustana cross-country skiers tested their endurance and speed in various races. At the Athabasca Loppet on February 1, 2020, Augustana's Vikings skied in the 3km, 5km, 10km and 20km races. Veterans and first-timers alike impressed themselves with their performances at one of the first races of the season. The veterans who attended this race last year commented almost unanimously that they had done better than before. The weather, training, and cheering from fellow skiers made the day a success. This race marked the first skate race for four of the thirteen racers. The Augustana Vikings brought home eight medals to reward their efforts. The Tawatinaw Loppet on Sunday, February 2, 2020 was the first classic race for many of the skiers this season. They skied on beautiful trails up hills and down. The Vikings cheer at the beginning of races is also a highlight, getting skiers excited to tackle the trails, as Vikings do.
Reese Bendiksen, a first year student from Norway, crushed the competition earning two medals over the weekend; one for her twenty kilometer skate skiing race and one for her exceptional twenty-five kilometer classic skiing performance. Caelen MacQueen has taken on the challenge of learning to cross-country ski this year and kept up with veteran teammates Shae-Lynn Eastgaard, Noah Day, and Jonas Stoll-Pott in his first ever fourteen-kilometer classic race. Other highlights include former competitor and now head coach, Nils Asfeldt, donning his Viking's race suit to compete alongside his successors. Coach Nils won third place in his twentykilometer skate skiing adventure, and second place in his twenty-five-kilometer classic skiing race. Overall, the weekend was a success with lots of laughter as teammates bonded and cheered each other on. Training never stops as they are preparing for the next race, the Canadian Birkebeiner near Edmonton happening on February 8, 2020.  
Submitted by Maven Boddy
Photos by Sarah Hicks