The annual NYSSRA Championships have turned into an annual battle against the forces of nature. Last season, ice pellets and hail assaulted competitors. This season, torrential rain followed by freezing temperatures tested the resolve of Peru Nordic’s finest.
On Friday, Peru Nordic sent two relay teams to battle for the club championship. In an intense struggle against the rain and tough squads from Berkshire, the defending state champions, Peru Nordic Cowboys from Hell featuring Mike Wynn and Chris Rose, managed to capture a hard-earned bronze medal. Coming in just behind were the Primal Concrete Sledge team of David Kvam and Jon Santor.
On Friday night, temperatures dropped. And, by Saturday morning, all of the rain from the night before had frozen solid. The crew at the Saratoga Biathlon Club did an admirable job of pulverizing the frozen course and setting track for the 20 km classic race. In the mass-start race, the lead pack of Kevin Sprague, Paul Allison and Bob Underwood went off the front. The chase pack of Chris Rose, Jim Kobak, Chris Yarsevich and Rick Costanza settled in behind. The group worked together, with Costanza pacing for the first 8 km. Then Rose took over. Kobak tried to stretch things out on the third lap, dropping Costanza and putting Rose into jeopardy, but Yarsevich hung tough. On the fourth lap, Yarsevich attacked on the first extended climb eventually putting a good gap on Kobak. Kobak wound up 5th overal (gold M2M), with Rose 6th (silver M2M).
Behind that group, David Kvam was putting in an awesome display of race pacing. Working smartly and patiently, Kvam made his move in the last lap, catching Rick Costanza and Jon Santor in the final kms. Kvam finished 7th (silver SRM)) with Santor in 8th (Bronze SRM) and Rick Costanza in 9th (silver M4M).
Dave Hunter battled to 22nd overall, capturing silver in the M6M category. And, Jim Adams skied a strong race finishing 30th and capturing bronze in the M7M division.
In the women’s race, Peru Nordic’s Janet Findlay finished second overall.
At the annual awards banquet, Peru Nordic’s Jim Kobak (M2M) and Janet Findlay (M6F) were rewarded for winning their respective age class overall points series titles.