DURHAM, N.H. – A total of 11 members of the University of New Hampshire ski team will be among the 450 competitors at the 2008 U.S. Cross Country Championship that takes place Jan. 1-6 at the Michigan Tech Nordic Training Center in Houghton, Mich.

“Going to U.S. Nationals gives our athletes great exposure to the best athletes in the country,” 23rd-year UNH ski coordinator and Nordic head coach Cory Schwartz said. “It will be a great experience for the team before our college circuit begins.”

Several UNH Wildcats – Erick Anderson (Maplewood, Minn.), Tim Baucom (Walpole, N.H.), Steven Bedard (Cheshire, Mass.), Dan Demers (Adams, Mass.), Rody Lageson (St. Paul, Minn.), Shane MacDowell (Peru, Mass.) and Dylan McGuffin (Northfield, N.H.) will be competing in the men’s races.  Bedard, who finished seventh in the freestyle sprint and 10th in the classic race at the recent TAMC/TD Banknorth Eastern Cup Opener, and McGuffin, who placed third in that classic race, are in contention to make the World Juniors (top six juniors in the country). Anderson also fared well at the recent Eastern Cup Opener with a 14th-place effort in the classic competition.

UNH’s contingent in the women’s races will include Marlijne Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), Steph Bayr (Keene, N.H.), Sarah Wright (Wyoming, Minn.) and Heather Zimmerman (Bethel, Maine). Cook finished in sixth place at the freestyle sprint at the Eastern Cup Opener and Zimmerman recorded 10th place in the classic race at that event.

The U.S. Cross Country Championship begins Jan. 1 with the freestyle races for both women (5K) and men (10K) and continues Jan. 3 with the classic races for both women
(10K) and men (15K). Bedard, MacDowell and McGuffin will also compete in the freestyle sprint on Jan. 5.

New Hampshire opens the 2008 carnival season Jan. 11-12 at the Bates Winter Carnival with the Nordic races taking place at Black Mountain and the Alpine events at Sunday River.

Photos courtesy of
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