The 2014 Haywood National Cross-Country Nationals began on March 15 in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Hans Asfeldt and Cameron Raynor are representing the Augustana Vikings in a full schedule of racing over the following seven days. Hans and Cameron have been training specifically for these races since the fall and have a lifetime of experience going in to their races. Both have been skiing since before they can remember and have been racing competitively for years.
As part of their preparation for Nationals, they attended the Olympic Trials, which were held in Canmore in January and raced against skiers on the Canadian National Cross-Country Ski Team who represented Canada in Sochi. This was a great opportunity for the duo to practice at a high level of competition and both competed impressively. Asfeldt finished in 35th place in the Open Men’s 15km Classic race with a time of 52:26. “I was pleasantly surprised by my 35th place finish at the Olympic Trials earlier in the season and I’ve worked hard since then, so it will be interesting to see what Newfoundland has in store for me” stated Asfeldt. Raynor finished in 46th place in the same race in a time of 57:00 but was unhappy with his race and plans to make up for it at Nationals.
In addition to racing at Olympic Trials, the pair have attended numerous university circuit races and loppets together with the rest of the Augustana Cross-Country Ski Team and won several of those events. They have also helped coach adult Learn to Ski Lessons for the Camrose Ski Club along with other members of the Augustana Cross-Country Ski team. To further prepare for Nationals, Raynor and Asfeldt have carefully worked out a strategic training program with the help of coach Tim Wintoniw. The ski team training involves weight-lifting and plyometric strength training, interval training, skiing while maintaining varied heart rate zones, and running as cross training.
Hans and Cameron have exemplified an extremely dedicated and determined work ethic through the whole school year and are currently tapering off their training to maximize energy output capability for their grueling race schedule. Each of them will be competing in five races over seven of competition days. The schedule is as follows:
Classic Team Sprint: Saturday Mar 15
Classic 10km: Sunday Mar 16
Freestyle 15km: Tuesday Mar 18
Freestyle Sprints 1.6km: Thursday Mar 20
Classic 50km: Saturday March 22
If you wish to follow their races, live results can be viewed at www.zone4.ca/results. Additional event information can be found at the official 2014 Nationals website http://www.skinationals2014.com/. Vikings athletics can also be followed on Twitter via @UofA_AugVikings.
Hans and Cam’s ability to race with the best in Canada is inspiring and impressive. Augustana University and the Camrose Ski Club are proud to be sending them to Corner Brook as representatives of the school and community. Go Vikings!