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The start of the women's 15k skiathlon at Birch Hill (Photo Bryan Fish)

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Ollie Burruss anchoring the GRP relay team to 5th place (Photo Lance Parrish)

GRP Athletes Finish 2017 Season in Fairbanks, Alaska

Last Updated: 10.Apr.2017

Five Green Racing Project skiers, four women and one man, represented the team in the final races of the season at SuperTour finals in Fairbanks, Alaska last week. The four race series ended the 2016-2017 SuperTour season in the US, and was also the final ski race for the GRP skiers until next season.

15/22.5k Skiathlon
The first race was a skiathlon (half classic, half skate) on the hilly courses of Birch Hill. The GRP women had a strong showing, with Caitlin Patterson taking 3rd place, Kaitlynn Miller 6th, and Ida Sargent 17th. On the men’s side Ben Lustgarten had a great finish in 4th place, moving up from 7th after the classic portion.

Freestyle Sprint
All five GRP athletes qualified for the freestyle sprint, which took place in early evening at Birch Hill. Lustgarten took 4th place in the fourth men’s quarterfinal, which put him 20th overall on the day. Liz Guiney and Miller were both eliminated in their quarterfinals as well and placed 16th and 20th, respectively. Patterson placed 9th overall after taking 5th in the first semi-final, while Sargent went all the way to the A Final and placed 6th.

Mixed Club Relay
The GRP had one team enter the mixed relay, which consists of two female and two male athletes skiing 5k each. With only one current male GRP skier, they were lucky to pull in wax tech Ollie Burruss as anchor so they could start an official team. Miller had a great start in the first classic leg and tagged off in 3rd place to Lustgarten. He then pulled the team into 1st, with the fastest classic split of the day, and tagged Patterson. She hung tough with two of the best 5k skate skiers in the world, Jessie Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen, and tagged Burruss in 3rd. Although two APU teams overtook Burruss during his relay leg, he laid down a blistering finishing sprint with the SVSEF anchor which kept the team in 5th place at the finish.

30/50k Freestyle Mass Start
The final race of the series was also the longest, with a 30k mass start for women in the morning, followed by a 50k for men in the afternoon. Patterson led the charge for the GRP, finishing 7th in the women's 30k, followed by Sargent in 9th, Miller in 10th, and Guiney in 13th. In the men's race, Lustgarten hung tough for 50 hard kilometers on the hilly Birch Hill course to finish 12th.

Results from the full week of racing are available on the SummitTiming website. Thanks for following along this season!