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Lannin and Westpal win 50 Km Vasa

Sun, Feb  15, 2009 - By Mike Muha

Traverse City's Ben Lannin won the 50 Km freestyle at the 2009 North American Vasa in 2:30:59, beating Team NordicSkiRacer's Steve Kuhl (2:31:44). Strait Strider's Denny Paull was third in 2:38:37. Lannin lead the race from the 7 Km mark.

Debbie Westphal time trialed much of the race by herself to win in 3:06:43. Hanson Hills/Cross Country Ski Shop skier Gussie Peterson came in second in 3:10:49. Traverse Nordic's Judy Vajda completed the podium in 3:17:59.

Former Canadian Junior Team skiers Chris Strahm won the 27 Km Freestyle in 1:22:21, just beating Traverse Nordic's Cliff Onthank by two seconds in a battle that took place in the last kilometer of the race. Jim Harrington took third a few seconds back in 1:22:51.

Amy Wichern won the 27 Km women's division in 1:31:43, with Susan Vigland (1:33:20) and Kelley Peterson (1:39:09) finishing second and third.

53 year old Dennis Alleva took top honors in the 12 Km freestyle by finishing in 42:53. In second place and many years younger was 12 year old Keefer Edwards in 51:23, followed by Duane Amato in 51:25.

Bridgett Hall (46:46), Kathleen Ferguson (59:29), and Arianne Petersen (59:31) were the top three women in the 12 Km freestyle.

Classic events

Bill Brundage won the 50 Km classic 3:17:33 in a close finish with  Randy Bladel (3:17:43). Brundage passed Bladel in the flats after the Jack Pines. Kerry Robbert was third in 3:29:36.

Kathy Garvin won the women's race in 5:10:13. Lynette Carani was second in 5:16:26. Coming in third was Anne Clifton in 5:23:19.

Gerard Grabowski captured the men's 27K classic in 1:45:39. Randy Smith, who finished 2nd at last week's 40 Km White Pine Classic, finished second at the Vasa in 1:49:33. Michael Sauer was third in 1:53:04.

Grand Rapid's Nordic's Carole Mueller-Brumbaugh won the women's 27K in 2:15:16. Second was Sara Cockrell in 2:17:10, with Betsy Bellario third in 2:17:19. 

Drew Koschmann won the men's 12K in 1:08:29, followed by Scott Hall (1:09:48) and Dick Munt (1:10:08).

Laura Jolly took the women's 12K in 1:17:17.Linda McInnally and Nancy Story were second and third in 1:18:30 and 1:21:54.

The numbers

Overall, 453 skiers participated in the 2009 Vasa making it just slightly larger than last week's White Pine Stampede (423 skiers).

Only 101 skiers raced in the 50 Km: 80 freestyle, 21 classic. In the 27 Km, the total was 257: 184 freestyle, 73 classic. In the 12 Km, it was 95 total: 51 freestyle, 44 classic.