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Baic and Darnton win White Pine Stampede

Michigan Cup

Mon, Feb  8, 2010 - By Mike Muha

It was a bit nippy at the start, but the sun was out for a beautiful start to the 2010 White Pine Stampede. Much of the trail was in great condition, although there were patches of dirt and grass in various stretches, mostly affecting the classic tracks in the 40K race. Without having a dedicated course that can be manicured all year, the White Pine did their very best to groom problem areas created by 4x4s and unmaintained private land.

There were a couple killer turns in the race. Skiers had to snow plow down fairly steep downhills to haripin corners at the bottom - impossible to take at speed.

Over 500 skiers took place in this year's White Pine. Race Director Jack McKaig was getting a little worried on race day morning as skiers poured into the Mancelona High School to register. "If this keeps up, we'll run out of bibs and goodie bags!" said McKaig about an hour before the first wave of skiers was to start.

The 40K freestyle was fast - very fast. Milan Baic of Williamsburg and member of the Vasa Ski Club smoked the field with a time of 1:34:47, five minutes faster than second place finisher Jeff Koch (1:39:47). Baic parted with the lead pack early in the race and skied most of the race by himself, out of sight and out of mind. Todd Vigland finished third another 5 minutes behind, in 1:44:31.

Milan Baic already has a commanding lead 16K into the 40K race

Milan Baic already has a commanding lead 16K into the 40K race
(photo by Arnie Goodman)

This was Baic's tenth victory at the White Pine over the four decades he's been racing the Stampede.

Cheryl Darnton of Ann Arbor was able to stay ahead at the end to beat Tracy Hardin on Cheboygan, 2:02:23 to 2:03:38. Grayling's Brenda Carlson was third in 2:04:27.

In the 40 K Classic, Gerard Grabowski from Bear Lake took first in 2:09:57. Barry Jones and Kerry Robbert were second and third in 2:13:22 and 2:20:34.

Carole Mueller Brumbaugh was the first 40K classic women, finishing in 3:09:43, followed by Jessica Woodward in 3:22:11 and Robin Carolson in 3:33:20.

20K Race

Ross Williams and Susan Vigland were the top dogs in the 20K Freestyle. Williams finished in 48:07, a few seconds ahead of Cliff Onthank (48:58) and Jim Harrington (50:26).

Start of the 20K White Pine Stampede cross country skiers

Start of the 20K White Pine Stampede
(photo by Lydia C. Cadena)

Vigland was not only the fastest women, in 56:45, but the 19th fastest skier overall in the 20K. Catarina Gulledge was second in 1:01:10, taking several minutes off her previous year's time. Finishing out the podium was Ivanka Baic-Berkishire, sister of overall 40K winner Milan Baic.

In the classic, Sean Kelly from South Bend, Indiana came in first in 1:03:17. Kip Knight of Elk Rapids and Jim Mowry of Manistee came in second and third in 1:06:08 and 1:09:54.

Cross country skiers in the 20K White Pine Stampede

Walter Johnson (1029) of Rochester Hills leads Tim Cook for Freeland up a hill in the 20K
(photo by Lydia C. Cadena)

10K Race

It was a trio of Traverse City skiers who won the male 10K event. Evan Cover was the top male in 25:30, followed by Raymond Innis (25:47) and Micha Norris (25:49) in one of the closet races of the day.

Two of Traverse City skiers were the top two women. Maria Frick to first amount the women (and fourth overall!) in 26:08, followed by Hilde Gronvold in 26:43. Marcella Nuffer of Ellsworth was third in 27:31.

Among classic skiers, James Short of Rapid City, Barry O'Brien of Traverse City, and Mike Eme of Gaylord took the top three places in 39:07, 40:13 and 45:09.

Britta Patrerson was the top female 10K classic skier, winning in 45:59. She was followed by Emily Steffke (Weidman) and Lisa Franseen (Traverse City) in 49:30 and 51:41.

2010 White Pine Results (PDF)

Photos from the race (MANY MORE PHOTOS TO COME!)