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Sunday, February 6, 2000 -- Confluence, PA
PA Nordic Championship XC Ski Race
Story and photos by Pennsylvania Cross Country Skier's Association

[Details] [Coverage]

PA Nordic Championship XC Ski
The start of the long haul
After last years's failed attempts at running the Pa. Nordic Championship due to a lack of snow, this years's version was long-awaited by the skiers who decided to make the trip to the Laurel Mountains on Sunday, February 6th. Sixty-six cross country ski enthusiasts participated in the three races (6k classical, 8.5 and 17k Freestyle) held on superbly groomed trails of the Laurel Ridge Cross Country Ski Center. With approximately two feet of snow, PACCSA's Special Events Coordinator Bill Kircher, and Bob Ruppel, proprietor of the ski center, spent many hours packing and preparing the course for the races.

In the 17 K Pa. Nordic Championship, six-time winner Jim Samuels and four-time women's champion Debbie Mizikowski were back to defend their titles against a strong contingent of 37 skiers from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland. With little wind and temperatures in the 20's, Samuels 933, of Pittsburgh) again emerged victorious for the seventh consecutive time in a time of 50:38. John Brockenbrough, 42 of Murrysville, finished second in 53:33, while Michael Murray, 40, of Erie, Pa., came in third in 53:50.

PA Nordic Championship XC Ski
Cruising through the woods
In the women's division, Debbie Mizikowski, 43, of Fairview, Pa. won for the fifth time in five attempts in a time of 55:12. Lucy Bergeyova, 25, of Bechtelville, Pa., finished second in 56:56, while Debbie Cully, 46, of Gibsonia, Pa., took third in 1:02:11.

In the 8.5K Freestyle event, 16 year old Chuck Nash of North Huntingdon, Pa., defeated 15 other racers in a time of 32:12. Stan Tissue, 39, of Keedysville, Maryland was second (33:37), and Rick Garstka, 53, of Munhall, Pa. Was third in 34:52. The top three women capturing trophies were Melanie Reade (15, Erie, Pa., 36:20), first place, Laura Brockenbrough (29, Murreysville, Pa., 37:26), and Elena Sussemkina (25, Pittsburgh, Pa., 42: 42).

In the 6K Classical race, the overall winner was John Brockenbrough, who bested a field of 20 skiers in a time of 25:26. The race for runnerup was very close, with Dave Helwig, 49, of Pittsburgh, Pa., (27:32), edging Brian Joly, 40, of Pittsburgh, Pa. (27:34) by only two seconds. In the women's division, Kathy Kuskowski (44, of Bakerton, Pa.) won the first place trophy in a time of 52:43.