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Handicapping the favorites in the NYSSRA Champs… by Olympic Analyst: Chad Salmonella

The upcoming NYSSRA Championships promises to be a grueling contest.  Once again, the favorite in this race is Mother Nature.  She has rallied yet again to make the NYSSRA Champions Cup XC ski race a real challenge.  Two years ago she threw freezing rain and sleet at the racers.  Last season she doused them in a drenching downpour.  This year she has outdone herself by piling up tons and tons of heavy, wet, slushy, soft snow.  It should be a torturous course, and only a few of the NYSSRA elite will be able to rise to the occasion.  Here’s a look at who should get on the podium in New York’s true championship race:

Gold: Paul Allison... (Independent)  He has won the championship before and has been runner up the last two seasons.  He is the man to beat!

Silver:  Jason Hettenbaugh... (Rochester Nordic Racing)  Fourth in the LP Loppet shows he has the stamina to fight in the tough conditions.  If he has enough left after the morning biathlon, he will challenge Allison.

Bronze:  Marty Maynard... (Rochester Nordic Racing)  Another fast skier with good distance results.  Again, participation in the morning biathlon may open the door for others to reach the podium…

Podium Potential:  Eric Seyse...(Glenville Hills Nordic)  the NYSSRA overall points champ would like nothing better than to cement his standing as top dog with a huge result in the Champions Cup race.

Darkhorse:  Jon Santor…(Peru Nordic Masters)  the rising star of NYSSRA Nordic, Jon has steadily climbed up the rankings and has been skiing strong, and getting stronger with each race.  If he races out of his mind, he could challenge for the podium.

On Sunday the Club Championship Relay will feature a tremendous battle…  Rochester Nordic Racing should ski away with the gold, but the interesting race will be between the evenly matched Peru Nordic Masters and Team HURT.  It is a crapshoot between those two squads, and I would not be surprised if Silver and Bronze were determined by a sprint finish.  It should be exciting!

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