NDA X-Country Skiers Compete at the Birkebeiner

Delaney Butterfield, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

This past weekend, several of NDA’s students and staff participated in North America’s largest cross country ski race and the third largest in the world, the American Birkebeiner.

The Birkie spans 55 kilometers from Cable, Wisconsin, to Hayward, Wisconsin. The race starts at the Telemark Resort in Cable. It is also part of the Worldloppet, a circuit of 20 ski races around the world, as well as the American Ski Marathon, which includes 13 races across the country.

To participate in the race, skiers must be 18 years or older. Evan Haas, senior, Mr. Cassidy McGowan, NDA’s learning resource specialist, Coach Barette, one of NDA’s cross country coaches, and Deb Ernst, a cross country ski coach, all completed the full Birkie.

This year skiers from the United States won both the male and female Birkebeiner.

In addition to the Birkie, another ski race that spans 24 kilometers is called the Kortelopet, and is the second largest cross country ski race in North America. To participate in the Korte the skier must be 13 years or older.

This year, many Notre Dame students participated in the race, including Kate Stumpf, Joel Haas, Sam Moss, Hans Ernst and Elliot McGinnity-Schneider.

The Korte is a loop around Cable, starting at the Cable Union Airport. About 12,000 skiers participate in the Birkie and the Korte combined.

In addition to the Birkebeiner and the Kortelopet, a third and shorter race accompanies the two. The Prince Haakon, a 13 kilometer race that starts at the same place the Birkie does and ends at the Cable Union Airport, attracts 500 skiers.

“To prepare for the race,” said sophomore Kate Stumpf, “I am on the Ashwaubenon Nordic Ski High School Team (ANST) and we practice after school.”

Another team in Green Bay is called Bay Nordic, and Mrs. Ernst coaches it.  Some NDA students, according to Stumpf, train with that team.