The Augustana Vikings had a stellar showing at the Canadian Birkebeiner, with 15 athletes racing in a variety of distances. The Torskeklubben Birkebiener is a recreation of the legend of the original Birkebeiner skiers that carried the equivalent of the infant crown prince, a 5.5 kg (12 lb) pack. Reese Bendiksen had an outstanding showing by placing first out of all the females in the 55km Torskeklubben Birkebiener. Bendiksen was digging deep to catch Braeden Kelly who narrowly escaped her grasp, notably placing first for his age category. Michio Green had an impressive showing by placing 4th overall in the 55km Birkie Lite, against determined competition.
Coach Nils Asfeldt tested his skill and stamina in the 31km Birkie Tour, placing first for his age category, with Nathanael Tabert in pursuit, placing second. Noah Day, Jonas Stoll-Pott, and Caelan MacQueen also raced the 31km, accomplishing the longest distance they have ever skied. Shae-Lynn Eastgaard placed second for her age category with her teammates Catherine Alcorn and Josie Middleton following. In the afternoon, the team roared for Chelsea Cook, Jackson Sweder, Alyssia Mattman and Maven Boddy as they finished their races. The Vikings brought home three golds, three silvers, and one bronze, marking another successful weekend!
Submitted by Michio Green
Photos by Sarah Hicks