Traverse City Record-Eagle


February 9, 2014

Webb, Kuhl capture 27K

TRAVERSE CITY — Laura Webb thought she might never win another Vasa.

Cross that off the list.

The Traverse City skier won the women’s 27K freestyle Saturday, finishing in 1:38:31.

“I might have been fortunate in that some good skiers went to the 50, and that Susan Vigland was out of town,” she said.

Vigland won the White Pine Stampede 50K last weekend.

But there was no denying Webb at the Vasa. She dominated, winning by close to four minutes. Homer’s Rebecca Davis came in second in 1:42:23.

The men’s race had a similar gap. Marquette’s Steve Kuhl crossed the finish line in 1:21:39. Traverse City’s Cliff Onthank took second in 1:26:11.

Kuhl, 37, took command about 7K into the race.

“I had some fast skis,” he said. “I was skiing in the front so I pushed the pace a little and opened a pretty good gap. I tried to ski hard and consistent the rest of the way in.”

“He got away early,” Onthank said. “I tried to close the gap, but he was skiing faster than me today. He’s a real good skier.”

Kuhl took last weekend off after the Noquemanon two weeks ago in Marquette. Skiers braved brutal conditions in that race.

“My face just stopped peeling,” Kuhl said. “I had frostbite on the nose and cheeks.”

Webb also competed at Noquemanon, finishing fourth in the 50K freestyle.

“That was all about survival,” she said.



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