VASA: Davis captures third straight short race

Record-Eagle/Jan-Michael StumpWomen's winner Rebecca Davis crosses the finish line of the16k classic race during Sunday's 43rd annual North American Vasa Festival of Races at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. The freestyle skiing events, fat bike races and junior vasa races were held on Saturday, while the classical skiing races were held on Sunday.

TRAVERSE CITY — Rebecca Davis has become a staple of the North American VASA, winning her third straight short classic race at the 43rd annual event.

Davis, 29, won the 12K in 2017, the 16K in 2018 and the 16K on Sunday.

She blew away the rest of the field with a time of 53 minutes, 33 seconds. Gaylord's Elizabeth Callison, 24, was runner up in 1:02:07. Cheboygan's Tracy Gravlin, 62, was third in 1:03:53.

"I'm really happy with it," Davis said. "This is always a tough weekend. It's one of the bigger races in Michigan. You get a lot of competition from all over, and it's great to put two good races back to back."

Davis won the 27K freestyle on Saturday.

"Today's race is a little shorter, so you feel like you can take off and hopefully hold on to the fast pace you set," she said.

Gravlin said there was no hope in catching her Hanson Hills Cross Country Skiing teammate, who disappeared ahead of the pack moments into the race.

"I used to (win) back in the day before the youngins came along," Gravlin said. "She's amazing. She's kind of unbeatable."

Davis said she always tries to win, now roughly 10 VASAs in. She enjoys the mass start of men and women and the beautiful course. She called it one of her favorite places to ski.

"It's a fun race I don't like to miss," Davis said.

Gravlin said she she woke up after racing Saturday's 27K freestyle and wasn't sure she wanted to compete Sunday, but once she hit the course she felt good.

"The double pull got me through OK, I think," she said. "I do that to myself a lot and pysche myself out."

Ann Wagar (Gaylord) finished fourth in 1:07:11. Wendy Anderson (Roscommon) placed fifth in 1:08:22.

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