My Gut Reaction: It’s a Ruka Three-peat…repeat

Nov. 27, 3:40 p.m.

The lede: Klaebo swept all three Ruka events for the second time (2017 was the other and he came close in 2019 and 2020) on the men’s side and Frida Karlsson destroyed Ebba Andersson on the sixth lap to win her fourth career World Cup race.

The good, the bad, and the Ustiugov

The good was that Diggins fought back and made a move into third near the end of the race. The bad was

that she finished off the front of said group. The Ustiugov was that I missed a golden chance, as the broadcaster to say something like, “Are you kidding me with this skiing Jessie!!” ala Paul Allen, when she made her Prefontaine-esque bid for the podium. We’ll save it for when Diggins rounds into sharper form, which I predict will be right around TDS time.

Some other good: Obviously, we need to give Scott Patterson some credit for his magnificent Ruka Rally (we WILL NOT stop with the word-play), as he hopped on the Kruger train to go from bib No. ‘who cares’ to relevancy. Also, Novie McCabe had a quietly nice race I thought, although, I will forever be biased because she shares my daughter’s first name. Some other bad – Halfvy getting the podium ripped out from him was crazy….and me kinda sorta noticing it on the replay — working on exactly 2.1356 minutes of sleep — albeit with some undefined and unsure haze… was pure Ustiugov.

Another guy who deserves some props

I was so hoping to see Logan Diekmann make it into the rounds on Friday. He was 34th in the Lahti sprint last spring and was 32nd in this weekend’s sprint. To use Chris Collinsworth’s verbiage: “here’s a guy” who has done everything he can with his talent in pursuit of a World Cup dream. He worked his way through the NCAA ranks and, at an age where some people would be tempted to see an athletic enterprise as being the less fruitless option of starting a business career or a family, is grinding and chipping away at the gap between him and the best in the world.

I love that.

Far too often, if someone isn’t a total stud at 19, or if they’ve had a rough patch at 23, we — and the athlete themselves — just give up. Even though there is some physiological data pointing to a specific ‘peak’ for men … I honestly might throw that in the pile of hogwash I wrote about last week. There’s no reason Diekmann can’t be a solid World Cup contributor and even Olympian come 2026 …people are quick to point out that an athlete’s weight is just “a number.” Well, so is age. And, it’s not like Logan is a month away from receiving social security, but Even Northug is 27 and the way we talk about his career, you’d think he grew up racing with Jack Rabbit Johannsen. By Norwegian standards, Diemann being a 25-year-old World Cup rookie is old, but I think it’s perfectly fine.

Another thing: If the club-based development model ends up thriving the way U.S. Ski and Snowboard thinks it will, then people like Diekmann are the trailblazers athletes competing 10-20 years from now should — but probably won’t — thank. Presumably, a perfect future for the U.S. Ski Team is one filled with vibrant, excelling clubs like BSF, chock full of talent at all ages, each being served with exceptional coaching. But, that’s a dream for a reason.

Right now, our club system isn’t as robust as Scandinavian ones, so the work Newell and his athletes (and those at other newly formed clubs around the country) are doing is that much harder. It’s pretty incredible what he’s done in such a short time — building a team that’s talented, fun, markets themselves well, and is just pure class….and is already earning World Cup starts. Sure, I have some bias from getting a chance to see it from the inside … .but that kind of proves my point.

I’ve reached out to athletes and coaches with far less stature than Newell for interviews, stories, etc., and many don’t think I’m worth their time. The BSF leader always replies and I’ve heard other stories that convince me he truly cares about growing skiing in this country. I know some citizens/master blasters who have had longer phone conversations with Newell —where the 4x Olympian shares his knowledge on training and technique — than they probably have had with their own parents.

His team made themselves available for my own master’s thesis research — which isn’t just an act of kindness. It’s a very significant step forward in the synergy between science and sport. Look at Norway — they pride themselves on their vast amount of scientific research, which, because it utilizes the elite/pro populations, can provide those populations with beneficial knowledge!

Those kinds of humble interactions and in-the-trenches work are refreshing, and they’re adding positivity to the U.S. cross-country ski narrative. Finally, they’re laying the future foundation for a country where, just maybe, everyone spends Sunday afternoons skiing in the woods.

Speaking of which, it’s time for Ajee and I to get out for a ski. If there are typos on this column, or if I said something inaccurate, I apologize — it’s a blog.

Published by rsederquist

My name is Ryan Sederquist.  I am a man of many passions and dreams, and this website is the outlet for many of them. I am currently teaching 5th grade remotely in the Adams12 school district in Colorado. I have been an elementary music teacher in Alamosa, Colorado, as well as a 7-12 band director at Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado. I am also in the final, final stages of acquiring my M.S. in Exercise Science from Adams State University. In 2018-2019, we spent a year in Presque Isle, Maine as I coached the UMPI Nordic ski team. I currently live in Leadville, Colorado with my wife Christie, a special education teacher, and our border collie-German shepherd mix, Ajee. Even though it is not my full-time job, ever since I was a child, I had the desire to do one of three things professionally - pro sports, writing about pro sports, or being a radio talk show host. This website is where I pretend to do the latter two, and when I'm out pretending to do the former, I listen to podcasts, think about topics, and pursue my wild dream of someday, at some event, in either running, biking, or skiing, wearing a team USA uniform. This website contains articles, podcasts, pictures, and journal entries that have to do with my passion and involvement in endurance sports. Our flagship project is the Seder Skier Podcast, which talks mostly about nordic skiing and attempts to interview influential individuals in the ski world. I also rant about the Big 4 sports, with a lean towards Minnesota teams (Vikings, Twins, Twolves, and MN Distance Running). I sometimes try to write Sports Illustrated like 'feature' articles about athletes as well. In addition to a focus on sports, you will find the occasional article or show that discusses the intersection of theology and society ...which is ...obviously everywhere. We place these in our Skieologians podcast. The heading at the top of my homepage reads, "Search for Truth. Play with purpose. Strive for success." It is the underlying theme for my coaching philosophy, which can be downloaded from this site. Basically, I'm always looking to search for the truth in my pursuit of knowledge, whether that is knowledge regarding the best methods for waxing skis, training a quarter miler, or defending my Christian apologetic. Searching implies a dedicated pursuit for knowledge, and that is what I'm about and what this site is about, even if it is simply for providing viewers with an accurate description of a product. Play with purpose has to do with living out our passions because they are fun. I ski because its fun. I play music and teach young kids because there is joy in it. This blog is about celebrating the joy and fun that inherently exists in the pursuit of excellence and in the activities themselves. Finally, strive for success is built on the principle that true success is the realization that we gave 100% effort to become the best that we could possible be. It requires 100% in preparation, competition, reflection, mental effort, etc. If something is worth doing, I believe it is worth doing with that level of effort. Someday, I hope to race the Visma Classics - the entire season, wear a Team USA singlet, and have a job that involves writing or talking about sports or theology all day. If you know of any body I can reach out to to help me accomplish these goals, please email me at sederquistrd@grizzlies.adams.edu

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