Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne
Pathfinder 

OSCR Goes Digital

 

Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder

The 34th Annual OSCR hired Competitive Timing for the first time in race history to keep time for the 157 racers. Race Coordinator Lynn Carey thought it added a new professionalism to the race that he looks forward to continuing. Pictured: SLE Nordic Team racers (L-R) Klayton Kovatch, Dakota Wood and Caleb Maughan lead the 5K racers through the arch. They finished first, second and third respectively in the race.

SEELEY LAKE – The 34th annual Over Seeley's Creeks and Ridges (OSCR) ski race drew 157 racers Jan. 30, 25 racers shy of last year's record. Skiers came from Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon to race in the 50 kilometer (K), 20K, 10K or the kids' 5K races at the Seeley Lake Nordic Trails. This was the first year the OSCR hired Competitive Timing out of Whitefish, Mont. to do the timing.

For the past 33 years, volunteers did all the timing using stopwatches. Race Coordinator Lynn Carey was pleased with how well it worked to have Competitive Timing keeping track of the racers.

"It was great. The arch and clock added a professional touch to the race," said Carey.

While Carey thinks the race will continue to use Competitive Timing in the future, he thinks they may eliminate the chip timing.

The chips are given to each individual racer to be worn on their boot. Once they cross the start line it starts the timer and when they cross the finish line it stops their time.

While Carey likes that this eliminates the possibility of a mistake, he said that it made registration more difficult. Two volunteers used to be able to handle registration in the past. This year it took six people working to match the bib number with the chip number. Waivers also had to be signed making the racer financially responsible for the chip should they damage or lose it.

"I was really happy with the results," said Carey. "It was worth the hassle."

Carey said the course was great to start the race, thanks to the help of the volunteer groomers. When it started to snow just before 11:30 a.m., it slowed everyone down.

"The winners in the 20K race just missed the snow," said Carey. "Once it started, skiers had to work to go downhill."

Orion Berryman of Missoula, Mont. defended his title in the men's 50K finishing first for the fourth year in a row. He finished in his slowest time this year, crossing the finish line in 2:32:49, more than 22 minutes slower than his fastest time in 2015.

Defending first place racer for the women's, Kelli Carim of Missoula finished third with a time of 3:09:07 behind Christi Richard of Missoula (3:01:94) and Jenny Wolfe of Bozeman, Mont (3:03:28). Carim was nearly 30 minutes slower than her last year's time.

Other local racers in the 50K included: Tim Swanberg, Ovando (2:59:26 –first in his age group & fourth overall); Darren Zellman, Seeley Lake (3:20:27); David Batchelder, Seeley Lake (4:07:33); Kim Grover from Seeley Lake (3:27:23 – first in her age group and fifth overall women's) and Kelsi Luhnow, Seeley Lake (4:49:37)

Local racers in the 20K included: Angus Batchelder, Seeley Lake (57:22 – first in the men's race by 23 seconds); Brie Guilmette, Seeley Lake (1:14:17 – second in her age group) and Anne Dahl, Condon (1:27:41-first in her age group).

Local racers in the 10K included: William Batchelder, Seeley Lake (34:44 – third in his age group, fourth overall men's); Owen Hoag, Seeley Lake (35:56 – fourth in his age group, fifth overall men's); Zia Kloetzel, Ovando (32:59 – first in her age group, second overall women's) and Madeline Swanberg, Ovando (33:28 – second in her age group, third overall women's).

Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder

Seeley Lake's Angus Batchelder won the 20K race finishing 23 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. He finished in 57:22.

Local racers in the kids' 5K included: Klayton Kovatch, Seeley Lake (18:30 – first overall boys); Dakota Wood, Seeley Lake (18:56 – second overall boys); Caleb Maughan, Seeley Lake (19:07 – third overall boys); Cullen Bertsch, Seeley Lake (21:07 – first in his age group); Eric Lorentz, Seeley Lake (22:12); Malachi Nicholas, Seeley Lake (23:07); Sadie Smith, Ovando (20:53 – first overall girls); Macy Williams, Ovando (23:10 – third overall girls); Ella Batchelder, Seeley Lake (23:12) and Cora Stone, Seeley Lake (23:13).

The awards ceremony and chili feed was held at the Seeley Lake Community Hall following the event. Instead of the traditional t-shirt, racers received a stainless steel, insulated water bottle for participating.

"I figured after 34 years everyone has enough t-shirts," said Carey.

Next year will be the 35th annual OSCR. In keeping with the 5-year tradition, a lightweight stocking cap will be given to participants next year.

"We are slowly growing," said Carey. "The whole trail system is insanely popular. The popularity stems from the fact that we groom every day. That is thanks to our volunteers."

 

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