Marshall skis to thrilling gold medal

Canadian National Team cross-country skier Alysson Marshall won gold at the US Super Tour Sprint in West Yellowstone, MT

Alysson Marshall

Alysson Marshall

Canadian National Team cross-country skier Alysson Marshall won gold at the US Super Tour Sprint in West Yellowstone, MT last Friday.

More than 90 competitors suited up for the 1.4-kilometre free technique Super Tour season opener.

In the qualification round Marshall tied for third place, just 1.6 seconds behind her team mate Heidi Widmer who came first.

The top 30 from the qualifications then competed in the heats.

The heats in the U.S. are extremely competitive and Marshall was challenged every step of the way, pulling off much faster heat times than her qualifier trial yet still just squeaking through to the A-final.

The A-final was considered by many of the seasoned racers to be one of the most competitive they had been in as all six racers were within seconds of each other making for a strategic race.

Marshall positioned herself in third for most of the race.

When she reached the finishing stretch entering the stadium, she accelerated past American Chelsea Holmes to go head-to-head with her teammate Widmer.

As they approached the finish Marshall gave a final kick and lunged for the win, finishing .28 seconds ahead of Widmer.

A veteran of 17 World Cups, Marshall said her win was a confidence booster and a great warm up for the season.

In the 10-km free technique race on Sunday, Marshall was still recovering from Friday’s races.

She came in 17 out of 88 starters in a time of 28:50.7, 1.50.8 off the pace of the  winner.

The next Super Tour races are in Bozeman MT next weekend.