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National Roller Cup

Newcomer Could Grab NROC Lead in St. Paul

August 3, 2012

Planet report

Minnesota half logo

Adam’s Test Team’s Melissa Dahlmann is only in her second year of inline racing. But a win Saturday in the Minnesota Half Marathon would move her into first place in the 2012 National Roller Cup.

The 29-year-old long-track ice skater from St. Paul won the Apostle Islands Inline Marathon in June and finished second in last month’s Chicagoland Inline Tour.

That put her into second place in the NROC Women’s Pro Open division, 60 points behind leader Morgane Echardour (TISC/Calvano), who finished third in the Chicagoland Tour.

Echardour, a design student in Toronto, is sitting out Saturday’s race — as are Bont’s Janelle Cole and Erin Jackson, who are both in Colorado Springs at Outdoor Nationals.

That makes Dahlmann the favorite to win her division Saturday in St. Paul. A win would earn her 100 NROC points and the lead in the division.

The toughest competition for Dahlmann on Saturday is likely to come from her teammate Kara Peterson, a 42-year-old Minneapolis police officer.

Peterson won the race last year and is leading the women’s Pro Vet division (40-49).

Saturday’s race could also be a game changer in several other NROC divisions.

In the men’s Pro Vet division, Bont USA’s Norm Kirby could take over the lead from Shift Racing’s Morgan Williams.

A win would put Kirby, 45, of Colorado Springs, 70 points ahead of Williams.

In the men’s Super Vet (60+) division, Rainbo’s Cale Carvell will be trying to catch Asphalt Beach’s Steve Larios.

Larios, the owner of the Asphalt Beach skate shop in Nashville, currently leads the Super Vet division with 440 points. But Carvell, a former skate shop owner in Chicago, is within striking distance with 400 points.

One thing Saturday’s race won’t do is dislodge Bont USA’s Justin Stelly from first place in the Pro Open division. Stelly, 24, of Kaplan, Louisiana, is 130 points ahead of second-place Jesse Pauley of Shift Racing.

But with Stelly off at Outdoor Nationals, the race gives Adam’s Test Team’s David Sarmiento a chance to grab another 100 points and move to within striking distance of Stelly.

The same thing is happening in the men’s Pro Master Division. Brian Oswald leads the division with a perfect score (500 points). But Twincam’s Ron Marfori could move to within 50 points of Oswald with a win Saturday.

The Minnesota Half Marathon, which is for runners and skaters, is a major event in the 2012 National Roller Cup.

Inline racing starts at 7:30 am Saturday (CDT).

Live blog coverage will start at 7 am on the Inline Planet.

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