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UMD hockey alum Trepanier on crash course

Myriam Trepanier was never known for her speed during a successful college hockey career at Minnesota Duluth."I was never the fastest skater on flat ice," she said, laughing. "I guess all I needed was a course that goes downhill with some jumps, ...

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Myriam Trepanier was never known for her speed during a successful college hockey career at Minnesota Duluth.
“I was never the fastest skater on flat ice,” she said, laughing. “I guess all I needed was a course that goes downhill with some jumps, and all the sudden, I’m the fastest one out there.”
Trepanier plans on going fast this weekend as part of the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in St. Paul. Today and Saturday serve as the season finale for Ice Cross Downhill World Championship.
Trepanier, who is second to Jacqueline Legere in points, wants to win this weekend to capture the world title. Former Cloquet and Bemidji State hockey player Sadie Lundquist will also compete.
“It’s my last shot to get some points and win the title,” Trepanier said.
Trepanier, 29, won the “Riders Cup” event last weekend at Mont Du Lac in Superior, while Austria’s Marco Dallago won the men’s race, followed by brothers Dan and Tyler Witty. Trepanier said Riders Cup events are by riders and for riders. They are usually natural ice events on ski hills, unlike this weekend’s event, which uses scaffolding and a refrigeration system.
That allows Red Bull Crashed Ice to take place right in the downtowns of major cities and will create awesome visuals this weekend as skaters race down a 1,200-foot course that winds along the Cathedral of St. Paul.
The course drops 90 feet and features hairpin turns, jumps and dropoffs. Skaters can reach speeds of more than 40 mph. Trepanier is in her second full year competing in the sport.
“It’s pretty crazy, but it’s really a fun sport,” Trepanier said. “It’s really a big thing. It’s nothing like I’ve ever done before. It’s a good mix between downhill skiing and hockey, which are two sports I grew up practicing. If you’ve ever been at a Red Bull Crashed Ice event, you know the type of environment and ambiance related to the race. It’s a real fun party to be a part of.”

Lundquist agreed. Lundquist, 24, lives in Minneapolis and works as an account representative for the Minnesota Wild. She graduated from Bemidji State in 2013 and has competed in the sport the past three seasons. Her highest finish this year was ninth in Munich.

Lundquist couldn’t make the Mont Du Lac event last weekend because of work but competed in it last year. It didn’t go very well as she broke her fibula. Despite the setback, she couldn’t wait to get back out there.

“My brother competed in the Crashed Ice event in St. Paul during my senior year of college, and I just knew it was something I wanted to do,” Lundquist said. “It’s a way to stay competitive after college. It’s crazy, but it’s very fun.”

Trepanier said you won’t see elbowing like you might see in roller derby. She said voluntary contact isn’t allowed, and there are referees along the track watching for any violations. Skaters can be disqualified.
“It’s hard enough as it is just trying to stay on your feet to worry too much about who is around you,” Trepanier said. “It’s pretty hard. Everybody fell at the race in Finland. There are so many variables that come into play when you’re going down the course. You really have to be focused on your race, and the way you’re racing and not making any mistakes to come out on top.”
That is one place where Trepanier generally excels. The former UMD defenseman and softball player is good at staying on her skates and is strong, at 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds. Even after a fall, some skaters pop right back up and keep going.
“You can do that, if you’re good enough and fall the right way,” she said. “But if you fall in the wrong spot, it can be challenging. I’m pretty tough on my skates, so I do have that to my advantage, and also my size. I was pretty physical back when I played in Duluth. So I have that going for me against the other female competitors who are usually much smaller.”
Trepanier, a Quebec native, graduated from UMD in 2009 with a degree in health education. She earned her master’s the following year in environmental health and safety. She works for a dairy plant in White Bear Lake, Minn., making sure everything is in compliance.
This year the sport has taken her to Quebec City, Munich, Germany, and Jyvaskyla, Finland. She won the Quebec City event and finished second in Munich. She said a victory pays a few hundred dollars.
“It’s not much,” Trepanier said, laughing. “I’m not doing it for the money - definitely not.”
Trepanier tries to make it to Duluth at least a couple times a year. She said last weekend’s event at Mont Du Lac was a treat. She had a good college experience here.
“I had a great career under Shannon Miller and won a national championship,” Trepanier said. “I have memories that will stay with me the rest of my life.”

Related Topics: BULLDOG SPORTS
Jon Nowacki joined the News Tribune in August 1998 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Stephen, Minnesota, in the northwest corner of the state, where he was actively involved in school and sports and was a proud member of the Tigers’ 1992 state championship nine-man football team.

After graduating in 1993, Nowacki majored in print journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, serving as editor of the college paper, “The Aquin,” and graduating with honors in December 1997. He worked with the Associated Press during the “tobacco trial” of 1998, leading to the industry’s historic $206 billion settlement, before moving to Duluth.

Nowacki started as a prep reporter for the News Tribune before moving onto the college ranks, with an emphasis on Minnesota Duluth football, including coverage of the Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II championships in 2008 and 2010.

Nowacki continues to focus on college sports while filling in as a backup on preps, especially at tournament time. He covers the Duluth Huskies baseball team and auto racing in the summer. When time allows, he also writes an offbeat and lighthearted food column entitled “The Taco Stand,” a reference to the “Taco Jon” nickname given to him by his older brother when he was a teenager that stuck with him through college. He has a teenage daughter, Emma.

Nowacki can be reached at jnowacki@duluthnews.com or (218) 380-7027. Follow him on Twitter @TacoJon1.
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