CABLE, Wis. (March 7, 2016) – Warm weather and tough conditions greeted the skiers as the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships kicked off Monday, on the historic and grueling Telemark Trails.
Nick Gardner (Midwest) U20, Abigail Drach (Midwest) U20, Hunter Wonders (Alaska) U18, Leah Brams (New England) U18, Mae Chalmers (New England) U16, and Gus Schumacher (Alaska) U16, claimed the coveted 5- and 10-kilometer classic individual Junior National titles.
The men’s U20 10k race had first tracks and the coolest temperatures of the day as Gardner (Midwest) skied to a convincing first-place finish 35.1 seconds ahead of Logan Diekmann (Intermountain) who was second and Max Donaldson (Alaska) who finished third.
In the men’s U18 10k race, Wonders (Alaska) claimed the Junior National classic title 26 seconds ahead of Nolan Herzog (Rocky Mountain) and Xavier Mansfield (Midwest) who finished third. Wonders also had the fastest time of the day overall on the 10k course. Wonders has had an exceptional year competing in the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway and the U18 Scandinavian Championships in Otepaa, Estonia in February.
In the women’s U20 5k race, Drach (Midwest) dominated the race to claim the Junior National classic title 32.5 seconds ahead of Mattie Watts (Midwest) and Lauren Jortberg (New England) who finished third.
In the women’s U18 race Brams won the women’s race overall and claimed the Junior National classic title just 4.8 seconds ahead of Mackenzie Rizio (New England) and Hailey Swirbul (Rocky Mountain) who finished third. Brams also had the fastest time of the day for the U20/U18 women’s 5k race.
The U16 races became more challenging as the temperature increased, causing the course to become soft. In the men’s 5k race, Schumacher (Alaska) claimed the victory by 6.8 seconds over Ben Ogden (New England) and Conor Munns (New England) who finished third.
In the women’s U16 5k, Chalmers (New England) claimed the Junior National individual classic title just 3.9 seconds over teammate Anna Lehmann and Abigail Jarzin (Midwest) who finished third.