Note: This recap has been corrected to reflect that Far West’s JC Schoonmaker was dubbed U16 men’s “King of the Hill” on Saturday, March 12.
CABLE, Wis. (March 12, 2016) — The final competition of the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships concluded with a grueling Relay Hill Climb race up Mt. Telemark. The pressure was high, as this race not only determined the Junior National Champion relay teams, but also the “king and queen of the hill” as well as the winner of the coveted Alaska Cup.
New England claimed the Alaska Cup, which is the award for the team who wins the most points overall, throughout the four days of competition.
In the U20 men’s hill climb, Max Donaldson, Travis Cooper and Luke Cvoncara representing team Alaska edged New England (Lewis Nottonson, Kamran Husaid and Land McKenny) for the Junior National Relay Hill Climb title by 1.7 seconds, followed by Midwest (Nick Gardner, Tamer Mische-Richter and Will Bodewes) who finished third. Team Alaska was led by Cooper, who had the fastest time, skiing the hill climb in just 5:40.8. Cooper also had the fastest time and was crowned “King of the Hill” for the U20 men.
In the U20 women’s relay, the Midwest team (Margie Freed, Mikaela Keller-Miller and Caroline Brisbois), charged up the hill to claim a convincing first place finish as well as the Junior National Relay Hill Climb title. The team was led by Freed who skied the hill climb in 6:39.2, which was the fastest in the U20 female class and made her “Queen of the Hill”. The strong Midwest team finished 16.3 seconds ahead of teammates and the second Midwest team (Sarah Bezdicek, Abigail Drach and Mattie Watts), followed by New England (Lauren Jertberg, Kaelyn Woods and Katie Feldman) who finished third.
Intermountain (Brooke Dunnagan, Anna Gibson and Sofia Shomento) claimed the U18 female Junior National Champion Relay Hill Climb title. The team was led by Dunnagan who skied the climb in a time of 6:52.5, which made her “Queen of the Hill for the U18 women. Intermountain dug deep to claim the victory 15.7 seconds ahead of New England (Leah Brams, Makenzie Rizo and Rena Schwartz) and Alaska (Anna Darnell, Magalen York and Jenna Difdeo), who finished third.
In the U18 men’s relay, Alaska (Hunter Wonders, Canyon Tobin and Tracen Knopp) hammered their way up Mt. Telemark, to secure the Junior National Relay Hill Climb. The team was led by Wonders, “King of the Hill,” who skied the fastest time for the U18 men in a time of 5:32.0. Wonders edged Mid-Atlantic skier Karl Schulz by 0.2 seconds who was the second-fastest hill climber of the day for U18s. Alaska skied to a first place finish just 11.1 seconds ahead of Mid-Atlantic team (Shulz, Bryce Harman and Henry McGrew), followed by New England (Daniel Steinz, Adam Glueck and Will Rhatiann), who finished third.
Alaska (Luke Jager, Ti Donaldson and Gus Schumacher), battled to the top to claim the U16 men’s Junior National Relay Hill Climb title by 17.6 seconds over Far West (JC Schoonmaker, Hayden Halvorsen and Nate Cutler). Schoonmaker was fastest of the U16 man and dubbed “King of the Hill” with a time of 5:44.5. Rocky Mountain placed third, with Cameron Wolfe, Jimmy Colfer and Collin Wilson.
In the U16 female relay, Midwest (Abigal Jarzin, Kelly Koch and Lucy Anderson) dominated the hill climb to claim the Junior National Relay Hill Climb title. The team was led by Koch was crowned “Queen of the Hill” who skied the hill in a time of 6:49.7, which was also the fastest time for the U16 females overall. Midwest finished 19.2 seconds ahead of New England (Anna Lehmann, Callie Young and Laura Appleby), followed by New England (Phoebe Sweet, Charlotte Ogden and Mae Chalmers) who finished third.
Results: Men’s and Women’s Hill Climb
For more photos of the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships, click here!