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Relay Hill Climb Caps Off Junior Nationals; New England Wins Alaska Cup

The Midwest U20 women’s relay, with Margie Freed, Mikaela Keller-Miller and Caroline Brisbois, racing to first place in the relay hill climb at 2016 Junior Nationals in Cable, Wis. Freed was fastest of the U20 women to the top of Mt. Telemark in 6:39.2, and she was dubbed "Queen of the Hill." (All photos: CXC)

The Midwest U20 women’s relay, with Margie Freed, Mikaela Keller-Miller and Caroline Brisbois, racing to first place in the relay hill climb at 2016 Junior Nationals in Cable, Wis. Freed was fastest of the U20 women to the top of Mt. Telemark in 6:39.2, and she was dubbed “Queen of the Hill.” (All photos: CXC)

(Press release)

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!

Freestyle Sprints Mark Final Day of Individual Racing at JNs

The U18 men's freestyle sprint final, which Alaska's Hunter Wonders won. (All photos: CXC)

The U18 men’s freestyle sprint final on Friday at 2016 Junior National Championships in Cable, which Karl Shulz of Mid-Atlantic (101) won. (All photos: CXC)

(Press release)

CABLE, Wis. (March 11, 2016) — The third day of the USSA Junior National Championships competition continued Friday with hard-fought sprint races on the grueling 1.3-kilometer course at Telemark Trails.

Logan Diekmann (Intermountain) U20, Sarah Bezdicek (Midwest) U20, Hannah Halvorson (Far West) U18, Karl Shulz (Mid-Atlantic) U18, Scott Shulz (Mid-Atlantic) U16 and Sydney Palmer-Leger (Intermountain) U16, claimed the Junior National freestyle sprint titles.

In the men’s U20 sprint, Diekmann dominated throughout the day all the way to the finals. Diekmann started the day strong, posting the fastest qualifying time, which advanced him to the heats. Diekmann won his heat and then skied to the win in the finals, finishing 3.75 seconds ahead of Dylan Syben (Far West) and Bill Harmeyer (Pacific Northwest) who finished third.

“This may be my final Junior Nationals and I couldn’t be happier about my race,” said Diekmann. “It has been a goal of mine to be on top of the sprint podium. I felt good physically and mentally. This race means a lot to me and my team but I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and family members. This is truly a wonderful way to finish out an incredible season.”

“Today was a great day, I am really happy to have had the best race I could have had with a bunch of cool racers/friends,” said Syben. “So far racing this week had been hard but I am happy to finish the individual races with good results going into the relay. Thanks to all the volunteers!”

“The race was awesome,” said Harmeyer. “Special thanks to the volunteers who helped keep the course intact. Couldn’t have pulled it off without them! Thanks to my parents who have helped me from the start! Good end to the season!”

In the U20 female sprint, Bezdicek started the day off strong and ended it even stronger. Bezdicek skied the fastest U20 female qualifying time, then won her heat, which advanced her to the finals. Bezdicek claimed the Junior National freestyle sprint title just 2.74 seconds over Lauren Jortberg (New England) and Abigail Drach (Midwest) who finished third.

“It was really warm out there, but the course help up thanks to all the volunteers,” said Bezdicek. “It was a fun and hard final!”

“I’m really excited to be on the podium and really feel good,” said Jortberg. “I haven’t been too excited about my previous races here, but stoked to end the individual races feeling awesome! I’m super excited for the relay tomorrow with New England. New England has awesome wax techs and coaches! I’ve had incredible skis!”

Halvorsen dominated the U18 women’s freestyle sprint. Halvorsen qualified second, won her semifinal heat which advanced her to the finals. Halvorsen skied to a convincing overall freestyle sprint title, 7.30 seconds ahead of Amanda Kautzer (Midwest) and Brooke Dunnagan (Intermountain) who finished third. Halvorsen has had an outstanding season, competing at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway and the U18 Scandinavian Championships in Oteppa, Estonia, in February.

“I am so excited to have a race come together like this today,” said Halvorsen. “After a lot of hard work and an abundance of support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches, I am so happy to have a strong race. This is what I live for!”

“I was slightly disappointed about the first two races of JNs, but am psyched about today’s race as I haven’t sprinted at all this season due to biathlon racing,” said Kautzer, who represented the U.S. at Biathlon Youth/Junior World Championships in Romania this season. “Our coaches gave us great skis today and all the coaches and especially my parents were great with cheering!”

“So far, this week has been really exciting! The conditions have been changing a lot and has required us to be very flexible,” said Dunnagan. “Skate sprinting is one of my favorite events to compete in. I felt really good today and can’t wait for tomorrow’s relay!”

Shulz dominated the U18 men’s freestyle sprint, starting with the qualifier through to the finals. Shulz had the fastest U18 qualifying time and the second fastest qualifying time of the day, just five seconds behind U20 skier Diekmann. Shulz won his quarterfinal and semifinal heats, which advanced him to the finals. Shulz skied to a convincing victory, 4.53 seconds ahead of Daniel Streinz (New England) and Tracen Knopp (Alaska) who finished third.

“This was the best race of the season,” said Shulz “While I was in the starting pen for my quarterfinal heat, my younger brother Scott came in and won the U16 men’s sprint title and that gave me the final motivation I needed to believe I could go all the way with him.”

“My race was good, but not my best,” said Streinz. “ My season has been going well, I got a top 10 on the U18 trip to Estonia. The New England team is strong so it’s a fun team to be on. I like spring skiing so JNs is always a fun time.”

“Today felt great,” said Knopp. “I feld smooth and strong the whole day. The first day was bad but the next couple race I have felt good. The season has been good too. Solid training and racing”

Scott Schulz was the inspiration to his older brother Karl as Scott claimed the Junior National freestyle sprint title for the U16 men. Schulz qualified strong, finishing fourth which advanced him to the finals. Schulz grabbed first ahead of Samuel York (Alaska) and Thomas Gebhards (Intermountain) who finished third.

“Sweet!” said Schulz. “I had a great season and this was the perfect way to end it!”

“I had an awesome season and trained hard,” said Gebhards. “I am glad to have been able to still compete in this race and that they could pull off the race. I’d like to thank all the race volunteers for their countless hours of service.”

It was a close race between the U16 women for the Junior National freestyle sprint title. Palmer-Leger claimed her second national title by 1.5 seconds over Abigail Jarzin (Midwest) and Margaret Gellert (Alaska), who finished third. Palmer-Leger, Jarzin and Gellert were in the top three of the qualifiers and continued to fight hard and stay strong until the finals.

“I had an awesome season, trained hard to make it to Junior Nationals,” said Palmer-Leger. “Happy to get another chance to race in such a big race. I want to thank my parents and coaches that have worked very hard to help me become a better skier.”

“This season has had many ups and downs but I’m super happy to have had a strong race today,” said Jarzin. “Thankful for my coaches who have helped me become the skier I am today.”

The final race of the 2016 Junior Nationals continues Saturday with a relay hill climb starting at 9 a.m. Central time. The races will be streamed live, courtesy of Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC).

Results: 

U20 Men

U20 Women

U18 Women

U18 Men

U16 Men

U16 Women

Junior Nationals Resumes with Freestyle Individual Starts

The U20 men's 15 k freestyle podium on Thursday at 2016 Junior Nationals in Cable, Wis., with Max Lachance, Max Donaldson and Lewis Nottonson. (All photos: CXC)

The U20 men’s 15 k freestyle podium on Thursday at 2016 Junior Nationals in Cable, Wis., with winner Max Lachance (c), runner-up Max Donaldson and Lewis Nottonson in third. (All photos: CXC)

(Press release)

CABLE, Wis. (March 10, 2016) — After hundreds of volunteers gathered at Telemark Trails to shovel snow and restore the course, after a spell of unseasonably warm temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday, the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships freestyle distance races went on successfully on Thursday.

Max Lachance (Intermountain) U20, Sophia McDonald (Intermountain) U20, Hunter Wonders (Alaska) U18, Anna Darnell (Alaska) U18, Luke Jager (Alaska) U16 and Sydney Palmer (Intermountain) U16, claimed the Junior National individual freestyle victories.

In the U20 men’s 15 k freestyle race, it was a battle for the victory, as first through third were within 3.1 seconds of each other. Lachance edged Max Donaldson (Alaska) by 1.6 seconds to claim the Junior National freestyle distance title. Lewis Nottonson (New England) followed close behind in third, just 3.1 seconds out of first. This is Donaldson’s second podium at the 2016 Junior National Championships, after finishing second in the classic individual start on Monday.

“I’m in disbelief!” said Lachance. “Definitely happier with my season now! The course was really fast!”

“It was a tough battle the whole race”, said Donaldson. “It was fun trading off the lead with Max. Endless thanks to the volunteers for making a hard fast course possible today.”

The women’s U20 10 k race was another battle to the podium, as first through fifth were within 10.2 seconds of each other. McDonald (Intermountain) edged Abigail Drach (Midwest) by 1.7 seconds, to claim the Junior National freestyle distance title. Mattie Watts (Midwest) followed close behind in third, just 8.7 seconds behind first. This is Drach’s and Watts’ second podium after Drach claimed the Junior National distance classic title on Monday, while Watt finished second overall. The U20 women had to complete three loops around the course, which made up the grueling 10 k.

“I am so impressed with how all the volunteers have worked really hard to pull this event off with the lack of snow!” said McDonald. “It was a fun and hard race!”

“It was a hard race with steep uphills and technical downhills, but I really enjoyed racing the 10k skate,” said Drach.

“The course was in incredible shape!” said Watts. “Thank you to all the volunteers for all their hard work to help put on an amazing race!”

In the men’s U18 10 k, Wonders claimed his second Junior National title, after winning the individual classic race on Monday. Wonders skied to a convincing first place finish, 44.1 seconds over Karl Schulz (Mid-Atlantic) and Wyatt Gebhardt (Rocky Mountain) who finished third. The U18 men had to complete three laps of the 3.75k loop.

The race felt great, I took it out hot and just tried to hold on,” said Wonders.

“The race felt awesome, one of the hardest and best races of the season,” said Schulz. “I went out hard and finished harder!”

The U18 women skied an impressive 10 k, as first through third had the three fastest times out of the U18 and U20 women. Darnell (Alaska) grabbed the Junior National individual freestyle title just 0.6 seconds ahead of Hailey Swirburl (Rocky Mountain) and Leah Brams (New England) who finished third. This is both Swirbul and Brams’ second podium at the 2016 Junior National Championships. Brams claimed the Junior National individual classic title on Monday, while Swirbul finished third overall.

“I felt great about my race, I focused on having fun and going hard and my coaches killed it with fast skis!” said Darnell.

“There is no podium performance without so much hard work behind the scenes,” said Swirbul. “Unbelieveable coaches, wax testers and teammates throughout the year are what have give me this opportunity! Thanks to all!”

“I felt pretty good about my race!” said Brams. “My skis were rippin’, but the hills were TOUGH!”

In the U16 men’s 10 k race, new faces were on the podium. Jager (Alaska) claimed the Junior National individual freestyle title 17.3 seconds ahead of James Clinton “JC” Schoonmaker (Far West) and Ti Donaldson (Alaska) who finished third.

“Our skis were feeling really good and that helped make the entire race feel solid,” said Jager. “I was getting splits from our coaches that all of my teammates were killing it, which encouraged me to dig a little deeper. I was pretty surprised with the result, but couldn’t be more stoked. The race was hard but also fun.”

“On Monday I didn’t really have the best race, so today I just wanted to come out and give it my all and I think I did that so I’m really happy,” said Schoonmaker. “This whole trip has been great despite the weather conditions, but its just awesome we got to race today and I’m super grateful for all the volunteers and everyone out here.”

“This whole season, I’ve been thinking about this race alone,” said Donaldson. “When today finally came, I couldn’t help feeling butterflies in my stomach. However, I forced myself to retain my focus and concentrate on skiing my absolute best. It worked! Also, HUGE shoutout to all of the volunteers who sacrificed their time to work on such an awesome course.

In the final race of the day, the U16 women battled to the finish in a tough 5k race. Palmer-Leger (Intermountain) claimed the Junior National individual freestyle title just 3.1 seconds ahead of Novie McCabe (Pacific Northwest) and Margaret Gellert (Alaska) who finished third.

“The whole season I have been working very hard to make it to Junior Nationals,” said Palmer-Leger. “The first race went okay, but this second race I concentrated and focused on getting top three. My coaches have been a huge help in getting me where I am today. Also, a huge shoutout to all of the volunteers who spend so much of their time working on the course.”

“I have had a really amazing season this winter. I had an amazing racing today and I was super excited to finish top three,” said McCabe. “This trip has been really fun and I have loved racing here. The courses are super fun and have lot of great hills. I am so lucky to be racing here and I am super excited to start racing next season.”

“It was really awesome coming off of a bad race on Monday, and be able to race competitively with the best female U16s in the Nation today,” said Gellert. “It’s always fun to end the season with a race where you feel good! I am so lucky to be a part of such a great team (Alaska Winter Stars) and travel with my teammates from Alaska.”

Competition continues Friday, with a freestyle sprint. The races will be streamed live, courtesy of Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC).

Results: 

U20 Men

U20/U18 Women

U18 Men

U16 Men

U16 Women

Warm Weather, Melting Snow Postpones Junior Nationals Day 2

Warm temperatures and the resulting wet snow has led organizers to push back Wednesday’s races at Junior Nationals in Cable, Wis., and change the formats to a freestyle individual start on Thursday, freestyle sprint on Friday, and potential freestyle relay on Saturday.

Junior Nationals opened Monday with 5/10 k classic individual starts.

Wednesday’s races were canceled during a coaches’ meeting early Tuesday evening. The wet snow is causing drainage problems on the trails at Telemark and making it difficult to bolster with manmade snow. The stadium is reportedly a puddle, which could force organizers to move the start to a different area and also affect the length of the course loops.

On Wednesday, the forecast in Cable called for a high of 37 degrees Fahrenheit with scattered showers.

More details will be posted when they become available.

New Junior National Champions Crowned at 5/10 k Classic in Cable

Nick Gardner (Midwest) skiing to a 35-second victory in the U20 men's 10 k classic individual race on Monday, the first day of Junior Nationals in Cable, Wis.

Nick Gardner (Midwest) skiing to a 35-second victory in the U20 men’s 10 k classic individual on Monday, the first day of Junior Nationals in Cable, Wis.

(Press release)

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.

Competition continues Wednesday with a 1.3/1.0k classic sprint. The races will be streamed live, courtesy of Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC).

Results:

U20/U18 Men

U20/U18 Women

U16 Men

U16 Women

 

Making Lemon-Aid: A Guest Post by Coach Howden

Kieran, Bella, Pat, Alec & Madi in Holmenkollen on their way to the Statoil cup in Hovden, Norway. (Photo: Ron Howden/Team Hardwood)

Kieran, Bella, Pat, Alec & Madi in Holmenkollen on
their way to the Statoil cup in Hovden, Norway. (Photo: Ron Howden/Team Hardwood)

By Team Hardwood Coach Ron Howden 

What do you do when qualification races don’t go the way you wanted and you don’t make either trip to Europe?

A. Go home and feel sorry for yourself

B. Get upset and give up skiing

C. Race domestic NorAms

D. Get on a plane and go to Norway and Sweden

E. C & D

On Jan. 17 when Cross Country Canada published the teams for the junior European trips and 3 of the 4 athletes that I coach didn’t qualify,  we went back to the house where we were staying and had a team meeting and I asked them the question above.  All three of them came up with the same answer: E.

For Bella, Madi and Kieran this is their last year in Junior, they were hoping to make the world junior team and if not then the B-tour.  As so many other athletes they were dedicated to their training in the summer, found a way to balance their training, racing and University through the fall and raced well in the early season.  By the time world junior trials came around they all raced as hard as they could, but in the end others were faster on that day.

When we sat down after the race we all decided that we were not going to let others determine our fate, if we were going to succeed in this sport then we had to work with the ups and downs.  This one decision set the wheels in motion for the plan for the rest of the season.

Step one, look at the FIS calendar and find the best time to go to over to Europe and the best races to go to and how we can blend that with the two Noram’s that are in Quebec.  We decided on the following schedule

  • Jan 30 & 31 – NorAm Mont Ste. Anne
  • Feb 5-7 – Eastern Canadian Championships – Gatineau
  • Feb 12-14 – Statoil cup – Norway
  • Feb 19-21 – Intersport cup- Sweden

Step two, send a few emails to get entered for the races, book accommodation and rent a car.

Step three, pay for the trip. Amazingly the whole trip was about the same cost as they would have paid if they went on one of the planned trips so it was in the budget they set for the season.

As their coach I am super proud that these three athletes were able to accept the decision, make a new plan and refocus.  As a result they were able to turn an unfortunate result into an incredible learning experience that will last with them for a lifetime.

The road to achieving your goals will be filled with successes and disappointments; it is how we deal with these that make us a better skier.

(Ron Howden is head coach and technical director of Team Hardwood, a nordic developmental program based out of Barrie, Ontario.)

inspiration

YOG Wrap: Three Medals for Korea’s Magnus Kim; Hunter Wonders 8th in 10 k Skate

Magnus Kim racing to gold in the men's 10 k freestyle at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Kim is the son of a Norwegian and Korean couple and races for South Korea. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Magnus Kim racing to gold in the men’s 10 k freestyle at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Kim is the son of a Norwegian and Korean couple and races for South Korea. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Given the choice, who would you ski for: Korea or Norway? Dual citizen and most recently, dual gold medalist at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, Magnus Kim, found the answer easy. He chose Korea.

“They [Norwegians] actually like me representing Korea because people think this is an opportunity to develop the sport,” 17-year-old Kim said in an Yonhap news press release. “In Norway, most people welcome the idea of promoting skiing to other countries.”

The son of a Norwegian and Korean couple, Kim won his second gold medal last Thursday, Feb. 18, in the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle individual start. He completed the 2 x 5 k course in a time of 23:04.8, the next best finisher, Vebjørn Hegdal of Norway, 16 seconds behind.

“I had thought about winning a medal in this event, but I didn’t expect to collect two gold medals and one silver,” Kim said.

Along with Thursday’s gold medal in the 10 k, Kim also collected a silver medal in the preceding classic sprint and a gold medal in the cross-country cross sprint.

Thursday’s bronze medal went to Igor Fedotov of Russia, who finished 54.4 seconds back from Kim’s winning time.

American Hunter Wonders, of Anchorage, Alaska, raced to a top-10 finish in the 10 k for his best finish at this year’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG). He placed eighth (+1:43.7), two-tenths of second behind Finnish skier Remi Lindholm in seventh (1:43.5).

The second North American in the men’s 10 k was Canadian Levi Nadlersmith, who finished in 28th (+3:13.8).

“The Youth Olympic Games has been an amazing experience to be a part of!” Nadlersmith told Cross Country Canada. “I have learned an incredible amount from this opportunity to compete for Canada.”

In the women’s 5 k freestyle individual start, Russia’s Maya Yakunina won her first Youth Olympic Games gold medal, winning the event in a time of 12:58.8.

Though the win was what Yakunina  “wanted to achieve” while on course, she stayed focused on the 5 k at hand.

“I tried not to think about the medal. I just wanted to do my best on the course and see what the result would be,” Yakunina said in an interview with Youth Information Service (YIS).

Hannah Halvorsen (Sugar Bowl Academy) racing to 17th in the women's 5 k freestyle at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Hannah Halvorsen (Sugar Bowl Academy) racing to 17th in the women’s 5 k freestyle at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Winning China’s first medal in a YOG cross-country event was Chi Chunxue, finishing 31.1 seconds behind Yakunina’s time to take silver.

“Everyone wants to win gold, but you have to strive and really work hard for it,” Chunxue said to YIS. “Here [at the YOG] I met so many excellent athletes and this will inspire me to work even harder in the future.”

Thursday’s bronze medal went to Finland’s Rebecca Immonenen, who finished 37.1 seconds back from Yakunina’s time.

“It is unbelievable that I won bronze,” Immonenen told YIS. “This means so much to me.”

The two North American women in Thursday’s 5 k, Canadian Annika Richardson and American Hannah Halvorsen both bagged top 20’s, finishing 16th (+1:11) and 17th (+1:15), respectively.

“It was one of those magical days where I found I could access my reserves and my mental toughness easily,” Richardson told Cross Country Canada. “I love that I finished racing here at YOG on a high note.”

The10 k freestyle race on Thursday marked the final individual cross country event for both the men and women YOG competitors.

Results: Men | Women

***

Friday brought cross-country skiers, ski jumpers and nordic-combined competitors together for the YOG’s first nordic mixed team normal hill/3 x 3.3 k relay.

Each team fielded five athletes: a female jumper, a male jumper, a nordic-combined athlete, a female cross-country skier, and a male cross-country skier. The three jumpers combined jump result determined the nordic-combined skier’s start time in the event’s skiing portion.

The skiing portion included 3 x 3.3 k legs. The first leg was skied by the team’s female cross-country competitor. Leg 2 was skied by the nordic-combined athlete. The third and final leg was raced by the team’s male cross-country competitor.

Taking the gold in the event was the Russian team, with ski jumpers Sofia Tikhonova and Maksim Sergeev, female cross-country skier Maya Yakunina, nordic-combined skier Vitalii Ivanov, and male cross-country skier Igor Fedotov, winning the relay race in 26:16.9.

Yakunina finished Leg 1 in first in a time of 8:45.1. Ivanov jumped to seventh place, Tikhonova jumped to second, and Sergeev ninth.

“This team competition is very important and I’m glad that I was able to do my part well,” Tikhonova told YIS regarding her performance on Friday.

Russia’s combined team jumps put Ivanov on course 35 seconds behind Slovenia, the team with the best jumps of the day, with female jumper Ema Klinec, male jumper Bor Pavlovcic, nordic-combined athlete Vid Vrhovnik, female cross-country skier Anja Mandeljc, and male cross-country skier Luka Markun.

Russia’s Ivanov then skied the sixth-fastest second leg in a time of 8:42.2 and tagged off to Fedotov, who anchored the Russians to first with the sixth-fastest third leg time of 8:14.6.

“Everything was wonderful and I was very happy when I crossed the line,” Fedotov told YIS. “Maya did a great job putting us in [position to challenge] the first position and the ski jumpers also did well.”

Following Russia’s first place finish was team Norway with silver. Female jumper Anna Odine Strøm, male jumper Marius Lindvik, female cross-country skier Martine Engebretsen, nordic combined athlete Lurås Einar Oftebro, and male cross country skier Vebjørn Hegdal made up the Norwegian team. They finished 21.1 seconds behind Russia.

“I saw the other guys were really tired in the long hill and I saw a really big opportunity there,” Hegdal told YIS regarding his relay leg. “ It’s amazing, it’s really cool to take silver as a team.”

Third place went to Germany, just one-tenth of a second ahead of Slovenia in fourth place and four-tenths of a second behind Norway.

Female jumper Agnes Reisch, male jumper Jonathan Siegel, female cross-country skier Anna-Maria Dietze, nordic-combined athlete Tim Kopp, and male cross country skier Philipp Unger garnered the bronze medals for Germany.

“I’m so happy, we had the perfect team and we all worked together,” Unger said to YIS after the race.

The Americans finished eighth (+2:09.8), with ski jumpers Logan Sankey and Casey Larson, Halvorsen, nordic-combined skier Ben Loomis, and Wonders.

Halvorsen skied the seventh-fastest first leg, 58 seconds back from Yukinina’s time. Loomis and Sankey both posted the 11th-best jumps, and Larson jumped to seventh. Their combined jumps put Loomis on course 1:59 back from Vrhovnik. Wonders anchored for the U.S., skiing the second-fastest third leg of the day in a time of 7:59.6.

Sankey wrote on Twitter that she was “stoked for the team event.”

Results

***

Norway's Fredrik Qvist Bucher-Johannessen during leg two of the mixed relay biathlon event at the YOG on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Norway’s Fredrik Qvist Bucher-Johannessen during leg two of the mixed relay biathlon event at the YOG on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

The final day of competition for this year’s YOG included the biathlon mixed relay.

Two women and two men competed for each team, with the women skiing 6 k and the men skiing 7.5 k.

Winning the event gold medal in a time of 1:18:35.6 was the home team: Norway. Out on course first for the team was Marit Øygard, skiing the fifth-fastest first lap in a time of 19:15 after missing three prone shots (0+3) and two standing (0+2).

Øygard tagged off to Marthe Krakstad Johansen, who skied her leg the fastest in a time of 18:42.2 after cleaning prone and missing two in standing (0+2).

Next up for Norway was Fredrik Qvist Bucher-Johannessen, who was the fourth fastest to complete the third leg, skiing the 7.5 k in a time of 20:44.7 after missing three prone shots (0+3) and one standing (0+1).

Guttorn Sivert Bakken anchored Norway to gold, posting the third-fastest fourth leg after cleaning both stages.

“It was an extremely good event, all three of [my teammates] had a really good race and I had the extra time that I needed to get the gold,” Bakken told YIS.

Germany took silver, 7.6 seconds behind Norway, with first leg Juliane Fruehwirt, who missed three prone shots (0+3) and two standing (0+2). Franziska Pfnuer skied the second leg for Germany and cleaned both stages, then tagged Simon Gross, who completed the third leg with one penalty in prone (0+1). The final German was Danilo Riethmueller, who had the fastest-fourth leg in a time of 19:40.3 and one miss in prone (0+1) and two standing (0+2).

“It’s a little bit more emotional, because you fear and you hope with the others when they are at the shooting range. It was so amazing,” Fruehwirt told YIS.

Italy's mixed relay biathlon team after winning bronze at the YOG on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Italy’s mixed relay biathlon team after winning bronze at the YOG on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo: YOG/Facebook)

Rounding out the podium was team Italy with the bronze medal. Samuela Comola cleaned both stages then tagged Irene Lardschneider, who cleaned prone and had two misses in standing (0+2).

Italian biathlete Cedric Christille got on course next, skiing the third leg in a time of 20:52.7, with one prone miss (0+1) and two standing (0+2). Italy’s final skier was Patrick Braunhofer, who skied the 7.5 loop in a time of 19:50.4 after cleaning prone and missing one shot standing (0+1).

“We were hoping for a medal since the start,” Braunhofer said to YIS. “When it becomes reality, it is impossible to describe. The first thing I thought arriving at the finish line was that everyone in the team had done a perfect job. Today we really had the perfect race.”

The Americans finished seventh, 6:20.6 behind Norway.

Chloe Levins started first for the U.S., cleaning prone and missing one shot standing (0+1). Levins passed off to Amanda Kautzer, who had a single prone miss (0+1) and two standing (0+2).

The first male on course for the U.S. was Vasek Cervenka, who used all three spares in prone and skied two penalty laps (2+3) and missed one shot standing (0+1).

Anchoring the Americans was Eli Nielsen, who skied a penalty lap (1+3) and one missed shot standing (0+1).

The Canadians placed 16th (+11:04.6), with starter Tekarra Banser, cleaning prone and missing two shots standing (0+2). Banser tagged off to Gillian Gowling, who had four penalty laps followed by two standing misses (0+2).

Leo Grandbois was Canada’s first male on course in a time of 21:12.3, with one missed shot prone (0+1) and two standing (0+2). Ben Churchill anchored the Canadians with two missed prone shots (0+2) and two standing misses (0+2).

Results

— Gabby Naranja

USSA Names U23 and Junior Worlds Teams

(Press release)

PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 12, 2016) – After the 2016 U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships presented by L.L. Bean concluded on January 9th, 10 athletes were named to the FIS U23 World Ski Championships Team and 12 U20 athletes were named to the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships Team. The U23 team and Junior Worlds team will represent the U.S. in Rasnov, Romania, February 22-28.

“The U23 and Junior World Ski Championships are our most coveted and most critical development trips of the year,” said U.S. Ski Team Development Coach Bryan Fish. “Our developing American athletes are gaining momentum. This has been a competitive U.S. Nationals with faster race paces and tighter time gaps.”

The FIS Junior Worlds is traditionally run over a week period. The event brings over 400 athletes ranging in age from 16 to 20 years old, from 30 nations to compete in 17 events in cross country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined. The FIS U23 World Ski Championships include three additional cross country events for both men and women ages 21 to 23.

If skiers perform well at the U23 Championships, they will have an opportunity to join the U.S. Ski Team in Canada for the World Cup, March 1-12.

“The World Junior and U23 Championships are the proving grounds for future World Cup stars,” said U.S. Ski Team Head Coach Chris Grover. “Many of the current U.S. Ski Team athletes have made their marks at these important races. As a national team staff, we’ll be watching the results closely and cheering our talented young skiers on. We have a strong squad this season and we’re looking for some results that surprise the competition.”

HIGHLIGHTS

The FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships (athletes 19 and under) and U23 (under 23) World Ski Championships are taking place in Rasnov, Romania Feb. 22-28.

Athletes were selected based on results at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships presented by L.L.Bean in Houghton, MI.

The 2017 FIS Nordic Junior World Championships and FIS U23 World Cross Country Championships will be held at Utah’s Olympic venues in Park City and Midway.

The Junior Worlds has been held only once previously in America, on the Olympic venues of Lake Placid in 1986. It will be the first time in the USA for the U23 Championships.

The National Nordic Foundation provided support for these teams.

2016 FIS U23 WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM

Name, Hometown (USSA Club)

Men
Patrick Caldwell, Lyme Center, NH (Stratton Mountain School)
Kyle Bratrud, Eden Prairie, MN (CXC Team)
Logan Hanneman, Fairbanks, AK (Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks)
Akeo Maifeld-Carucci, Bozeman, MT (Bridger Ski Foundation)
Adam Martin, Marquette, MI (Northern Michigan University)

Women
Kristen Bourne, Lake Elmo, MN (Northern Michigan University)
Felicia Gesior, Marquette, MI (Northern Michigan University)
Mackenzie Kanady, Anchorage, AK (University of Alaska Anchorage Ski Team)
Heather Mooney, Craftsbury Common, VT (Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club)
Kelsey Phinney, Middlebury, VT (Middlebury College Ski Team)

FIS U23 WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS

COMPETITION SCHEDULE
Feb. 21 – Official Training
Feb. 22 – Freestyle Sprints
Feb. 23 – 15/10k Classic
Feb. 24 – Official Training
Feb. 25 – Skiathlon

2016 FIS NORDIC JUNIOR WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM
Name, Hometown (USSA Club)

Men:
Cully Brown, Durango, CO (University of Vermont)
Henry Harmeyer, S. Burlington, VT (University of Vermont)
Leo Hipp, Wyoming, MN (Northern Michigan University)
Zak Ketterson, Bloomington, MN (Loppet Nordic Racing)
Thomas O’Harra, Anchorage, AK (APU Nordic Ski Center)
Ian Torchia, Rochester, MN (Northern Michigan University)

Women:
Sarah Bezdicek, Plymouth, MN (Northern Michigan University)
Vivian Hett, Burnsville, MN (Northern Michigan University)
Julia Kern, Waltham, MA (Stratton Mountain School)
Leah Lange, Park City, UT (Utah Olympic Park Sports Clubs/Park City Nordic Ski Club)
Katharine Ogden, Landgrove, VT (Stratton Mountain School)
Nicole Schneider, Plymouth, MN (Northern Michigan University)

FIS NORDIC JUNIOR WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS

COMPETITION SCHEDULE
Feb. 21 – Official Training
Feb. 22 – Freestyle Sprints
Feb. 23 – Official Training
Feb. 24 – 10/5k Classic
Feb. 25 – Official Training
Feb. 26 – Skiathlon
Feb. 27 – Official Training
Feb. 28 – 4×3.3 k Relay

Canada Names Youth Olympics Team, U.S. To Select After Nationals

Cross Country Canada has named its two-athlete team to the Youth Olympic Games, to be held in February in Lillehammer, Norway. Athletes born between 1998 and 2000 from around the world will compete for top honors in the second edition of the Games.

Annika Richardson of the Hollyburn Nordic Ski Club in British Columbia won the junior 5 k skate at the Sovereign Lakes NorAm and qualified 16th in the open sprint. The weekend before in Canmore, she placed third in the junior sprint and fifth in the open 5 k classic.

Levi Nadlersmith is a native of Boissevain, Manitoba, and skis for Downtown Nordic. He won the junior 10 k skate at the Sovereign Lakes NorAm and finished third in the junior sprint at the Canmore NorAm, where he was also the fastest qualifier.

The United States will select their two athletes after U.S. National Championships in Houghton, Michigan. Full selection criteria can be found here on the USSA website; the most relevant points are:

“Objective selections shall be based on the results achieved by athletes in the men’s 10km, 15km and first individual Sprint (including Junior Finals, if applicable) competitions and women’s 5km, 10km and first individual Sprint (including Junior Finals, if applicable) at the 2016 U.S. Cross Country Championships, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 3-9, 2016 (the “selection period”).”

and

“Team selections up to the maximum team size shall be granted to athletes who have achieved the best cumulative total results during the selection period based on a competitor’s best two races (scoring only competitors born between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2000), using World Cup scoring system outlined in the USSA Nordic Competition Guide.”

850 N.H. High School Skiers in Action in All-State Classic Race (Video)

 

NHNCA Race #2 WV 2015 from NHNCA on Vimeo.

More than 800 of New Hampshire’s top high school racers gathered on Feb. 5 at Waterville Valley for the All-State meet. The six classic races, organized by the New Hampshire Nordic Coaches Association (NHNCA) and entailing boys and girls A and B races, and boys and girls middle school races, were also qualifiers for the state’s Eastern High School Championships and U16 teams.

Results

Alaska High School Championship – VIDEO

Fire and Ice: The Alaska State Nordic Ski Championships 2015 started with warm, clear weather and ended with soggy rain on the man-made snow at Kincaid Park February 19-21, 2015. Skimeisters are Max Donaldson and Lydia Blanchet with West taking girls 4A and Service the boys. Homer took small school girls while Grace repeated for boys. video credit: George Tsau-Wu. “Start a Fire” by Unbroken.

 

Junior Nationals Organizers Working to Maintain Snow

The organizers of the the 2015 Junior National Championships in Truckee, Calif. are working to preserve the little snow left on the trails of the Auburn Ski Club training center. Due to an uncharacteristic warm and dry winter, the mountains of western California appear more brown than white.

With the event set to begin in the second week of March, organizers are working to maintain and strengthen a 3-kilometer loop with cutoffs by moving snow from other trails and trucking snow from the local alpine area.

The 2015 Junior National Championships will take place March 8 to 14, and will welcome over 400 junior skiers to the trails of the the Auburn Ski Club training center.

See their progress in the event’s YouTube video update below:

Halvorsen Earns Podium at U18 Nations’ Cup

Hannah Halvorsen (r) of Sugarbowl Academy earned third in the u18 Nations' Cup 5 k freestyle individual start. (Photo: USSA/Facebook)

Hannah Halvorsen (r) of Sugarbowl Academy earned third in the u18 Nations’ Cup 5 k freestyle individual start. (Photo: USSA/Facebook)

American Hannah Halvorsen (Sugarbowl Academy) earned an impressive third-place finish in Saturday’s 5-kilometer freestyle individual start at the 2015 U18 Nations’s Cup Championships in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. Halvorsen, who had a breakout performance at the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Championships with a fifth in the classic sprint earlier this year, finished 15.4 seconds behind race-winner Karoline Simpson-Larson (Il Vargar).

Teammates Zak Ketterson (Loppet Nordic Racing) and Max Donaldson (Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks) finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in the men’s 10 k also taking place Saturday.

In the previous day’s classic sprint competition Halvorsen finished fifth but was reportedly bumped up to fourth after a competitor was disqualified for skating. Lauren Jortberg (Boulder Junior Nordic) and Leah Brams (Cambridge Sports Union) joined Halvorsen in the heats in 25th and 30th. Ketterson, Kamran Husain (Stratton Mountain School), and Henry Harmeyer (Mt. Mansfield) were 22nd, 23rd, and 24th in the men’s race.

Sunday’s relay saw the two American men’s teams ski to fourth and ninth, while the women’s teams placed fifth and twelfth.

Results

Ogden 6th, Torchia 11th in World Juniors Skiathlons

After placing 11th in the first World Junior Championships race in her career on Wednesday, Stratton Mountain School’s Katharine Ogden finished sixth in the 10 k skiathlon in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Friday. The American was ranked ninth, seven seconds behind double gold medalist Victoria Carl of Germany, after five kilometers of classic skiing. In the skate section, the lead pack strung out slightly. Ogden moved up to sixth, and crossed the line 13.2 seconds behind Sofie Nordsveen Hustad of Norway, who passed Carl to take the win.

Katherine Stewart-Jones posted the best result for Canada and Nakkertok, finishing 14th (+1:34) after skiing in 20th through the classic portion of the race. Anne-Marie Comeau followed in 25th (+2:02), Maya Macisaac-Jones in 45th, and Annah Hanthorn in 47th.

Ogden’s U.S. teammate Hailey Swirburl finished 35th (+2:45.4, losing out a photo finish with Slovenia’s Anita Klemencic). Julia Kern was close behind in 38th, and Alayna Sonnesyn placed 50th.

In the junior men’s 20 k skiathlon, Russia again swept the race, with Alexey Chervotkin beating out teammates Ivan Yakimushkin and Denis Spitsov at the line. The trio had a minute lead on the rest of the field by the finish.

Ian Torchia (Northern Michigan University) led the way for the United States, placing 11th (+2:15) just 0.9 seconds out of the top ten. Evan Weinman placed 57th and Thomas Bye 67th. Peter Holmes did not finish.

Alexis Dumas led Canada for the second race in a row, placing 18th (+2:41). Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier followed in 41st, then Philippe Boucher in 53rd and Zachary Cristofanilli in 60th. The Canadian team said through twitter that three of its team members went down in a major crash off the start, with two of them breaking poles as a result.

Results: men/women

Russia Sweeps 1-4 In World Juniors 10k, Dumas 30th

The Russian men’s team turned heads in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, taking the top four places in the World Junior Championships 10 k freestyle. Alexey Chervotkin won the day in 23:36.4, with Denis Spitsov second (+15.9), Alexander Bakanov third (+34.4), and Ivan Yakimushkin fourth (+36.0). Norway’s Eirik Sverdrup Augdal nearly made the podium, but had to be content in fifth as the first non-Russian (+37.5). Augdal was third early in the race, but faded and lost valuable seconds to the Russians by the finish.

The best North American finish belonged to Canada’s Alexis Dumas who finished 30th (+2:09.3). Teammates Philippe Boucher, Zachary Cristofanilli, and Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier finished 40th, 53rd, and 54th. All of Canada’s starters in the competition are part of Quebec’s Centre National d’Entraînement Pierre Harvey (CNEPH).

The U.S. team was led by Ian Tochia (Northern Michigan University) in 35th (+2:20.2). Thomas O’Harra (Alaska Pacific University) followed in 49th, then Thomas Bye (Michigan Tech) and Gavin Hess (University of New Hampshire) in 69th and 76th, respectively.

Results

Ogden 11th in World Juniors 5k Skate

Katharine Ogden (Stratton Mountain School) racing to sixth place in the 10 k freestyle at U.S. National Championships n Houghton, Michigan, in January. On Wednesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan, she finished 11th in the 5 k skate at World Junior Championships.

Katharine Ogden (Stratton Mountain School) racing to sixth place in the 10 k freestyle at U.S. National Championships n Houghton, Michigan, in January. On Wednesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan, she finished 11th in the 5 k skate at World Junior Championships.

Katharine Ogden (Stratton Mountain School) raced to 11th place in the 5 kilometer freestyle race at World Junior Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday.

14th after 1.7 k, Ogden turned in a fast finish to move up by the time she crossed the line. Her time was 24.5 seconds slower than that of Victoria Carl, who also won the sprint the day before. Anastasia Sedova and Natalia Nepryaeva of Russia took the final spots on the podium, 5.3 and 5.9 seconds back, respectively.

It is Ogden’s first time competing in World Junior Championships, and she did not start the sprint on Tuesday. She finished eighth in the 5 k classic on the U18/Scando Cup trip to Rovaniemi, Finland, last season. So far this year, Ogden has been on a tear of the Eastern racing circuit and finished sixth in the 10 k skate at U.S. Nationals.

She was the first North American finisher but was followed by American teamamtes Vivian Hett (Loppet Nordic Racing/Northern Michigan University) in 46th, Kristen Bourne (Northern Michigan University) in 51st, and Alayna Sonnesyn (Endurance United/University of Vermont) in 52nd.

For Canada, Katherine Stewart-Jones of Nakkertok skied to 25th place, followed by Anne-Marie Comeau (CNEPH) in 39th, Anna Hanthorn (Whitehorse) in 44th, and Maya MacIsaac-Jones (Rocky Mountain Racers) in 45th.

Stay tuned for detailed reports and interviews with the athletes.

Results

Crested Butte Nordic Team’s West Yellowstone Music Video

CBNT Everytime We Touch from Benjamin Swift on Vimeo.

While at the 2015 Yellowstone Ski Festival in West Yellowstone, Mont., the Crested Butte Nordic Team put some sweat and hard work into filming the above video, directed by Benjamin Swift.

Trouble viewing video? Click here.

U23 World Championships Team Named In Houghton

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Ten athletes were named to the U23 World Championships team after Saturday’s freestyle sprint at the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Championships. Joanne Reid, Annie Pokorny (SMST2), Anne Hart (SMST2), Paige Schember (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation), and Deedra Irwin (Michigan Techological University) were named to the women’s team, with Heather Mooney (Middlebury College) declining to attend in order to focus on college racing in her senior year.

The men’s team will consist of Kyle Bratrud (Northern Michigan University), Logan Hanneman (University of Alaska Fairbanks), Ben Saxton (SMST2/USST), Patrick Caldwell (Dartmouth College/USST), and Scott Patterson (APU). University of Vermont skier Cole Morgan declined his starting position, allowing for Patterson to attend.

The Junior/U23 World Championships will take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan from Feb. 1 – 8.

U23 Men Day Four Pts 2015

U23 Women Day Four Pts 2015

Gorman, Blanchet Win Junior Sprints at U.S. Champs

HOUGHTON, Mich. –Henry Gorman (Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy) came out on top of the men’s junior heats in Saturday’s 1.5 k freestyle sprint at the 2015 U.S. Cross Country Championships. Crossing the line with a time of 3:46.01, Gorman bested second place finisher Dylan Syben (Unleashed Coaching) who trailed by 2.75 seconds. Seiji Takaji (Alaska Winter Stars) took third, 5.19 seconds back.

Lydia Blanchet (APU) won the women’s junior race with a time of 4:32.05. Emily Hyde of the Mount Bachelor SEF came in a close second just 0.73 seconds behind. Rounding out the podium was Rebekka Scheueder (NMU) who crossed the line 8.37 seconds behind Blanchet.

Results

2015 Junior World/U18 Teams Announced in Houghton

HOUGHTON, Mich. — The 2015 U.S. Cross Country Championships showcased some of the nation’s best junior skiers Thursday, with a 5/10 k classic mass start at the Michigan Tech Nordic Center. In the 10 k men’s race, Ian Torchia of Northern Michigan University came out on top with a time of 30:46.6. He bested second place finisher Thomas O’Harra of APU by 28.5 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Ben Hegmen of the University of Vermont, who finished 29.0 seconds off the winning pace.

In the women’s 5 k Katharine Ogden of Stratton Mountain outpaced the competition to earn a time of 15:35.8. Roughly 16.9 seconds behind Ogden was Julia Kern of the Cambridge Sports Union. In third was Hailey Swirbul of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (+21.5).

Results: men’s 10 k | women’s 5 k

Thursday also marked the selection of the 2015 U18 and World Junior Championship teams. The selections are listed below and include the full points list of junior and U18 skiers who competed in Houghton. The U23 World Championship team will be selected after Saturday’s freestyle sprint.

WJC Women Day Three Pts 2015

WJC Men Day Three Pts 2015

U18 Women Day Three Pts 2015

U18 Men Day Three Pts 2015