Wild Rumpus Sports

Transitions: Weston EHS/J2 Freestyle Qualifier

Julia Kern (Waltham) leads Corey Stock (Lin-Sud) during the MA EHS/J2 qualifier at Weston Ski Track yesterday. Kern won the race in a time of 18:11. Photo: Tamara Hitchcock.

The first qualification race for Massachusetts’ Eastern High School Championship and New England J2 Invite teams took place on the Weston Ski Track yesterday. This freestyle race was the first of two races that high school skiers compete in to be selected to each of these two state teams. When the manmade snowflakes from the blowing snow guns finally settled to the ground it was Eli Hoenig (Lincoln-Sudbury) and Julia Kern (Waltham) who blazed to victory.

Eli Hoenig (Lin-Sud) V2s up one of the short climbs on his way to first place. Photo: Tamara Hitchcock.

The boys took to the Weston course first and Hoenig wasted no time showing everyone why he has become one of the best junior skiers in the country. In fact, early this month he qualified at the US Nationals Championship in Rumford, Maine to represent the US on the annual Scando Cup trip, where the best J1 skiers in the country travel to Europe to race against some of the world’s best. On Sunday, however, it was time to show his mastery of his transition filled home course. Hoenig attacked every inch of the course, crossing the line in 15:50.

After Hoenig, it was Calvin Wright who also had separated himself from the rest of the competition placing second, crossing the finish line in 16:04. The final step on the podium would be occupied by Rion O’Grady who finished in 16:31. Max LaChance would be next in a time of 17:01 for fourth and Greg Holdman in 17:11 rounded out the top five.

In the girls race it was clear from the get-go that to be at the top of the results sheet you would have to bring it. Kern left the start line in an aggressive V2 like she was heading out in a sprint qualifier, but she never took her foot off the gas. By midway she had caught her CSU teammate, veteran Corey Stock, who was clearly ‘cruising’ after finishing 11th in the open Bates College Carnival on Friday and while keeping things in perspective as she prepares to represent the United States at the World Junior Championships in Erzurun, Turkey at the end of February. For Kern, however, it was an opportunity to showcase her own form, which had also qualified her for the J1 Scando Cup trip earlier this month at the US Nationals, where she punched her own ticked to Europe as just a first-year J2.

When it was time to head to the finish line after completing her third lap, Kern put the final punctuation on a strong performance, breaking the tap in just 18:11, a time which would have placed her 19th in the boy’s race. Next across the line was Stock, who clocked in at 18:28 and was followed closely by Cate Brams in 18:30 for third place. Just behind was Zoe Snow in 18:32 and Olivia Meyerson in 18:34 who finished fourth and fifth respectively.

EHS and J2 team selection concludes next Sunday as racers from all over Massachusetts will converge at Notchview Reservation. There they will switch to the classical technique in a mass start race where their times will be combined with their freestyle ones from Weston. The top finishers will earn a spot to represent their home state at the regional championships in March.


Complete Updated Results:

Girls Skate Qualifier Final 2012

Boys Skate Qualifier Final 2012


Photo Galleries:

All photos courtesy of Tamara Hitchcock.

Top Finishers:

Massachusetts EHS/J2 Qualifier, Weston Ski Track, 1-22-2012

All Racers:

Massachusetts EHS/J2 Qualifier, Weston Ski Track, 1-22-2012


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