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Boyer, Flaharty Win Alaska JOQ on 2013 Junior Nats Course

Locals Hannah Boyer (NSCF/FXC) and Tyson Flaharty (Goldstream Sports) used their familiarity with the newly upgraded competition trails at Birch Hill to post comfortable victories in the women’s 5Km and men’s 10Km, respectively on Saturday.

Men's winner Tyson Flaharty (Goldstream Sports)

Boyer’s (OJ) time of 17:55 was 45 seconds ahead of second place Sarah Freistone (J1-ANR), while Flaharty (SR) had 68 seconds in hand over the men’s runner-up (Jack Novak, OJ-APU)

Lydia Blanchet (J1-APU), Kinsey Loan (OJ-APU), and Eliza Rorabaugh (OJ-NSCF/FXC) rounded out the top five in the women’s 5Km. Behind Novak were Austin Hess (J1-AWS), Kyle Hanson (J1-NSCF/FXC) and John Glen (J1-AWS).

The race start had been postponed from 11AM until 2PM based upon the weather forecast that predicted low temperatures in the morning before warming up as clouds moved in. The followed the forecast to the hour, with the temperature at 2PM sitting at a USSA and FIS “legal” temperature of -2F/-19C, warming up to +7F/-14C for most of the second half of the race.

The races were held in interval start format in classic technique on the new “Black Funk 5Km” loop. This loop was created over the summer by utilizing several existing trail segments, creating some new trail, and modifying some existing trail. Reviews by coaches and athletes were universally positive.

There is still a little work to be completed in summer 2013 to get the trails into their final configuration and appearance. However, today’s course was a very good representation of the final product. The trail meets all standards required for certification by the International Ski Federation.

Hannah Boyer (NSCF/FXC), women's winner.

The trails have been upgraded in anticipation of the 2013 US Ski and Snowboard Association Junior National Championships and the 2014 Arctic Winter Games. This was the first real test of the trails in a high-level competition. Several of the skiers who raced today will be competing on these trails in 13 months as members of the Alaska Team at the 2013 JN’s.

Tomorrow’s race will start as scheduled at 11:00AM, given the current forecast. Approximately one hour following the race, the Alaska Teams to the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse and the 2012 Junior Nationals in Soldier Hollow, Utah will be named. In addition to the naming of the teams, the Besh Cup awards, given for season-long performance in the Besh Cup series, will be presented. The team selection and awards ceremony will be held in the Assembly Room of the Birch Hill Cross Country Ski Center.

Complete results (scroll to bottom)

Current rankings for AWG and JN team selection can be found at crosscountryalaska.org.

Photos courtesy Bert Boyer

– John Estle, FXC

 

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