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Fairbanks Skiers Lead Way on Home Turf in Final Besh Cup Weekend

 

From left, Logan Mowry, Logan Hanneman, and Ari Endestad made up the overall podium for the Besh Cup men’s classic sprint in Fairbanks, Alaska, in February 2019. (photo: Logan Mowry Instagram)

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Just how cold was it for Saturday morning’s classic sprint qualifiers at Besh Cup 5, the penultimate race of the six-race qualifying series for Team Alaska?

It was so cold that race organizers created a WhatsApp group to keep coaches and racers apprised of potential schedule changes from the race jury if things warmed up too slowly and race starts had to be delayed. It was so cold and the snow was so slow that Fairbanks local Kendall Kramer, recently fourth in the world in a World Juniors classic race, took nearly five minutes to cover a 1.6-kilometer sprint course – and qualified second. It was so cold that racers were throwing up from the shock of sprint pace efforts in these temperatures. It was so cold that the next day it was 4 above and snowing, and everyone was happy that the fresh snow had made things so much faster. It was pretty cold.

But cold in Fairbanks in February is unremarkable, and so are Fairbanks racers winning in Fairbanks. At the end of a long, trying, and, yes, cold day of sprint racing Saturday afternoon, the overall men’s podium was a clean sweep for the Golden Heart City: Fairbanks native and former University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) skier Logan Hanneman in first, current UAF skier Logan Mowry in second, and current Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks FXC skier Ari Endestad in third.

Ruari O’Brien-Holen (APU) climbs a hill in the Besh Cup classic sprint in Fairbanks, Alaska, in February 2019. (photo: Davin Holen Instagram)

For the women, Kramer of FXC took the overall win in the final, followed by University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) skier Hannah Rudd. Kramer’s FXC teammate Victoria Bassette was third to give Fairbanks skiers five out of six overall podium spots.

The day began with good news: the famed Birch Hill inversion (a meteorological phenomenon in which Birch Hill, elevation ca. 900 feet, is substantially warmer than low-lying parts of Fairbanks just a few miles away) was in full effect.

“The red thermometer on the ski center building says -1 F,” wrote race organizers in a cheery update at 8:16 a.m. Saturday morning. “So, barring a rapid drop in temperature, it seems likely that we will be able to have a race today. You might as well head up to Birch Hill if you haven’t done so already. Looks like there is more of an inversion than was forecast.”

The racers came, the temperature didn’t drop too much, and at 11 a.m. sprint qualifying began, on a 1.6 km course for U16+ racers and a 1.2 km course for U14 racers.

After 51 women had made their way through the Kikkan Randall-approved Birch Hill sprint course, UAF skier Kati Roivas of Finland had set the day’s fastest time, 4:39.54, with Kramer second. (Roivas did not race in the heats.) There was a gap of over a minute to 30th, where Hannah Cryder qualified after a brutal 5:43.19 of L4 effort. For a sprint qualifier. As discussed, it was cold and slow.

In the men’s field, 2018 Olympian Logan Hanneman paced the field of 68 U16+ racers with a 3:49.11. Karl Danielson was second, over 11 seconds back. 48.97 seconds back of Hanneman, Bradley Walters rounded out the top 30 with a 4:38.08. Hanneman’s time was over twice as slow as the best qualifying time for the previous Besh Cup sprint, 1:44.47, held on an easier, shorter, and faster course two weeks earlier.

On the shorter 1.2 km course covered by U14 racers, Sammy Legate posted her second dominant qualifying performance in as many weekends, clocking a 3:52.70 to claim the fastest U14 girls time by nearly 14 seconds. Legate’s time would have placed her eighth among U14 boys, where Murphy Kimball set the fastest qualifying mark of 3:33.51.

Left to right: Logan Hanneman (Alaska Pacific University) ahead of Canadian Evan Palmer-Charrette (NTDC Thunder Bay) during the men’s 1.6-kilometer freestyle sprint final on Wednesday at the 2017 SuperTour Finals in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Photo: Max Kaufman)

In the heats, Hanneman took the win on roughly the same course on which he captured his first ever national title, the skate sprint championship at 2017 Spring Series. No times were available for the heats or final, and this reporter was only on site for Sunday’s races and so does not have first-person observations of Saturday’s finishes. But Hanneman won, with Mowry and Endestad second and third. Karl Danielson, Kai Meyers, and Samuel Delamere took places fourth through sixth in the men’s final.

The top Senior skiers were Hanneman and Mowry, then Brandon Herhusky in eighth overall (second in the B-Final). Top U20 skiers were places three through five in the A-Final: Endestad, Danielson, and Meyers. Top U18 skiers were Delamere, sixth in the A-Final, then Dale Baurick and George Cvancara, first and third in the B-Final.

Two U16 skiers made it into the overall heats: Josh Baurick, who ended the day in 24th overall, and Aaron Maves (28th). The third U16 skier was Konrad Renner, who after missing out on overall qualifying won the U16 bracket “bonus final” to place 31st overall.

For the women, Kramer led the way in an A-Final that featured two U16 and two U18 athletes alongside two Senior women. Kramer took the win, followed by UAA skier Hannah Rudd in second and U16 skier Victoria Bassette in third. Garviey Tobin (U18), UAF skier Sage Robine (Senior), and Meredith Schwartz (U16) also made the A-Final.

Kramer and Tobin led the way for the U18 podium. They were followed by Annie Gonzales, who was second in the B-Final for eighth overall. The U16 podium was Bassette, Schwartz, and Quincy Donley, who won the B-Final to claim eighth overall.

The Senior women’s podium was Rudd and Robine from the A-Final, then Roivas, who did not contest the heats after posting the fastest time in qualifying.

Distance freestyle races

Sunday morning brought an unusual combination for much of the country: 4 above and snowing. For Fairbanks, though, this was hardly noteworthy.

Winner Kati Roivas (UAF) approaches the finish line in the Besh Cup 10 k women’s skate in Fairbanks, Alaska, in February 2019. (photo: Gavin Kentch)

“I would say it’s nothing new,” said Roivas to FasterSkier when asked if she often experienced fresh snowfall at 4° F.

She added that snow conditions on Sunday were, “Slow. It’s very slow.”

The snow may have been slow (narrator: it was), but Roivas was faster than anyone else on Sunday, opening up a lead in the U18+ 10-kilometer freestyle mass start by the end of the first gradual climb out of the stadium, and never looking back. She kept her lead through two laps of the 5 k course, covering two A Climbs and three B Climbs per lap to finish in 31:52.7, taking first in the field of 22 athletes by over a minute.

The race was “tough,” said the UAF senior. “I had had a little break from racing; I raced, I think, three weekends ago in Montana, a college race. So it was a bit of a mystery how it was going to go. But it was good.”

Roivas was staying in Fairbanks while most of the UAF men’s team, and roughly half the UAF women’s team, competed in RMISA races in New Mexico.

Behind her, APU teammates Aubrey LeClair, Garviey Tobin, and Ivy Eski made up a three-woman chase pack for virtually the entire race. It was Tobin in the lead coming up the final uphill, but LeClair pulled ahead of her by the time the three racers made their way up the final climb on the Warm-Up Loop and across an excruciating final straightaway to the finish line. (Later in the day, a U12 racer won a flat-ground sprint here in V1 technique, after his competitors’ V2 power had been sapped by the preceding climbs.)

LeClair similarly found the race “Tough,” she told FasterSkier soon after finishing 1:16.6 back of Roivas.

“But it was good,” she continued. “It was fun. I got to ski with my teammates, and that’s always fun when you get to push each other. I’d say it was a pretty good race, even though I didn’t feel super great. But I’m happy with it.”

Aubrey LeClair (right) leads Garviey Tobin, both of APU, down the finishing stretch in the Besh Cup 10 k women’s skate in Fairbanks, Alaska, in February 2019. (photo: Gavin Kentch)

LeClair noted that she had sat out Saturday’s sprints, to avoid worsening a cold by breathing in the frigid air.

While the winner found the race “tough,” and the second-place finisher found the race “tough,” Tobin, who finished third, 1.6 seconds behind LeClair and 7.1 seconds ahead of Eski, by contrast found the race “really hard.” Her legs were “super tired from the sprint yesterday,” she told FasterSkier at the finish, “so it was a grind.”

Tobin described the snow as “slow.”

Behind Tobin in third overall, the rest of the U18 girls podium was Eski in fourth overall, then Annika Hanestad (sixth). The U20 women’s podium was LeClair (second overall), Emma Jerome (11th), and Ellie Mitchell (12th).

The Senior women’s podium was all collegiate skiers: UAF’s Roivas in first, Hannah Rudd of UAA (fifth overall) in second, and Sage Robine of UAF 15th overall) in third. The top Masters woman was M4 racer Alison Arians, in seventh overall.

25 U16 girls raced a 5 k mass start, over a single lap of the same 5 k course. The leaders featured several familiar podium finishers: Quincy Donley in first, Victoria Bassette (+22.4) in second, and Meredith Schwartz (+41.0) in third. All three athletes recorded five U16 girls podium finishes in six Besh Cup races this season.

And 13 U14 girls raced a 3 k mass start. Here Sammy Legate took her fourth victory and sixth podium of the season in 11:00.8, while Heidi Schumacher (+0.6) was narrowly behind in her fourth runner-up finish and sixth podium of the season. Zarah Laker-Morris (+23.4) was third.

Abigail Robinson (AWS) climbs a hill in the Besh Cup U16 girls 5 k skate in Fairbanks, Alaska, in February 2019. Alaska Winter Stars coach Jan Buron is at right. (photo: Juli Robinson Instagram / https://www.instagram.com/p/BteSEjRHYA-/)

The U18 and up men’s race played out similarly to the women’s 10 k: Gus Schumacher notched a wire-to-wire victory while a fight for second played out behind him. Schumacher won the 10 k mass start, held on the same two-lap course as the women’s race, in 26:33.0. Mowry and Endestad reprised their podium finishes from Saturday, taking second (+1:25.5) and third (+1:31.0) once more.

Schumacher’s last race was also a victory, if perhaps a higher-profile one: He anchored the U20 men’s world champion relay team at World Juniors in Lahti in late January, pulling away from Alexander Terentev up the final hill to secure an American victory over Russia by 3.8 seconds.

Schumacher’s margin of victory, nearly 90 seconds, was somewhat greater this weekend in Fairbanks. Nonetheless, the U20 racer found what he was looking for in Besh Cup competition.

“[I was looking] mostly just to get another race under my belt, keep that race fitness a little bit,” Schumacher wrote to FasterSkier. “Also it’s always fun to race in Alaska so I try to take advantage of those opportunities these days.”

Schumacher is undefeated in Alaska races this season, with victories in three Besh Cup Races in Fairbanks and Palmer, two Alaska Nordic Cup races in Fairbanks, and the Race to the Outhouse #1 at Hatcher Pass.

Kai Meyers, who was fourth overall, 15.9 seconds out of third, made up the rest of the U20 podium behind Schumacher and Endestad. Mowry (second overall) led the Senior men’s podium, followed by Julien Bordes (eighth) and Brandon Herhusky (16th). The top Master was Alaska Nordic Racing coach Cody Priest, who started in bib no. 36 in the seeded mass start but quickly moved up to finish seventh overall.

A field of 21 U16 boys raced a single lap of the same 5 k course. Aaron Maves took the victory here in 14:43.6, giving him a tidy six podiums in six Besh Cup races this season. He was followed by Josh Baurick (+8.6, four U16 podiums this season) in second and Eli Merrill (+21.8, two U16 podiums this season) in third.

Finally, U14 boys raced a 3 k mass start. Skyler Amy was one of two boys to break 10 minutes on the hilly course, finishing in 9:54.5. Elias Engman, in 9:59.3 (+4.8), was the other. Murphy Kimball (+10.6) was third.

Team Alaska

Sunday’s race marked the end of a successful, if logistically trying, Besh Cup qualification series. Cross Country Alaska organizers normally meet three times per winter to coordinate the three race weekends; this season’s races required eight meetings. In the end, however, the Mat-Su Ski Club, Tsalteshi Trails Association, and Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks provided six high-quality races, two sprints and four distance races, to Alaskan skiers. Two of them were FIS races. All of them were NRL (National Ranking List) races. None of them was easy.

Kendall Kramer on her way to fourth place in the U20 15 k classic mass start at World Juniors in Lahti, Finland. (Photo: Doug Stephen)

After six races and several hundred miles’ worth of travel, the following athletes were selected to represent Team Alaska at this year’s Junior Nationals in Anchorage:

U16 girls: Quincy Donley, Victoria Bassette, Meredith Schwartz, Katey Houser, Marit Flora, Neena Brubaker, Maria Nedom, Abigail Haas, and Hannah Delamere

U18 girls: Garviey Tobin, Annie Gonzales, Annika Hanestad, Ivy Eski, Maggie Druckenmiller, Tjarn Bross, Maggie Whitaker, Tatum Witter, Morgan Coniglio, Emily Walsh, Claire Nelson, and Hannah Cryder

U20 women: Aubrey LeClair, Emma Jerome, Ellie Mitchell, and Adeline Wright

U16 boys: Josh Baurick, Aaron Maves, Konrad Renner, Eli Merrill, Kai Caldwell, Porter Blei, Aaron Power, Carter Brubaker, and Noah Rehberg

U18 boys: Eli Hermanson, Everett Cason, Joel Power, Samuel Delamere, Dale Baurick, George Cvancara, Max Beiergrohslein, Jonathan Burrell, and Eric Difolco

U20 men: Ari Endestad, Karl Danielson, Kai Meyers, Josiah Alverts, Miles Dennis, and Micah Barber

Additionally, Kendall Kramer, Jenna Difolco, Adrianna Proffitt, Molly Gellert, Helen Wilson, Maja Lapkass, and Anja Maijala, for U18/U20 girls, and Gus Schumacher, Luke Jager, Ti Donaldson, Zanden McMullen, JC Schoonmaker, Maxime Germain, Michael Earnhart, and Alexander Maurer, for U18/U20 boys, qualified on the basis of their performances outside of the Besh Cup series, and are also eligible to race for Team Alaska next month.

Junior Nationals begin March 9 in Anchorage. The 2019/2020 Besh Cup series begins again in December, when skiers and their parents will once more make their way through the Girdwood Tesoro, the Turner’s Corner ice cream stand, the oversize baggage claim area of the Fairbanks airport, and other athletic stations of the cross.

— Gavin Kentch

Results and media: Classic sprint (qualifiers) | Classic sprint (heats) | Distance skate | Team Alaska points list | Podium photos

Donley Beats the Boys in Besh Cup Weekend in Soldotna, Alaska

Elizabeth Mans (101) leads a pack up the hill in the skate sprint in Besh Cup #3 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo: Ariana O'Harra)

Elizabeth Mans (101) leads a pack up the hill in the skate sprint in Besh Cup #3 on Jan. 21 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo: Ariana O’Harra)

Three racers were double winners on the weekend, while a field of slightly more than 200 skiers enjoyed ideal conditions for two days of racing as the Besh Cup moved to the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska, last weekend. Qualifying races began in Anchorage in December with a classic sprint and a freestyle mass start. This weekend saw a skate sprint and classic interval start races.

Conditions were unremarkable for Alaska in mid-winter: Race-time temps in the teens, light snow and sunshine. Many teams’ race wax choice for Sunday was straight Extra Blue. Easy.

But the weather was also remarkable for how much worse it could have been. That weekend it snowed 32 inches in 24 hours in Moose Pass, roughly sixty miles east of the venue. Just two days earlier, it had been –25° F in Soldotna on Thursday (and –27° F on Wednesday). Virtually the entire field presumably came in relatively fresh, following the mid-week cold snap that had sent temperatures to 20 below in Anchorage and 50 below in Fairbanks, and sent many athletes temporarily inside in both places. Racing at 12° above never felt so warm.

On Saturday, the U14 girls raced a 1.1-kilometer freestyle sprint. Quincy Donley took her first victory on the weekend, setting a qualifying time that also would have led the U14 boys over the same distance and winning the final as well. Behind her were Katey Houser and Aila Berrigan.

Jenna Difolco (c), Sadie Fox (l), and Elizabeth Mans (r) on the overall podium for the skate sprint in Besh Cup #3 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 21, 2017. (photo: Cross Country Alaska)

Jenna Difolco (c), Sadie Fox (l), and Elizabeth Mans (r) on the overall podium for the skate sprint in Besh Cup #3 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 21, 2017. (photo: Cross Country Alaska)

The U16 girls raced a 1.2 k skate sprint. Kaya Ratzlaff was fastest in this division, followed by Annika Hanestad and Helen Wilson. For U18 girls (also 1.2 k, racing head to head against U16 and U20), Jenna Difolco took her first victory on the weekend, followed by Elizabeth Mans and Heidi Booher.

The overall podium for U16+ was U18 racer Difolco in first, UAA skier Sadie Fox (U20) in second, and U18 Mans in third.

In the U14 boys 1.1 k skate sprint, Aaron Maves and Rowan Morse reprised their sprint podium finishes from Besh Cup #1 in Anchorage. They were followed by Konrad Renner.

The U16 boys 1.2 k sprint also saw two-thirds of a repeat podium: of George Cvancara, Eli Hermanson, and Max Beiergrohslein, Cvancara and Hermanson were second and third in last month’s classic sprint.

For U18 boys, competing head-to-head in the same 1.2 k sprint, it was Josiah Alverts, Karl Danielson, and Sam York. And the U20 men, finally, were led by Tracen Knopp, Logan Mowry, and Alex Kilby. The overall podium was Knopp, Alverts, and Mowry.

Sunday saw more of the same: Donley leading the girls and beating most of the boys as well. In the U14 girls 3-kilometer classic interval start, Donley won with a time that would have placed her third in the U14 boys race. By over a minute. Marit Flora was second and Houser was third.

The U16 girls raced a 5 k classic interval start. Kendall Kramer was first, Ratzlaff was second, and Hanestad third. It was the second podium on the weekend for both Ratzlaff and Hanestad.

For U18 girls (also 5 k classic), Difolco took her second victory on the weekend, and Booher her second podium. Emma Nelson was third.

Although there were few U20 women in the field, the overall winner in the classic race was Fox (U20), with Kramer and Ratzlaff (both U16) following.

Hunter Wonders (c), Logan Mowry (l), and Hamish Wolfe (r) on the overall podium for the 10 k classic in Besh Cup #4 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 22, 2017. (photo: Cross Country Alaska)

Hunter Wonders (c), Logan Mowry (l), and Hamish Wolfe (r) on the overall podium for the 10 k classic in Besh Cup #4 in Soldotna, Alaska, Jan. 22, 2017. (photo: Cross Country Alaska)

In the U14 boys 3 k classic, Maves was the final double winner with his victory there. Morse was again second. Third was Carter Brubaker.

The U16 boys raced a 5 k classic. First was Zanden McMullen, followed by sprint podium finishers Hermanson and Cvancara.

The U18 boys and U20 men, plus a handful of senior and masters skiers, raced a 10 k classic interval start. Top U18 skiers were Tristan Wiese, Andrew Hull, and Saturday’s sprint winner Alverts. Top U20 skiers, and top three overall for all skiers U18+, were Hunter Wonders, Mowry, and Hamish Wolfe. Wonders was tuning up for the Junior World Championships to be held at Soldier Hollow next week.

Racing continues at Birch Hill in Fairbanks the first weekend of February with skate interval start and classic mass start distance races. Alaska’s team for Junior Nationals will be named on the afternoon of February 5.

Results: skate sprint | classic distance

— Gavin Kentch

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JN: Rocky Mountain Boys Top Podium in J1, OJ Relays (Updated)

Note: This post has been corrected to reflect that Rocky Mountain swept both the OJ and J1 boys relays at Junior Nationals on Saturday.

MIDWAY, Utah — Rocky Mountain topped the podium in both the J1 and OJ boys 3×3 k relays on Saturday at the 2012 Cross Country Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow.

The J1 team with Cal Deline, Christian Shanley and Max Scimgeour edged New England (Eli Hoenig, Sean Doherty and Paddy Caldwell) by 0.3 seconds in 16:43.5.

The Midwest took third (+9.1) with Sam Elfstrom, Adam Martin and Jan Ketterson.

In the OJ boys relay, Rocky Mountain won by the same narrow margin, 0.3 seconds ahead of Alaska. The winners were Charlie Von Thaden, Mike Vigers and Tucker McCrerey, and Alaska was second with Jack Novak, Stefan Hajdukovich and Forrest Mahlen. Intermountain finished third (+0.7) with Kevin Bolger, Akeo Maifeld Carucci and Sawyer Kesselheim.

Combined relay results

 

 

 

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JN: New England J2 Girls Edge AK; Alaskan Boys Win Relay

MIDWAY, Utah — New England pulled out a photo-finish victory on Saturday at the 2012 Cross Country Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow, winning the J2 girls 3×3 k relay by two-tenths of a second over Alaska in 20:13.4.

Julia Kern anchored the New England team, which included Zoe Snow and Katharine Ogden. Alaska was led by Sarrisa Lammer, Taryn Hunt-Smith and Lydia Blanchet in second, and the Midwest was third with Racquel Wohlk, Vivian Hett and Alayna Sonnesyn (+31.4).

J2 girls relay results

In the boys J2 race, Alaska’s Tanner Ramey, Jacob Volz and Thomas O’Harra skied away from the pack to win in 17:57.3.

Intermountain placed second (+2.5) with Sam Miller, Peter Neal and Karten Hokanson. New England was third (+17.1) with Ben Hegman, Jack Elder and Koby Gordon.

J2 boys relay results

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JN: Talbot Tallies OJ Victory; Morgan Top J1 in 10 k Classic

MIDWAY, Utah — Silas Talbot (NE/Dartmouth) posted the fastest time at Soldier Hollow on Friday, winning the OJ boys 10 k classic individual start in 25:45.5. A second-year OJ, it was his first victory at Junior Nationals.

Wednesday’s mass start winner, Ben Saxton (MW/Minnesota) placed second (+20.0) and Sam Reed (NE/UNH) was third (+30.0)

Cole Morgan (IM/Sun Valley) won the J1 boys 10 k classic title in 26:02.6. Paddy Caldwell (NE/Stratton) finished second (+45.3) and Cal Deline (RM/SSC Vail) was third (+46.0).

J1/OJ Boys Top 20

1. Silas Talbot (NE) OJ: 25:45.5

2. Cole Morgan (IM) J1: +17.1

3. Ben Saxton (MW) OJ: +20.0

4. Sam Reed (NE) OJ: +30.0

5. Mike Vigers (RM) OJ: +32.5

6. Kevin Bolger (IM) OJ: +35.4

7. Austin Meng (FW) OJ: +35.7

8. Tucker McCrerey (RM) OJ: +39.4

9. Alex Mahoney (Canada) OJ: +43.7

10. Charlie Von Thaden (RM) OJ: +55.7

11. Sawyer Kesselheim (IM) OJ: +56.1

12. Arnud Du Pasquier (RM) OJ: +57.8

13. Pat Caldwell (NE) J1: +1:02.4

14. Cal Deline (RM) J1: +1:03.1

15. Sean Doherty (NE) J1: +1:08.1

16. Reitler Hodgert (PN) OJ: +1:08.2

17. Adam Martin (MW) J1: +1:08.9

18. Scott Johanik (MW) OJ: +1:11.3

19. Forrest Mahlen (AK) OJ: +1:11.6

20. Kyle Bratrud (MW) OJ: +1:14.2

J1/OJ boys combined 10 k results

 

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JN: Stock Secures Third J1 Title of the Week; Hall Wins OJ 5 k Classic

MIDWAY, Utah – Corey Stock (NE/Cambridge Sports Union) secured her third victory in as many races at the 2012 Cross Country Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow on Friday, winning the J1 girls 5 k classic individual start in 14:07.4.

Her New England teammate, Heather Mooney was second (+24.8) and Marion Woods (AK) notched her second straight podium in third (+29.9).

In the OJ girls race, which was held in conjunction with the J1 girls, Rachel Hall (NE/Stratton Mountain School) was the fastest OJ over the 5 k distance.

After placing third in Wednesday’s mass start, Hall won Friday’s race in 14:43.5. Her New England teammate, Mary Kate Cirelli (Green Mountain VS) was second (+6.2). Wednesday’s runner-up, Elizabeth Simak (MW/F.A.S.T.) was third (+9.5).

Top 20 J1/OJ

1. Corey Stock (NE) J1: 14:07.4

2. Heather Mooney (NE) J1: +24.8

3. Marion Woods (AK) J1: +29.9

4. Mary O’Connell (RM) J1: +32.7

5. Sloan Storey (IM) J1: +34.2

6. Rachel Hall (NE) OJ: +36.1

7. Nichol Bathe (MW) J1: +39.9

8. Rachel Hampton (RM) J1: +40.5

9. Mary Kate Cirelli (NE) OJ: +42.3

10. Elizabeth Simak (MW) OJ: +45.6

11. Maya MacIsaac-Jones (Canada) J1: +50.7

12. Felicia Gesior (GL) OJ: +52.8

13. Hanna Benson (NE) J1: +53.5

14. Emily Hannah (RM) J1: +55.5

15. Oli Meyerson (NE) J1: +57.4

16. Tristin Lowe (IM) J1: +58.8

17. Sarah Cresap (AK) OJ: +59.8

17. Annie Liotta (AK) OJ: +59.8

19. Paige Schember (MW) OJ: +1:02.4

20. Delaney Fitzpatrick (MW) J1: +1:03.9

Girls combined J1/OJ 5k classic results

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JN: Stock on a Roll, Takes 10 k Freestyle Victory

MIDWAY, Utah — Corey Stock of New England/Cambridge Sports Union nabbed her eighth Junior Nationals victory on Wednesday, winning the J1 girls 10 k freestyle mass start at Soldier Hollow.

Stock won in 29:20.6, just 6.3 seconds ahead of Storey Sloan (IM/Sun Valley) in second. Marion Woods (AK/Alaska Winter Stars) was third (+7.2).

Top 10

1. Corey Stock (NE/Cambridge) 29:20.6

2. Sloan Storey (IM/Sun Valley) +6.3

3. Marion Woods (AK/Alaska Winter Starts) +7.2

4. Emily Hannah (RM/Steamboat) +12.5

5. Sarah Freiston (AK/Alaska Nordic) +55.5

6. Jesse Knori (IM/Sun Valley) +57.1

7. Maya MacIsaac-Jones (Canada/Rocky Mountain Racers) +1:04.7

8. Kelsey Phinney (RM/Boulder) +1:09.4

9. Margaret Pope (IM/Sun Valley) +1:10.3

10. Rachel Hampton (RM/Durango) +1:11.4

J1 girls 10 k mass start results

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JN: Caldwell Opens Up, Holds on for J1 Mass Start Win

MIDWAY, Utah — New England’s Patrick Caldwell (Stratton) opened up a lead in the J1 boys 10 k freestyle mass start and held it for the last two laps to win his first title the 2012 Cross Country Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow on Wednesday.

In Monday’s sprint, Caldwell was second. He broke away from a pack of fellow New Englanders early and went on to win by 27.9 seconds. Eli Hoening (NE/Cambridge Sports Union) was second and Fabian Stocek of Holderness Nordic helped New England sweep the top five.

Top 10

1. Patrick Caldwell (NE/Stratton) 24:39.3 0

2. Eli Hoenig (NE/Cambridge) +27.9

3. Fabian Stocek (NE/Holderness)+28.2

4. Sean Doherty (NE/Mt.Washington) +39.6

5. Gino Pastore (NE/Stratton) +41.6

6. Cal Deline (RM/SSC Vail) +1:07.4

7. Jackson Hill (RM/Summit) +1:09.6

8. Max Scrimgeour (RM/Steamboat) +1:11.4

9. Patrick McElravey (FW/Auburn) +1:11.9

10. Christian Shanley (RM/Steamboat) +1:15.9

J1 boys 10 k mass start results

 

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JN: Hokanson Wins J2 Mass Start at Home in Soldier Hollow

MIDWAY, Utah — Karsten Hokanson of the Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy (Intermountain) navigated a slick and hard-packed course to a J2 victory the 2012 Cross Country Junior Nationals on Wednesday, winning the 5 k freestyle mass start at Soldier Hollow.

Hokanson avoided crashes to win in 12:23.7.

Tanner Ramey (AK/Alaska Winter Stars) was second, 9.7 seconds back, and Peter Holmes (Tahoe XC) locked up third (+11.7).

Top 10

1. Karsten Hokanson (IM/Wasatch) 12:23.7

2. Tanner Ramey (AK/Alaska Winter Stars) +9.7

3. Peter Holmes (FW/Tahoe XC) +11.7

4. Sam Miller (IM/Bridger) +12.7

5. Jack Elder (NE/Cumberland)+14.6

6. Gavin McEwen (NE/Cambridge) +19.3

7. Thomas O’Harra (AK/APU) +20.0

8. Henry Trowbridge (RM/Summit) +21.3

9. Jacob Volz (AK/APU) +21.9

10. Ben Grodener (IM/Wasatch) +22.9

J2 boys mass start results

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JN: New England’s Kern, Harmeyer Notch J2 Sprint Victories

MIDWAY, Utah — New England topped the podium in the J2 classic sprint at the 2012 Cross Country Junior Nationals on Monday, with Julia Kern (Cambridge Sports Union) and Henry Harmeyer (Mansfield Nordic) winning their respective 1.3 k A-finals at Soldier Hollow.

Kern topped NE teammate and Brooke Mooney (Stratton), who finished second. Alayna Sonnesyn (MW/Sisu SC) made the podium in third.

Harmeyer and his teammate at Mansfield Nordic, Ben Hegman, went 1-2 in the A-final. Cully Brown (RM/Durango) was third.

J2 Girls A-final

1. Julia Kern (NE/Cambridge)

2. Brooke Mooney (NE/Stratton)

3. Alayna Sonnesyn (MW/Sisu)

4. Zoe Snow (NE/Cambridge)

5. Katharine Ogden (NE/Stratton)

6. Marte Haakenstad-Braaten (CA/Rocky Mountain)

J2 girls sprint heat results

J2 Boys A-final

1. Henry Harmeyer (NE/Mansfield)

2. Ben Hegman (NE/Mansfield)

3. Cully Brown (RM/Durango)

4. Koby Gordon (NE/Stratton)

5. Kartson Hokanson (IM/Wasatch)

6. Matthew Muffoletto (AK/Alaska Winter Stars)

J2 boys sprint heat results

 

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JN: Lustgarten, Schember Win OJ Sprint Titles

MIDWAY, Utah — Eric Lustgarten of St. Lawrence University helped New England get the ball rolling on Monday, winning the OJ boys 1.3 k classic sprint A-final at the 2012 Cross Country Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow. Lustgarten’s victory was one of five for New England, out of six total races.

Paige Schember (F.A.S.T) picked up a win for the Midwest in the OJ girls A-final, beating the only non-Midwest skier in the final, Rachel Mason of Great Lakes/MTU.

In the boys A-final, New England swept the podium with Austin Cobb (Stratton) in second and Nick Michaud (MWSC) in third.

OJ boys A-final

1. Eric Lustgarten (NE/St. Lawrence)

2. Austin Cobb (NE/Stratton)

3. Nick Michaud (NE/Maine WSC)

4. Silas Talbot (NE/Dartmouth)

5. Sawyer Kesselheim (IM/Bridger)

6. Hans Halvorsen (NE/Green Mountain)

OJ boys heat results

 

OJ girls A-final

1. Paige Schember (MW/F.A.S.T.)

2. Rachel Mason (GL/MTU)

3. Sharmila Ahmed (MW/GoTraining)

4. Elizabeth Simak (MW/F.A.S.T.)

5. Claire Galvin (MW/GoTraining)

6. Alice Flanders (MW/Sisu SC)

OJ girls heat results

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Diggins 12th in World Junior Women’s Pursuit, Despite Crash

Jessie Diggins chasing after crashing at the start of the women's pursuit.

The U.S.’s Jessie Diggins led the North American women in Sunday’s 10 k pursuit at the World Junior Championships in Otepaa, Estonia, finishing 12th.

However, a crash in the first kilometer left her with a broken pole, putting her out of contention on a day on which she otherwise seemed to ski well enough to contend for the podium.

Norwegians took the top two spots, with Heidi Weng and Martine Ek Hagen snaring gold and bronze. Germany’s Helene Jacob was third.

In addition to Diggins, American Joanne Reid had a strong race in 24th, while Annika Hicks led the Canadians.

Link to full results.

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Cockney Best North American with Sixth in U-23 Classic Sprint

Canadian Jesse Cockney led the North American men and women with sixth place in the U-23 World Championships classic sprint on Saturday.

His teammate Len Valjas was a favorite in the event, but was eliminated in the quarterfinals after choosing a slow, powdery lane on a blustery, snowy day in Otepaa, Estonia.

Russian Alexander Panzhinskiy won the men’s race, while Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen took women’s gold.

Timo Andre Bakken and Magnus Moholt rounded out the men’s podium, while Norway’s Britt Ingunn Nydal and Sweden’s Jennie Oeberg took silver and bronze for women.

Canada’s Alysson Marshall was the only North American to advance past the quarters—she was last in her semifinal to finish 12th on the day. Americans Ida Sargent, Jennie Bender, and Sadie Bjornsen did not escape their quarterfinal heats.

Full, exciting reports to come on both races.

Women’s qualifying results. Women’s final results.

Men’s qualifying results. Men’s final results.

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Two Russians Top U-23 15k, Hoffman 20th; 13th for Top Canadian

Stanislav Perliak (RUS) on his way to second place in the men's 15k classic

Stanislav Perliak (RUS) on his way to second place in the men's 15k classic

With little recovery, some big climbs, and a layer of new snow, the 3.75k course here in Hinterzarten is a tough one. By the time the U-23 men here had been around it four times, they got to know it pretty well.

Today’s 15k demanded not just fitness, but restraint and smart pacing, and the winner here, Vladislav Skobelev (RUS), clearly had that mastered. Back in seventh place after one lap, Skobelev worked his way up through the field over the next three circuits to win by 20 seconds over teammate Stanislav Perliak. Gennadly Matviyenko (KAZ) was another second behind in third.

Noah Hoffman led the way for the Americans in 20th. He skied a restrained race, something he’s been practicing, he said.

“It was better than what I’ve been doing recently-still not great yet,” he said.

Kevin Sandau was the top Canadian finisher, in 13th.

Full report, photos, and video to come.

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Niskanen Takes U-23 10k, Webster in top 10; Americans miss top 20

R-L Ida Sargent, and U.S. coaches Janice Sibilia, Scott Johnstone, and Matt Whitcomb

R-L Ida Sargent, and U.S. coaches Janice Sibilia, Scott Johnston, and Matt Whitcomb

After a day of respite, nature hit back at the U-23 Championships this morning with a four-inch dose of snow, then with the same wet fog that already plagued two of three races here.

The fluffy snow that fell made for some tricky skiing, but it didn’t seem to upset the hierarchy here in Hinterzarten, and it was a Finn, Kerttu Niskanen, who rose to the top. She was followed by two Russians, Alevtina Tanygina and Svetlana Nikolaeva.

Brittany Webster of Canada had a strong day, skiing to a top-ten finish. FasterSkier caught her for a post-race interview.

According to Matt Whitcomb, one of the American coaches here, the four American women struggled with pacing. A number of them had strong starts, but he said that it looked like all of them faded out of the top-20.

Results, report, and photos to follow.

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Sargent Just Misses U-23 Sprint Podium; Hamilton Loses Pole Grip, Out in Quarters

Ida Sargent in her quarterfinal heat in the freestyle sprint at the U-23 Championships, Hinterzarten, Germany

Ida Sargent in her quarterfinal heat in the freestyle sprint at the U-23 Championships, Hinterzarten, Germany

When Simi Hamilton lost a pole and was bounced from his quarterfinal heat, it was up to Ida Sargent to salvage the American hopes in the U-23 skate sprint. She didn’t disappoint.

After qualifying in fourth, Sargent advanced easily through the quarters and semis, faltering only in the middle of the A-final. After some bad luck and tactical errors by the Americans over the last two days, you could almost hear the sigh of relief from her coaches and teammates.

“Before that A-final, I thought Ida could win that thing,” said Pat Casey, head coach of the American U-23 squad. “I talked to her about it, and she thought she could win that thing, too.”

Sargent was blazing off the line all day, and the final was no different-she was in second going into the first corner. But as she headed up the final big hill, Sargent was running out of gas.

“I got a little tired on the second hill, so I lost some time there,” she said, “but I was able to pull it together for the finish. I feel like I’m right in there, so it was a really fun day.”

Finnish Biathlete Mari Laukkanen held onto her top qualification position for the win, and she did not trail in either of her last two heats. Sargent actually came closest to beating her, in the pair’s semifinal. Denise Herrmann (GER) and Kathrine Rolsted Harsem (NOR) were second and third, respectively.

None of the three other American women made it out of the quarters. Both Rosie Brennan and Sadie Bjornsen were third in their heats, but neither advanced as lucky losers. And Becca Rorabaugh found herself in the snow after getting tangled up on the first climb.

Hamilton’s day ended just as quickly. After a mishap in Canada, he said that he’d secured his pole grips on with “about a pound” of glue. It still wasn’t enough.

Leading his heat through the initial fast downhill, a Norwegian skied over one of Hamilton’s baskets as he came out of a tuck. The grip came off, and the whole pack went by.

Hamilton was left screaming at the fans on the right side of the trail for a new pole, and he finally grabbed one from an unsuspecting Russian woman who was looking the other way. But by then it was far too late.

Simi Hamilton gestures for a pole after losing a grip in his quarterfinal heat

Simi Hamilton gestures for a pole after losing a grip in his quarterfinal heat

“I thought that I had learned my lesson and put on a ton of glue last fall when I was building my poles up,” said Hamilton afterwards. “I had a good qualifier, which I’m really psyched about…It just sucks that [the mishap] had to happen here.”

Ole-marius Bach (NOR) held off Martin Jaeger (SUI), who looked strong all day and appeared to have the race in the bag until the final stretch, when Bach passed him. Andrey Parfenov (RUS) was third.

Peter Kling was the only other American in the heats, and he failed to advance. Canada’s Len Valjas made the B-final.

For a video interview with Ida Sargent, click here

Full reports to follow shortly.

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Swede Takes Women’s WJ Sprint; Americans Out in Quarters

Sweden's Hanna Brodin at the finish of the women's freestyle sprint in Hinterzarten, Germany

Sweden's Hanna Brodin at the finish of the women's freestyle sprint in Hinterzarten, Germany

One misstep and one mistake, and it was all over for the American women here in Hinterzarten.

50 meters into her quarterfinal, Jessie Diggins found herself on the ground, seeing stars. Sophie Caldwell lasted longer, and was in contention to advance, but lost crucial ground coming into the final turn that she could not make up in the finishing sprint.

Sprinting never leaves a lot of margin for error, but the races here were especially tight. Many stayed together for their duration, separating only in the last few hundred meters.

“There were a lot of tactics involved today,” Caldwell said.

Sweden’s Hanna Brodin took the final, avenging last year’s loss to today’s second place finisher, Invild Flugstad Oesberg of Norway. Kari Oeyre (NOR) was third.

Updates to follow.

Jessie Diggins on her way downards

Jessie Diggins on her way downwards

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Northug (no, the other one) Wins World Junior Sprint

Tomas Northug after winning the World Junior Championships freestyle sprint in Hinterzarten, Germany

Tomas Northug after winning the World Junior Championships freestyle sprint in Hinterzarten, Germany

Different race, different Northug, same result. With a finishing kick eerily similar to the one his brother has made famous, Norway’s Tomas Northug won the championship in the World Junior Sprint in dominating fashion today.

The resemblance between the two brothers is striking-Tomas has the same blazing speed and Casco headwear made famous by Petter.

Their attitudes are similar, too. When asked if he had stepped out of his brother’s shadow today, Tomas said no.

“My brother’s shadow was back of me,” Northug told FasterSkier after the race, clarifying that he would have dropped his brother had he been here.

Paal Golberg (NOR) and Federico Pellegrino (ITA) were second and third, but the two could touch Northug’s speed.

The U.S.’s Erik Bjornsen was the only North American male to qualify for the heats. He was sitting in third in his quarterfinal coming off the final hill, but was passed by two others in the last corner and ended in fifth. The two skiers ahead of him advanced as lucky losers.

More coverage to follow, including video and photos.

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