Sixteen Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team racers have qualified for the Chevy Truck U.S. Junior Nationals March 5-10 at Soldier Hollow, Utah.
They are part of the 50-skier Intermountain Division team named Monday at the end of the two-day Sun Valley qualifying races at the Lake Creek trail system north of Ketchum.
Accompanying the group to Utah will be Sun Valley coaches Rick Kapala, Abi Holt, Chris Mallory and Swedish coach Mickan Sundbaum. They'll leave for Utah March 2.
Skate sprint races will be Monday, March 5 followed by mass start skate races March 7, individual start classic races March 9 and relays March 10.
The Sun Valley qualifiers:
Older Junior/J1 boys (ages 16-19): Mike Matteson, Ian Havlick and Scott Krankkala. Alternate is Sam Farnham.
Those pre-qualified for Junior Nationals from Sun Valley based on their results at the U.S. National Cross-Country Ski Championships Jan. 7 at Houghton, Mich. were Reid Pletcher, Colin Struthers and Taylor Sundali.
Pletcher and Struthers plan to compete in the March 5 Junior National skate sprints and then leave for Tarvisio, Italy for the World Junior Nordic Championships March 12-18.
Older Junior/J1 girls: Tess Dahlgren.
Pre-qualified for JNs were national champion Alexa Turzian and Mali Noyes. Turzian won't compete at Junior Nationals this year, Kapala said, and will go directly to Tarvisio for the World Junior Nordics.
J2 boys (ages 14-15): Max Durtschi, Travis Job and Scotty Phelan.
J2 girls: Julia Bowman, Courtney Hamilton, Bronwen Raff and Makayla Cappel.
Others competing for spots on the team were junior skiers from McCall, Bogus Basin and Pocatello; Soldier Hollow, Park City and Salt Lake City (Utah); Jackson Hole and West Yellowstone (Wyo.); Glacier, Bridger and Bozeman (Mt.). In all, 50 of the 126 Intermountain juniors qualified for the JN trip.
Check page B-10 for a story about the Lake Creek races.