Wednesday was another gold medal day for the Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team at the Chevrolet U.S. Junior National cross-country ski meet in Soldier Hollow, Utah.
And it was another good day for the Intermountain Division of which Sun Valley is a vital part. Intermountain has taken a commanding lead in the Alaska Cup team standings after two events of the six-day meet.
Community School senior Mike Matteson, 18, won his first-ever Junior National gold medal by capturing the Men's Older Junior (ages 18-19) 15-kilometer freestyle race by 1.7 seconds over Marty Smith, 19, of Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Matteson's led 56 Men's OJ finishers in 38 minutes and 44 seconds. In fifth place was Monday's other gold medallist from Sun Valley, Ian Havlick, 18, who was first in the skate sprint "A" final. Matteson placed eighth in Monday's sprint.
Havlick and Matteson were two of Sun Valley's seven All-Americans in Wednesday's mass start skate race. All-American status is conferred on the top placing skiers in each of the six age divisions at Junior Nationals.
Other All-Americans were Travis Job fourth and Max Durtschi 13th in J2 (ages 14-15) boys' 5k; Taylor Sundali 10th in J1 (16-17) boys' 15k; Makayla Cappel eighth and Bronwen Raff 12th in J2 girls' 5k.
The Intermountain Division now leads New England 758-468 after two events in the 10-division Alaska Cup. Intermountain's point total is well balanced, with 150 points in Men's OJ, 97 Women's OJ, 109 J1 boys, 141 J1 girls, 122 J2 boys and 139 J2 girls.
Individual start classic races are today and classic relays Saturday. In all, Sun Valley had 13 racers in Wednesday's 386-racer field.
Local results in freestyle:
OJ men's 15k skate: 1—Mike Matteson 38:44. 4—Ian Havlick 39:06. (56 finishers).
OJ women's 10k skate: 1—Mellie Park (Intermountain/Bridger) 30:59. 19—Tess Dahlgren 34:00 (34 finishers).
J1 boys' 15k skate: 1—Lex Treinen (Alaska) 38:49. 10—Taylor Sundali 40:24. 28—Scott Krankkala 41:56 (75 finishers).
J1 girls' 10k skate: 1—Erika Flowers (Intermountain/Bridger) 30:38. 31—Mali Noyes 32:55 (87 finishers).
J2 boys' 5k skate: 1—George Cartwright (Lander) 12:45. 4—Travis Job 13:04. 13—Max Durtschi 13:18. 20—Scotty Phelan 13:54 (66 finishers).
J2 girls' 5k skate: 1—Jessie Diggins (Finn Sisu) 15:06. 8—Makayla Cappel 15:37. 12—Bronwen Raff 16:05. 19—Julia Bowman 16:21. 21—Courtney Hamilton 16:43 (57 finishers).