There were six gold medalists crowned Wednesday at the 2008 U.S. Junior Olympic Cross Country ski championships in Alaska—and two hailed from the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.
Sun Valley native Mali Noyes, 18, blew away the field of the 36-racer Older Junior women (ages 18-19) and won her first Junior National individual gold medal. She was a 3x5k relay gold winner in 2007.
Noyes (15:52) won the 5-kilometer freestyle interval start race by 28 seconds over fellow Intermountain Division racers Ase Carlson (16:20) and Erika Flowers (16:53) of Montana's Bridger Ski Foundation.
Aspen's Noah Hoffman, 18, like Noyes racing for the SVSEF Olympic Development Team, captured the Older Junior men's 10k skate race over 58 other racers. His winning time of 27:40 outdistanced Durango's Tad Elliott by 27 seconds.
Noyes and Hoffman were two of 18 SVSEF competitors in the 409-racer field Wednesday on the second day of Junior National racing. Alaska (760 points) stretched its lead over New England (700) and defending champ Intermountain (549) in the 10-division Alaska Cup standings after two events.
Three other SVSEF racers cracked the top 10 Wednesday. Daniel Sundali was sixth in the J2 (ages 14-15) 5k skate race. Taylor Sundali was seventh and Reid Pletcher ninth in the OJ 10k skate.
Classic racing is today, Friday, and relays Saturday. Local results:
OJ women, 5k: 1—Mali Noyes 15:52 (36 racers finishing).
OJ men, 10k: 1—Noah Hoffman 27:40. 7—Taylor Sundali 29:06 (1:26 back). 9—Reid Pletcher 29:19 (1:39). 28—Scott Krankkala 30:50 (3:09) (59 racers).
J1 boys (ages 16-17), 10k: 15—Max Durtschi 30:08 (2:15 back). 16—Travis Job 30:14 (2:21). 19—Connor Brown 30:30 (2:37). 24—Scott Phelan 30:44 (2:51) (94 racers).
J1 girls, 5k: 20—Makayla Cappel 17:23 (1:25 back). 29—Bronwen Raff 17:39 (1:41). 37—Julia Bowman 17:47 (1:49). 46—Rosie Gilchrist 18:06 (2:08). 47—Courtney Hamilton 18:08 (2:10) (92 racers).
J2 boys, 5k: 6—Daniel Sundali 14:50 (1:30 back). 28—William Spiller 16:00 (2:40) (62 racers).
J2 girls, 5k: 29—Emily Williams 18:11 (1:34 back). 38—Claire Bowman 18:49 (2:12) (61 racers).