The Intermountain Division Junior National qualifying races held at Jug Mountain Ranch in McCall last weekend produced solid results for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation's Junior Nordic ski team—and hope for the future.
Once all the points were tabulated and Intermountain Selection Series final standings determined, the SVSEF led the way with 16 of its skiers qualifying on the IMD squad for the 2012 U.S. Junior National Championships set for March 5-10 at Soldier Hollow, Utah.
Chosen to the IMD JN Team from Sun Valley were:
J1/Older Junior boys: Cole Morgan (currently with the U.S. Team at World Juniors in Turkey), Kevin Bolger, Jack Steele, Ketchum Wilt, Gray Riedinger and Zach Lindahl.
J1/OJ girls: Sloan Storey (currently with U.S. Team at the International Scandinavian Series in Estonia), Maggie Williams, Jesse Knori, Margaret Pope, Maranda Stopol, Kelsey Dickinson and Morgan Atkinson.
J2 girls: Annika Landis and Katie Feldman.
J2 boys: Nate Thomas.
SVSEF Nordic program director Rick Kapala said about the third of three JN qualifying races this winter, this one at McCall, "Conditions varied from pretty good for Saturday skate's race to very challenging for the Sunday mass start classic races.
"Weather was wet and warm most of the weekend. The course offered a mix of challenging climbs and technical downhills with corners that demanded a high degree of courage, skill and sometimes a little luck."
Race highlights included: J1/OJ boys Zach Lindahl and Stephen Pfeiffer posting their best ever IMD results with 2nd and 4th respectively in Sunday's race. They were led to the line by the team's OJ/J1 strongman Jack Steele for a SV 1-2-4 result;
J2 Annika Landis had her best IMD weekend with 5th and 4th; J1/OJs Maggie Williams and Jessie Knori went 1-2 Sunday; J2 Nate Thomas and Nate Nasvik placed 5-6 on Saturday for their top results.
Also, J3 Jacob Truxal posting a personal-best 4th Saturday; J3 Sarah Verst with a PR 3rd Saturday; and J1 Andrew Graves recording his best ever results both days.
SVSEF Gold Team update
Among SVSEF Gold Team comings and goings:
Alexa Turzian is training for her next big race, the American Birkenbeiner Saturday, Feb. 25, then the Canadian Nationals in mid- March at Mt. St. Anne, Quebec; Nicole DeYong is also prepping for the Birkie, then she and Morgan Arritola will head overseas for the Engadin Ski Marathon at St. Moritz, Switz.;
Gold Team Coach Colin Rodgers will lead the group of Chelsea Holmes, Morgan Arritola and Matt Gelso to the final set of FIS OPA Cup races at Rogla, Slovenia and Toblach, Italy; then the entire gold Team convenes at Craftsbury, Vt. for SuperTour finals March 24-30.
Here are results for SVSEF junior racers plus top placers in each class from the McCall Junior National qualifier.
There were a total of 154 competitors from Sun Valley (27 entrants), Payette Lakes, Bogus Basin, Bozeman, Jackson Hole (Wyo.), Park City, Wasatch and Soldier Hollow (Utah), and Whitefish (Mt.).
Saturday's interval skate races
Older Junior boys (ages 18-19), 10 kilometers: 1—Gray Riedinger 30:04. 2—Evan Martell 30:46. 3—Jack Steele 31:22 (6 finishers).
J1 boys (ages 16-17), 10k: 1—Nick Lovett (Jackson) 28:55. 8—Ketchum Wilt 30:33. 12—Zach Lindahl 31:12. 13—Andrew Graves 31:22. 14—Stephen Pfeiffer 31:30. 20—Jake Adicoff 33:04 (23 finishers).
J1 girls, 5k: 1—Lizzie Gill (Bozeman) 33:30. 2—Margaret Pope 34:26. 3—Jesse Knori 34:32. 5—Maranda Stopol 35:35. 10—Kaitlyn Landis 38:43. 14—Sarah Williams 41:19 (16 finishers).
J2 boys (ages 14-15), 5k: 1—Karsten Hokanson (SLC) 14:49. 5—Nate Thomas 15:39. 6—Nathan Nasvik 15:41. 14—Andrew Morse 16:39. 20—Thomas Gillespie 17:28 (33 finishers).
J2 girls, 5k: 1—Leah Lange (Park City) 17:28. 5—Annika Landis 18:02. 11—Katie Feldman 19:06. 13—Haley Montgomery 19:18. 14—Maddy Watts 19:20. 17—Grace Gorham 19:51. 23—Cheyanne Stopol 23:35 (25 finishers).
J3 boys (ages 12-13), 3k: 1—Eli Jensen (Boise) 6:43. 4—Jacob Truxal 7:20 (13 finishers).
J3 girls, 3k: 1—Marin Coletta (Bozeman) 7:18. 3—Sarah Verst 7:51 (9 finishers).
Sunday's mass start classic races
Older Junior boys (ages 18-19), 5k: 1—Jack Steele 16:03. 2—Evan Martell 16:47. 6—Gunnar Ohlsson 18:58 (6 finishers).
Older Junior girls, 5k: 1—Julia Hayes (Bozeman) 19:07. 2—Kelsey Dickinson 19:51. 3—Morgan Atkinson 20:30 (3 finishers).
J1 boys (ages 16-17), 5k: 1—Zach Lindahl 16:11. 3—Stephen Pfeiffer 16:13. 7—Ketchum Wilt 16:27. 11—Andrew Graves 16:45. 18—Jake Adicoff 16:58. 21—Ty Reinemann 17:32 (24 finishers).
J1 girls, 5k: 1—Maggie Williams 18:00. 2—Jesse Knori 18:14. 7—Maranda Stopol 18:55. 8—Margaret Pope 19:16. 12—Kaitlyn Landis 21:09. 16—Sarah Williams 22:02 (17 finishers).
J2 boys (ages 14-15), 5k: 1—Peter Neal (Jackson) 15:58. 7—Nate Thomas 16:51. 10—Nathan Nasvik 17:17. 11—Andrew Morse 17:36 (32 finishers).
J2 girls, 5k: 1—Leah Lange (Park City) 18:38. 4—Annika Landis 19:31. 9—Maddy Watts 20:00. 13—Haley Montgomery 20:38. 14—Katie Feldman 20:44. 17—Grace Gorham 22:17. 23—Cheyanne Stopol 24:45 (25 finishers).
J3 boys (ages 12-13), 3k: 1—Alex Wilson (West Yellowstone) 6:57. 6—Jacob Truxal 7:44 (9 finishers).
J3 girls, 3k: 1—Marin Coletta (Bozeman) 7:37. 5—Sarah Verst 8:31 (9 finishers).