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For the week of January 10 through January 16, 2001

Kemppel sets new standard at Nordic Nationals

Locals compete at Ponderosa State Park


Alaska’s Nina Kemppel, 30, deservedly made the big headlines last week by sweeping the women’s races and piling up a record-setting 15 career national titles during the 2001 Chevy Truck U.S. Nordic Nationals at Ponderosa State Park in McCall.

But observers at any national championships are excited about promising young racers—and Sun Valley Junior Nordic first-year J1 Ashley McQueen, 16, showed great promise in the 360-racer field.

McQueen placed 29th of 117 women and a heady fourth among all juniors who finished Saturday’s national 15-kilometer skate race. She was less than six minutes off Kemppel’s top pace on a sunny and warm day in McCall.

Her coach, 14th-year Sun Valley program director Rick Kapala, said, "Ashley’s fourth among all of the top J1s and OJ girls in the country is probably the best race our program has ever had by a junior racer at Senior Nationals.

"Ashley is calm and doesn’t get flustered. She hasn’t had any experience in a crowd with 200 other racers in a mass start. But she’s pretty competitive. We talked about going out there and taking care of business. She found herself passing all sorts of top racers."

It was a consistent week for McQueen, who became more aggressive this fall as a valuable defender on Wood River High School’s state championship girls’ soccer team. While playing soccer, she was doing extra training for cross-country skiing as well.

"Ashley has trained very hard," Kapala said.

She was the 15th junior in last Wednesday’s freestyle sprint and 20th in Thursday’s 5k classic race. Kapala said, "Ashley had a solid skate race in the sprint and a pretty good classic result."

Teammate Kaelin Kiesel, 15, was 64th overall and the 13th junior in classic, but she DNFd in freestyle.

Bidding for national attention, Ketchum’s Brooke Baughman, 28, turned some heads with a 10th-place finish in Saturday’s 15k skate race, 3:39 off Kemppel’s winning pace. Baughman was 16th in Wednesday’s freestyle sprint and 41st in the classic race.

University of Utah racer and former Sun Valley junior Pat Casey, 23, of Ketchum was the top local man in McCall. Casey made the quarterfinals in the national sprint, placing 13th, then he was 23rd in the 10k classic event and 14th in men’s 30k freestyle.


McQueen, Kiesel picked

Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski teamers Ashley McQueen and Kaelin Kiesel have qualified for the prestigious Scandinavian Cup competition Jan. 22-Feb. 6 in Finland.

They are members of the American J1 team that includes six boys and six girls—presumably the top 16- and 17-year-old skiers in the U.S.

McQueen, 16, and Kiesel, 15, were chosen from their results at the Chevy Truck U.S. Nordic Nationals Jan. 3-6 in McCall. Both are Wood River High School students, Ashley a junior and Kaelin a freshman.

Sun Valley head coach Rick Kapala said, "Ashley was the fourth junior in the country in Saturday’s skate race. Kaelin is only 15 and she made the team on the strength of her classic race at nationals."


National results

U.S. National races were 1.4-kilometer sprints Wednesday, men’s 10k and women’s 5k classic events for 207 men and 153 women Thursday, and men’s 30k and women’s 15k freestyle races on Saturday.

·  Local men’s placings: Pat Casey 13-SP, 23-CL, 14-FR; Lars Flora 8-SP, 49-CL, 22-FR; Ian Skinner 114-SP, 75-CL, 53-FR; Michael Lloyd 58-CL, 88-FR; Matt Cleveland 43-SP, 95-CL, 131-FR;

Jedd Young 74-SP, 109-CL, 75-FR; Sam Young 108-SP, 164-CL, 121-FR; Peter Webb 61-CL, 91-FR; Matt Stevenson 98-SP, 118-CL, 105-FR; Chad Cleveland 121-SP, 171-CL, 159-FR;

Jess Kiesel 82-SP, 96-CL, 139-FR; Andrew Slough 97-SP, 132-CL, 160-FR; Bryce Turzian 115-SP, 147-CL, 119-FR; Matt DeCarufel 107-SP, 131-CL, DNF-FR.

·  Local women’s placings: Brooke Baughman 16-SP, 41-CL, 10-FR; Davina Webb 97-SP, 44-CL, 73-FR; Ashley Wells 66-SP, 83-CL, 81-FR; Hilary Patzer 58-SP, 111-CL; Crystal Ward 92-SP, 103-FR;

Ashley McQueen 45-SP, 79-CL, 29-FR; Kaelin Kiesel 60-SP, 64-CL, DNF-FR; Josie Bradford 96-SP, 121-CL; Alissa Praggastis 90-SP, 130-CL; Erin Magee 87-SP, 137-CL.






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