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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of March 19 - 25, 2003


Cold in Alaska,
with silver results

Junior Nationals

Sun Valley Junior Nordic ski team racers went from mild weather to bitter cold last week during the U.S. Junior Nationals at Birch Hill Recreation Area in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Alaska’s warmest winter in nearly a century turned suddenly cold when 346 young skiers from 17 states invaded Fairbanks. There were 16 Sun Valley skiers competing for the Intermountain Division delegation.

Last week’s freestyle and classic races were staged in temperatures hovering around zero degrees, just above the cold-weather cutoff allowed by the U.S. Ski Association for staging such national events.

In fact, Friday’s classic races were delayed an hour due to temperatures in the minus teens. The weather, buffeted by frigid winds, finally warmed up to, brrr, minus four.

Despite the tough conditions, Sun Valley came away with three silver-medal individual performances—by OJ Matt DeCarufel, J1 Mike Sinnott and J2 Alexa Turzian.

DeCarufel (29:13, 1:13 back) had an outstanding second-place finish in the OJ boys’ 10-kilometer classic race Friday. He was seventh of 48 racers in Wednesday’s 15k freestyle race.

Sinnott (29:24, 0:26 back) finished second in Friday’s J1 boys’ 10k classic race and added a fifth-place result in Wednesday’s 15k skate. Sinnott was also a member of the second-place J1 boys’ 3x5k relay Saturday—posting the fastest time in his heat.

Turzian (15:57, 0:32 back) earned the silver in Wednesday’s 5k skate race for J2 girls. She was 10th of 55 finishers in Friday’s 5k classic event.

Sun Valley’s Ashley McQueen (32:59) also cracked the top ten with a 10th-place result in Wednesday’s OJ girls’ 10k race.

The outstanding skier for Intermountain was Leif Zimmerman of Bozeman, Mt. He had gold medal efforts in sprint, freestyle and classic leading Intermountain into third place in the final Alaska Cup team ranks.

Alaska won with 1,516 points. New England (1,118) edged Intermountain (1.058) for second of the nine divisions at Fairbanks. Intermountain’s best team results were in the sprints and freestyle races.

But Zimmerman and DeCarufel also did well in the OJ 3x5-kilometer relay. Each posted the fastest time in their heats as Intermountain finished second of 20 teams just five seconds off the winning pace of Alaska.

Date of the Sun Valley team banquet has been changed to April 21.

Junior National class placings and finishing times (freestyle, classic plus relay details) for the 16 Sun Valley Nordic kids competing last week:

OJ boys (15k FR and 10k CL, 49 racers): Matt DeCarufel 7-FR (43:04) and 2-CL (29:13); and Martin Isaksson 5-CL (29:43). DeCarufel was on the 2nd-place OJ 3x5k boys’ relay team. Isaksson was on the 9th-place team.

OJ girls (10k FR and 5k CL, 36 racers): Ashley McQueen 10-FR (32:59) and 15-CL (18:17); Eva Bach 17-FR (34:45) and 19-CL (18:36). Bach was on the 6th-place OJ 3x5k girls’ relay team.

J1 boys (15k FR and 10k CL, 75 racers): Mike Sinnott 5-FR (42:48) and 2-CL (29:24); Robert Slough 35-FR (45:54) and 15-CL (30:30); David Vanderpool 38-FR (46:14) and 52-CL (32:42); Jack Harris 54-FR (48:06) and 17-CL (30:34).

Sinnott was on the 2nd-place J1 3x5k boys’ relay team. Harris and Slough were teammates on the 6th-place team. Vanderpool was on the 15th-place relay group.

J1 girls (10k FR and 5k CL, 74 racers): Morgan Arritola 19-FR (34:40) and 42-CL (19:07); Alissa Praggastis 39-FR (36:10) and 18-CL (18:28); Erin McQueen 37-FR (35:53) and 40-CL (19:06). Arritola was on the 6th-place J1 3x5k girls’ relay team, while Praggastis and McQueen were teammates on the 12th-place relay squad.

J2 boys (5k FR and 5k CL, 57 racers): Delamon Rego 21-FR (14:48) and 18-CL (16:18); Artie Livingston 55-FR (17:02) and 37-CL (17:09). Rego was on the 8nd-place J2 3x3k boys’ relay team and Livingston was a member of the 15th-place squad.

J2 girls (5k FR and 5k CL, 55 racers): Alexa Turzian 2-FR (15:57) and 10-CL (18:29); Courtney Perry 43-FR (18:52) and 38-CL (20:24); Margii Driscoll 32-CL (19:53). Turzian was on the 4th-place J2 3x3k girls’ relay team. Perry and Driscoll were teammates on the 14th-place squad.


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