New England Claims Alaska Cup at the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships

CABLE, Wisconsin (March 12, 2016) – The final competition of the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships concluded with a grueling Relay Hill Climb race up Mt. Telemark. The pressure was high, as this race not only determined the Junior National Champion relay teams, but also the “King and Queen of the Hill” as well as the winner of the coveted Alaska Cup.

New England claimed the Alaska Cup, which is the award for the team who wins the most points overall, throughout the four days of competition. 

In the U20 men’s hill climb, Max Donaldson, Travis Cooper and Luke Cvoncara representing team Alaska edged New England: Lewis Nottonson, Kamran Husaid and Land Mckenny for the Junior National Relay Hill Climb title by 1.7 seconds, followed by Midwest: Nick Gardner, Tamer Mische-Richter and Will Bodewes who finished third. Team Alaska was led by Travis Cooper, who had the fastest time, skiing the hill climb in just 5:40.8. Cooper also had the fastest time and was crowned “King of the Hill” for the U20 men. 

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In the U20 women’s relay, the Midwest team: Margie Freed, Michaela Keller-Miller and Caroline Brisbois, charged up the hill to claim a convincing first place finish as well as the Junior National Relay Hill Climb title. The team was led by Michaela Keller-Miller who skied the hill climb in 6:45.7, which was the fastest in the U20 female class and made her “Queen of the Hill”. The strong Midwest team finished 16.3 seconds ahead of teammates and the second Midwest team: Sarah Bezdicek, Abigail Drach and Mattie Watts, followed by New England: Lauren Jertberg, Kaelyn Woods and Katie Feldman who finished third.

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Intermountain: Brook Dunnagan, Anna Gibson and Sofia Shomento, claimed the U18 female Junior National Champion Relay Hill Climb title. The team was led by Brooke Dunnagan who skied the climb in a time of 6:52.5, which made him “King of the Hill for the U18 men. Intermountain dug deep to claim the victory 15.7 seconds ahead of New England: Leah Brams, Makenzie Rizo and Rena Schwartz and Alaska: Anna Darnell, Magalen York and Jenna Difdeo, who finished third.  

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In the U18 men’s relay, Alaska: Hunter Wonders, Canyon Tobin and Tracen Knopp hammered their way up Mt. Telemark, to secure the Junior National Relay Hill Climb. The team was led by Hunter Wonders, “King of the Hill,” who skied the fastest time for the U18 men in a time of 5:32.0. Wonders edged Mid-Atlantic Skier Karl Schulz by 0.2 seconds who was the seconds fastest hill climber of the day for U18s. Alaska skied to a first place finish just 11.1 seconds ahead of Mid-Atlantic team: Karl Shulz, Bryce Harman and Henry McGrew, followed by New England: Daniel Steinz, Adam Glueck and Will Rhatiann, who finished third.

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Alaska: Luke Jager, Ti Donaldson and Gus Schumacher, battled to the top to claim the U16 men’s Junior National Relay Hill Climb title. The team was led by Jager, “King of the Hill,” who skied the climb in a time of 5:51.8, which was also the fastest time for the U16 men. Alaska commanded the race and finished 17.6 seconds ahead of Far West: Jc Schoonmaker, Hayden Halvorsen and Nate Cutler, followed by Rock Mountain: Cameron Wolfe, Jimmy Colfer and Collin Wilson who finished third.

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In the U16 female relay, Midwest: Abigal Jarzin, Kelly Koch and Lucy Anderson dominated the hill climb to claim the Junior National Relay Hill Climb title. The team was led by Kelly Koch was crowned “Queen of the Hill” who skied the hill in a time of 6:49.7, which was also the fastest time for the U16 females overall. Midwest finished 19.2 seconds ahead of New England: Anna Lehmann, Callie Young and Laura Appleby, followed by New England: Phobe Sweet, Charlotte Ogden and Mae Chalmers who finished third.  

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For more photos of the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships, click here!

Results

Men’s and Women’s Hill Climb

2016 USSA Junior Nationals Day Three: 1.3k Freestyle Sprint Victories

CABLE, Wisconsin (March 11, 2016) – The third day of the USSA Junior National Championships competition continued with hard fought sprint races on the grueling 1.3k course at Telemark Trails.

Logan Diekmann (Intermountain) U20, Sarah Bezdicek (Midwest) U20, Hannah Halvorson (Far West) U18, Karl Shulz (Mid-Atlantic) U18, Scott Shulz (Mid-Atlantic) U16 and Sydney Palmer-Leger (Intermountain) U16, claimed the Junior National Freestyle Sprint Title.

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The U20 Men’s Podium.

In the men’s U20 sprints, Logan Diekmann dominated throughout the day all the way to the finals. Diekmann started the day strong, posting the fastest qualifying time which advanced him to the heats. Diekmann won his heat and then skied to a solid first place finish in the finals, finishing 3.75 seconds ahead of Dylan Syben (Far West) and Bill Harmeyer (Pacific Northwest) who finished third.

“This may be my final Junior Nationals and I couldn’t be happier about my race.” Said Diekmann. “It has been a goal of mine to be on top of the sprint podium. I felt good physically and mentally. This race means a lot to me and my team but I couldnt have done it without my coaches and family members. This is truly a wonderful way to finish out an incredible season.”

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Bib 301, Logan Diekmann Celebrates His Sprint Victory.

“Today was a great day, I am really happy to have had the best race I could have had with a bunch of cool racers/friends.” Said Syben. “So far racing this week had been hard but I am happy to finish the individual races with good results going into the relay. Thanks to all the volunteers!”

“The race was awesome.” Said Harmeyer. “Special thanks to the volunteers who helped keep the course intact. Couldn’t have pulled it off without them! Thanks to my parents who have helped me from the start! Good end to the season!“

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U20 Men’s Final Heat.

In the U20 female sprints, Sarah Bezdicek started the day off strong and ended it even stronger. Bezdicek skied the fastest U20 female qualifying time, then won her heat, which advanced her to the finals. Bezdicek claimed the Junior National Freestyle Sprint Title just 2.74 seconds over Lauren Jortberg (New England) and Abigail Drach (Midwest) who finished third.

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U20 Women’s Podium.

“It was really warm out there, but the course help up thanks to all the volunteers.” Said Bezdicek. “It was a fun and hard final!”

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Bib 201, Sarah Bezdicek Celebrating Her Sprint Victory.

“I’m really excited to be on the podium and really feel good.” Said Jortberg. “I havent been too excited about my previous races here, but stoked to end the individual races feeling awesome! I’m super excited for the relay tomorrow with New England. New England has awesome wax techs and coaches! Ive had incredible skis!”

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Women’s U20 Final Heat.

Hannah Halvorsen dominated the U18 women’s freestyle sprints. Halvorsen qualified second, won her semifinal heat which advanced her to the finals. Halvorsen skied to a convincing overall freestyle sprint title, 7.30 seconds ahead of Amanda Kautzer (Midwest) and Brooke Dunnagan (Intermountain) who finished third. Halvorsen has had an outstanding season, competing at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway and the U18 Scandinavian Championships in Oteppa, Estonia in February.

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U18 Women’s Podium.

“I am so excited to have a race come together like this today.” Said Halvorson. “After a lot of hard work and an abundance of support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches, I am so happy to have a strong race. This is what I live for!”

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Hannah Halvorsen Racing to a Sprint Victory.

“I was slightly disappointed about the first two races of JNs, but am psyched about today’s race as I haven’t sprinted at all this season due to biathlon racing.” Said Kautzer. “Our coaches gave us great skis today and all the coaches and especially my parents were great with cheering!”

“So far, this week has been really exciting! The conditions have been changing a lot and has required us to be very flexible.” Said Dunnagan. “Skate sprinting is one of my favorite events to compete in. I felt really good today and can’t wait for tomorrow’s relay!”

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U18 Women’s Final Heat.

Karl Shulz dominated the U18 men’s freestyle sprints starting with the qualifiers, through to the finals. Shulz had the fastest U18 qualifying time and the second fastest qualifying time of the day, just five seconds behind U20 skier Diekmann. Shulz won his quarterfinal and semifinal heats, which advanced him to the finals. Shulz skied to a convincing victory, 4.53 seconds ahead of Daniel Streinz (New England) and Tracen Knopp (Alaska) who finished third.

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U18 Men’s Podium.

“This was the best race of the season.” Said Shulz “While I was in the starting pen for my quarterfinal heat, my younger brother Scott came in and won the U16 men’s sprint title and that gave me the final motivation I needed to believe I could go all the way with him.”

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The U18 Men’s Final Heat.

 

“My race was good but not my best.” Said Streinz. “ My season has been going well, I got a top 10 on the U18 trip to Estonia. The New England team is strong so it’s a fun team to be on. I like spring skiing so JNs is always a fun time.”

“Today felt great.” Said Knoop. “I feld smooth and strong the whole day. The first day was bad but the next couple race I have felt good. The season has been good too. Solid training and racing”

Scott Schulz was the inspiration to his older brother Karl, as Scott claimed the Junior National freestyle sprint title for the U16 men. Schulz qualified strong, finishing fourth which advanced him to the finals. Schulz grabbed first ahead of Samuel York (Alaska) and Thomas Gebhards (Intermountain) who finished third.

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The U16 Men’s Podium

“Sweet! Said Schulz. “I had a great season and this was the perfect way to end it!”

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The U18 Men’s Final Heat.

“I had an awesome season and trained hard.” Said Gebhards. “I am glad to have been able to still compete in this race and that they could pull off the race. I’d like to thank all the race volunteers for their countless hours of service.”

It was a close race between the U16 women for the Junior National Freestyle Sprint Title. Sydney Palmer-Leger claimed her second National title as she stole first by 1.5 seconds over Abigail Jarzin (Midwest) and Margaret Gellert (Alaska) who finished third. Palmer-Leger, Jarzin and Gellert were in the top three of the qualifiers and continued to fight hard and stay strong until the finals.

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U16 Women’s Podium.

“I had an awesome season, trained hard to make it to Junior Nationals.” Said Palmer-Leger “Happy to get another chance to race in such a big race. I want to thank my parents and coaches that have worked very hard to help me become a better skier.”

“This season has had many ups and downs but I’m super happy to have had a strong race today.” Said Jarzin. “Thankful for my coaches who have helped me become the skier I am today.”

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U16 Women’s Final Heat.

The final race of the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships continues Saturday with a relay hill climb starting at 9:00 a.m. CET. The races will be streamed live, courtesy of Central Cross Country Ski Association.

Results

U20 Men

U20 Women

U18 Women

U18 Men

U16 Men

U16 Women

2016 USSA Junior National Championships Day Two: 15/10/5k Individual Freestyle Victories

CABLE, Wisconsin (March 10, 2016) – After hundreds of volunteers gathered at Telemark Trails to shovel snow and restore the course, after a spell of unseasonably warm temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday. The 2016 USSA Junior National Championships​ freestyle distance races went on successfully on Thursday.

Max Lachance (Intermountain) U20, Sophia McDonald (Intermountain) U20, Hunter Wonders (Alaska) U18, Anna Darnell (Alaska) U18, Luke Jager (Alaska) U16 and Sydney Palmer (Intermountain) U16, claimed the 2016 USSA Junior National Championship individual freestyle victories.

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The U20 Men’s Podium: Max Lachance, Max Donaldson and Lewis Nottonson.

In the U20 men’s 15k freestyle race, it was a battle for the victory, as first through third were within 3.1 seconds of eachother. Max Lachance edged Max Donaldson (Alaska) by 1.6 seconds to claim the Junior National freestyle distance title. Lewis Nottonson (New England) followed close behind in third, just 3.1 seconds out of first. This is Max Donaldson’s second podium at the 2016 Junior National Championships, after finishing second in the individual classic race on Monday.

“I’m in disbelief!” said Lachance. “Definitely happier with my season now! The course was really fast!”

“It was a tough battle the whole race”, said Donaldson. “It was fun trading off the lead with Max. Endless thanks to the volunteers for making a hard fast course possible today.”

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Bib 159, Sophie McDonald (Intermountain) claimed the U20 Overall Victory.

The women’s U20 10k race was another battle to the podium, as first through fifth were within 10.2 seconds of eachother. Sophie McDonald (Intermountain) edged Abigail Drach (Midwest) by 1.7 seconds, to claim the Junior National freestyle distance title. Mattie Watts (Midwest) followed close behind in third, just 8.7 seconds behind first. This is Drach’s and Watt’s second podium after Drach claimed the Junior National distance classic title on Monday, while Watt finished second overall. The U20 women had to complete three loops around the course, which made up the grueling 10k.

“I am so impressed with how all the volunteers have worked really hard to pull this event off with the lack of snow!” said McDonald. “It was a fun and hard race!”

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Bib 154, Abbie Drach (Midwest).

“It was a hard race with steep uphills and technical downhills, but I really enjoyed racing the 10k skate.” Said Drach.

 

“The course was in incredible shape! Said Watts. “Thank you to all the volunteers for all their hard work to help put on an amazing race!”

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Bib 147, Mattie Watts (Midwest).

In the men’s U18 10k, Hunter Wonders claimed his second Junior National title, after winning the individual classic race on Monday. Wonders skied to a convincing first place finish, 44.1 seconds over Karl Schulz (Mid-Atlantic) and Wyatt Gebhardt (Rocky Mountain) who finished third. The U18 men had to complete three laps of the 3.75k loop.

“The race felt great, I took it out hot and just tried to hold on.” said, Wonders.

 

“The race felt awesome, one of the hardest and best races of the season.” Said Schulz. “I went out hard and finished harder!”

The U18 women skied an impressive 10k, as first through third had the three fastest times out of the U18 and U20 women. Anna Darnell (Alaska) grabbed the Junior National individual freestyle title just 0.6 seconds ahead of Hailey Swirburl (Rocky Mountain) and Leah Brams (New England) who finished third. This is both Swirbul and Brams’ second podium at the 2016 Junior National Championships. Brams claimed the Junior National individual classic title on Monday, while Swirbul finished third overall.

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Bib 149, Anna Darnell (Alaska) won the U18 Women’s Freestyle Race.

“I felt great about my race, I focused on having fun and going hard and my coaches killed it with fast skies!” Said Darnell.

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Bib 153, Hailey Swirbul (Rocky Mountain).

“There is no podium performance without so much hard work behind the scenes.” Said Swirbul. “Unbelieveable coaches, wax testers and teammates throughout the year are what have give me this opportunity! Thanks to all!”

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Bib 146, Leah Brams (New England).

“I felt pretty good about my race! Said Brams. “My skis were rippin’, but the hills were TOUGH!”

In the U16 men’s 10k race, new faces were on the podium. Luke Jager (Alaska) claimed the Junior National individual freestyle title 17.3 seconds ahead of James Clinton (JC) Schoonmaker (Far West) and Ti Donaldson (Alaska) who finished third.

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Bib 252, Luke Jager (Alaska) Skiing to a First Place Finish in the U16 10k.

“Our skis were feeling really good and that helped make the entire race feel solid.” Said Jager. “I was getting splits from our coaches that all of my teammates were killing it, which encouraged me to dig a little deeper. I was pretty surprised with the result but couldn’t be more stoked. The race was hard but also fun.”

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Bib 243, JC Schoonmaker (Far West).

“On Monday I didn’t really have the best race, so today I just wanted to come out and give it my all and I think I did that so I’m really happy. Said Schoonmaker. “This whole trip has been great despite the weather conditions, but its just awesome we got to race today and I’m super grateful for all the volunteers and everyone out here.”

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Bib 256, Ti Donaldson (Alaska).

“This whole season, I’ve been thinking about this race alone.” Said Donaldson. “When today finally came, I couldn’t help feeling butterflies in my stomach. However, I forced myself to retain my focus and concentrate on skiing my absolute best. It worked! Also, HUGE shoutout to all of the volunteers who sacrificed their time to work on such an awesome course.”

In the final race of the day, the U16 women battled to the finish in a tough 5k race. Sydney Palmer-Leger (Intermountain) claimed the Junior National individual freestyle title just 3.1 seconds ahead of Novie McCabe (Pacific Northwest) and Margaret Gellert (Alaska) who finished third.

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Bib 307, Sydney Palmer-Leger (Intermountain) Skiing to a First Place Finish in the Women’s U16 5k.

“The whole season I have been working very hard to make it to Junior Nationals.” Said Palmer-Leger. “The first race went okay, but this second race I concentrated and focused on getting top three. My coaches have been a huge help in getting me where I am today. Also, a huge shoutout to all of the volunteers who spend so much of their time working on the course.”

 

“I have had a really amazing season this winter. I had an amazing racing today and I was super excited to finish top three.” Said McCabe. “This trip has been really fun and I have loved racing here. The courses are super fun and have lot of great hills. I am so lucky to be racing here and I am super excited to start racing next season.”

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Bib 311, Novie McCabe (Pacific Northwest).

“It was really awesome coming off of a bad race on Monday, and be able to race competitively with the best female U16s in the Nation today,.” Said Gellert. “It’s always fun to end the season with a race where you feel good! I am so lucky to be a part of such a great team (Alaska Winter Stars) and travel with my teammates from Alaska.”

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Bib 326, Margaret Gellert (Alaska).

Competition continues Friday, with a freestyle sprint. The races will be streamed live, courtesy of Central Cross Country Ski Association.

Results

U20 Men

U20/U18 Women

U18 Men

U16 Men

U16 Women

2016 USSA Junior National Championships Day One: 10/5k Individual Classic Victories

CABLE, Wisconsin (March 7, 2016) – Warm weather and tough conditions greeted the skiers as the 2016 USSA Junior National Championships kicked off Monday, on the historic and grueling Telemark Trails.

Nick Gardner (Midwest) U20, Abigail Drach (Midwest) U20, Hunter Wonders (Alaska) U18, Leah Brams (New England) U18, Mae Chalmers (New England) U16, and Gus Schumacher (Alaska) U16, claimed the coveted 10/5k Junior National individual classic titles. 

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Bib 55, Nick Gardner (Midwest) skiing to a U20 Victory in the 10k Individual Classic.

The men’s U20 10k race had first tracks and the coolest temperatures of the day as Nick Gardner (Midwest) skied to a convincing first place finish 35.1 seconds ahead of Logan Diekmann (Intermountain) who was second and Max Donaldson (Alaska) who finished third. In the men’s U18 10k race, Hunter Wonders (Alaska) claimed the Junior National classic title 26 seconds ahead of Nolan Herzog (Rocky Mountain) and Xavier Mansfield (Midwest) who finished third. Wonders also had the fastest time of the day overall on the 10k course. Wonders has had an exceptional year competing in the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway and the U18 Scandinavian Championships in Otepaa, Estonia in February.

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Bib 36, Hunter Wonders (Alaska) claimed the U18 and Overall Victory.

In the women’s U20 5k race, Abigail Drach (Midwest) dominated the race to claim the Junior National classic title 32.5 seconds ahead of Mattie Watts (Midwest) and Lauren Jortberg (New England) who finished third. In the women’s U18 race Leah Brams won the women’s race overall and claimed the Junior National classic title just 4.8 seconds ahead of Mackenzie Rizio (New England) and Hailey Swirbul (Rocky Mountain) who finished third. Brams also had the fastest time of the day for the U20/U18 women’s 5k race.

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Bib 194, Abbie Drach (Midwest) claimed the U20 Female Victory in a 5k Individual Classic.

The U16 races became more challenging as the temperature increased, causing the course to become soft. In the men’s 5k race, Gus Schumacher (Alaska) claimed the victory by 6.8 seconds over Ben Ogden (New England) and Conor Munns (New England) who finished third.

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Bib 343, Gus Schumacher claimed the U16 men’s 5k Classic Victory.

In the women’s U16 5k, Mae Chalmers (New England) claimed the Junior National individual classic title just 3.9 seconds over teammate Anna Lehmann and Abigail Jarzin (Midwest) who finished third.

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Bib 284, Mae Chalmers (New England) Won the U16 Women’s 5k Race.

Competition continues Wednesday with a 1.3/1.0k classic sprint. The races will be streamed live, courtesy of Central Cross Country Ski Association.

Results 

U20/U18 Men

U20/U18 Women

U16 Men

U16 Women

 

The Countdown to Junior Nationals Begins!

In just four days, 500 top 14-19 year old skiers from around the United States, will compete on the legendary Telemark Trails in Cable, WI for the 2016 USSA Cross Country Ski Junior National Championships, March 6th through the 12th.

The hallowed trails of Mt. Telemark has hosted cross country ski races since 1973 including: the first ever World Cup hosting North America’s largest annual race – The American Birkebeiner, a 2013 IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup race and the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships.

This will be the first time, the Junior National Championships will be held in Wisconsin.  

Competition kicks off Monday, March 7 with a 10/5k individual classic race. All races will be streamed live for friends and family to watch and enjoy, courtesy of Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC).

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Photo courtesy of MacBeth Graphics

Midwest Team

Chris Harvey, Head Coach, Burnsville HS/Loppet Nordic Racing
Andy Keller, Trip Leader, CXC

U20 Males 

 

Nick Gardner / Williams College 

Tamer Mische-Richter / Endurance United

Mackinley Fitzpatrick / CXC Junior DevelopmentLakeland

Will Bodewes / Lakeland

Jacob Ajax / UW-Green Bay

Daniel Delestry / CVN

Cory Rouw / Endurance UnitedUW-Green Bay

Andrew Bailey / ANST

U20 Females

Mattie Watts / University of Vermont

Abigail Drach / LNR & CXC

Caroline Brisbois / NMU

Sarah Bezdicek / NMU

Margie Freed / LNR

Michaela Keller-Miller / LNR

Allison Ternes / CSS

Ingrid Thyr / LNR

Alissa Niggemann / ANST

Kristine Keller-Miller / LNR

U18 Males 

Xavier Mansfield / LNR

Russell O’Brien / MadNorSki

Patrick Acton / LNR

Michael Jarzin / ANST

William Kerker / LNR

Samuel Myers / LNR

Thomas Woolhouse / LNR

Torsten Brinkema / LNR

U18 Females

Amanda Kautzer / LNR

Erin Moening / Minneapolis Ski Club

Hannah Rudd / LNR

Dottie Anderson / LNR

Claire Benton / LNR

Renae Anderson / LNR

Anja Maijala / CEC Nordic

Erika Fox / CEC Nordic

Jennifer Parent / NordicWerks

U16 Males

Anders Sonnesyn / Endurance United / Wayzata High

Ryan Mead / NordicWerks

Peter Moore / Endurance United

Kieran Mullen / Lakeland

Andrew Haines / NordicWerks

James Schneider / LNR

Jackson Adler / ANST

Matthew Bourne / Endurance United

U16 Females 

Abigail Jarzin / ANST

Kelley Koch / LNR

Regan Duffy / NordicWerks

Siri Bohacek / LNR

Lucy Anderson / LNR

Rana Kraftson / LNR

Mara McCollor / Wayzata Nordic

Triana Willmert / LNR

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Photo courtesy of James Netz Photography LLC

Great Lakes Team

The 2016 JN Trip will be lead by Karmen Witham as head coach and Nick Baic as trip leader

U20 Males

Reed Melicher / Michigan Tech

David Jaszcyak / Copper Country Ski Team

U20 Females 

Sarah Goble / Superiorland Ski Club

Sarah Wade / Michigan Tech

Sarah Lyle / Copper Country Ski Team

U18 Males 

Mitchell DeLong / Copper Country Ski Team

Reid Goble / Lake Michigan Ski Club

Matthew Chard / Copper Country Ski Team

Jacub Dean / Traverse City West / Vasa Ski Club

Ben Wood / Copper Country Ski Team

U18 Females 

Kelly Peregrine / Traverse City Central / Vasa Ski Club

Mary Lyon / Traverse City West / Vasa Ski Club

U16 Males 

Nicholas Niemi / Team Gogebic

Dan Groeneveld / Copper Country Ski Team

U16 Females 

Anabel Needham / Copper Country Ski Team

Isabel Carr / Superiorland Ski Club

The Midwest and Great Lakes Junior National Team Naming

The cream of the crop of American junior Nordic ski racers are coming to Cable, WI March 6-13, for the 2016 USSA Cross Country Ski Junior National Championships. 54 Midwest skiers and 16 Great Lakes skiers were named to the Junior National Teams after the Mayor’s XC Challenge in Minneapolis, MN, February 13-14, which was the final Junior National Qualifier (JNQ) of the season.

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Photo by: James Netz Photography LLC

 

Midwest Team

Chris Harvey, Head Coach, Burnsville HS/Loppet Nordic Racing
Andy Keller, Trip Leader, CXC

U20 Males 

Zak Ketterson / LNR

Ian Torchia / NMU

Leo Hill / NMU

Tamer Mische-Richter / Endurance United

Mackinley Fitzpatrick / CXC Junior DevelopmentLakeland

Will Bodewes / Lakeland

Jacob Ajax / UW-Green Bay

Daniel Delestry / CVN

Cory Rouw / Endurance UnitedUW-Green Bay

U20 Females

Nicole Schneider / LNR

Abigail Drach / LNR & CXC

Alayna Sonnesyn / University of Vermont

Vivian Hett / NMU

Caroline Brisbois / NMU

Sarah Bezdicek / NMU

Margie Freed / LNR

Michaela Keller-Miller / LNR

Allison Ternes / CSS

Ingrid Thyr / LNR

Alissa Niggemann / ANST

U18 Males 

Benjamin Loomis / CVN

Xavier Mansfield / LNR

Russell O’Brien / MadNorSki

Patrick Acton / LNR

Michael Jarzin / ANST

William Kerker / LNR

Samuel Myers / LNR

Thomas Woolhouse / LNR

Torsten Brinkema / LNR

U18 Females

Amanda Kautzer / LNR

Erin Moening / Minneapolis Ski Club

Hannah Rudd / LNR

Dottie Anderson / LNR

Claire Benton / LNR

Renae Anderson / LNR

Anja Maijala / CEC Nordic

Erika Fox / CEC Nordic

Jennifer Parent / NordicWerks

U16 Males

Anders Sonnesyn / Endurance United / Wayzata High

Ryan Mead / NordicWerks

Peter Moore / Endurance United

Kieran Mullen / Lakeland

Andrew Haines / NordicWerks

James Schneider / LNR

Jackson Adler / ANST

Matthew Bourne / Endurance United

U16 Females 

Abigail Jarzin / ANST

Kelley Koch / LNR

Regan Duffy / NordicWerks

Siri Bohacek / LNR

Lucy Anderson / LNR

Rana Kraftson / LNR

Mara McCollor / Wayzata Nordic

Triana Willmert / LNR

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Photo by: James Netz Photography LLC

Great Lakes Team

The 2016 JN Trip will be lead by Karmen Witham as head coach and Nick Baic as trip leader

U20 Males

Reed Melicher / Michigan Tech

David Jaszcyak / Copper Country Ski Team

U20 Females 

Sarah Goble / Superiorland Ski Club

Sarah Wade / Michigan Tech

Sarah Lyle / Copper Country Ski Team

U18 Males 

Mitchell DeLong / Copper Country Ski Team

Reid Goble / Lake Michigan Ski Club

Matthew Chard / Copper Country Ski Team

Jacub Dean / Traverse City West / Vasa Ski Club

Ben Wood / Copper Country Ski Team

U18 Females 

Kelly Peregrine / Traverse City Central / Vasa Ski Club

Mary Lyon / Traverse City West / Vasa Ski Club

U16 Males 

Nicholas Niemi / Team Gogebic

Dan Groeneveld / Copper Country Ski Team

U16 Females 

Anabel Needham / Copper Country Ski Team

Isabel Carr / Superiorland Ski Club

CXC Spotlight: The Making of the Midwest Junior National Team

An Interview with Chris Harvey

Chris Harvey, Midwest Junior National Team Head Coach walks us through the process and gets us excited about the 8 Junior National Qualifying races leading U16, U18 and U20 skiers to be a part of the Central Region’s Junior National Team in 2016.

Chris Harvey works as an environmental specialist for Barr Engineering Company, but has gone through the Junior National “pipeline”, from an athlete to being the current Midwest Junior National Team Head Coach. Harvey reflected on how Junior Nationals has changed and evolved since he raced his last Junior Nationals in 2006.

“The main thing that has changed is, the Midwest Team is becoming one of the major “power houses” now. When I raced as a Junior and led the team in 2006 in Houghton, MI, my last year as a junior, we placed really well. We finished 3rd or 4th that year and the year before in Truckee, CA at altitude we finished 5th. When we went back to Truckee, CA in March 2015, we finished 2nd. Driving the Midwest teams improvement is the growth of our clubs; Ashwaubenon Nordic Ski Team (ANST), Endurance United, Lakeland Nordic Ski Team, Loppet Nordic Racing (LNR), and many others. More kids are training for skiing in the fall and even the summer as well. The CXC Camps are getting all of the best kids together and there is more cooperation between the top clubs. With the clubs getting stronger, the region becomes stronger.”

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2015 Junior National Championships in Truckee, CA  Photo Credit: MacBeth Graphics

A mission to continue to strengthen the Central Region and specifically the Midwest Junior National Team, starts with feeding the “pipeline” with competitive athletes.

Why should athletes compete in JNQs?
Harvey:

“JNQs are the highest level of competition in the Central Region. These races represent the next step up from high school races. JNQs are like a state meet that includes high school skiers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and even college freshman who are still in the U20 age group. These races allow younger athletes to see where they stand against older skiers. An athlete could be a really good 9th or 10th grader but since they are competing against 18 year olds, it really shows athletes where they stand against everyone.”

How do JNQ races differ from high school races?
Harvey:

“The JNQ races are going to be more organized and controlled than a high school conference race or citizen race. The weekends can be quite busy especially for skiers and coaches. For example, registration needs to be completed Tuesday or Wednesday before the races. There are bib pick ups, start times and a lot of races are happening each day because of all the age groups involved. Another difference is the back to back racing Saturday and Sunday. Coaches are working hard because they have to nail the wax for each race for all their athletes. Everyone’s goal is to qualify for Junior Nationals, therefore everyone is competing really hard because not everyone gets to go. First experiences at JNQ racing can be an eye-opener, but the events become less stressful once athletes get the hang of it. JNQ races are there to raise expectations and give athletes a taste of what it is like to ski at a competitive level.”

JNQ at Mt. Telemark in Cable, WI

JNQ at Mt. Telemark in Cable, WI

Are there race opportunities for a U12 and U14 athlete?
Harvey:

“Absolutely! During the 2014-2015 season, CXC added another element of competition to allow even younger athletes to get a feel for racing at a higher level, the CXC Youth Cup. All JNQs now have CXC Youth Cup races for the U12 & U14 age group. The CXC Youth Cup offers a shorter, slightly different course from what the juniors race. The point system is very similar to that of the JNQ races as well. There is an over all Youth Cup for the athlete that has the most points at the end of the year. The top 10 U14 boys and top 10 U14 girls can also qualify for a camp in the summer based on their results from the CXC Youth Cup races; the CXC Dream Camp. The CXC Dream Camp was held for the first year this past July in Marquette, MI.”

CXC Youth Cup Race

CXC Youth Cup Race

If an athlete wants to compete in JNQ or CXC Youth Cup races, what type of membership do they need?
Harvey:

“The way the membership is organized this year is a nice change, because it is going to make things very straight forwards in terms of what membership athletes need to have. Athletes get both a CXC Membership and USSA membership this year, it’s not one or the other.

  • The first level of membership is the CXC/USSA NRL Competitor Membership, which includes a National Ranking List (NRL) option. This is the membership everyone competing in JNQ races will need.
    • The National Ranking List (NRL) membership is important for athletes competing at JNQ races to have, because racers need to build their ranking points profile. The points profile qualifies them for better seeding at JNQ races and at the Junior National Championships.
  • The second level of membership is the CXC Youth Competitor Membership which is for CXC Youth Cup participants.
  • The third level of membership, Short Term Athlete Membership, new this year, is a one day membership but does not include the national ranking list.
    • The one day membership or Short Term Athlete Membership, is for athletes who are just trying out the JNQ races for the first time and do not want to fully commit to all eight races. Another circumstance is that the athlete is unable to travel to all of the qualifying races and can only make one race.

“Having the memberships this way reduced the cost of putting on the races which everyone can appreciate.”

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How does the point system work for JNQ races?
Harvey:

“Within each age group – U16, U18, U20, we use the World Cup Scoring system, which is:

  • 100 points for first place, 80 points for second and 60 points for third and then goes down by five points after third place. (The points list is updated after each race and found on the CXC website).
  • At the last JNQ race, all of the points are added together. The best 4 races count, so if an athlete has a few bad races, they will not count against them. Doesn’t matter if it is classic, skate or sprinting, whichever are the 4 best races will be the ones counted.”

What is the Qualifying Criteria to make the Midwest Junior National Team?
Harvey:
The qualifying criteria is:

  • Top 8 U16s
  • Top 8 U18s
  • Top 5 U20s or top 12 if they are in the second year.
    • The qualifying criteria is more complicated for U20s, because there are more ways for this age group to prequalify therefore it is more strict for JNs.”

There is now an additional trip for U16 athletes who do not qualify for the Midwest Junior National Team to participate in, can you explain this trip?
Harvey:

“The past four years, there has been an additional trip added for U16 athletes to qualify for, if they don’t qualify for the Midwest Junior National Team. If an athlete was not in the top 8 of the U16’s, the next four athletes qualify for the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) U16 Trip out East. The U16 NENSA trip is not a second tier trip at that age group. The NENSA trip brings together the best U16 athletes in New England and has been a fantastic development trip. Getting the opportunity to travel and compete with some of the best U16 athletes in our region along with top skiers from Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, essentially becomes just like Junior Nationals but is a little more laid back, it is a shorter trip (2 days of racing) and costs less.
We’ve seen kids who don’t make the Midwest team and go on the NENSA trip and come back and work hard over the spring and summer and a lot of those kids have gone on to make the Midwest team the following year or even World Juniors. For example, Ian Torchia a skier at NMU currently, did not make the Midwest team as a junior and went on the NENSA trip. Ian loved the trip and really got into skiing after that. Eventually he became the top American distance skier at World Juniors in Kazakhstan this past January. He is not the only example, there have been many other skiers who have become successful in their results after the NENSA trip that helped them progress.”

2015 NENSA Competition

2015 NENSA Competition

With the JNQ race season fast approaching, and the Junior National Championships on home turf in Cable, WI at Mt. Telemark in March 2016, Harvey has big goals for the Midwest Team this year; claiming the Alaska Cup, for the first time since 1997.

“Telemark is a fantastically challenging 5K course and I know with the experience of racing on it last year and the year before, we are very excited to host the other regions. We are also excited to see their faces after their first climb of Mt. Telemark. The Midwest Team has been getting closer to New England’s points and with a home course advantage and having all the top skiers qualify for JNs, I think we have a shot at winning the Alaska Cup.”

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Harvey’s vision for the Midwest Team also reflects a more in-depth explanation for his goal this year.

“In the future we want to keep the pipeline full of Midwest athletes competing at Senior Nationals and qualifying for International Trips. Having been shut out in the past, it was wonderful to have athletes qualify last year for these events. Keeping the strong momentum of our clubs and coaches going will help us develop a deep talented team year after year. Overall, having the entire Midwest region involved and pulling towards this goal is a key to success.”

CXC looks forward to the Junior National Qualifying races this season and is excited to host the Junior National Championships in Cable, WI this March!

Schedule of 2015-2016 Junior National Qualifier Races 


Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.06.22 AMWe have reached 37% of our goal of selling 200 tickets by October 3rd for the Annual Eriksen Bike Drawing. Help support CXC’s Adaptive Program for children with physical disabilities and visual impairments with your ticket purchase.


Mary-Kozloski

Mary Kozloski is CXC’s Communication and Media Coordinator. Mary has a Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she majored in Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration, competed as a member of UW-Grean Bay Nordic Ski Team and was team captain for two years. Feel free to contact her at mary.kozloski@cxcskiing.org