Halvorsen puts together historic performance in Goms | SierraSun.com

Halvorsen puts together historic performance in Goms

Training and final preparation at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center for the 2017 USANA FIS Junior Nordic and U23 Cross Country World Championships. (U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly)

Sugar Bowl Academy alumna Hannah Halvorsen had a historic performance on the snow in Goms, Switzerland earlier in the week, capturing an eighth-place finish at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Nordic Junior World Ski Championships Ladies Sprint Freestyle.

Halvorsen, 19, hit the course for sprint qualification on Sunday, Jan. 28, and posted the fastest time for an American to take fifth place out of a field of 79 skiers with a time of 3 minutes, 10.28 seconds.

Halvorsen returned to the course later in the day for the semifinal round, and finished in eighth place, missing the fifth-place cutoff for the finals by more than a second. Halvorsen's eighth overall at the Nordic Junior World Ski Championships, according to a release from Sugar Bowl Academy, is the third best finish in the history of U.S. Nordic women's skiing.

Halvorsen said she'd raced the rounds well, according to a statement, but struggled to find room at the top of the hardest climb.

Switzerland's Moa Lundgren won this year's junior world title.

Halvorsen then competed in the FIS Junior World Ski Championships Ladies' 5-kilometer Classic, on Tuesday, Jan. 30, and finished with the second fastest time for an American with a 22nd place overall out of a field of 83 skiers. Teammate Hailey Swirbul, 19, of Anchorage, Alaska, finished in second place with a time of 14:13.10. Russian skier Polina Nekrasova won the race with a time of 13:58.70.

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Alpine and Olympics

On the Alpine side, Sugar Bowl alumnus Luke Winters, 20, had a massive day on the slopes of Davos, Switzerland, capturing a ninth-place finish in downhill at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships.

Winters was the fastest American on the day, finishing with a total time of 2:20.88. Switzerland's Marco Odermatt took gold behind a total time of 2:20.18.

Sugar Bowl Academy had a pair of former students named to Olympic teams recently. Alice Robinson, 16, will become New Zealand's youngest ever winter Olympian, according to Olympic.org, and will be a member of the country's alpine squad. Also making a first Olympic appearance will be alumnus Michel Macedo, 19, will represent Brazil as a member of the country's alpine team.

Local skiers rock Scandinavian Championships

Younger brother to Hannah Halvorsen, and a junior at Sugar Bowl Academy, Haydn Halvorsen joined with teammate J.C. Schoonmaker, of Tahoe City and Auburn Ski Club, to compete in the FIS Nordic U18 Scandinavian Championships in Vuokatti, Finland.

Racing began on Friday, Jan. 26, for the 1.2-kilometer sprint qualifying round. Scott Schulz, 17, of New York, posted the fastest time for the American racers for a 10th place finish. Schoonmaker would come in shortly after in 14th place with a time of 2:17.89, and Halvorsen finished in 22nd with a time of 2:19.83. Each of the Americans posted fast enough times to get out of the qualifying round against a field of 70 skiers.

Schultz would again lead the U.S., finishing fifth overall out of the 29 qualifiers, Schoonmaker would come in just behind for sixth place, and Halvorsen finished in 10th place.

The skiers then hit the 10-kilometer course in Vuokatti the following day for classic racing. Halvorsen finished with the fourth fastest time of the American skiers, crossing the line with a time of 27:55.20 for 29th place. Schoonmaker came across a little later with a time of 27:59.50 for 31st place out of 72 racers. The U.S. team went on to finish in sixth place in relays to finish competition in Finland.

Halvorsen will return to Sugar Bowl Academy to train for several weeks, according to a statement from the academy, before competing in early March at the U.S. Junior National Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah.

Academy honors MLK

The next generation of Sugar Bowl Academy skiers celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by taking action. The students put together three stations around the school, according to a statement from Sugar Bowl, which focused how to take action in democracy, learning about Dr. King's life, and sharing stories related to King's life and influence.

"Our MLK Day programming was largely a success in my eyes," said senior Eleanore Hamilton in a statement. "I led the I Have a Dream and Beyond station, and in each group's reflections it was clear that students' understandings of MLK were broadened, whether they ended up knowing more about his position on the Vietnam War, to having a better understanding how people viewed him."