Junior Olympics: Cool temps make for ideal classic racing

Provided to the Sun
Courtesy of Auburn Ski ClubMonica Markvardsen, a U.S. Citizen who lives in Rossland B.C., won the J1 girls 5K classic race with a time of 16:39.6 on Friday.

AUBURN SKI CLUB ” Friday marked another ideal day for ski racing for the 2009 Junior Olympic classic cross-country competitions at Auburn Ski Club Training Center.

Cold temperatures in the morning kept the snow firm throughout the day.

“It was crazy fast,” said Logan Hanneman of Fairbanks, Alaska, who was one of the early starters. “It was icy and scary almost.”

Hanneman proved he was a well-rounded skier by taking home his third consecutive gold in the J2 boys 5K classic.

Behind Hanneman were Intermountain skiers Will Wicherski (15:08.52) and Akeo Mayfield-Carucci (15:12.43).

“That was my goal,” Hanneman said about winning all three individual races. “I liked the skate mass start the best because you know where you’re at in the race.”

Like his previous races, Hanneman had a similar strategy ” ski conservatively at the beginning and go hard the last couple of kilometers.

But Hanneman hasn’t finished yet, as he hopes to bring home another medal in Saturday’s relay race.

“Looking at it, our team could be pretty strong,” Hanneman said.

Keeping it in the family, Hanneman’s brother Reese, 19, won the boys OJ 10K classic race with a time of 28:23.74.

Behind Reese were New England skiers Chase Marston (28:55.33) and Sam Tarling (29:23.88).

“It’s pretty cool to get the double and share it with (Logan),” Reese said. “I had to hold up my end of the deal and today was my last shot.”

Although Reese raced later in the day, he said the course was still fast and in good condition.

“The tracks held up really well,” Reese said.

In the boys J1 race, Pacific Northwest skier Erik Bjornsen of Methow Valley, Wash., finally took home gold after taking second in both the sprint and skate race.

“It feels really good,” Bjornsen said. “I really wanted to win after getting second twice.”

Behind Bjornsen were Alaska skiers Scott Patterson (29:34.25) and Andrew Dougherty (29:50.58).

In the girls J2 5k race Cory Stock of New England won by almost a minute with a time of 16:17.78 followed by Alicia Rose Pastore of Rocky Mountain (17:17.54) and Stella Holt of Intermountain (17:18.30).

In the girls’ J1 5K, Monica Markvardsen, a U.S. Citizen who lives in Rossland B.C., won with a time of 16:39.6, and was followed by Pacific Northwest skier Annie Pokorny of Spokane, Wash., with a time of 16:50.4. Kaitlin Miller of New England was third with a time of 16:55.72.

“I had no idea (I was going to be on the podium),” Pokorny said. “My goal was top 20.”

Elizabeth Guiney of Park City, Utah, who was named the winner after the race, is listed as disqualified in the unofficial results.

Parker Tyler of New England, who also races for University of Utah, brought home her second gold medal of the games, winning the girls OJ race with a time of 16:37.7. She was followed by her teammate Adele Espy (16:44.7) and Alaska skier Becca Rorabaugh with a time of 16:51.4.

Tyler, who favors classic skiing, said the race was hard but fun. Her race strategy was to “Stay tough at the end when you start to suffer.”

As for the double win?

“I’m pretty stoked on that,” she said.

Among Far West Nordic racers, Annika Taylor was fifth in the girls J2 race.

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