Junior Olympics wraps up at Auburn Ski Club

Sun Staff reports
Courtesy of Auburn Ski ClubFar West Nordic racer Bernie Nelson (red bib) and teammate Annika Taylor compete in the OJ girls relay competition on Saturday. The team, which included Joanne Reid, placed fourth in the event.

AUBURN SKI CLUB ” Team New England captured six medals, three of which were gold, in the Junior Olympics classic relay races on Saturday to secure the Alaska Cup with 1,335 points.

Intermountain Northern also fared well, winning six medals, while Alaska won three.

New England was 63 points ahead of Intermountain Northern going into the final day of competition and needed to perform well to secure the title. Intermountain Northern finished second in the team standings with 1,232 points and Alaska in third with 1,127 points.

Host Far West finished sixth overall with 337 points.

The last time New England won the Alaska Cup was at the 2006 Junior Olympics in Houghton, Mich.

Much of New England’s success came during the sprint races and final relays, said head coach Matt Boobar.

“New England kids have always been gritty and tough,” Boobar said. “They like head-to-head racing like sprints and relays.”

The team also has a history of strong classic skiers and classic waxers, Boobar said.

“(Waxing) turned out to be a factor (Saturday),” he said.

The first victory for New England came in the J1 girls’ 3×3-kilometer classic race in which Heather Mooney, Cambria McDermott and Corey Stock won with a time of 30:26.6 over Intermountain Northern skiers Stella Holt, Sloan Storey and Maggie Williams, who placed second with a time of 31:30.6.

In third was Rocky Mountain, made up of skiers Alicia Rose Pastore, Michaela Frias and Hannah Smith, with a time of 31:39.1. The team was in second until one of its skiers missed the exchange-zone turn and had to backtrack, losing a spot.

“We’re all pretty close friends so we wanted to (win) for each other,” Stock said of winning the relay. “We also wanted (New England) to stay in the lead.”

In the boys’ J2 3x3K race, Alaska skier Logan Hanneman took home is fourth gold medal of the championships with the help of his team.

The Alaska team, made up of Hanneman, Sam Dougherty and Travis Semmens, was second behind Intermountain as Hanneman started the final leg. Hanneman made up 20 seconds and kept going, giving Alaska a 14-second victory over Intermountain skiers Will Wicherski, Cole Morgan and Mayfield-Carucci, who placed second with a time of 26:56.1. In third was the Midwest team made up of Andrew Dodds, Chris Parr and Dylan McGarthwaite.

In the girls’ OJ 3×5 relay, the New England team made up of Keely Levins, Adele Espy and Parker Tyler took an early lead and continued to increase it until they crossed the finish line with an overall time of 50:48.7. It was the third gold medal for Tyler, who also won the sprint and individual classic race.

Far West, which moved up skiers Annika Taylor and Joanne Reid to ski with Bernie Nelson in the OJ division, placed fourth with a time of 52:31.5.

Behind New England was team Alaska (Rachelle Kanady, Rebecca Konieczy and Becca Rorabaugh) with a time of 51:31.4. In third was Intermountain Northern (Gretchen Sellegren, Ase Carlson, Rose Kemp) with a time of 51:49.6.

In the J1 girls’ 3×5 relay, Intermountain Northern took home the win with skiers Monica Markvardsen, Elizabeth Guiney and Katie Gill with a combined time of 51:34.6. In second was New England (Megan Killigrew, Kaitlin Miller and Kristen Halvorsen) with a time of 51:36.6 and third went to Midwest (Annie Hart, Lynn, Duijndam and Jessie Diggins) with a time of 52:07.0.

In the boys’ J1 race, Alaska (Tyler Kornfield, Scott Patterson, Andrew Dougherty) came in first with a time of 43:32.9 and was followed by New England (Austin Cobb, Chris Stock, David Sinclair) with a time of 44:48.5 and Intermountain Northern in third with a time of 45:14.9.

The Far West J1 team of Russell Kennedy, Austin Meng and Daniel Gelso placed ninth with a time of 46:50.0.

New England was at it again in the OJ boys’ 3×5 relay, taking the early lead and winning with a time of 43:23.7. The team was made up of Graham Egan, Sam Tarling and Chase Marston. In second was Midwest (Doug Debold, Erik Fagerstrom, Chris Bowler) with a time of 44:11.9 and third was New England’s second team (Evan Dethier, Dylan Grald, Jimmy Levins) with a time of 44:34.6.

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