Locals battle it out at ASC Spring Challenge | SierraSun.com

Locals battle it out at ASC Spring Challenge

The shortest day of the year proved to be one of the finest for cross-country ski racing on Sunday, with bright blue skies and a few inches of fresh powder on the tracks making for superb conditions for the 2003 Sprint Challenge race at Auburn Ski Club.

Although technically a citizen race, the Sprints have become a showcase for the incredible Junior talent in the Far West Nordic division. The Sprint Challenge is the first competition in the 4-race Junior Olympic Qualifying series, with junior racers vying for the coveted spots to represent Far West Nordic at the Junior Olympics 2004 in Lake Placid, New York, next March.

Each racer was required to ski the course via a “time trial” (a race against the clock) in the qualifying round. This was the time used to determine whether or not athletes qualified for the Junior Olympics for this specific race. Then, using these times for “seeding,” skiers went on to “elimination heats” of six skiers each to decide the champion of the day.

Dominic Henriques of North Tahoe proved that his early season success in the North American Super Tour Series in Montana and Utah, against some of the best skiers in the country, was no fluke, by easily winning the qualifying round of the event. He then went on to easily win each heat, finally beating out Australian National Team hopeful Nick Grimmer and former University of Alaska skier Dana Mosman for the Sprint title.

In the women’s division, Natalie Joffe of Marin had the best qualifying time by far, easily outdistancing her Truckee rivals Kati Clark and Kara LaPoint. But the last laugh of the day went to Truckee’s Maisha Goodpaster, who made sure she qualified for each round, but saved enough energy in each to crush her opposition in the finals, outdistancing Joffe and LaPoint in a hard-fought, exciting sprint.

In all, 29 skiers met the qualification standard for Junior Olympics in this race. Athletes have to meet specific standards in three out of the four qualifying events.

Mark Nadell is the Far West Nordic Administrator. Full information about this race and Junior Olympic qualifying can be found at http://www.farwestnordic.org.

Junior Olympic qualifier results:

Sprint Challenge @ Auburn Ski Club in Boreal 12/21/03


A-final B-final

1 Dominique Henriques 1 Phil Violett

2 Nick Grimmer 2 *Andrew Circosta

3 Dana Mosman 3 *Tim Hill

4 Zack Violett 4 *Joaquin Goodpaster

5 *Nick Sterling 5 *Matt Gelso

6 Scott Hill 6 *Andrew Van Blarigan


A-final B-final

1 *Maisha Goodpaster 1 *Kayla Evans

2 Natalie Joffe 2 Gabrielle Joffe

3 *Kara LaPoint 2 Bernie Nelson

4 *Kati Clark 4 *Alexandra O’Neil

5 Sara Violett 5 *Sarah Clark

6 *Whitney Prosor

7 Jen Meyers

*Truckee competitors

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