Nordic racing | Far West athletes impressive at Junior Nationals
Far West Nordic brought 34 of its athletes to Soldier Hollow, Utah, this past Friday and Saturday to compete in the annual Junior Nationals Super Qualifier.
The Far West contingent competed against the fastest racers from the Intermountain, Rocky Mountain, Northwestern and High Plains Divisions of USSA, with more than 600 athletes in total.
Far West Nordic dominated the sprint races on Friday, with athletes landing on the podium in every event and Far West athletes taking first place in three out of four of the races.
Patrick McElravey took first place in the OJ/J1 men’s sprints, Dylan Syben took first place in the J2 men’s sprints and Hannah Halvorsen took first place in the J2 women’s sprints. Katrin Larusson was third in the OJ/J1 men’s sprints.
Also on the podium in the younger age divisions was Haydn Halvorsen (second place J4 men) and Ryan Herhusky (third place J5 men). In addition to these podium spots, the Far West skiers made an impressive showing with 18 team members moving on to the sprint heats.
Other athletes who advanced to the final heats along with McElravey, Syben and Halvorsen were Peter Holmes, Julien Bordes, Sam Zabell and Peter Carroll. Additionally, the following skiers advanced to the quarterfinals: Casey Jobe, Colin Deurlington, Eli Yale, Skyler Mullings, Bria Riggs, Camille Hartley, Lizzie Larkins, Amanda Kirkeby and Gabrielle Rinne.
On the second day, the Far West crew Far West notched several top-10 finishes in the classic distance races, including McElravey (10th), Larusson (eighth), Syben (sixth), Hannah Halvorsen (fifth), Haydn Halvorsen (sixth), Bjorn Halvorsen (fifth) and Ryan Herhusky (sixth).
In March, Far West athletes ages 14-19 will travel to Fairbanks, Alaska, to compete against racers from across the country at Junior Nationals. Based on their impressive results at the Super Qualifier, it is expected that the Far West athletes will turn in strong finishes in Fairbanks as well.