President’s Cup draws competitive field
Far West Nordic Junior National Team
The Tahoe Mountain Sports President’s Cup, which served as the final Junior National Qualifier, drew more than 115 Nordic skiers to the Auburn Ski Club for a sunny day of racing Monday.
When the snow dust had settled, 20 boys and 20 girls qualified for the Far West Nordic Junior National Team, which will compete against the nation’s top skiers in Telemark, Wisc., next month. The athletes were required to qualify in at least three of the seven races, and in at least one skate and one classic event.
The annual President’s Cup offered five races — a 15K adult race, a 10K Junior National Qualifier (JNQ), a 1K JNQ, a 3K youth race and a 1K youth race.
Spencer Eusden and Wyatt Fereday treated fans to a photo finish in a field of 32 racers in the 15K. Eusden captured the win by a hair, posting a time of 37:46.2 to Fereday’s 37:46.6. Tav Streit rounded out the top three in 39:15.4 and was followed by Donatas Ereminas (39:45.6) and Peter Hanson (43:14.9).
In the women’s field, Christina Mishica was the top finisher and 16th overall with a time of 48:27.9. Jenelle Webb was the second woman (53:57.1) and Helen Pelster third (55:56.9).
The Junior JNQ races featured most of the top high school and middle school skiers in the region.
Julien Bordes raced to victory in the 10K, posting a time of 25:15.2 to runner-up Casey Jobe’s 25:17.3. Ryland Belisle was third in 25:17.7.
Lizzie Larkins placed first among female racers and 11th overall in 29:43.7, while Emily Blackmer was the second woman (30:13.8) and Quinn Lehmkuhl third (30:20.8).
JC Schoonmaker topped the field in the 1K with a time of 12:16.7, Nate Cutler was second (12:48.3) and Cooper Anderson third (12:53.5). Nina Seemann was the top girl and sixth overall in 14:02.2 and was followed by Ella Kuzyk (14:39.3) and Sofia Sanchez (14:52.3).
Cooper Honeywell placed first in the 3K youth race, crossing the finish in 8:55.3. Phoenix Sanchez was second (9:13.8) and Thomas Hipsley third (9:14.6). Kili Lehmkuhl was the first girl and fourth overall in 9:15.6 and was trailed by Lola Tieslau (9:29.8) and Lily Murnane (9:38.1).
Five kids participated in the 1K youth race, with Zoe Jackson winning in 6:17.9, James Gordon placing second and Joshua Shows third.
Next up on the Far West Nordic racing calendar is the TDXC 40K/20K Challenge at Tahoe Donner Cross Country this Sunday starting at 10 a.m. Sign up at the Cross Country Center or online at active.com.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.