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Far West Prepares for Junior Nationals

Far West 2013 Junior Nationals Blog


All of the photos from Fairbanks JN 2013 are now ONLINE:

There are two sets of galleries: Full galleries with all the various teams’ skiers from all over the country, and below that are galleries of JUST Far West Nordic athletes. For Far Westers, if you’re going to order prints, use the specific FW galleries as they are priced differently.

Far West/Far Best!

The Last Hours Spent in Fairbanks.

Saturday will be a day I will remember in my books for a long time!

The morning started off rough waking up with a sickening feeling knowing that this was going to be my last day spent in Alaska on this trip. It didn’t take too long for me to turn that feeling around and look back on my whole year! I became very appreciative of everyone who helped me make my way to where i was currently sitting. So instead of feeling sick i was blessed with happiness and als reflected on my trip. One thing that made me happy was knowing that the reason i was already awake and not sleeping in is because i woke up to our favorite bus driver Ballito blasting Taylor Swift and yelling Good Morning to everyone on the outside speakers of his bus!

Us MJ2’s left for the venue about noonish (of cours on Bellitos Bus…). We were pumped for our last day of racing! My race started of pretty well but halfway through that turned around and i didn’t end up pulling together a great race. But that didn’t ruine my day by any means at all. right after our race we packed ski bags at the wax trailer and headed back on Bellitos bus to the hotel driftin half the corners!

Everyone cleaned up and traveld to the University for Closing Ceremonies and Awards. We all sat down at the table designated to Far West. Ate some real food for the second time in a week and socialized. Next we had Beckie Scott talke to everyone about her carrier and inspired everyone to take this sport above and beyond. It was such a great feeling to look around the room and think that everyone was there for the same reason. To share their love for nordic skiing and compete. Awards were given out and the banquet ended but the night was far from over. All the athletes headed out side and lit a bon fire. In this bon fire we burned a replica we had made of PNSA’s flag. Roasting marsh-mellows on 6 foot long sticks is harder then you think! By now it was about 9:00 PM and everyone heded into the gym for the end of the week JN dance. Dancing with you’re friends and people you dont know is lots of fun!

The dance lasted almost 2 hours and we all bused back to the Wedgwood. By now it was 11:30 PM and I went over to the PNSA’s room and hung out their for a while. Around midnight a guy came running into the room yelling “The lights are out! Their out!” We all rushed outside and sure enough they were out! Then I spent the next two hours of my life running around in a t-shirt yelling with excitement and taking pictures of the Aurora! It was almost 2 in the morning and there was know way I could sleep. So I spent the next two hours socializing with other teams and then at 4 in the morning decided I should probably pack my bags..,

We loaded the buses at 5 and was out of there headed to the airport at 5:30 am. We were then headed home and after a 14 hour travel day i found my self back here in my house where i wright this now.

Again a huge thanks to everyone who made my trip possible and memorable and I am pumped to train this summer and compete in 359 days (yes the count down as begun)!

Thanks Everyone!

Far West Far Best!!!!

-Skyler Mullings

A Recap of a very long, very fun week.

After two flights we had finally reached our destination in Fairbanks the 2013 USSA 2013 Junior National Championships. We had two days to train on the coarses before the distance skate individual start and opening ceremonies, the trails were awesome super hard climbs and fast long downhillsw. VERY FUN! Opening Cerimonies were nothing to hoot and holler about, but it was very cool to think that you are sitting in a room with the fastest kids in the country. Once we were back at the hotel it was time to go to bed for the first event was the next morning. We made it to the venu the next morning, to start warming up on the little 1k loop with every other mj2 in the country, it was a little hectic, but I made it to the starton time and threw down a descent race so I was happy but knew I could do better. I learned a lot of things that race such as, we are no longer in Tahoe we are in Fairbanks, It is cold you need to where wind briefs, we are at 300 feet above sea level you need to ski at a much higher tempo. after a few days of rest and one relay it was time for the seconed individual event, the skate sprint. It was the coldest day of the trip, and boy was it cold, the snow was dry and slow, but it was a very fun race I moved up in the results but did not advance into the heats so for the rest of the day I got to chear on everyone and watch the fastest kids in the country which is very exciting. The following day was a training day, so I skied the final coarse and as I was coming down this rather hard downhill, I came around a really sketchy turn and noticed all this netting and wondered what it was for, just like that I was down in the net and saw the rest of my pole sitting where I had fallen, the coaches had a set of poles I could use so all was well. It was the final race day it was time to leave everything out there and make it the best one. The very loud shotgun went off and the pack made its way up the hardest climb of the coarse which was almost half the coarse, there were six tracks across the trail and theyt were all very close to each other but the only way to get around people was to try and shoot the gap through the middle which got a little scary at the time. I skied at the back of the pack almost the entire race so I could see the leaders there were just alot of people inbetween. With about 1k to go I dropped off the back but still had one of my best races of the season, so I was very happy and it was a good way to end it. Later were the closing cerimonies and the dance, which were both good fun. Then it was time to pack think of all the good friends that you met and made on this trip, and I must say I met some people that I will never forget, friends who I will think about for the rest of the year or until I see them at another race where we are reunited. Thank you coaches for waxing all of our skis and making the trip fun. Thank you team for leaving me with so many memories, that I will always laugh about for the rest of my life. Thank you Mom and Dad if it weren’t for you none of this would have been possible.

Im sure I don’t need to say this…. But…..

I would like to say thank you to everyone that made this trip possible for the entire Far West Junior National team! THis has been an amazing try and many great memories will come from this arctic adventure! Not only was there great racing, but great… well…… everything! It was amazing! I’m sure I speak for most of the team, or should I say all! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! And not just too the parents. To the coaches who toiled over our skis, and the race crews at Auburn ski club who worked hard to pull off our qualifying races!

Last Day

It’s a few hours before my last race in Fairbanks, and I can’t help but reflect on what an awesome week it’s been. There have been some good races and some bad races, but the entire week has just been one great experience. From the Fun Cool bus to the ice sculptures last night, the week has been an adventure from start to finish. Everyone has been racing as fast as they can this week, and it’s been fantastic. I will be sad to fly home tomorrow. There is a pic from the ice sculptures yesterday below!

Almost to the end….

I am now almost to the end of my fifth Junior Nationals and it seems to have gone by in a flash. It feels like I was just trying to qualify for my first JO’s in Truckee. I remember looking up to all the “older skiers” and taking their advice. Now I am one of those “older skiers” and there are a bunch of younger athletes on the team. It is crazy how fast these last five years have gone by, but I have learned so much in the process. I have shared smiles, laughs, and tears with teammates who I’ll never forget. My team is my family and I will carry them with me till the end.

Our week here in Fairbanks also seems to have passed very fast. We fly out in two days and it feels like we just arrived. We’ve had a great week of training and racing here. As a team we have put down some really strong races and are strongly holding sixth place in Alaska Cup points. Individually I have been pretty happy with my races, although I am most looking forward to tomorrow’s 10km classic race. Classic racing is my thing and I am ready to go out there and give it my all. The team is pretty strong in classic and I think we can do really great! Ready for another day of racing! Far West Far Best!!!!!!!

And a huge shout out to our AWESOME coaches who have waxed EVERY SINGLE PAIR of skis for all of us this week!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! <3

Sled dog race

Today, we watched the start of the 20km sprint national championship sled dog races. We watched as 15 teams started in two minute intervals along the course around fairbanks. To our suprise, unlike the huskies you see in the ididarod, these dogs were much smaller, and less wolflike than we expected.


Yesterday a handful of us got to walk into the side of a mountain and look at really frozen dirt!! There was also a handful of really old bones from mammoth and bison, and even some grass from 15,000 years ago! Though it smelled a wee bit strange in the tunnels, it was pretty cool to see whats down below the race track.


2013 Junior Nationals Photos by MacBeth Graphics

KGKJSDADKJFBKJRKQEGB (Titles always confuse me)

Well its about -9 degrees Fahrenheit right now at 08:36 on Thursday morning. This should be an interesting day. This is going to be an interesting day.
Our sprint course is going to be really fun yet challenging. Making the heats this year will be hard and placing high will be even harder. The snow yesterday had very little glide and today I expect it will have even less. This is when tempo and speed over rule power and glide. But all this doesn’t mean we can’t go fast! That would defeat the purpose of racing!

Along with this I would like to thank my parents, my friends, my family, and everyone else that made this incredible journey available to me! It has been amazing and I hope that in two years you’ll all be able to see Far West race on their home turf!