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First Race Recap and Relay Day

The first race of the 2013 Junior Nationals was an extremely successful day for Far West Nordic skiers. Coach Holly Whitney calculated that 27% of our 26 racing athletes were in the top 10. In the J2 boy’s race, a 5km skate, Dylan Syben took 10th place and Julien Bordes skied his way into 8th place. In the J2 girl’s competition, also a 5km skate, Hannah Halvorsen had an amazing race, might I mention that it was her first Junior National race ever, with the end result of a 10th place finish. The J1/OJ men also had an amazing day as they skied the difficult course twice in order to complete their 10km skate race. Patrick McElravey raced his way to 9th place overall; in the OJ category he was 5th. Peter Holmes also had a great race, finishing 25th overall and 5th American J1. Finally, the J1/OJ girls had great races too. With a stand out result, Katrin Laursson was 7th overall and in the J1 category she came out on the podium with a bronze medal. Overall it was an amazing day for our amazing division. We turned some of the coaches heads from other divisions and made our mark!
A quick side note: There is an amazingly fast Norwegian team here racing along side us Americans here in Fairbanks. Most, if not all, of them skied to top 5 finishes, but some Americans could still hang with them! This goes to show that American Nordic skiing is really coming along, not just at the top level of the World Cup, but also at the Junior level. Let’s keep up the good work!
So after a very exciting first day of racing, we get to ski again today and do some relay races. Every individual on each three-person team races 3.3km, so the relay is a 3×3.3km. Far West has some speedy teams that can earn some very valuable Alaska Cup points. So keep your eyes glued to summit timing as we race hard in these very-far-below-freezing temperatures!

From Fairbanks With Love

All 27 athletes and 7 of our 8 wonderful coaches have made it to Fairbanks, Alaska. Despite of the early arrival at 1 am, everyone was excited and enthusiastic to start our week of racing and fun.
Today the team started with breakfast and a classic ski at Birch Hill Resort. Luckily, Fairbanks is going through, as Mark Nadell might put it, a “heat wave” so the temperatures were more than bearable. With warm weather and great hardwax skiing, the whole team was in good spirits. Plus, we all learned that our very own Far West native, Joanne Reid, skied her way to the top of the podium at the NCAA Championships. WAY TO GO JOANNE! Hopefully we all use Joanne’s victory as a way to motivate ourselves this week and throughout or skiing careers. Far West may be a small region but we can still kick butt!
In the coming week we all have our biggest races of the season. I say lets get pumped, race our hearts out, and show the rest of the country what the west coast is made of!

A special thank you to Katrin and Raylene, our lovely senior girls, for the gifts for the girls team! A picture is posted below.

Bria Riggs

Age: 16
Hometown Truckee, CA
School: Sugar Bowl Academy
Team: Sugar Bowl
Age first skied: 3
Favorite Book: Sherlock Holmes
Favorite Nordic Athlete: Jessie Diggins
Favorite Off Snow Sport: Cycling
Favorite Athlete in that sport: Andy Schleck
Most Memorable Far West Experience:
Soldier Hollow Super JNQ 2012 and Minneapolis Junior Nationals 2012
Best Racing Experience:
Soldier Hollow Super JNQ 2012: Classic Sprint
If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
Super Speed!
What is something most people can do that you cannot?
I Can’t Braid Hair
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