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!