Well here we are!

Well the team and luggage has all made it safely to Fairbanks! We even got some glimpse of the aurora last night! Headed off for some breakfast then course inspections! Should be a good first day here in AK!

The Eve Before we leave

As I finished packing up for our departure tomorrow I though about BLOGGING, that thing we have to do. As I thought about it I felt a great title for a blog would be The Eve Before We Leave, it just sounded so cool, sadly I really have no Blog to follow this rad title. So my next post will have to be my first real post.

Fairbanks Before the Swarm

I flew up a few days before the team to scout out Fairbanks, preview the courses and get used to the cold. We had gotten in around ten and did not get to see much of the town or the Wedgewood Resort. When we woke up the temperature was a nice -2 degrees thankfully we did not start skiing until 11 and the temperature had warmed up to about 15 degrees. This temperature was ideal for skiing as the snow was fast but it was still pleasant to ski. All of the courses had been marked and after a few wrong turns I had gotten used to how they had marked the courses and managed to ski the rest of the courses without error. My first impression of the courses is that they are very difficult and out of all of the places that I have skied and competed, this is by far the most technically challenging both up and down. While I was skiing all of these courses it was very hard to be going slow, (everyone will be stoked) it is very easy to recover as well as breath but this in turn means that it will be very easy to be going to hard even if your heart rate is low! So no matter who is in front of you, behind in another group or that good looking guy or girl take it slow and take it your pace because your muscles will feel it! Back to the courses the five kilometer interval start which will kick off our Junior National Championships is a great course, after watching Logan Hanneman’s video of the course ( which is 95% correct) I did not truly give credit to how he skied the course, it is a lot steeper both up and down then it appears in the videos so keep that in mind. The course itself is fast even going at a slow pace I could feel the speed in the snow. The first downhill will be the place to be, it takes you down with quite some speed, only to spit you out into a tight turn (which did not help that it had not been groomed with about ‘2 of snow). Since all of you guys will be up here soon I will not drag on about the course and Fairbanks itself. Just know that the courses will be great for us, will ample time for recovery and hard hills which our high elevation lungs will help us through. This Junior Nationals for the people who are here for the first time, is going to be a great and different experience, for the people who have been before this will still be a special one. So Get Stoked and Ready to Ski Fast! See you guys here soon.

I just LOVE packing!

I think the most stressful part of this trip is the packing! Your struggling to remember if your forgetting anything, we surely can’t turn around and get it. Skis, check. Boots, check. Poles, check. Race suit, check. Gloves, hats, socks, headbands, buffs, check. I hope everything is getting into this bag. Looks like the Xbox will be staying though :( Oh well. Surely, this won’t really be the most stressful part of the trip. Will it?

Mug Shots

2013 Far West Nordic Junior National Team

This season there were 7 Junior National Qualifiers. Junior racers had to ski in 4 of the 7 races, and have a QUALIFYING time in 3 races, including both a classic and a freestyle (skate) race.
Pending acceptance of their spot on the team, the following are the athletes that qualified for the Far West Nordic Junior National Team for 2013. The Team and 8 coaches head to Fairbanks Alaska from March 8-17th.
Thanks to all who participated in the races this season.
Way to Go Team!

J2 Girls:  Hannah Halvorsen, Amanda Kirkeby, Savannah Blide, Lizzie Larkins, Kyla Burrill, Jenna Rohlf**, Tara Gallant**
J1 Girls:  Bria Riggs,  Camille Hartley, Katrin Larusson, Raylene Chew, Madison Kwasny**, Elise Hardy, Skyler Flora, Danielle Nivinski*
OJ Girls: Joelle Romo
J2 Boys: Dylan Syben, Sam Zabell, Julien Bordes, Peter Carroll, Casey Jobe, Skyler Mullings, Brandon Herhusky, Ryland Belisle**
J1 Boys:  Peter Holmes, Shane Christian, Aaron Deeter, Evan Vomund,
OJ Boys:  Patrick McElravey, Alex Koptyko, Branden Deeter

* = Accepted via Petition Process
**=Qualified but did not accept

2013 Junior Nationals

USSA Junior Championships
March 11-16, 2013
Fairbanks, Alaska

Sunday March 10th Opening Ceremonies
Monday March 11th: Freestyle Interval Start Competition (5k /10k)
Tuesday March 12th: Classic Relay Competition (3 x 3k relay)
Thursday, March 14th: Freestyle Sprint Competition (1.25k / 1k)
Saturday March 16th: Classic Mass Start Competition (5k /10k /15k); Closing Ceremony and Awards Banquet

Lizzie Larkins

Age: 14
Hometown Truckee, CA
School: Truckee High School
Team: Truckee High School Nordic Ski Team
Age first skied: 5
Favorite Book: Pretty Little Liars
Favorite Nordic Athlete: Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall
Favorite Off Snow Sport: Soccer
Favorite Athlete in that sport: Alex Morgan
Most Memorable Far West Experience:
My most memorable Far West experience would have to be the recent trip to Soldier Hollow for the super JNQ!
Best Racing Experience:
My best racing experience was either the Sprints at Soldier Hollow or the recent State Championship.
If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
I think it would be really cool to have a mind-reading power, cat-like reflexes, or a mix of the two!
What is something most people can do that you cannot?
Well, I have sort of mastered a spread eagle on Nordic skis…

Sam Zabell

Age: 15
Hometown Truckee CA
School: Sugar Bowl Academy
Team: Sugar Bowl Academy
Age first skied: 1.5
Favorite Book: Anthem
Favorite Nordic Athlete: Jessie Diggins
Favorite Off Snow Sport: Cycling
Favorite Athlete in that sport: Andy Schleck
Most Memorable Far West Experience:
My most memorable Far West experience was after the skate sprint at the 2013 Super JNQ in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Far West had just taken podiums in all four age divisions, with three first place finishes. Afterward, I was able to go around and nearly everywhere I went, from the announcer to groups of parents, everyone was talking about us and how strong our team was this year. l was especially motivated by this.
Best Racing Experience:
My best racing experience was at the skate sprint at the 2013 Soldier Hollow Super JNQ. I had had a very good preliminary and quarterfinal. In my semifinal, I was coming down the big hill in good drafting position and ready to take the lead. However, I was taken out by another competitor and finished last in my heat. In the B final that followed, I managed to break my pole in the first 100 meters. I did get a new pole quickly and hammered the entire course. By the end, I had fought my way back to second place. Though my race was marked with misfortune, I see it in a positive light because of how I managed to stay positive and focused throughout.
If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
I would choose the power to communicate telepathically. This would prove useful for many situations in which an immediate con-bro-sation is necessary.
What is something most people can do that you cannot?
Something I cannot do is to back down once an argument has been initiated or even hinted at. Even if I am arguing for something I know is incorrect, I will fight for it for an inordinate amount of time.
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Dylan Syben

Age: 15
Hometown Mill Valley
School: North Tahoe
Team: Unleashed Coaching
Age first skied: 9
Favorite Book:
Favorite Nordic Athlete: Emil Jonsson
Favorite Off Snow Sport: Biking both Mountain and Road
Favorite Athlete in that sport: Thor Hushovd
Most Memorable Far West Experience:
My first year racing at Junior Nationals in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Best Racing Experience:
Racing at Senior Nationals this year, it showed the level of skiing in the US
If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?
What is something most people can do that you cannot?

Me  841298_4474874072485_2037634102_o