J2 Festival, EHSC Qualifier, Sunshine, Great Results and Much More…

March 10, 2013

The last couple of weeks flew right by and all of the sudden we’ve found ourselves in the middle of championship season!

Last weekend we headed up to Sugarloaf for the Maine Eastern High School Championship Qualifier. Sadie, Rachael, Marcello, and Leela made the team! Marcello and Leela will head to Presque Isle next weekend for the big show. Ashton gritted his teeth and got as close to making team as possible, currently occupying the 1st alternate spot. Other impressive displays included Melissa’s classic race which almost landed her on the ECHS team as a first year skier! The whole team skied well, with lots of learning experiences about racing twice in one day. With lots of young skiers just on the bubble, look out for these skiers for years to come. Here is a photo of Sadie and the front of the women’s field ready to start the afternoon skate race:

Unfortunately this is my only photo from the day. I took tons of video which I may or may not be able to stitch into a video. Look for that after this week.

After the qualifier we relaxed (and trained…) for a few days and then jumped back in the bus with Aiden, Caleb, Andrew, Leela and Rachael for the J2 Championship. Meanwhile, Nick and Sadie made their way to Fairbanks, Alaska for the 2013 USSA Junior National Championships (http://jo2013fairbanks.us/).

We just wrapped up those three days of racing at the TD Bank J2 Championship at Holderness. This picture pretty much sums up our weekend (Lots of sun and lots of smiles, cheesy but very true):

Aside from the sun, their results were reasons to smile.

All three boys landed in the top 30 overall after the three individual races. Highlights included: Caleb notching a 19th in the 5k classic and tying for 11th in the sprint (.1 second out of a top ten finish!); Andrew tying for 29th in the sprint and coming in just seconds shy of the top 30 in the classic race; Aiden handily winning his sprint heat and skiing to a solid 26th in the classic race. All of these great classic results make me think there might be some long skate intervals on schedule this summer!

Rachael and Leela contributed equally to an outstanding weekend of racing. Although she got off to a rough start, not having the skate race she hoped for, Leela overcame her frustrating Friday with a solid classic race (less than 20 seconds out of a top 30!). Even though she wanted a better weekend results-wise, Leela still had a great time at her first J2 festival…and will be out for vengeance next weekend at EHSC. Rachael, still overcoming a cold, put her head down, and raced with focus and tenacity to earn herself 47th overall on the weekend, an impressive result considering the circumstances. Big kudos to both girls on their successful weekend of racing!

Here are a bunch of photos taken this weekend (credit to Kirk Siegel for some great shots.):

Andrew leading his heat in the 5k skate.


Leela leading a Massachusetts team member up the first big climb.


Rachael holding onto a Vermont team member in the 5k classic.


Andrew skiing a smooth classic race in dicey conditions.


Leela cruising to the finish of the 5k classic.


Caleb with a strong start in his sprint wave.

A strong start means you get the hole shot! Caleb looking like a sprint pro around the first uphill corner.

Aiden with an equally strong start.

Andrew getting over that ski and winning his sprint wave from the start.

Leela mixing it up in her sprint heat.

Only four days until the first race of EHSC at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. Stay tuned for updates from The County. Until then, keep your eyes glued to the live results for 2013 USSA Junior Nationals (http://jo2013fairbanks.us/). As of Saturday, Sadie and Nick have made it to Fairbanks and are getting familiar with the tundra in preparation for the first race on Monday. Good luck Sadie!


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