By Mike Maltais

Five members of the Methow Valley Nordic Team (MVNT) have qualified for the Pacific Northwest Ski Association’s Junior Nationals Team and will travel to Stowe, Vt., to compete in the 2014 United States Ski Association Cross Country Junior Championships March 1-8.

Olivia Ekblad, Ella Hall, Claire Waichler, Taya Delong and Maya Seckinger will join coach Leslie Hall at the XC Juniors, where they will compete in four events.

Earlier this year the skiers traveled to four PNSA-sanctioned venues at Leavenworth, Bend, Ore., Soldier Hollow, Utah, and Mt. Spokane, where they had to qualify in five of eight races with results within 7 percent of the top three finishers in their respective age categories in order to meet the PNSA Junior Team selection standards.

Ekblad, Hall and Waichler qualified among U18 girls. Delong and Seckinger made the cut as U16 girls.

While the Junior Nationals are taking place, MVNT skier Elise Putnam will be competing in the National Guard Biathlon Championships in Jericho, Vt., and Paul Everett will be competing in the World Junior Biathlon Championships in Presque Isle, Maine.