The Methow Valley Nordic Team (MVNT) was in town for a rare home meet last weekend when it hosted the Race of the Methow on the McCabe Trail at Liberty Bell High School.
More than 150 skiers from throughout the Northwest converged in the snow to compete, with the 14-19 year olds vying for spots on the PNSA team that will attend Junior Nationals in March.
Saturday’s (Jan. 16) race was a skate sprint with racers competing on a 900-meter course or a 1.3-kilometer course, depending on their age. Each racer skied an individual qualifier and then was seeded for head-to-head heats.
Methow Valley skiers were on the course throughout the day. Eli Nielsen was second in the U18 men’s category, and Geza Sukovaty 21st in U18/20 men. Local skier Maya Seckinger, skiing for Bend Endurance Academy, won the U18/20 women’s event. MVNT’s Claire Waichler was second and Ella Hall missed third by a toenail in a lunge in the same class.
Peter Aspholm showed his sprinting strength by finishing second in the U16 boys with Emerson Worrell in eighth and Walker Hall in 12th.
Novie McCabe continued her dominance of the U16 girls with the fastest female qualifying time of the day — first place in all her heats — with Gretta Scholz in third and Icel Sukovaty in 13th overall.
In the U14 boys, Travis Grialou missed first by a lunge with Zane Strome close behind in third. Lindsay Worrell placed second in the U14 girls, Keeley Brooks third, Eva Weymuller sixth, Maya Sheely 10th and Lena Nelson 13th.
Many younger Methow Valley athletes showed up to try racing and sprinting on their home course, and it paid off with Mariah Lucy winning the U12 girls’ race followed by Jori Grialou, Dashe McCabe, Amelia Bondi and Wyatt Albright for a 1 through 5 sweep in that class. Payten Kaufman sprinted to seventh, Thomasin Schkrohowsky 10th and Ayla Belsby 11th for the home team.
In the U10 category, the boys and girls went head-to-head, with Ben Kaufman winning it all, followed by Leki Lodato Albright and Marit Nelson in third for a sweep of the podium in that class. Marta Schkrohowsky placed fifth, Emmet Bondi seventh and Emil Schkrohowsky ninth in the U10 event. Complete results can be found at http://methowvalleynordic.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/RoM_2016_Saturday_Sprint.pdf.
Sunday (Jan. 17) opened with a nice gentle snowfall for the individual classic event. Kick-waxing was a bit tricky but the Methow coaches, led by Laura McCabe, were able to come up with a good solution for the skis and the Methow skiers followed through with excellent results.
The day began with the 10K event, where Eli Nielsen placed third in the U18 men’s race. Geza Sukovaty pushed hard and finished 16th in the U18/20 category. The women were up next, with Ella Hall having a fine race and the fastest women’s time on the 10K, taking the win in the U18/20 category. Claire Waichler placed fifth after missing her start.
The U16 competitors raced 5K and Walker Hall skied into second place, followed by Peter Aspholm in fourth, Emerson Worrell in fifth and Lazo Gitchos in 14th in this competitive age group.
Novie McCabe again dominated the girls’ 5K event, with Gretta Scholz in third and Icel Sukovaty in 15th. The U14 racers skied 3.5K on a well-used course, and Zane Strome pushed hard to finish second with Travis Grialou finishing third.
In the girls’ 3.5K event, Lindsay Worrell finished first, Keeley Brooks took third, Lena Nelson fifth, Eva Weymuller seventh and Rivers Leeman finished 12th in her first ski race ever.
Jori Grialou won the girls’ U12 category, leading Mariah Lucy and Dashe McCabe in a Methow Valley sweep. Wyatt Lodato Albright strided to a fifth-place finish and Ayla Belsby finished ninth.
In the combined U10 1.5K race, Leki Lodato Albright finished second and Marit Nelson finished third. Complete results can be found at www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=60339.