Photo courtesy of Ashley Lodato
The Methow Valley Nordic Team’s Midget skiers were in West Kelowna, B.C., last weekend.

While the Methow Valley Nordic Team’s older skiers prepare to head to Junior Nationals in New York or U14 Championships at Cabin Creel, a crew of 9- to 12-year-old MVNT racers went north for the BC Midget Championships in West Kelowna, B.C., last weekend.

About 200 skies competed in three events, MVNT director Leslie Hall reported.

Racing began Saturday with a 2-kilometer classic individual start for all the skiers, competing in their birth year age category.

MVNT had six participants in the girls’ race for skiers born in 2004. Jori Grialou finished sixth, with Mariah Lucy in eighth, Wyatt Albright in 10th, Amelia Bondi 19th, Elke Wathen 24th and Payten Kaufman 27th in a field of 32 girls.

Stella Scholz was the only skier in the born-in-2005 age class — and was also the winner.

MVNT’s Dashe McCabe won the born-in-2006 girls’ race with Leki Albright in seventh. Dexter Delaney placed 16th in the boys’ race. Emmet Bondi was ninth in the 2007 boys’ class.

Competitive relays were on the agenda for the afternoon session, with teams of four skiers (two classic, two skate) each racing 1.5K. The Blue Footed Boobies (Jori Grialou, Dashe McCabe, Stella Scholz and Mariah Lucy) placed third in the girls’ relay, with the Country Bumpkins (Wyatt Albright, Payten Kaufman, Amelia Bondi and Elke Wathen) placing eighth in a field of 30.

On the boys’ side, MVNT mixed things up by adding Leki Albright to the team with Emmet Bondi and Dexter Delaney and picking up a Canadian skier to make up the St. Patricks, who finished 13th in the 26-team field. 

On Sunday, the skiers hit the trails ready for the skate sprint, with qualifying followed by heats. Mariah Lucy came through with a strong final, placing fourth in the 2004 girls’ class, with Jori Grialou in sixth, Wyatt Albright in 15th, Amelia Bondi 19th, Elke Wathen 21st and Payten Kaufman 29th.

Stella Scholz had some strong competition and came in second in the 2005 girls’ class.  Dashe McCabe also placed second in her class (2006) and Dexter Delaney was 16th in the boys’ 2006 group. Emmet Bondi sprinted to 10th in the 2007 boys’ group.

“This particular group of girls included a number of first-time competitors at Midgets Championships and their performances displayed massive promise for the seasons to come,” coach Sam Naney said afterwards. “One of the weekend’s highlights was watching young Emmett Bondi (9 years old) charging through the sprint heats with a tempo matched only by a Formula One car’s first gear; he later was awarded one of the several coveted technique awards for the weekend, which was very well-deserved.” 

Racing continues with the PNSA U14 Championship on Saturday (March 4) at Snoqualmie pass, and Junior National Championships in Lake Placid, New York, on March 6 – 12.