Photo by John McColgan

Novie McCabe’s blistering pace was just fast enough to hold off the second-place finisher at the Lake Placid, New York, meet.

The Methow Valley Nordic Team’s Novie McCabe took first place in the U16 girls’ 5-kilometer race on Monday (March 6) at the Nordic Junior National Championships in Lake Placid, New York.

Team director Leslie Hall reported that McCabe, a freshman at Liberty Bell High School, started relatively early in the race in hopes that the harder snow would be holding up better.

“Other divisions opted to put their fastest skiers in the last seed, hoping that the warming snow would speed them up (temperatures reached -2 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday night),” Hall said.

McCabe set a blistering pace that looked like it might hold up, but a late starter, Sydney Palmer-Leger from Utah, was matching McCabe’s times around the course.

However, McCabe’s time of 14:14.6 held up as Palmer-Leger finished in 14:16.3. The next-closest finisher was 27 seconds back.

“Novie was too nervous to stay at the finish to find out how Sydney was racing, so was out running her cool-down and didn’t know the final result for another 30 minutes,” Hall said.

McCabe’s time was the third-fastest women’s time of the day (against all competitors in the 14-19 age groups). 

MVNT’s Gretta Scholz finished 29th out of 65 racers in the race, with a time of 15:45.5

In the U16 boys’ competition, MVNT’s Walker Hall finished 12th in a field of 67. Teammate Travis Grialou finished 34th.

MVNT’s Taya Delong raced in the U18 girls’ competition, finishing 60th in a field of 85. Hall said Delong was still feeling the after-effects of a recent appendectomy.

Racing continued Wednesday with the classic sprint races, followed by mass start classic races on Friday and a relay on Saturday, Hall reported.