The Methow Valley Nordic Team made an impressive showing last weekend in Bend, Oregon, where the young skiers competed on the Mount Bachelor trails in the first two of eight races that will be used to select the Pacific Northwest team for Junior Nationals in Truckee, California, in March.
Team director Leslie Hall provided detailed results for the Methow Valley competitors.
On Saturday (Jan. 3), the racers competed in individual start classic races ranging in distance from 3 kilometers to 10 kilometers.
In the U12 class, Liv Aspholm led the girls, followed closely by Lindsay Worrell. Zane Strome was 2nd in the U12 boys. In the U14 class, Emerson Worrell took 1st with Peter Aspholm in 2nd and Walker Hall in 3rd. Michael Mott followed not far behind in 6th out of 19 skiers.
Novie McCabe had the 4th-fastest 3K time of the day and handily won the U14 girls’ class by a minute. Eli Nielsen was 3rd in the U16 boys’ 5K event. Taya Delong skied smoothly and strongly and won the girls’ U16 category with the 2nd-fastest female time on the 5K course. Danielle Mott finished 7th .
Methow Valley resident Maya Seckinger, skiing for Bend Endurance Academy, won the U18 5K race and had the fastest female time of the day. Claire Waichler placed 2nd in the U18 ladies’ race in spite of skiing it on her warm-up skis, and after a great series of races earlier in the week at the biathlon trials in Minnesota.
Elise Putnam was 2nd in the U20 5K event, tired after biathlon trials in Minnesota.
In the U18 men’s race, Geza Sukovaty placed 17th. Paul Everett, fresh off qualifying for the World Junior Biathlon team that will compete in Minsk, Russia, in February, skied a strong classic race and placed 2nd in the U20 men’s field.
Sunday brought different weather as a storm moved in, bringing wet snow and wind.
In the U12 3K race, Liv Aspholm topped the field again followed once again, by Lindsay Worrell in 2nd. Zane Strome placed 3rd in the U12 boys’ race.
The U14 race was led by Emerson Worrell from start to finish, followed by Peter Aspholm in 2nd. Walker Hall was beaten by Cooper Jackson from MVNT alum Sam Naney’s Momentum Northwest team, and finished 4th, with Michael Mott finishing 9th.
In the U14 girls’ class, Novie McCabe was again 1st. “We were all excited to see Eli Nielsen move from a solid second on the course to win in a sprint finish in the U16 boys’ 5K and to see Taya Delong and Danielle Mott go 1-2 in the U16 girls’ race,” Hall said.
The U18 ladies’ race was once again led by Maya Seckinger, with Claire Waichler in a close 2nd — on the right skis. Elise Putnam was the 2nd U20 female once again.
All the older male skiers competed in a 10K together. “Paul Everett skied a good race, hanging with some strong older skiers and taking the win in the U20 category with the fastest youth time of the day,” Hall said. Geza Sukovaty skied a solid race and placed 14th in the U18 mens’ competition.