(Editor’s note: This article is adapted from information provided by Leslie Hall, coach of the Methow Valley Nordic Team.)
The Methow Valley Nordic Team (MVNT) traveled to Spokane last weekend for the final PNSA qualifier of the season and the U14 Championships. Conditions were touch-and-go leading up to the event with all the warm weather and rain, but Mt. Spokane had enough snow to put on a decent event.
Saturday was scheduled to be a mass start classic race for all skiers but due to the conditions, it was changed to an individual start classic race.
In the U16 girls’ 5-kilometer classic race, Taya Delong took top honors, handily winning the race. The team’s other U16 skier, Danielle Mott, could not attend because of a prior commitment.
In the ladies’ U18 5K race, Lydia Youkey of Leavenworth won, followed by MVNT’s Ella Hall. The pair finished close to a minute ahead of the next skier, Claire Waichler of MVNT, who placed third. The finish gave Hall enough races to confirm her spot on the PNSA Junior National Team.
Elise Putnam won the U20 race with a strong effort in the classic 5K. Geza Sukovaty was 13th in the U18 mens’ 10K classic event.
The U14 championships were up next, with MVNT’s biggest contingent vying for top spots in the 12 – 13 year age group in the 3K race.
MVNT had a sweep of the podium with Emerson Worrell winning, followed by Peter Aspholm and Walker Hall. Ian Delong was seventh and Travis Grialou eighth in the 22-boy field.
In the U14 girls’ race, Novie McCabe won easily.
In the U12 category, Zane Strome finished second in the boys’ race and Lena Nelson won the girls’ race, followed by the birthday girl, Lindsay Worrell. Dashe McCabe handily won the U10 2K competition. Full results can be found at www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=36985.
Sunday brought some sun and an end to dreary fog. Conditions were fast.
Taya Delong finished second in the U16 girls’ race, flying around the 5K course in 16:15. The U18/20 ladies raced a 10K, and Ella Hall charged around bringing Waichler, who started right ahead of her, along for the ride. Hall won the race, followed by Waichler, with over a minute and a half to the third-place skier, Youkey of Leavenworth.
Putnam took third place in the U20 ladies’ 10K, unfortunately missing her chance to make the Junior National Team. Sukovaty finished 12th in the men’s 10K event, showing his skating strength for being more competitive in these events.
The U14 Championships came next with the same competitive boys’ field. Emerson Worrell and Aspholm fought hard for the top two spots, with Worrell taking the win followed by Aspholm in the 3K skate race. Walker Hall finished sixth and Ian Delong ninth
Novie McCabe was top U14 girl once again. In the U12 3K event, Strome finished second. Lindsay Worrell had a strong race after Saturday’s frustration and finished a very strong first, followed by Nelson in second.
Dashe McCabe won the U10 1K event, leading the 10-person field. Full results can be found at www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=37032.
The PNSA Junior National Team was named with six MVNT skiers on the 33-person team. Taya Delong and Danielle Mott join five other girls on the U16 squad. Eli Nielsen is one of four U16 boys. Claire Waichler and Ella Hall are part of the six-lady U18 female group and Paul Everett is one of six men in the U20 category.
The Junior Nationals take place in Truckee, California, on March 8 – 15. Follow the event at http://xcjuniornationals2015.com.
MVNT will also take a large contingent to the B.C. Championships in Kelowna, B.C., this week (Feb. 19 – 22).