Twenty skiers from the Methow Valley Nordic Team (MVNT) made the long trek to Bend, Oregon, for the first of the Pacific Northwest Ski Association’s Junior Qualifier races on Dec. 15 – 16.
Saturday featured the individual start classic races with those under 14 years of age racing 3 kilometers and everyone else racing 5K.
“With such a large contingent, MVNT was sure to fill the results sheet,” team director Leslie Hall reported. “Dashe McCabe started the day off strong, winning the 3K race and beating all the male competitors in the process. The boys were up next with all age classes mixed together for the 5K distance. Bodhi Kuzyk won the U16 category with Cooper Legler in 11th and Alex Tareski in 19th. In the U8 category, Travis Grialou finished second, which was also second overall for the men, and Garrett Butts was fourth.”
Hall reported that MVNT’s new Executive Director Pete Leonard entered the men’s race and finished sixth overall, winning the masters’ category.
MVNT’s Jori Grialou finished first in the girls’ U16 category, followed by Eva Weymuller in second, Mariah Lucy in fourth, Lilia Kuzyk sixth, Mahali Kuzyk seventh, Keeley Brooks eighth, Lena Nelson 11th and Wyatt Albright 17th in a large field, Hall reported.
In the U18/20 girls’ race, MVNT’s Novie McCabe took first place, followed by Ella Kuzyk in second, Hadassah Lurbur in fourth, Greta Laesch in fifth and Gretta Scholz in sixth. Results can be found at www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=164388. “Mariah Lucy really stepped up for a great classic race,” Hall reported.
“Sunday at Mt. Bachelor was not as pleasant,” Hall said. “There was some new snow with some wet precipitation falling and some wind for the mass start skate races.”
The U14s were again running a 3K race. “Dashe McCabe worked to hold off the hard-charging boys but was beaten out by one,” Hall said. “She won the girls’ 3K and was second overall.”
The U16 boys raced another 5K, with Bodhi Kuzyk finishing third, Alex Tareski 13th and Cooper Legler 15th.
The U16 girls also raced 5K. “Jori Grialou battled hard for first place but was beaten on the downhill finish to end up second,” Hall said. “Our large contingent followed Mahali Kuzyk, having a super race to place third, Eva Weymuller in sixth, Lilia Kuzyk seventh, Keeley Brooks 10th, Mariah Lucy 11th, Lena Nelson 12th and Wyatt Albright in 23rd.”
Next up were the U18/20 women in a 10K race. “Novie McCabe led the way, lengthening her lead as she went,” Hall reported. “Gretta Scholz, in her first skate event since a foot injury, had a strong third-place finish, Hadassah Lurbur was fifth, Ella Kuzyk sixth and Greta Laesch seventh.”
The older boys/men also group also competed on a 10K course, Hall said. Garrett Butts skied to third place followed by Travis Grialou in fourth and Pete Leonard in sixth. Results can be found at www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=164494.
The team will be at home training for the holidays and will compete at the Ski Rodeo on Saturday (Dec. 29) at Liberty Bell High School. Hall said that several skiers will head to Vermont for the U.S. Senior National Championships, where teams will be named for the World Junior Championships and the Scandinavian Cup trip. Races are Jan. 3-8 in Craftsbury, Vermont.