The Methow Valley Nordic Team (MVNT) split forces this past weekend with a crew heading to Sovereign Lake, B.C., for the BC Midget Championships (8- to 12-year-olds) and a crew heading to Mt. Spokane for the final PNSA Junior Qualifier of the season.
The cold weather and fresh winter snow made for great conditions at both venues, MVNT director Leslie Hall reported.
Saturday was classic racing The older juniors had longer mass start classic races at Mt. Spokane, with the U18/20 men starting the day with a 15-kilometer race, Hall said. Travis Grialou and Walker Hall broke away from the crowd early with a skier from Mt Bachelor. “The three skiers stayed together through about 11K, where Walker and Travis moved ahead,” Hall reported. “At 12K, Walker was able to step up the pace, breaking away from Travis for the win with Travis a solid second.”
The U18/20 women skied a 10K mass start. Novie McCabe made an early break and skied alone for the dominant win, Hall said. She was followed by MVNT’s Greta Laesch in fifth, Hadassah Lurbur in sixth and Gretta Scholz in 11th.
The U16 boys raced a 5K mass start with Bodhi Kuzyk leading the way for the win with Cooper Legler finishing 14th.
The U16 girls are dominated by Methow skiers with eight MVNT competitors lining up to race, Hall said. Jori Grialou continued her winning ways, followed by Eva Weymuller in second, Mariah Lucy fifth, Lilia Kuzyk sixth, Lena Nelson seventh, Keeley Brooks in ninth, Wyatt Albright in 14th and Mahali Kuzyk in 15th. Stella Scholz skied to third in the U14 3K race.
At BC Midgets, the skiers were racing classic individual start races in their birth year categories in the morning followed by four-person mixed technique relay teams in the afternoon.
Morning results for Methow skiers: 2009 boys Sam Polson 16th; 2009 girls Wylie Smith 15th, Sisu Clark 16th and Mira Hirsch 27; 2008 boys Ben Kaufman first; 2008 girls Marit Nelson first and Josie Bolinger 12th; 2007 boys Emmet Bondi 15th; 2006 boys Dexter Delany 18th; 2006 girls Dashe McCabe first and Leki Albright sixth.
“We borrowed some skiers from Leavenworth and Plain to make some full relay teams for the afternoon,” Hall reported. The oldest girls’ team of Alice Farrell from Leavenworth, Marit Nelson, Leki Albright and Dashe McCabe won the relay with the younger team of Snowstars (Wylie Smith, Sisu Clark, Mira Hirsch and Josie Bolinger) finishing 22nd. Costumes were a big part of this event, Hall said.
The older boys’ team of Ben Kaufman, Dexter Delaney, Kian Ried from Leavenworth and Peter Norby from Plain finished fourth in the boys’ field. Emmet Bondi teamed up with some other Washington skiers for a 12th-place team finish and Sam Polson skied with some Canadians on a 29th-place relay team.
Sunday morning was colder and windier at both locations with the Junior National Qualifier skiers all racing 3K freestyle individual start races and the midgets competing in King’s Court freestyle sprints, Hall said.
The U16 boys started the day at Mt. Spokane. Bodhi Kuzyk struggled and finished fourth with teammate Cooper Legler in 17th, Hall reported.
The U16 girls were strong once again. Jori Grialou topped the list finishing first, followed by Keeley Brooks in second place, Eva Weymuller in fourth and Wyatt Albright in 14th.
Walker Hall won the U18/20 men’s race with the fastest time of the day, with Travis Grialou in third.
Novie McCabe won the U18/20 women’s race followed by Ella Kuzyk in fourth, Hadassah Lurbur in seventh, Gretta Scholz in eighth and Greta Laesch in 10th.
This was the final race in the Pacific Northwest Junior Qualifier series, so standings were finalized and the Junior National Team named at the end of the event: 37 skiers from PNSA will head to Anchorage, Alaska, on March 8-17, with 14 of them from the Methow.
Novie McCabe is heading to Switzerland and Germany to compete in the OPA Cup races. Jori Grialou, Eva Weymuller, Lilia Kuzyk, Keeley Brooks, Mahali Kuzyk and Mariah Lucy will be competing in the U16 girls’ class. Bodhi Kuzyk will be competing in the U16 boys’ class. Ella Kuzyk, Greta Laesch and Gretta Scholz will compete in the U18 women’s field. Travis Grialou, Garrett Butts and Walker Hall will compete in the U18 men’s races and Hadassah Lurbur will race in the U20 women’s races.
Meanwhile, in B.C. the races were delayed due to cold and wind. The racers got to ski three rounds in King’s Court style races and in the end the results were as follows: 2009 girls Wylie Smith 16th, Sisu Clark 17th and Mira Hirsch 23rd; 2009 boys Sam Polson 18th; 2008 girls Marit Nelson second, Josie Bolinger 14th; 2008 boys Ben Kaufman first; 2007 boys Emmet Bondi 14th; 2006 girls Dashe McCabe first, Leki Albright fourth. Dashe McCabe also won a coveted technique award on the classic day, Hall said.