A small group of Methow Valley Nordic Team (MVNT) athletes traveled to Salmon Arm, B.C., for the BC Championships last weekend. The three-day event draws skiers from all of British Columbia with about 500 racers competing each day, MVNT director Leslie Hall reported.
“Several of our team members opted to attend National History Day, a few others were resting up for Junior Nationals and others were attending a biathlon race in B.C., and a few younger skiers were at Snoqualmie Pass for a Washington Cup event, leaving 10 skiers competing at Larch Hills in Salmon Arm,” said Hall.
Cold weather and excellent snow cover made for ideal classic skiing for Friday’s mass start classic races, Hall said. Skiers go head-to-head with their two-year age group.
MVNT’s Marit Nelson raced 2.3-kilometer loop with all the Bantam girls, finishing 11th overall and first for her birth year group.
Ben Kaufman and Emmett Bondi, skiing the same loop, finishing seventh and 21st overall respectively (first and 12th in their birth years).
Dashe McCabe was the lone Midget competitor. “She did a fine job skiing away from the field on her second 2.3K loop and winning the Midget girl’s race overall,” Hall said.
The Juvenile boys were up next, skiing two laps of a 3K course. Cooper Legler was MVNT’s only racer and finished 22nd overall, 11th in his birth year.
The Juvenile girls followed on the same course with Jori Grialou placing fifth (first in her birth year), Mariah Lucy 16th (10th in her birth year) and Amelia Bondi 29th (20th in her birth year).
The Junior Boys skied a challenging 3-by-3.75K course starting with the older boys and senior men, Hall said. “Walker Hall skied a good race, crossing the finish line in third overall and won his birth year,” Leslie Hall said.
Saturday featured skate individual start races. “The Bantam skiers had a slightly different 2.3K loop that they agreed was more challenging but more fun,” Hall said. “Ben Kaufman led the way for our team finishing third in the group and first for his birth year, Emmet Bondi charged around to finish 19th overall (11th in his birth year). Marit Nelson had another good day placing 11th overall and again winning her birth year. Dashe McCabe was the sixth Midget girl (first in her birth year group) on the 3.75K course.”
The Juvenile boys raced the same course as the Junior boys. Cooper Legler finished 25th (11th in his birth year). Walker Hall led the way to take first for the Junior boys with Garrett Butts finishing third (first in his birth year).
The Juvenile girls skated twice around the 3.75K loop for a longer race than they are accustomed to, Hall noted. “Jori Grialou stepped up to the challenge, finishing second overall (second in her age group) followed by Mariah Lucy in 18th (11th in her age group) and Amelia Bondi 29th (19th in her age group).
“A cold but beautiful Sunday morning greeted us for the relay races,” Hall reported. “With our smaller crew we had some creative relay teams: Marit, Emmett and Ben racing as the Flaming Skunk Bones competed in the Midget/Bantam Boy class and finished 17th out of 29 teams. Walker, Cooper and Amelia combined to compete in the Juvenile/Junior Boys’ and Junior Men’s relay as the Chomper Bompers Lite, finishing 14th, and Mariah, Dashe and Jori, racing as Fred and George, hit the trails in the Juvenile/Junior Girls’ and Women’s relay, finishing ninth out of 19 teams.”
Meanwhile, MVNT’s Novie McCabe was in Le Bressus, France, racing in an OPA cup race against skiers 19 and younger. In the 10K skate on Saturday on a challenging course in slushy conditions, she finished second.
Sunday was a 10K classic pursuit based on Saturday’s finish. “In spite of the icy conditions and ‘sketchy’ downhills, Novie had the fourth-fastest classic time and maintained her second-place in the pursuit,” Hall said.
Two young MVNT skiers competed at the final Washington Cup event at Snoqualmie Pass. Cooper Buzzard was third in the U10 sprint race and Madison Williams was second in the U10 girls.
The 14 Junior National competitors for MVNT will head to Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday (March 10). You can follow results at www.juniornationalsxc2019.com.
Novie McCabe will be training in Italy before heading to Germany for the OPA cup finals on March 15-17.