Seven skiers from the Methow Valley Nordic team recently closed out the 2021-22 season at the Junior National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota, competing respectably with the best youth skiers from around the U.S.
As she has all year, Jori Grialou placed highly in her individual events, finishing 19th in the 97-participant girls’ U-18 5-kilometer freestyle, 12th out of 98 in the 10K classic, 7th in the classic sprint and skiing on the 8th-place Pacific Northwest mixed relay team.
Six other skiers from the Methow Valley joined Grialou at the multi-day. Graham and Carter Sheley, Mariah Lucy and Stella Scholz all skied in the U-18 age groups for male and females, while Dashe McCabe and Marta Schkrokowski skied in the U-16 class for females.
Younger Methow Valley youth were scattered about the Pacific Northwest, racing at the Western Club Championships at Bogus Basin near Boise, Idaho, while others headed north into Canada for the BC Teck Okanagan Cup, both season-ending events for the young skiers.
Ben Kaufman, Wiley Smith, Sisu Clark, Neva Clark and Nils Smith took the journey north to the Nickel Plate Nordic Centre near Penticton, British Columbia. Results provided are for the Sunday mass start freestyle. Nils Smith placed 5th in the boys’ U-10 1.5K. Neva Clark took 2nd place in the same race for girls. Sisu Clark took the top spot in the girls’ U-12 2.5K, and Ben Kaufman was the champion in the 3.75K race for U-14 boys. In the U-14 for girls, Wylie Smith placed 3rd.
Heading south to the hills around the capital of Idaho were the Sands clan of Aidan, Maren and Dylan, who skied in the Western Club Championships. Aidan and Maren both swept to first-place finishes in Saturday’s classic skiathlon and Sunday’s freestyle races. Dylan also skied well, taking a 3rd on Saturday and a 5th on Sunday.
Martin at Paralympics
Erin Martin skied both of her scheduled events in the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Games. Martin qualified for the sit ski sprints and the 7.5K sit ski race run at the National Cross-Country Centre in Zhangjiakou, approximately 100 miles from Beijing. Martin did not qualify for the final round of the sprints, but did place a respectable 14th overall in 7.5K race.
McCabe Wins NCAA title
University of Utah sophomore, 2019 Liberty Bell graduate and 2022 Olympic cross country skier Novie McCabe is the 2022 NCAA national champion in the 5K classic, skiing to victory last Thursday in the NCAA Championships at Soldier Hollow near Midway, Utah. Her victory helped lead the Utes to the NCAA team title. She followed that with 2nd-place finish in the 15K freestyle on Saturday, behind Utah teammate and 2022 Olympic teammate Sophia Laukli.
Sands, Dickinson at Biathlon Nationals
Aidan Sands and Kelsey Dickinson will be competing at the U.S. National Biathlon Championships this weekend in Lake Placid, New York. Sands, 13, has been competing in both cross country skiing and biathlon this year, at or near the top of the standings in most races. Dickinson, a 2011 graduate of Liberty Bell High School, has been on the international circuit this winter, traveling and competing in the World Cup for biathlon, and nearly qualifying for the 2022 US Winter Olympic team.