Vermont biathlete Tara Geraghty-Moats spent the year training at a Swedish ski gymnasium, with the goal of improving her shooting thanks to full-time coaching; it paid off with a win in the junior sprint at Swedish Championships. In a month, she’ll move back to the U.S. to train with Algis Shalna and focus on the next World Juniors in Presque Isle, Maine.
Some of our favorite shots from the 1-kilometer freestyle sprints at the 2013 Cross Country Junior National Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska. Special thanks to Bert Boyer and his extensive photo coverage, all of which can be viewed at higher resolution and are available for purchase at bertboyer.zenfolio.com. All proceeds go to NNF.
Once again, the Norwegian skiers dominated the J1 10 k classic mass starts at Junior Nationals on Saturday, but the Americans didn’t let their guests take all the podium spots. Keegan Swirbul, of Rocky Mountain, took third overall in the boys race, which was good for the top American spot, and he finished just one second behind Norwegian and second-place finisher Sjur Slettom.
Junior Nationals: Gordon Overcomes Adversity in Boys J2 Sprint; J1 Winner O’Harra Inspired by Randall
The J2 boys national championship sprint was only seconds old, and already Koby Gordon feared disaster had struck. “My pole grip came undone so I had to grab my pole and put it back on,” Gordon said. “Yeah it was (stressful). I was like ‘This could put me in last’ but I was able to keep pushing really hard with my legs.”
Annika Miller had no intention of letting three Norwegians beat her in Thursday’s J1 girls freestyle sprint at 2013 Junior Nationals. “I really wanted to (win). I was like ‘You know, the U.S. needs to be on top today,’ ” she said. Alaska’s Lydia Blanchet and Felicia Gesior of Great Lakes took the J2 and OJ titles, respectively.
Hannah Boyer and Logan Hanneman got to experience something rare and special on Tuesday: a clinching anchor leg on their home trails at Junior Nationals. Boyer and Hanneman each helped Team Alaska win gold in the Older Junior divisions of the 3 x 3-kilometer classic sprint at Birch Hill Recreation Area.
Of the six 3 x 3-kilometer classic relays at Junior Nationals on Tuesday — two each in the Junior 1, J2 and Older Junior divisions — only two were decided by less than 30 seconds and only one was up for grabs on the final straightaway. That race was the girls Junior 1 event, in which Intermountain edged Midwest by 3.7 seconds and Alaska by four seconds.
Not even a navigational gaffe could derail the New England J2 girls in Tuesday’s 3x3k classic relay at Junior Nationals. Katharine Ogden, New England’s lead skier, lost the substantial lead she’d gained on Rocky Mountain’s Hailey Swirbul after she accidentally skied into the finish lane instead of the lap lane — despite large signs that directed skiers — as she approached the end of the first leg.
For some “warm-up” races before hitting the OPA Cup, a group of Stratton and APU athletes competed in Slavic Cup competitions in Nove Mesto this weekend. They made a splash, with Kate Fitzgerald, Sophie Caldwell, and Rosie Brennan sweeping Sunday’s 10 k pursuit. Paddy Caldwell also continued his success from Norwegian junior nationals the weekend before.
Weekly Race Roundup: Golden Americans, Historic Bronze for Harvey and NoCo, Another Birkie in the Books
Marit Bjørgen of Norway and Nikita Kriukov of Russia both have two gold medals to their names so far this Championships, and Dario Cologna finally got the title he’s been search for; but Americans made a splash too, in every discipline, with Sarah Hendrickson winning jumping, Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins the team sprint, and the nordic combined team bronze in the team event. Alex Harvey also made history when he took bronze in the classic sprint, the first individual World Champs medal for Canada.
Skiers and jumpers tested out the Sochi trails – quite successfully for the U.S. and Canada; biathletes finished up World Youth and Junior Championships with another medal for Sean Doherty and two Canadian top-tens; Americans turned to longer marathon racing at the Boulder Mountain Tour and Craftsbury Marathon; Canadians mini-toured through Eastern Championships.
U.S. Biathletes Smith and Dalberg Look Back on World Juniors That Was, Forward to More European Racing
Casey Smith capped off his four career appearances at World Youth and Junior Championships with a 37th-place showing in the individual in Obertilliach Austria. While he’s hoping to make the cut for U26 Championships, Jake Dalberg, who placed 52nd despite rifle problems, is headed next to Italian Military Championships.