Junior Nationals Got Underway in Fairbanks, Alaska on Monday with the sprint
Sprint veteran Lindsay Williams from Minneapolis took the early lead and continued
to build an insurmountable space between her and the other three finalists in
the girls’ OJ sprints. Williams, representing the Midwest District,
was delighted with her win. “The sprint is my best event,” she reported.
“That’s how I have qualified for World Juniors for the last two
years. My coach Sten Fjeldheim at Northern Michigan University says I have a
high aerobic rate. He wants me to work on my endurance now.” Williams
was 13th in sprints at the 2003 World Juniors in Sweden. Williams was followed
by Paige Brady of Alaska Winter Stars, who was as far back as fourth but surged
to second near the finish line. From Intermountain Northern Division, Kristina
Trygstad-Saari of Montana finished third. New England’s Molly Gray from
the University of Vermont was fourth.
Lief Zimmerman of Bozeman, Montana won the OJ Men’s Sprint. “I
wanted to be first or second out of the gate, to stay close,” said Zimmerman.
“No one else wanted to take the lead, so I did.”
Ben Cline of Madison, Wisconsin finished second. “It went great,”
he said. “I stuck behind Lief and wanted to slingshot past him, but he
was just too strong for me to do that.”
Donovan Walsh of Anchorage was third and Brent Lowen of the University of Alaska
Fairbanks was fourth. Lowen said he fell on the last hill. “That’s
racing,” he said.
Alaska’s Katie Ronsse from Anchorage wanted the win after placing second
last year as a first year J1, and she wasn’t disappointed.
“It felt great!” she said after the 5.2-second win in which she
edged out teammate Amanda Brassfield. “It is a beautiful day and this
is my favorite kind of race. Anything can happen in the heats. You can never
be sure, so I was happy after I made the finals. Sprints are my favorite races.
They’re short and fast.”
The three Alaskan finalists held onto first, second and third place until the
final trip to the stadium when Tazlina Mannix from Talkeetna was edged to fourth
by Morgan Smyth from Stratton Mountain Ski School who took the bronze by a second.
Casey Simons of Park City, Utah won the Boys’ J1 Sprint race Monday at
the 2003 Junior Olympics in Fairbanks.
Racing over a course that was just over 1 kilometer long, Simons outdistanced
Justin Singleton of Eagle River, Alaska for the victory.
Third place went to Matthew Johnson of Anchorage, while Robert Slough of Ketchum,
Idaho was fourth.
Brett Broda of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks won the J2 Boys' Sprint race
Monday at the 2003 Junior Olympics at the Birch Hill Recreation Area in Fairbanks.
Broda posted a come-from-behind victory, edging Cameron MacKugler of Stratton
Mountain School in Vermont by a half-second on the course, which was just over
a kilometer in length. He said he trailed Simi Hamilton of Aspen, Colorado much
of the way. "I thought if I could just coast behind him I could stay real
close and try to outsprint him at the finish," said Broda.
Hamilton finished fourth, while Nate Berry of Chugiak, Alaska was third.
New England’s Ida Sargent of Orleans, Vermont, captured the J2 sprint
gold followed closely by Adele Mery of Fairbanks who was only four tenths of
a second behind. A breathless Sargent credited her win to holding Mery off at
the very finish.. “I passed her on the first hill,” Sargent said.
“She (Mery) was really coming on at the end, but I just held her off.”
Bulletins on Sprint Race – Official JO2003 website
Other reports from the first day of JO racing:
of Skiing Is At Birch Hill – General article on JO's, Fairbanks Daily News
Dominate Sprint Race – Boy's Sprint, Fairbanks Daily News Miner
Sweeps Through Sprints – Girl's Sprint, Fairbanks Daily News Miner
Skiers Crowd Sprint Podium – Anchorage Daily News