Team Alaska concluded another trip to the Junior National cross-country ski
championships by winning the Alaska Cup for the fifth consecutive
year. Junior Nationals concluded on Saturday in Fairbanks Alaska with the relay
events, and the Alaskan team was able celebrate a team victory on home soil.
Final Alaska Cup Standings:
1) Alaska 1,516 points; 2) New England 1,118; 3) Intermountain/Northern 1,059;
4) Midwest 821; 5) Rocky Mountain 585; 6) Far West 383; 7) Great Lakes 293;
8) Pacific Northwest 204; 9) Mid-Atlantic 181.
There is a ton of great info from the races on the Official 2003 Junior Nationals
The following race reviews are from the Official JO2003 website. More
complete daily bulletins can be found here.
Brett Broda of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks won the J2 Boys' Sprint race
Monday. 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. "It's crazy," Broda said of the sprint
race, his favorite event. "Anything can happen." 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.
Casey Simons of Park City, Utah won the Boys' J1 Sprint race Monday at the
2003 Junior Olympics in Fairbanks. 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.Simons said he wanted to be
in second during the early part of the race, but none of his competitors wanted
to take the lead spot either. "This was a good course for doing V2,"
Alaska's Katie Ronsse from Anchorage wanted the win in the J1 sprint 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.
Lief Zimmermann of Bozeman, Montana won the OJ Men's Sprint Race. "I wanted
to be first or second out of the gate, to stay close," said Zimmermann.
"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.
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 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.
Midwest's Courtney Dauwlater sped to a cold first place finish ahead of the
Coulter twins, Anna and Julia from Great Lakes in the J1 10K freestyle. Dauwalter
of the White Noise Club skied the course in 31.21.Anna Coulter posted 32:10.1
finishing just ahead of her sister Julia who posted 32:13.8 for the third place
finish. The girls from Traverse City dropped at the finish but quickly bounced
back to hug each. They were all smiles as soon as they caught their breath,
knowing they had skated a great race.
Lindsey Weier skated to victory in an OJ field of 34 competitors in 31:14.6,
according to unofficial results. Kristina Trygstad-Saari of Intermountain in
second place, with Carina Hamel of New England third.
Elizabeth Stephen, who skated to an impressive 32.5 second win, thought the
course was great for the J2 5K skate race. "It was really cold though,"
the New England skier admitted. "The hardest thing was staying focused."
Stephan, a Burke Mountain Academy skier, was on the podium yesterday as the
third place finisher in the sprints.Alexa Turzain from Intermountain Division
finished second. Laura Spector captured third for New England.
Casey Simons coasted to victory in the Boys J1 15k freestyle race Wednesday
at the 2003 Junior Olympics in Fairbanks.
The boys raced under windy conditions, covering a hilly and demanding course
on the Jim Whisenhant Ski Trails. At the finish line, race volunteers met most
of the skiers with blankets. Many skiers had pieces of duct tape on their faces
to prevent frostbite as the temperature was about 4 degrees Fahrenheit at race
time. Tyson Flaharty of Alaska finished second, 19.2 seconds behind Simons,
while fellow Alaskan Justin Singleton was third, 58.1 seconds behind the leader.
In the biggest margin of the day, Lief Zimmermann handily captured the OJ 15km
gold in a time of 39:14.7. Zimmermann declared it a "tough race" but
quickly added, "I liked it a lot. The hills got you good." Following
Zimmermann by a minute forty-seven seconds was Alaska's Andy Liebner with a
time of 41:01.7. Liebner from Soldotna has been skiing for over fourteen years
and claims to have learned his technique in the Kenai backwoods. Bryan Cook
clocked in at less than nine seconds behind to earn the bronze.
Lindsey Weier did it again! After capturing the freestyle honors on Wednesday,
the Minnesota skier showed her versatility by winning the Older Junior Classic
Race in a time of 16:27.8, 17.8 seconds ahead of her nearest contender, Kristina
Trygstad-Saari from Intermountain. In close times, third place Sarah Hansen
from the University of Alaska, fourth place Lindsay Williams of Midwest, and
fifth place Paige Brady of Alaska Winter Stars rounded out the top five within
eight seconds of each other.
Brett Broda of Alaska skied to victory in the Boys 5km classic race. "It
was tough," Broda said at the finish line, after posting a time of 14:59.6.
"It was cold and I was trying to push it up every hill. But it was worth
it. I felt that I had a good time."
Broda said his face was warm, thanks to liberal use of duct tape on his nose
and cheeks, but his hands were cold. Simi Hamilton of the Rocky Mountain division
was second, according to the unofficial results, 8.5 seconds behind Broda, while
Matt Gelso of Far West was third, 14.9 seconds off the winning pace.
Leif Zimmermannn followed up his gold-medal performances in the sprint and
freestyle races by winning the 10km classic race at the 2003 Junior Olympics
Friday in the OJ class. Matt DeCarufel of Intermountain/Northern was second,
1:13.4 behind the leader, while Andy Liebner of Alaska was third.
The New England girls picked up first and second places in the Girls J2 classic
race. The girls praised their coaches for "hitting the wax perfectly."
Gold medallist Ida Sargent, the four-time winner of the New England championships,
said the cold weather, which delayed the start for an hour, was not a problem.
"Classic is my strongest race and I felt strong today." Second place
was Elizabeth Stephen. Maisha Goodpaster of Auburn Ski Club finished third.
Great Lakes’ Cassidy Edwards bested the J1 girls classic field finishing
the five km course in 17:04.1. Two Alaskan skiers pulled in the second and third
place honors. Katie Ronsse of the Alaska Winter Stars was only 8.2 seconds out
of the lead to earn 2nd place. Sally Johnson of the APU Nordic Ski Center followed
in third 12 seconds back.
Bret Bedard of New England topped his nearest competitor by 26.3 seconds in
the Boys J1 10km classic race. Bedard, who skis for the Stratton Mountain School,
completed the challenging course on a cold day at the Jim Whisenhant Ski Trails
in 28:57.7. Mike Sinnott of Intermountain/Northern was second in 29:24, while
Garrett Heath of Midwest was third in 29:34.7.
Ida Sargent built a commanding lead in the first lap of the J2 Girls Relay
Saturday, helping New England to a easy victory. "Mass starts are wicked
fun," said Sargent, after being congratulated by her teammates, Elizabeth
Stephen of Burke Mountain Academy and Laura Spector of Berkshire Trails. Stephen
said they've had a great time in Fairbanks and have enjoyed the competition,
though everyone is tired from the week of competition. "I don't want to
leave," she said. The Alaska team of Elizabeth Quinley of Anchorage and
Adele Mery and Christina Gillis of Fairbanks took second, just under a minute
behind the first-place team. Third place went to the Rocky Mountain team of
Ashley Quiggle, Jamie Woelk and Korie Steitz.
The Alaska J2 Boys relay team of Brett Broda, Nate Berry and Daichi Ito won
the relay Saturday morning, just edging a team from New England. The Alaska
team had an elasped time of 25:41.4, while New England was less than a second
behind at 25:42.1.
"All I did was just try and stay right behind him and turn it on at the
end," said Daichi Ito of Alaska Winter Stars in Anchorage. Ito and Russell
Currier of New England had a sprint to the finish, under bright blue skies and
a temperature of 6 degrees. Taking third place was the Rocky Mountain team of
Marty Smith, Brandon Cooper and Simi Hamilton. Hamilton had the fastest lap
of the race, covering the 3km course in 8:01.9.
The Alaskan trio of Daniel Clark, Tyson Flaharty and Justin Singleton turned
in strong performances to claim victory in the J1 Boys relay Saturday at the
Jim Whisenhant Ski Trails on the final day of the 2003 Junior Olympics. Second
place from Intermountain was the team of Hansen, Sinnott, and Simons while New
England's Bedard, True, and Karnedy team took third.
Though he fell on one hill, Andy Liebner of Anchorage recovered and helped
his Alaska team to a first-place finish in the Boys' OJ 3x5Km relay Saturday
at the 2003 Junior Olympics. After the first leg of the relay, Matt DeCarufel
of Intermountain/Northern had a 15-second advantage, but Colin Quinn-Hurst of
Alaska Pacific University propelled Alaska into the lead with a time of 13:44.2.
Brent Lowen of the University of Alaska Fairbanks skied the anchor leg for Alaska.
The silver medal in the relay went to the Intermountain/Northern team of DeCarufel,
Nathan Park and Leif Zimmermann.
Katie Ronsse of Alaska said she tried to "save as much energy as possible
for the end" and sprinted to victory in the Girls' J1 3x5km Relay Saturday.
The Alaska team won by a tenth of a second. The other skiers on the winning
group were Amanda Brassfield and Sally Johnson, both of Anchorage. The silver
medal in the relay went to a team from Great Lakes consisting of three outstanding
skiers from the Traverse City Ski Club. Julia Coulter skied the first leg of
the race, while Cassidy Edwards took the second and Julia's sister, Anna Coulter,
skied the anchor leg. The bronze medal went to the New England team of Elsa
Sargent, Hannah Dreissigacker and Morgan Smyth.
Lindsey Weier skied the middle leg for the Midwest team that won the Girls
OJ 3x5km relay. Lindsay Williams of the Minneapolis Ski Club was the first out
of the starting line and she built a big lead, that Weier added to. It was up
to Marie Stuber of Northern Michigan University to defend the lead. "I
decided to be real cautious and not screw it up," said Stuber. Stuber said
the week in Fairbanks was "awesome" and that the race organizers in
Fairbanks "did a really good job." The Alaska team of Kassie Rice,
Sarah Hansen and Paige Brady took the silver medal, while the bronze went to
the New England team of Carina Humel, Molly Gray and Kate Crawford.