Anchorage, Alaska – Alaska, New England and Intermountain combined to take 15 of 18 podium spots as the 2008 Junior National Championships came to a close with the always exciting relays.
New England needed a big day to close the gap on Alaska in the overall standings. The eastern squad started the day well with the J2 girls skiing to victory over Intermountain and Alaska in the 3x3km race. The team of Isabel Caldwell, Heidi Caldwell, and Tara Geragthy-Moats crossed the line 14 seconds ahead of Intermountain. Alaska 1 edged Alaska 2 by half a second to take the final podium spot.
The same three regions were on the podium in the boy's J2 race, but Alaska switched spots with New England, posting a nine second win over Intermountain, and slowing New England's hopes of a miracle comeback. Logan Hanneman, Silas Talbot, and Scott Patterson skied for the winning team.
In the girl's J1 race, Midwest broke up the “big three.” The team of Libby Ellis, Lynn Duijndam, and Jesse Diggins edged Alaska by less than two seconds. Intermountain was third and New England fourth with skiers racing 5 kilometers each.
Alaska was back on top in the girl's OJ race, cruising to a 30 second win over Intermountain. Christina Gillis, Rachelle Kanady, and Becca Rorabaugh kept the home team on track for the Alaska Cup. New England finished third, 15 seconds in back of Intermountain.
Alaska continued to show impressive depth, taking the top two spots in the boy's J1 race. Lex Treinen, Cole Talbot and Eric Packer posted a 16 second victory over Alaska 2. Midwest was back on the podium in third place.
In the final race of the day, the Intermountain team of Reid Pletcher, Ian Havlick, and Noah Hoffman skied to a 9 second win over Rocky Mountain. Alaska continued their podium run while taking the third spot.
The relays concluded the 2008 Junior Nationals. Official overall results were not released at the time of this posting, but it appears that Alaska re-clamied the Alaska Cup, with New England in second and Intermountain third. Complete standings will be posted when they become available. Congratulations to all the athletes, coaches, volunteers and the organizing committee on a great week of racing!