A successful day on snow for the New England team who took home six medals, three of which were gold, during the classic relay races securing the Alaska Cup at the 2009 Junior Olympics at Auburn Ski Club Training Center Saturday. Intermountain Northern also faired well winning six medals and Alaska with three.
New England was 63 points ahead of Intermountain Northern going into the final day of competition and needed to perform well to secure the title. Intermountain Northern was second and Alaska in third.
The last time New England won the Alaska Cup was at the 2006 Junior Olympics in Houghton, Mich.
Much of New England’s success came during the sprint races and final relays head coach Matt Boobar said.
“New England kids have always been gritty and tough,” Boobar said. “They like head to head racing like sprints and relays.”
The team also has a history of strong classic skiers and classic waxers Boobar said.
“(Waxing) turned out to be a factor today,” Boobar said.
The first victory for New England came in the J2 girls’ 3x3k classic race where racers Heather Mooney Cambria McDermott and Corey Stock won with a time of 30:26.6 over Intermountain Northern skiers Stella Holt Sloan Storey and Maggie Williams who placed second with a time of 31:30.6. In third was Rocky Mountain made up of skiers Alicia Rose Pastore, Michaela Frias and Hannah Smith with a time of 31:39.1. The team was in second until one of it’s skiers missed the exchange zone turn and had to back track losing a spot.
“We’re all pretty close friends so we wanted to (win) for each other,” Corey Stock said of winning the relay. “We also wanted (New England) to stay in the lead.”
In the boy’s J2 3x3k race, Alaska skier Logan Hanneman took home is 4th gold medal of the championships as his team. The Alaska team, made up of Hanneman, Sam Dougherty and Travis Semmens was second behind Intermountain as Hanneman started the final leg. Hanneman made up 20 seconds and kept going, giving Alaska a 14 second victory over Intermountain skiers Will Wicherski, Cole Morgan and Mayfield-Carucci who place secound with a time of 26:56.1. In third was the Mid West Team made up of Andrew Dodds, Chris Parr, and Dylan McGarthwaite.
In the girls’ OJ 3×5 relay the New England team made up of skiers Keely Levins, Adele Espy and Parker Tyler. The girls took and early lead and continued to increase it until they crossed the finish line with an overall time of 50:48.7. It was the third gold medal for Tyler who also won the sprint and individual classic race.
Behind New England was Alaska team (Rachelle Kanady, Rebecca Konieczy and Becca Rorabaugh) with a time of 51:31.4. In third was Intermountain Northern (Gretchen Sellegren, Ase Carlson, Rose Kemp) with a time of 51:49.6.
“Points are tight we all have to come out and ski a fast race (to win the Alaska Cup),” Levins said. “I was able to get the lead (during the first leg) Adele made it bigger and Parker took it home.”
In the J1 girls’ 3×5 relay Intermountain Northern took home the win with skiers Monica Markvardsen, Elizabeth Guiney and Katie Gill with a combined time of 51:34.6. In second was New England (Megan Killigrew, Kaitlin Miller and Kristen Halvorsen) with a time of 51:36.6 and third the Mid West (Annie Hart, Lynn, Duijndam and Jessie Diggins) with a time of 52:07.0.
In the boy’s J1 race Alaska (Tyler Kornfield, Scott Patterson, Andrew Dougherty) came in first with a time of 43:32.9 followed by New England (Austin Cobb, Chris Stock, David Sinclair) with a time of 44:48.5 and Intermountain Northern in third with a time of 45:14.9.
New England was at it again in the OJ boy’s 3×5 relay taking the early lead to win with a time of 43:23.7. The team was made up of skiers Graham Egan, Sam Tarling and Chase Marston. In second was Mid West (Doug Debold, Erik Fagerstrom, Chris Bowler) with a time of 44:11.9 and third was New England’s second team (Evan Dethier, Dylan Grald, Jimmy Levins) with a time of 44:34.6.
“These guys did all the work and gapped the field for me,” Marston said of his teammates.
The championship is Egan’s last Junior Olympics and he said he couldn’t be happier.
“It’s a good way to go out.”