Skate races wrap up individual competition at Junior Nationals

March 12, 2010

Today was the third day of racing here in Presque Isle, Maine, and the final day of individual competition: the distance skate races. The J2, J1 and OJ women as well as the J2 boys raced 5k, while the J1/OJ men raced 10k.

To start the day off, New England’s Corey Stock claimed the top spot on the podium once again for the J2 girls race. 8.2 seconds behind Stock was Intermountain racer Sloan Storey. Intermountain backed up this 2nd place finish by putting two more racers, Annika Miller and Maggie Williams, in the 3rd and 4th spots. Rounding out the top five was Alaska’s Celia Haering, just 28.9 seconds off the lead.

The second race of the day was the J2 boys, which Patrick Caldwell won in a dominating performance, 25.1 seconds ahead of Intermountain skier Cole Morgan. Intermountain kept up their strong performance by placing two more in the top five with Marc Jackson in third, .3 behind Morgan, and Aren Burkemo in 5th. Jack Hegman of New England was also in the top five with a 4th place finish—30.8 seconds off his teammate Caldwell.
The third race of the day proved to be an extremely tight race for the J1/OJ women. Just a minute separated New England winner Corinne Prevot from 50th place.

“I really wanted to be on the podium this week,” said Prevot “and it feels really good to actually be here!”

The Mid West OJ women raced very well putting three skiers in the top 5 behind Prevot with Corrine Malcolm 2nd, Eleanor Magnuson 3rd and Lynn Duijndam 4th. Alaska’s Jessie Yeaton rounded out the top five.

Rocky Mountain skier Michaela Frias won the women’s J1 race by 3.8 seconds over Intermountain’s Katie Gill, who took 2nd. Annie Hart of the Midwest region, Hannah Boyer of Alaska, and Jessica Jortberg of Rocky Mountain took third, fourth and fifth, locking out any racers from the Alaska Cup points leaders New England.

The last race of the day was the men’s J1/OJ 10k. Top overall honors went to J1 Alaskan Scott Patterson who dominated the rest of the J1 field by 1:26.1. Behind Patterson in the J1 category the race was quite close with only nine seconds separating 2nd and 5th. Claiming 2nd for Alaska was Forrest Mahlen, while Will Wicherski of Intermountain took 3rd, Rocky Mountain’s Mike Vigers nabbed 4th and Jack Novak of Alaska finished out the top five.

Patterson claimed his 7th junior national title with his win, but despite his dominating win wasn’t alone out on the course. He caught OJ winner Sam Tarling mid way through after starting 15 seconds behind. Once he had been reeled in, though, Tarling hung strong and stayed with Patterson from there.

“I tried to drop him,” said Patterson, “but there weren’t really any hills big enough to get a gap.”

For Tarling, it was the downhills that helped keep him in the game. “I’m heavier than he is, so I caught up on the downhills after he would get a little gap on the climbs.”

Although it wasn’t the overall win for Tarling, the New Englander was quite content with his first Junior National victory in the OJ class. He held off the rest of the field by more than 20 seconds, besting runner-up Dave Norris, who took 2nd for Alaska. Intermountain’s Erik Fagerstrom was 3rd, Alaska’s Jordan Buetow was 4th, and New England’s Chase Marston grabbed 5th.

There is sure to be some shifting in the Alaska Cup standings following the skate races. This should make for a very fun and interesting skate relay race tomorrow as teams make their last efforts to keep the cup from New England’s hands. For more results and Alaska Cup standings visit:

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