JNQ #2- Methow

February 02, 2022

JNQ #2- Methow

The Teacup/Mt Hood Nordic Junior Team headed to Methow Valley January 29-30 for the second stop of the PNSA Junior National Qualifier series.  On the schedule was a Classic Sprint and Skate mass start at the Liberty Bell High School Trails.  

Conditions- Like Teacup, Methow had a lot of snow all at once then a period of dry.  Unlike Teacup recently, the weather was very overcast,  flat light, and was staying below freezing throughout the day.  Universal klister with a hard wax cover was the call for the classic sprint. 

Courses-  The Liberty Bell trail system is pretty unrelenting.  No rest for longer than a handful of seconds on this course. Tough, short, but steep climbs and lots of narrow descents and turns.  The trails were in mostly good shape,  a few sections of pine needles here and there from the lack of new snow.  Firm but not icy.

The Athletes-

Catcher was racing in the U-18 group, continuing his quest to stay competitive and qualify for Junior Nationals.

Fergie was entering his first JNQ in the U16 group, he has done some local High School races.  

Cole was doing his first ski races ever in the U14 group!

 It was great to have these 3 athletes represent Teacup.

The Kings Court style classic sprint is a great chance for athletes to attack a course 4 times throughout the day and improve and find places where they can go faster.  Unlike the World Cup where only the fastest move to the next round, the Kings Court style allows athletes to continue racing throughout the qualifying, quarter final, semifinal and final rounds. The first two finishers move to the next fastest heat, the middle two stay in that heat and the last two move down a heat. Fergie and Catcher did well to overcome some mishaps in their first rounds and improve throughout the day.  Sprint racing is tough and cutthroat, the goal is to have the memory of a goldfish and just keep plugging away, doing your best.  Cole had great races and improved each time he went around the course.  

We all were pretty excited for Sophie Corkran, who won her race in brilliant fashion.  Sophie raced for Teacup from the beginning of her racing career.  This year she relocated to Bend and is part of the MBSEF program.  All her hard work through the years is paying off and she used her power and stability to her advantage on Saturday.   

Sunday's distance skate race was successful,  the format played to Catcher and Fergie's strengths and they were happy were they ended up for the day.  Catcher stayed in the hunt for points and Fergie raced well against the region's best U16 skiers.  Cole got a great chance to improve his technique and ski a really hard course.  This year is his first experience skiing at a competitive level,  his improvement every time he steps on snow is terrific.  

We will be working on some technique improvements and resting up to do it all again in Bend this coming weekend 2/5-6.  A individual start skate and mass start classic races are in store.  Looking forward to having even more Teacup/Mt Hood Nordic athletes joining!

Cheers- Coach Kelly