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February 24, 2021
Junior Regional Races at Teacup and Meissner - by Sophie Corkran
Teacup Nordic and MBSEF hosted two races last Friday and Saturday. At Teacup on Friday, a king’s court formatted sprint race took place. The following day, MBSEF held a classic race at Meissner. Along with the two Oregon teams, Spokane, Momentum, and Plain Valley from Washington also had some skiers attending. These races were the last ones before the big Regionals event in Utah. The turnout was great and as always, athletes were glad to have another racing opportunity this season.
On the sprints day at Teacup, the weather was partly sunny with a few heavy snow squalls throughout the afternoon. With a temperature around freezing and lots of fresh snow, the race course grooming was very smooth and it made for great skiing. Harold made multiple passes with the grooming machine to pack down all of the new snow and make the trails of the race course extra wide. Skiers from every team said that they enjoyed the Teacup trails and that the sprint course was one of the most fun they’d experienced. The racers and other skiers who attended the event are very grateful that Harold took the time to make the course so perfect.
Initially, the starting line of the sprint course was located just beyond the cabin. The start was later moved to begin on the uphill straightaway to prevent any skiers in the heats from having a disadvantage. The course took a right at Lakeside and continued onto a small loop at Nordic Junction. Then, racers climbed up Nordic Way and descended Wahoo to the finish line near the cabin. No official results for the Friday sprint heats are available, but results from the qualifying race helped in determining athletes’ USSS standings.
The following day at Meissner in the classic discipline, U14s and U12s raced a 2.5k and U20s, U18s, and U16s raced a 5k. The sun shone brightly and the weather was warm. Coach Karl tested combinations of klisters and other waxes to get just the right layers of grip for the course’s terrain. Wax techs from other teams came to him in hopes of learning his secrets! Most athletes agreed that the course was fun, with the first half being almost completely flat and downhill. The trails favored double poling, which many racers preferred over steep climbs. The skiers who desired challenging uphills stated that the course was a bit dull compared to past races, but everyone seemed happy to be racing at all.Liam - U12After racing for the first time in the sprint format, Liam said that he prefers it to distance events. While racing, his favorite part of the course was Nordic Way, as it was the most challenging section. Liam also said that he felt the strongest while climbing up Nordic Way during his final heat. He passed other skiers on the hill and powered to the finish. He placed 2nd of the U12 boys. He seemed to find a new love for sprint races!
Anneka - U14Anneka didn’t race in the sprints, but at Meissner she competed in the 2.5k classic. She felt the strongest while double poling on the flats and going down the fun descents of the first half of the course. She said that the climbs of the second half were the most difficult. Her arms became tired from so much double poling up the hills! Anneka also said that the finish came before she knew it. She placed 4th of the U14 girls.
Kailua - U14During the skate sprints, Kailua felt proud of her performance. She qualified 2nd for the U14 girls, and in her semifinal, moved up to a faster heat. She enjoyed racing down Wahoo to the finish. At Meissner, Kailua was supposed to race in the 2.5k. However, she did the full 5k course which she said felt like her first real 5k race. Kailua liked the double poling sections of the course and the fun downhills. Kailua was the only U14 to race in the 5k and she was glad to get the experience.
Colin - U16At Teacup, Colin placed 11th in the qualifying sprint. Although we didn’t get a report from him, spectators said that Colin looked strong coming up the final climb from Wahoo to the finish line during his heats.
Fergie - U16Fergie competed in his first sprint race, qualifying 10th for the U16 boys. Although he prefers distance events, Fergie said that he still enjoyed the fun course. He felt proud of catching other skiers while going over the top of Nordic Way. In the classic 5k, Fergie didn’t have much grip so he double poled almost everything, even uphill sections. The gradual ascent in the middle of the course was his favorite part while racing. With his strong double poling, Fergie placed 9th.
Catcher - U16Catcher said that he executed his sprint race strategy well. He qualified 6th and always passed his competitors on the finishing stretch. In one of his sprints, Catcher thought that he had already finished before he had crossed the line. However, he quickly sped up again, finishing at the proper spot and still with good results. In the 5k, Catcher wished there had been more uphills. He thought that all of the double poling was a bit boring, but he maintained his focus and placed 5th.
Ben - U18Of the U18 boys, Ben placed 5th in the skate qualifying sprint. This started him off in the fastest heat. He went easy in his first heat which allowed him to save energy for the final. Ben said that he felt proud of keeping up with his competitors while climbing up Nordic Way and overall, he enjoyed the sprints. In the classic 5k, despite having minimal grip, Ben enjoyed the steep uphills. He climbed them quickly with a high tempo herringbone/run and passed two other skiers. He finished in 9th place.
Sophie C - U18Sophie didn’t compete in the sprints, but at Meissner, she was happy to race in a distance classic event. She enjoyed all of the double poling on the course, as well as the first uphill climb. Sophie felt the strongest on the slight hill just before the finishing stretch. She sensed that her grip was perfect as she diagonal strided up the gradual climb. Sophie finished the race in 4th place.
Sophie K - U18In the sprint races, Sophie liked having the home course advantage! In her qualifying race, she placed 5th for the U18 girls. Sophie most enjoyed the fun descent on Wahoo just before the finish. She also liked passing her competitors while climbing up Nordic Way. For the 5k classic race, Sophie said that the course was fun, but she preferred sections that favored diagonal striding over double poling. She passed other skiers on the uphills and had a strong performance, finishing in 6th place.The final USSS racing event this season is Regionals, held at Soldier Hollow, UT. Teams from multiple regions from the Western U.S. will participate in three days of racing between March 9th and 13th. The schedule includes a classic distance race, a skate distance race, and a sprint day. It will be a large event with many racers in attendance but with safe practices, we hope that everyone stays healthy. Happy skiing and stay safe!
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