New England ended the 2017 USSA Junior Nationals in Lake Placid on a high! The relays were delayed to a noon start, due to the bitter bitter cold temps and gusty winds that enveloped our region this past weekend. But the brutal cold conditions did not detour our team, and by the end of the day, medals were earned in each of our 6 age group divisions, and New England was on the podium for 4 out of 6 of those races. They all raced strong and gutsy races that were oh so fun to watch ~ way to go Team NE!
And by evening, at the banquet and closing awards, Team New England, once again, won the Alaska Cup! The final point tally for the week was: 1st place, New England, with 1352 points; 2nd place, Intermountain, with 1054 points; 3rd place, Alaska, with 984 points; 4th place Midwest with 784 points; 5th place Rocky Mountain with 580 points; 6th place Pacific NW with 474 points; 7th place Far West with 365 points; 8th place Mid-Atlantic with 351 points; 9th place Great Lakes with 181 points; and 10th place High Plains with 89 points.
Some fun facts on the Alaska CUP: This is our fourth year in a row for winning the AK Cup, and NE has won it 11 out of the past 14 years. But the Alaska still holds the most wins overall, since the cup started in 1986 – 16 overall wins to our 13 from NE. Intermountain has won twice and the Midwest once, in years past. The cup was a gift to Junior Nationals in 1986 by the Alaska team, thus why it is called the Alaska Cup. Next year, I think our toughest competition will be from Intermountain, who had great results this year, and will be hosting Junior Nationals in 2018 in Soldier Hollow. But as always, team New England will be up for the challenge.
Our U20 men won GOLD ~ the relay team of Kamran Husain, Koby Gordon & Daniel Streinz.
Our U20 women won SILVER ~ the relay team of Alexandra Lawson, Mary Kretchmer & Mackenzie Rizzo.
Our U18 men won SILVER ~ with the relay team of Elliot Ketchel, Adam Glueck and Ben Ogden.
Our U16 girls won SILVER ~ with the relay team of Charlotte Ogden, Anna Lehmann and Abigail Streinz.
Our U18 women were in the medals for 5th place, with the relay team of Rena Schwartz, Kirsten Miller and Callie Young.
Our U16 boys were also in the medals for 4th place, with the relay team of Will Koch, Matthew Moreau, and Josh Valentine.
I want to give a HUGE shout out to our VOLUNTEER JN staff – the coaches and wax techs – who make this trip possible: Head Coach, Matt Boobar, age group coaches – Adam Terko, Kat Howe, Pat Casey, Rob Bradlee, Audrey Mangan and Alex Jospe, and our wax techs – Ollie Burruss, Jeremy Hecker, Justin Fereshetain, Jake Barton and Jeremey Nellis. THANK YOU to all of you!