Four wonderful things happened for Team New England and its athletes, as the US Ski & Snowboard Cross Country Junior Nationals wrapped up on Saturday March 11th in Midway Utah.
First, was the four GOLD medals won by U16 Will Koch (SMS). Will swept the U16 boys gold medals in all four U16 races this past week ~ the interval Classic 5k distance race, the freestyle sprint race, the mass start freestyle 5k distance race, and finally. the classic 3 x 3.3k team relay. What an impressive week of racing for this Peru Vermont native who attends the Stratton Mountain School!
Second, Ben Ogden (SMS) – who also had in incredible week of individual results, 2 golds and 2 silvers – was awarded the Dave Quinn Award along with his three teammates from his World Juniors Relay Team, for their accomplishment of winning a silver medal in Gome, Switzerland last February, and for inspiring the next generation of cross country skiers. Each year the Junior Cross Country Subcommittee presents the Dave Quinn award to recognize that Junior National athlete(s) who best exemplifies the ideals of the cross country ski sport which Dave Quinn expressed through his life.
Third, the Stratton Mountain School, won the Junior Club Award from US Ski & Snowboard, for being the top Male Club Champions at Junior Nationals this year. Congrats to SMS ~ their coaches and athletes ~ well done!
And finally, New England won the Alaska Cup, for the fifth year in a row! It was a hard fought win this year, which made it even sweeter! New England was in 3rd place after the first day of racing, then held on to a narrow margin after day two and three. We went into the final day of racing, the team relays, with just a 50 point lead – it was anyone’s AK Cup to win. But Team New England rose to the challenge and our athletes left everything out there on the course, worked as teams, and at the end of the day, we had 9 team medals in all 6 age categories! At the banquet on Saturday night, Team New England was awarded the Alaska Cup, just 124 points ahead of Rocky Mountain.
I am so proud of New England, and the teamwork between our athletes, clubs and coaches. It is an incredible pleasure and honor to work with these athletes and coaches, and NENSA is thrilled to have the AK Cup back here in New England for another year!
Pennie Rand says
Just AMAZING!!!! Congratulations to all…athletes, NENSA staff & volunteers, parents, clubs, ski areas, snow makers, course builders, coaches, waxers, etc! Nordic skiing is alive and well in New England!!