It was an exciting weekend in McCall, ID! It was the third and final weekend of Junior National Qualification races. Going into the weekend we had three skiers, Felix, Fischer, and Xander all on the "bubble" for qualifying for the Intermountain Junior National Team.
Saturday was a classic sprint race. It was the first classic sprint and/or sprint race in general for many members of the team! Fischer, Xander, Spencer, Felix, Joseph, Ingrid, Lina, and Morgan M all made the top 30 in the qualifier and advanced to the heats! The quarter finals are always tough with only 2 of 6 skiers in each heat advancing (plus 2 lucky losers - people who got 3rd and have the lowest bib #s based on qualification). Many of the skiers were SO CLOSE to being second but only Xander managed to squeak through to the semi finals. In the semi final the top 3 skiers from each heat go to the A-final and the bottom 3 go to the B-final. Xander ended up in the B-final but scored a win putting him in 7th on the day and securing his Junior National team spot!
Reed and Jacob Chamberlain came up to McCall to cheer on their big brother Logan in his first U16 race! They also got to participate in the races! Jacob finished 3rd in the U8 category and Reed won the U12 category bringing home the only podiums of the weekend for Team SoHo! Way to go boys!!!
Sunday was the skate mass start races. The U18/20 boys kicked off the day.The boys U18/20 is the tightest and toughest field. Often JN spots are decided by just a few seconds in one race. Fischer needed to get at least a top 10 to secure his JN spot. He skied an extremely strong and gutsy race but got tangled up and went down twice to end up finishing 16th just 5 seconds out of 10th. In the U16 boys Felix needed a strong race to secure his JN spot. He managed to stay ahead of a few huge crashes and ski to 11th place securing his JN spot. The U16 boys was an exciting race for Team SoHo as we had 5 racers including U14 skiers Josh Livingstone (it was also his birthday!!!) and Mason Heimburger. They had to start in the back of the mass start and skied very strong in their first 5km races!!!
On the girls side, Ingrid battled her way back from a tough start to finish 22nd in the U18/20 category. In the U16 girls Lina finished 13th in her first 5km race and Morgan Mischo skied strong finishing 17th.
Full results from both races can be found here.
The final event of the weekend was the Junior National Team naming. This is always a stressful event. Many skiers work day in and day out all year to qualify for Junior Nationals and unfortunately the team spots are tightly contested and often decided by mere seconds. Felix and Xander ended up claiming the 8th and 9th (out of 9) spots for the U16 boys. Fischer ended up as the alternate (13th and they take 12) for the U18/20 boys. This is the most heart breaking position to be in. Fischer missed the 12th spot by 3 points. This is the 3rd time in 4 years that Fischer has been the alternate (two years ago he qualified and finished top 10 at JNs!!). I would like to recognize and commend Fischer for his always positive attitude, humbleness, and perseverance. He is a fantastic skier who has had some bad luck. As a coach, I cannot be more proud of Fischer and for all he has done for Team Soldier Hollow. He is a role model and natural leader for the whole team and I wish him the best in college and beyond!
Stay tuned for some photos from the weekend and a link to the final JN points.