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NORDIC SKIING

Nordic Skiing: Relay races result in one medal for Team Alaska on final day of Junior National Championships

by | Mar 16, 2024 | Cover Story, Nordic Skiing

Alaskans hit the trails at Junior Nationals in New York. Photo by Max Kaufman

After a day with no medals on Friday, Team Alaska avoided the same fate Saturday by claiming silver in the U20 mixed relay race at the U.S. Junior National cross-country ski championships in Lake Placid, New York.

The team of Rosie Whittington-Evans, Derek Richardson, Marit Flora and Owen Young placed second in the 4×3-kilometer freestyle relay at Mt. Van Hoevenberg.

The relays were the final events of the week-long age-group championships for skiers under 20. Warm temperatures made for sloppy conditions — sloppy enough for Friday’s classic races to be delayed.

Team Alaska claimed third place in the team standings, which include points from each of the three individual races. New England was the overwhelming winner with 1,032 points; the Intermountain Division was second with 727 and Alaska was next with 717. The race series draws skiers from 10 geographical regions; Alaska is the only region with athletes from a single state.

Standings are also kept for individual clubs. Alaska boasted two of the top three clubs — Alaska Pacific University was first and Alaska Winter Stars was third.

The Alaskans will come home with 10 medals, six from Wednesday’s classic sprint and three from Monday’s freestyle races. They were shut out in Friday’s mass-start classic race.

Photo by Max Kaufman

On Saturday, the U20 relay team finished about 20 seconds behind the gold-medal team from New England, but Alaska didn’t contend for the podium in either of the other two relays.

The U16 team of Mia Stiassny, Raven Spangler, Miya Kam-Magruder and Jack Leveque placed seventh, about two minutes off New England’s winning pace.

And the U18 team of Olivia Soderstrom, Oskar Flora, Merridy Littell and Vebjòrn Flagstad finished 12th, about 2.5 minutes behind the Far West Division champions.

On Friday, Stiassny and Marit Flora both came one spot away from podium finishes. Stiassny was 2.9 seconds away from third place in the U16 girls race and Flora was more than 20 seconds off the podium in the U20 women’s race.

Two others joined Flora, a skier for Alaska Pacific University, in the top 10 of the U16 girls race — seventh-place Miya Kam-Magruder of the Alaska Winter Stars and eighth-place Elliot Sensabaugh of Alaska Nordic Racing.

In the boys U16 race, Gabe Black of Alaska Nordic Racing led the Alaskans in sixth place, about 22 seconds off the winning pace. Raven Spangler of ANR was 11th and Owen Harth of APU was 17th.

Photo by Max Kaufman

In U18 racing, fifth-place Oskar Flora of APU and seventh-place Flagstad of AWS were the top finishers in the boys, with Elias Soule of AWS cracking the top 20 in 19th place. In the girls race, Littell was 20th.

The U20 men’s race featured five men with Alaska ties in the top 10, a group led by UAF’s Ben Dohlby in fifth place. APU’s Derek Richardson was sixth, UAA’s Matt Seline was seventh, the University of Vermont’s Owen Young was eighth and UAA’s Corbin Carpenter was ninth. Of those, Dohlby, Seline and Carpenter ski for divisions other than Alaska.

Marit Flora and Lily Pannkuk, both from APU, placed fourth and sixth in the U20 women’s race.

Here’s a list of Team Alaska medals from the week:
7.5K freestyle
Gold — Rosie Whittington-Evans, APU, U20 women
Silver — Vebjòrn Flagstad, Alaska Winters Stars, U18 boys
Bronze — Oskar Flora, APU, 18U boys
Classic sprint
Gold — Murphy Kimball, AWS, U18 men
Silver — Miya Kam-Madruder, AWS, U18 girls; Marit Flora, APU, U20 women; Cole Flowers, AWS, U20 men
Bronze — Lily Pannkuk, APU, U20 women; Derek Richardson, APU, U20 men
Mixed relay
Silver — Team Alaska 20U (Rosie Whittington-Evans, Derek Richardson, Marit Flora, Owen Young)

Story made possible by:

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

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