For twelve local Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Nordic athletes, the past week served as an exciting and challenging stretch of their winter season. Based on their results in eight highly competitive Rocky Mountain Division Nordic Qualifiers, the following Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Nordic athletes birth years 1997 through 2001 qualified for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association Cross Country Skiing Junior National Championships in Cable, Wisconsin: Annie Blakslee, Emma Blakslee, Bridget Donovan, Maddie Donovan, Lizzy Harding, Megan Rossman, Gracie Shanley, Lyle Shipp, Marcus Gore, Collin Wilson, Cameron Wolfe, and Nolan Herzog.

The USSA Cross Country Junior National Championships which took place from March 7 through March 12 drew over 350 racers from across the country ranging from 14 to 19 years of age, each of whom qualified from their local region to compete in this prestigious event. These elite junior racers went head to head on the Telemark Trails System, a venue that hosted the first ever Nordic World Cup, as well as North America’s largest annual race – the American Birkebeiner.

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete result highlights at the Nordic Junior Nationals included the following:

  • Classic Individual Start-March 7
  1. 2nd place finish for Nolan Herzog for the U18 Men (birth years 1998 and 1999)
  2.  4th place finish for Bridget Donovan for the U16 Women (birth years 2000 and 2001)
  3.  7th place finish for Cameron Wolfe for the U16 Men (birth years 2000 and 2001)
  • 10k Skate Individual Start Race – March 10
  1. 10th place finish for Maddie Donovan for the U18 Women (birth years 1998 and 1999)
  • Relay – March12 – The relay was comprised of three person teams made up of athletes from throughout the Rocky Mountain region. As a result of course conditions the race was changed to a patrol format point to point relay with a largely uphill climb with each team starting as a unit together using an interval start.
  1. U16 Men (birth years 2000 and 2001) – 3rd place finish – Cameron Wolfe Collin Wilson (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) and Jimmy Colfer, (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
  2. U18 Women (birth years 1998 and 1999) – 5th place finish – Maddie Donovan (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail), Hailey Swirbul (Aspen Valley Ski Club) and Kathleen O’Connel (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)

Head Nordic coach Eric Pepper commented, “It has been terrific to watch our racers grow this season, putting in tremendous efforts this past spring, summer and fall with dryland activities which they carried into the winter season. Here in Cable, we had extremely variable course conditions and massive temperature swings. Given the adverse course conditions our athletes coped the best they could and put forth great effort. I couldn’t be more proud of what they have done and what they have shown throughout the season. Competing against the best the country has to offer in an age group provides athletes the ability to see how they stack up and also provides a huge amount of inspiration for them as they enter their off season and look ahead to future years.”

For a complete list of results go to