By ending this season with a win, Haley Brewster just became a source of motivation for her team heading into next year.

At the The U.S. Cross-Country Junior National Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 13, Brewster, 15, surprised herself and her teammates by winning the 5k individual start skate race in the U16 division.

As the championships continued throughout the week, coach Eric Pepper said Brewster’s success set up the rest of the team well.

“There’s a lot of belief, then,” Pepper said. “Like ‘I’ve competed with that person all year, I know that I can also do that level.'”

As the week went on, Brewster’s teammates who compete alongside her notched impressive results, as well, with Elsa Perkins taking third in in the U16 5k mass start classic and Emma Reeder taking fifth in the classic sprint. …