Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Nordic squad appears to be on track as they competed at the Junior Olympic Qualifiers (JOQ) in Soldier Hollow, Utah on Friday, 1/27, and Saturday, 1/28.
The JOQs featured all the top juniors from Colorado, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Utah, with close to 700 athletes gunning for a spot at the Junior Nationals in March.
“If you do well at this competition, then you’re doing really well,” said coach Eric Pepper.
Well, then SSCV’s Nordic team is doing very well indeed.
The competition started on Friday, 1/27, with a 1.3k classic sprint for the men and women. Hannah Hardenburgh came through the sprint heats with the fastest qualifying run. She ended the day in seventh for the J2 women. Hardenbergh’s teammate, Christian Shanley, sprinted his way to a second for the J1 men and fourth overall.
The competition resumed on Saturday, 1/28, with a 5k skate for the J2 women, and Hardenbergh ramped it up to finish first.
“Hardenbergh just skied away from the field,” said coach Dan Weiland. “It was an impressive win for her.”
In the men’s 15k skate race, Cal Deline skied to a first for the J1 men and third overall, with SSCV teammate Mike Vigers on his heels to finish third for the older juniors, and fourth overall. Christian Kloser raced his way to fifth for the older junior men and Shanley took a fifth for the J1 age class.
“It was a great weekend for our team,” said Weiland. “From here we will be going to the Junior National Qualifiers in Durango on February 24 and 25 with high hopes.”