Words: Don Youkey. Photo: John Marshall
Fourteen junior cross-country skiers from The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club competed at the J3 Championships and Sunnyside Qualifier in Bend, Oregon, over the weekend (Jan 26th and 27th). Moses Lurbur of Wenatchee and Kieran Ringel of Leavenworth won both their 3k skate technique races on Saturday, and 3k classic technique races on Sunday to become dual champions for boys and girls J3 (ages 12-13) for the Pacific Northwest Ski Association. The PNSA covers Oregon, Washington, and Northern Idaho. Also placing well for LWSC J3s was Tim Wells with a 5th place on Saturday and 6th on Sunday for the boys, and Hadassah Lurbur with a 4th place on Saturday and a 5th on Sunday for the girls.
Head Coach Kevin Farrell said, “The Leavenworth Junior Nordic Team is indeed having a break-through season. The program is loaded with polished skiers, talented coaches, and a thick pipeline of young skiers who are having a ball and will remember this feeling for years to come. Winning the top positions in the J3 championship doesn't happen very often, so this victory makes the Leavenworth ski club the envy of the region.”
J2 (ages 14-15) and J1 (ages 16-17) skiers also competed over the weekend, trying to qualify for Junior Nationals, that will be held in Fairbanks in mid-March. Ivy Spiegel-Ostrom finished 2nd in Saturdays 5k skate race, and Lydia Youkey finished 2nd in Sundays 5k classic race for the J2 girls. They both earned qualifying times on both days for Junior Nationals. Others earning qualifying times were Nate Wells on both days in the J2 boys category, and Becca Wells in the J1 girls category.
Six members of the LWSC are headed to Soldier Hollow, Utah, this weekend (Feb 1st and 2nd) to compete in a Super Qualifier at the 2002 Winter Olympic venue against athletes from across the West. US Nationals was held on this course 2 weeks ago, where former LWSC skier and 3-time Olympian Torin Koos won sprint and distance races. Our young skiers are very exciting to be racing on the same courses as Olympians!
From Kevin Farrell, Junior Nordic Team Head Coach:
The Junior Nordic Team is having a break-through season. The team is training on the local trails and racing at venues all over the western United States. The synergy of the team is a paradigm for energy and enthusiasm on snow. There were 22 junior skiers and 6 adults representing our club at the Race of the Methow National Qualifier race.
6 skiers gained qualifying race results. These skiers went on to sweep podiums at the Jente Loppet, Skirennen, and Gunnar Hagen. More are coming. The program is loaded with polished skiers, talented coaches, and a thick pipeline of young skiers who are having a ball and will remember this feeling for years to come.