Racers Post Strong Results In Anchorage

By Beacon Staff

The Glacier Nordic Ski Team posted results high up in their age groups early this week in the 2008 Junior Olympics in Anchorage, AK. Four team members qualified in races earlier this year to compete in the national championships.

On Monday, Mar. 10, the championships kicked off with the 1,250-meter classic sprints, in which both Erik Anderson, 18, and Stella Holt, 14, rose to the top of their racing groups, even though their ages place them in the bottom of their age group brackets. Based on results from a qualifying race where each skier departed individually at 15-second intervals, both made the cut into the top 24 racers for grueling final elimination rounds. Anderson qualified with a time of 3:04.81 and Holt raced 3:47.25 to launch them both into quarterfinals. Anderson jumped to final rounds and then placed 12th. Holt leapt out of quarterfinals in 11th place.

Jack Steele, 14, just missed the cut to the top 24, with his time of 3:25.55 earning 25th place out of 63 racers. Marshall Opel, 17, competing in a large field of 94 racers, came in 31st in 3:12:51.

On Wednesday, Mar. 12, the racers competed in interval start freestyle races with three of the local racers placing in the top echelons of their age groups. Holt raced five kilometers for a 5th place finish, 24 seconds behind the winning skier and trailing the 4th place finisher by only four seconds. Both Opel and Anderson raced 10 kilometers with Opel finishing 13th in J1 boys and Anderson finishing 14th in OJ boys. Steele also raced five kilometers for a 22nd place finish in J2 boys.

The junior national championships continue on Friday and Saturday with the mass start classic race and freestyle relays.

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