Henson leads Nordic ski team in Idaho

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Glacier Nordic Ski Teamís Jacob Henson, far right, begins the 3K race in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Four members of the Glacier Nordic Ski Team traveled to Sun Valley, Idaho, the weekend of Jan. 27 and 28 to compete in the second Intermountain Junior National Qualifier.

Jacob Henson, Ruedi Steiner, Barrett Garcia and Winslow Nichols participated in a skate sprint race of 1.2 kilometers and subsequent heats of the same course on Saturday followed by a classic mass start distance race on Sunday of 3-kilometer and 5-kilometer depending on the age group.

Racing in the U14 age group, Garcia had a strong finish in 10th place in the sprint on Saturday closely followed by Steiner in 12th place, only 9 seconds back from Garcia. Nichols finished 39rd in the U16 age group, barely missing the subsequent heats as only the top 30 go into head-to-head competition. Henson finished third in his first race of the day qualifying him for the U14 finals in which the top six raced the course again in a head-to-head format. While some of his competition gained or lost places from their qualifier race, Henson stayed strong and consistent and finished in third place in a close heat to give him a bronze medal on the day.

Sundayís race was met with clear skis and ever-changing conditions as temperatures gained over 10 degrees from the start of the youngest age groups at 10 a.m. to the conclusion of the oldest racers finishing around noon. Steiner skied to a personal best of 12th in the distance classic race in the U14 race while Nichols finished 37th against some tough competition in the U16 age group. Garcia did not race due to sickness. Henson battled Phineas Fischer, a strong skier from Bridger Ski Foundation, around the 3K course, making his move on the final climb of the course to finish with a decisive win of almost 10 seconds. This is Hensonís first victory of the season at a regional race.

The skiers will spend the next weekend resting and refocusing before the final qualifier in McCall, Idaho.

Results

U14 Freestyle Sprint

3. Jacob Henson 3:27.7

10. Barrett Garcia 3:53.5

12. Ruedi Steiner 4:02.7

U16 Freestyle Sprint

39. Winslow Nichols 4:00.2

U14 Classic 3K Mass Start

1. Jacob Henson 10:20.7

12. Ruedi Steiner 12:14.4

U16 Classic 5k Mass Start

37. Winslow Nichols 19:11.2

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