Three members of the Glacier Nordic Ski Team traveled to McCall, Idaho, last weekend to compete in the third and final Intermountain Junior National Qualifier of the season.
Jacob Henson, Ruedi Steiner and Barrett Garcia participated in a classic sprint race of 1 kilometer and subsequent heats of the same course on Saturday followed by a skate interval start distance race on Sunday of 3 kilometers.
Racing in the U14 age group, Garcia finished seventh in his first race of the day, Henson came across the line with the second fastest time of the morning. Steiner had a strong finish in 13th place, narrowly missing the U14 finals in which the top 12 raced the course again in a head to head format. Henson and Garcia raced in heats of six skiers, their finishes in the heats becoming their final place on the day. Henson faced a tightly matched group and came across the line in third and Garcia raced well in his first ever sprint heat finishing eighth on the day.
Sunday’s 3K skate race was a test of the athletes’ self motivation and pacing as each skier had an individual start time, 15 seconds apart from one another making the leader of the race unknown until all the athletes in the age group had crossed the finish line. Garcia skied to a great finish of 12th in the distance classic race in the U14 race, only 10 seconds behind was Steiner who finished in 14th. Henson started first in the age group and skied the entire 3K without seeing another racer, finishing with a fast time that earned him second place for the day.
The skiers will spend the next week resting and refocusing before their final regional competition of the season in Jackson Hole for the Intermountain Youth Championships where 16 members of the Glacier Nordic Ski Team are planning to compete in a series of races against athletes from ski teams throughout the region.
U14 Classic Sprint
3. Jacob Henson 3:04.92b
8. Barrett Garcia 3:15.27
13. Ruedi Steiner 3:32.51
U14 Skate 3k Interval Start
2. Jacob Henson 10:49.2
12. Barrett Garcia 11:39.0
14. Ruedi Steiner 11:49.7