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Junior Nationals
Last held at Soldier Hollow in 2007, all ten USSA divisions attend this weeklong event, with the best juniors competing for national titles and All American status.


JN Classic Interval Start

Peter HolmesTodays highlights are another 3rd place by Peter Holmes in the J2 boys 5k classic and a 6th place finish in the 10k OJ boys by Austin Meng.

Far West results:
5k OJ girls: Annika Taylor 13th, Melanie Swick 38th
5k J1 girls: Katrin Larusson 34th, Joelle Romo 50th, Laurel Fiddler 54th, Raylene Chew 62nd, Cassidy Cichowicz 81st
5k J2 girls: Amanda Kirkeby 35th, Skyler Flora 39th, Gabrielle Rinne 45th, Bria Riggs 50th, Danielle Nivinski 55th, Savannah Blide 57th, Camille Hartley 62nd
10k OJ boys: Austin Meng 6th
10k J1 boys: Patrick McElravey 23rd, Jordan McElroy 46th, Shane Christian 61st, Alex Kopytko 73rd, Branden Deeter 82nd, Joe Piercy 83rd
5k J2 boys: Peter Holmes 3rd, Dylan Syben 20th, Sam Zabell 33rd, Peter Carroll 36th, Julien Bordes 38th, Eli Yale 44th, Evan Vomund 53rd, Brandon Herhusky 54th

Classic Results

Tomorrow, the final day of competition at the 2012 Junior Nationals, is the Freestyle Relay Competition.

And the Fun Continues…

We have two races under our belts and two more to come. We have had a lot of great results these past two races and are looking forward to having many more in the upcoming races. The other night the athletes were left alone to come up with a team goal concerning Alaska Cup Points. We presented to the coaches our goal of getting top six and, most importantly, beating PNSA.

For as long as I can remember Far West and PNSA have been rivals. Every JN’s brings a variety of pranks and, more importantly, attempting to steal the other team’s flag. This year was no different from any other. Several years ago, we stole PNSA’s flag, kept it for a year, brought it back to JN’s in Presque Isle, and watched it get broken in half in a full on tug a war between the two teams. I guess PNSA thought it was time for some pay back.

Last year was surprisingly pretty quiet for PNSA and Far West. Neither flag was shown much and there were no pranks. This year is turning out to be a whole different story. Yesterday, without notice, Sam put our flag in the back of the trailer which was conveniently parked right in front of a loaded van of PNSA skiers. Needless to say they were pretty smug when they drove away with our flag waving out their window. It wasn’t until perhaps halfway home, that PNSA noticed that a Far West van was following them.

Our detour took us all the way across the valley to PNSA’s giant house where we parked in their driveway and asked if they’d be serving lunch anytime soon. Lucky for us, we had an awards ceremony that night and plenty more window markers. During the ice cream social, we had some of our J2 boys mark up a PNSA van with “Far West Far Best” everywhere. The PNSA kids were pretty fed up with this, so they continued on to take Dylan hostage in their van. He eventually made his way home and got his jacket back today.

We had just finished cleaning our kick wax off this morning when PNSA came marching into the stadium. Far West and PNSA flags both flapping in the breeze, Patrick took this fine opportunity and charged. Far West stood astounded as we watched Patrick sprint through the stadium and towards the parking lot after PNSA. When we finally caught up, Patrick was covered in mud triumphantly holding our ripped Far West flag. We drove away smiling and laughing past the PNSA van, still covered in Far West’s lovely work from the night before. We’re pretty confident that we’re beating PNSA in Alaska Cup Points right now and our next objective is getting PNSA’s flag, and keeping it.

First NCAA title!

The highlight of the day is a tie between Adam Zika, CU freshman, taking the NCAA Giant Slalom champion title and the three Buff alpine girls ALL placing in the top 10. First CU individual title of the week!! Hopefully not the last.

On the strength of their finish, CU moved into second after the girls alpine. For those of you who don’t follow college skiing, alpine and nordic are scored together, so our races are equally as important.

In an interview yesterday, the reporter asked if it was tough to carry all the load from our alpine team because the nordic team was stronger.
Me: Our nordic team is stronger?
Reporter: Yeah, so is it tough to carry all the pressure?
Me: I don’t think we are better…? Maybe more consistent.
Reporter: You are stronger scorers- has it ever bothered you?
Me: *blank stare* Um…. obviously not.

So, with girls alpine saving the day, we head into classic mass start day at the same time Junior Nationals does – WOOHOO!

PNSA retaliation

After I posted my last entry yesterday, Dylan walked in with an interesting story. He had been spending the day with his parents so he stayed at the social a little longer than the rest of us. He said that he was surrounded by PNSAs and taken hostage into one of their vans. There, he was told that they were going to piss in our van and they also took Dylan’s Far West jacket. This morning after training at the venue we mounted a retaliation. We went and found the PNSA van that we had vandalized last night. we were hoping that it would be unlocked and if it was, we were going to mace the interior with a spray can of Old Spice. Unfortunately, the van was locked. However, upon returning to our wax table, we found a group of PNSAs taunting our guys from a distance with the PNSA flag. Patrick and I pursued them, ending in a small skirmish. We eventually called a truce and got our own flag back, but it was completely soiled and had some male genitalia drawn on it. Another strike op has been organized, involving a freshly acquired can of shaving cream and their van at the venue tomorrow.

Skate mass start and flag-napping

Today was the skate mass start race. J2 boys got to go first and we got the best trails. There were a lot of crashes and broken equipment. I counted around five segments of broken poles on the course. Some of them were within the first kilometer, but one was about two feet from the finish line. I had a pretty good start. I was cut off by other racers a few times before I asserted my place more and began to be more aggressive. I made up a few places and caught some PNSA kids. Last night, we as a team made it our goal to be in the top six for Alaska Cup points as well as beat PNSA. Towards the top of the last huge climb, almost straight up the side of the valley and about 1/2 kilometer from the finish, I was dying. However, I had a PNSA skier right in front of me and Mary Ellen to yell at me. I managed to catch him and hold him off for the finish. Far West as a team had an excellent day and we made up significant ground in the Alaska Cup standings. I had a good race and had a lot of fun. After my race, I spent the rest of the time at the venue waving around my Far West flag, fashioned out of Alex’s torn wife-beater and a mop handle. which brings me to the second part of this post…

So as I mentioned, I spent a few hours waving a Far West Far Best flag; At one point, I came across the PNSA kids with their own flag. We critiqued each others banners. Later, as we were packing up to go home, I put the flag in the U-haul. Unfortunately, the PNSA kids ( no one told me that there was a flag-stealing war between us and them) were behind us and STOLE OUR FLAG. We chased them in our van all the way across Heber Valley to their house. They wouldn’t give the flag back, so we went home. As of now, operation Paint the Target is a go.


Operation Paint The Target was a huge success. At the midweek awards/ ice cream social, Peter C. and I sneaked out during the ice cream part of the gathering armed with glass-chalk for drawing on cars (washable). We found the PNSA van that stole our flag and completely covered it with “Far West”, “Far Best”, and a “We worship the mighty Far West”. Afterward, we went back to the party and talked to PNSA kids like nothing happened. Before leaving, all of our vehicles did a drive-by. All of the PNSAs were standing around outside their van looking at us. I am curious as to what their retaliation will be.

JN Freestyle Mass Start

The course was slick for today’s freestyle mass start competition. First to ski were the J2 boys and Peter Holmes took 3rd.

Far West Results
5k J2 boys: Peter Holmes 3rd, Dylan Syben 31st, Sam Zabell 35th, Julien Bordes 44th, Evan Vomund 46th, Eli Yale 48th, Peter Carroll 57th, Brandon Herhusky 59th
5k J2 girls: Skyler Flora 35th, Garielle Rinne 37th, Amanda Kirkeby 50th, Danielle Nivinski 53rd, Camille Hartley 54th, Savannah Blide 56th
10k J1 boys: Patrick McElravey 9th, Shane Christian 47th, Alex Kopytko 74th, Branden Deeter 80th, Joe Piercy 83rd
10k FJ1: Katrin Larusson 11th (10th USA), Laurel Fiddler 26th, Cassidy Cichowicz 47th, Raylene Chew 64th, Joelle Romo 74th
15k OJ boys: Austin Meng 9th (8th USA)
10k OJ girls: Annika Taylor 14th, Melanie Swick 30th

Freestyle Results

The Far West Nordic JN athletes have stated as their team goal placing in the top six and beating PNSA in Alaska Cup Points. They are ranked 6 after the first 2 races and comfortably ahead of PNSA.
Alaska Cup Points
after 2 races.

some Buff love out there

Rough day for my buffaloes out here in Montana on skate day. It is crystal blue skis and sunny at about twenty degrees, but somehow we didn’t post the results we were hoping for. Rune (our top Norwegian guy) and I led our stampede in fifth and sixth respectively, but when the scores were totaled at the end of the day, CU was sitting in fifth. Not the greatest for the team looking to defend our title, but we did our best. However, we are primarily (except for me, a pure skater) classic skiers.

We are donning our boots (these $10,000 monstrosities that are supposed to take the lactic acid out of our legs by doing a bunch of weird things with air pressure) in preparation to regroup and ride to war again.

And to my teammates on Far West? I will get you your flag back – I AM COMING FOR YOU, PNSA, and you know who I am.

Down Time

The past two days have been full of non-productivity when not on snow. Brandon H. and Evan are completely addicted to reality television. They have watched at least 9 total hours (seriously no exaggeration) of Storage Wars, Hoarders, Strange Addictions, and all sorts of other crap. Upstairs in the J1/OJ house, people are watching endless Disney Channel movies and shows. On the other hand, Peter C. and I make far better use of our time: Blackhawk Down and 3:10 to ‘Yuma. Today however we made fairly good use of our time. Myself and several others got up an hour early to ski earlier before going up to Utah Olympic Park, the site of the jumping hills, luge, skeleton, and bobsled courses, and the museum. We got to see a few of the Junior National nordic-combined athletes go off of the 64 meter hill before going to the top of the 128 meter hill and the ice courses. We even got to see a few skeleton competitors rip down the track. We then came back to the main house to eat and wax. How can it take 30 people over four hours to wax one pair of skis each with six different profiles?!?!?!. It took me 15 minutes…

Dear Peter,

I just Wanted to inform you your last post was very subpar. You aid that we arrived in Salt Lake, but actually we are in Park City. Also You spelled WICH like the one that melt if you put her in a jacuzzi. also you were very unthorough in every thing you talked about. When you talked about skiing you said “today we went skiing…” and that’s all. You could mention how the ski was or some words of wisdom from Ambrose. Overall, it sounded like a very intelligent child wrote it, However; I really enjoyed it and thought it was pretty good. I think you just need to hear the truth.

The sprint were really fun and enjoyable. The snow was very nice in the morning and then it became very slow in the afternoon. We came back to the house and almost everyone took a cold shower because i ran the jacuzzi and it wasted all the water, but my jacuzzi was not even warm. We then headed over to the food house and ate dinner, wich was very good. then we watched some biathlon and that was crazy. As the night went on we mosied our way back to the house and went to sleep

Classic Sprint

On Monday, Far West juniors, as well as skiers from nine other regions of the country competed in a classic sprint at Soldier Hollow, Utah, site of the 2002 Olympic Games. For results of today’s racing, you can check out Summit Timing’s website.

What you can’t see there is how fast the snow was this morning, how blue the sky, how amped up our athletes were, while they raced, but especially while their teammates were racing, how proud our first-year racers were of their skiing, how humbled our first-year athletes were by the fierce competition, how many different waxes our kick testers tried throughout the day, how many of our kids stayed at the race venue for hours after their day was over to cheer on their teammates, how hot it got in the California-like sun, how slow everyone’s skis got in the rapidly transforming snow, how bright red some of our boys’ faces burned due to insufficient sunblock–no, for that you’d have had to have been here.

Mass start skate races on Wednesday. Tomorrow we ski Wednesday’s 5km course, which is nearly the same as the Olympic course, altered by the lack of snow. More later.