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Methow Valley Nordic Team Report
Makes podium in Spokane

photoHere is the U18 girls 10k skate podium with Ella in first, Claire in second and Olivia in 3rd. Photo by Claire Waichler.

The Methow Valley Nordic Team traveled to Spokane for the final Pacific Northwest Ski Association (PNSA) Junior Qualifier of the season this past weekend, Feb. 15 and 16. Five team members stood on the podium for top honors in spite of challenges posed by weather, equipment and the flu.

Saturday (Feb.15) was the classic individual race. The warm weather and lack of precipitation provided a challenge to skiers to find the right kick wax. The team made a strong showing with the following race results:

Taya Delong took 4th in the U16 girls 5km followed by Maya Seckinger in 6th place and Danielle Mott in 8th. In his first Nordic race, Eli Nielsen finished 8th in the competitive U16 boys 5km. In the U18 girl's 5k race, Olivia Ekblad led the field with a dominant win followed by Ella Hall in 2nd, Claire Waichler in 4th and Elise Putnam in 5th. In the men's 10k classic Paul Everett placed 3rd in the U18 category and Geza Sukovaty was 16th.

photo3k boys with Emerson Worrell in 1st, Jack McConagle from Bend in 2nd and Sam Schroderbeck from Bend in 3rd. Photo by Claire Waichler

MVNT skiers made a good showing on Sunday in the individual skate race, a strong suit for this team. .

In the girl’s U16 5k, Seckinger, placed 2nd, only 2 seconds out of 1st. Taya Delong was right behind her in 3rd and Danielle Mott was 7th. The U18 ladies raced a 10k skate and manage a sweep with the top three slots with Hall placing 1st, Waichler 2nd and Ekblad 3rd. Stomach flu kept Nielsen out of the boys 5k race.

The boy's 15km skate had its own challenges as Paul Everett first had to borrow Seckinger's skis having left his at the hotel. On the race course he broke a ski when he hit a tree. Everett borrowed a ski from a bystander and then switched to teammate Putnam's ski at the next lap. Undaunted, Everett came away with the fastest time of the day on the 15km course. Geza Sukovaty placed 15th in the U18 men's field.

PNSA Junior National Team results were announced at the end of the event. Ekblad, Hall, Waichler, Delong and Seckinger will travel with couch Leslie Hall to compete in four events at Stowe Vermont. Putnam will be competing in the National Guard biathlon Championships in Jericho Vermont and Everett will be competing in the World Junior Biathlon Championships in Presque Isle, Maine.


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