Who's in the Burrow?

SBA Nordic Team Dominant in First Junior Nationals Qualifier

The following report of Marmot mastery of snow and skis comes courtesy of Nordic Coaches Schloss and Tuscano...

Bria Riggs (photo by Mark Nadell)
"The snow was only 4 inches deep on the trails of Auburn Ski Club on December 28 for the first Junior National Qualifier (JNQ) race of the 2011-2012 season, but this did not stop the SBA Nordic team from turning in some remarkable performances in the classic sprint race.
"Every SBA J1 and J2 had a qualifying time in the 1.2K preliminary round. There are three more JN qualifiers and these athletes who qualified in this first race only need to qualify in one more of the qualifiers to make the Far West Team for the 2012 Junior National Championships which will be held in Soldier Hollow Utah, March 5-12th. 

"The format for the JNQ race included a 1.2-kilometer preliminary loop with each athlete racing against the clock. Next, athletes were ranked by their preliminary race times and the top 20 women and the top 20 men raced in 4-person head to head heats. The top 2 from each heat advanced to a semifinal heat of six racers and then the top two from each semifinal advanced to the final. 

"Junior National qualifying was based on the preliminary round only and the Fighting Marmots came out fast. Bria Riggs had the fastest time of all the women followed closely by Katrin Larusson, Cassidy Cichowicz, Laurel Fiddler, Joelle Romo, Savannah Blide, Danielle Nivinski, and Camille Hartley for an SBA sweep of the top 8 places! SBA senior Kelly Habibi qualified in 11th place and J3 racer Olivia Jeffrey was outside the qualifying cut off but skied strong in 19th place.

"In the men’s qualifying round, Joe Piercy had a breakout race with the 8th fastest overall and second fastest junior time. Joe was followed by Sam Zabell in 13th with the fastest J2 time and by Peter Carroll in 20th; all three of these guys easily made the JN qualifying standard. J3s Skyler Mullings and Trent Hommeyer raced strong against the field of older racers placing 28th and 37th respectively.

"In the women’s heats it was again SBA dominating the field again, with the overall win going to Katrin Larusson, with Laurel Fiddler in second, and Cassidy Cichowicz in third. Bria Riggs finished 4th and was the top J2 while Joelle Romo, Danielle Nivinski, and Camille Hartley swept the top spots of the “B” final for places 7-9.

"The men’s heats were highly competitive with several strong college racers and a member of the US ski team and the Canadian Development team on hand to mix it up with the Far West juniors. SBA graduate Austin Meng had one of the best sprint races of his life, taking 3rd while Sam Zabell placed 9th and Joe Piercy 11th.

"All in all it was an extremely strong day for SBA and sets the stage for what looks to be an awesome year for the Nordic squad. Now if it would just start snowing…