Who's in the Burrow?

SBA and Far West Nordic Shine in Alaska

Hannah Halvorsen ('16) on the podium
(photo by Mark Nadell)
Sleepy Nords abound on campus today. 

Team Nordic returned last night from Junior Nationals in frigid Fairbanks, Alaska, having slept little the night before so that they could enjoy closing ceremonies and the northern lights that (finally!) made an appearance at roughly midnight on the team's very last night in town. They were up again at 4 am, making their move to the airport, having endured sub-zero temperatures and four days of high-pressure racing against the best competition in the country. Today, they were back in classes, having a hard time keeping their eyes open. 

For some, Junior Nationals was undoubtedly a learning experience, a humbling opportunity to learn how far they have to go still before they can hope to fulfill their lofty goals. 

For others, it was a chance to shine on the biggest stage available at their age. 

I wrote several weeks ago (click HERE) about the addition of J2 Hannah Halvorsen to our teaching, learning, and training community. Hannah was consistently among the top finishers in Fairbanks, her strongest finish coming in the skate sprint heats, where she placed third in the country. Perennial SBA powerhouse Katrin Larusson also had a third-place overall finish, hers coming in the 5K Freestyle on day one of racing. SBA second-year J2 Sam Zabell - teamed up with Dylan Syben and Julien Bordes of the Far West - helped his team to a fifth-place finish in the 3x3 Classic Relay race. 
Coaches Martin Benes and
Jeff Schloss with Halvorsen
(photo by Mark Nadell)
Mark Nadell and SBA Head
Nordic Coach Jeff Schloss

Congratulations to all the Fighting Marmot Nordic skiers and to the entire Far West team, which finished an impressive sixth overall at Junior Nationals this year and increased its final points total from 2012 by over 60 points. It was truly a team effort, with the coaches applying elbow grease all day at the waxing stands. 

Katrin Larusson ('13) on the podium
(photo by Mark Nadell)
Said trip leader Mark Nadell: "There is a ridiculous amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into an operation of this size, work that’s mostly unseen even by most of the athletes that are there, from hours and hours in the wax room, to the wax testers skiing kilometer after kilometer until their legs die, to late-night coaches meetings. 

"I’m really proud of our coaching crew of Ben, Jeff Schloss, Kara Lapoint, August Teague, Martin Benes, Holly Whitney, and Joel Chew for making all of this happen, Kelly Mcelravey for administrative help, and thanks also to the parents who came along for support, Stacy Bordes, Stacey Herhusky, Michelle Syben, and Janet Hardy. 

"I think we’ll remember this trip for a long time."