Lucy Kelley going up the first steep hill in her skate sprint qualifier race in the U18 age group (16 and 17 year olds) Dec 18 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
BY DINA PESENSON
Southwest Nordic Ski Club
Lack of snow to train on during the early season was not a problem for Southwest Nordic Ski Club’s (SWNSC) junior ski team! Being creative with dryland training and a short Thanksgiving camp had paid off well for the team at the season’s first race Dec 18-19.
The SWNSC junior nordic team is part of the Rocky Mountain Nordic (RMN) region and participates in Junior National Qualifier (JNQ) races for the region. December 18-19 was the first JNQ race of the 2021-22 racing season hosted by Aspen Valley Ski Club. The weekend consisted of two days of racing with sprint skate technique races on Saturday and distance classic technique races on Sunday.
The team has been bringing more and more skiers to JNQ races over the past 5 years and this weekend had its biggest group yet with 13 skiers in the events, on par with more established nordic team programs like Durango and Crested Butte. For four of the skiers it was their very first JNQ race and yet the group posted impressive results including 10 podium spots across multiple age groups and personal bests across the board. Below are photos with captions from the event. Full results can be found here. Next up for SWNSC junior nordic team are U14 events in Crested Butte, CO Jan 15-16th and second JNQ race of the season held at Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby, CO on Jan 22-23.
Samantha Baily going up the last hill into the finish of the 2.5km classic race for the U12 age group (10 and 11 year olds) Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo.
Oliver Saenz finishing strong in the classic race on Sunday in his first JNQ event. Oli raced in the U10 age group (8 and 9 year olds) and narrowly missed 3rd place while his teammates Luke Gibson and Quanah Moseley were 1st and 2nd. The three boys are excited for a chance at a U10 podium sweep at the next race Jan. 22-23. Courtesy photo
Adis Bock (center in tie dye top) competing in a skate sprint heat for the U14 (12 and 13 year olds) age group Dec 18. This was Adis’s first JNQ event and first race after a foot injury. Courtesy photo
Ana Saenz on her way to 3rd place in her skate sprint heat of the U14 age group Dec 18 in Aspen, Colo. This was Ana’s first JNQ event. Courtesy photo
Diego Leonard leading the U12 classic distance race right off the start and with great form, Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Diego took 1st place in U12 boys both days. Courtesy photo
Luke Gibson finishing the U10 skate sprint with a commanding lead on the field followed by his teammate Quanah Moseley in 2nd place. Courtesy photo
Diego Leonard (right) and Levi Gibson (2nd from right) taking the lead right off the start in the fastest skate sprint heat in the U12 age group. The boys went on to get 1st and 2nd place in the U12 age group both days. Courtesy photo
Mila Moseley (bib 241) and Madalyn Baily (bib 242) lined up at the start of the fastest heat of the U14 skate sprint race. The girls took 2nd and 6th place respectively in the skate sprint qualifier earning them spots in the top heat together Dec 18 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Madalyn Baily going up the first hill in the U14 classic distance race on Dec 19. Madalyn lost her pole tip at the start of the race but managed to ski with great technique and a good result despite the significant handicap this gave her and the disappointment of having this happen in a classic race, which is a particular strength of hers. Courtesy photo
Quanah Moseley going up the last hill of the classic race for the U10 age group. Quanah took 2nd place on both days in the U10 age group. Courtesy photo
Lucy Kelley competes in the U18 5k classic race on Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Ajla Bock’s (2nd from right, pink hat) first ever JNQ race was the skate sprint qualifier on Dec 18 in Aspen, Colo.. Not only did Ajla’s qualifier time got her into the top sprint heat of the U12 girls but she managed to hang on to a much more experienced group through the entire race. Here she is right in the mix coming up the last hill to the finish line. Courtesy photo
Mila Moseley double poling to 2nd place in the U14 classic race on Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Zach Gibson (bib 196) racing in the U14 classic individual start catching and passing multiple skiers who started before him, Sunday Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Madalyn Baily (bib #242) catching and passing racers in her skate sprint qualifier. Madalyn placed 6th and made it into the fastest heat of the U14 age group. Courtesy photo
Ana Saenz in her first JNQ, racing in the U12 distance classic race on Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo.
Levi Gibson skiing fast to 2nd place in the U12 classic race on Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo.
Adis Bock double poling hard in the U14 classic race on Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Luke Gibson skiing confidently to first place in the U10 boys classic race on Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Ajla Bock in her first JNQ race, lunging across the finish line in the distance classic race for the U12 (10 and 11 year olds) age group Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Southwest Nordic team’s Diego Leonard in 1st and Levi Gibson in 2nd place and a Crested Butte’s team skier in 3rd place on the U12 classic podium on Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Samantha Baily skiing to 2nd place in her skate sprint heat in the U12 age group Dec 19. Courtesy photo
Zach Gibson and Adis Bock happy at the finish line of their U14 classic races on Dec 19. Courtesy photo
Southwest Nordic team’s U10 boys, from left, Oliver Saenz, Quanah Moseley, Luke Gibson happy at the finish line of their skate races on Dec 18 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Southwest Nordic team skiers Luke Gibson in 1st and Quanah Moseley in 2nd and a Crested Butte’s Nordic team skier in 3rd on the U10 skate sprint podium Dec 18 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Zach Gibson (far right in red) in a tight heat in the U14 boys skate sprint Dec 18 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Mila Moseley, right, skating to 2nd place in the U14 girls sprint final on Dec 18 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo
Southwest Nordic team U14 girls, from left, Ana Saenz, Madalyn Baily and Mila Moseley)lined up before their individual start classic races on Dec 19 in Aspen, Colo. Courtesy photo.
SWN Ski team racers jumping for joy with Coach Kyle Beling and Coach Clay Moseley at the end of a successful weekend at the first Junior Nordic Qualifier race of the 2021-22 season. Courtesy photo