News & Stories
A Beautiful Last Weekend of Skiing
Photo: Craig Lovold
More than 300 skiers gathered at Theodore Wirth Park for the 2015 Midwest Junior Championships & Festival. Athletes came from Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Winnipeg, Manitoba, with 27 clubs represented.
The weekend kicked off with classic style team sprint relays under the lights on Friday night. 33 teams competed. With temperatures hovering around 30, it was a great night for racing.
Saturday morning saw sun and warmer temperatures. The day began with stirring renditions of Oh Canada and the Star Spangled Banner. Skiers started the day with individual start classic style distance races, with the U14 (12 and 13 year old) boys and girls being the biggest categories. The day continued with the Fish Scale Frenzy (kids with fish scale skis competing against each other), the Age Gap Relays (adult-child relays based on the age and gender of the child), and Festival Events like Paintball Biathlon. By the time the day was done spring was in full bloom . . .
Sunday picked up right where Saturday left off. The day started with mass start skate races by age group, with the U16 kids going first. The big races were in the U14 and U12 divisions, where the skiers were competing for the overall championship in the CXC Youth Cup and, for the U14 kids, a chance to go to Dream Camp in July. In the end, James Schneider edged out his Loppet Nordic Racing teammate Joe Lynch to win the overall title for U14 boys, with Saint Paul Academy’s Peter Moore taking third. On the girls side, Anabel Needham of the Copper County Ski Tigers in Houghton, Michigan swept the weekend, but ended up one point shy of Kasia Bednarski, who had a second and a third place on the weekend – just enough to take the overall title. Tori Weier of the Iola Winter Sports Club in Amherst, Wisconsin took third for the season.
In the U12 category, Minneapolis’ Sudie Hall edged her Fast Kids teammate Etta Leugers by one second in the final skate race to win the day and overtake Leugers in the final standings by two points. Grace Ping of Winona’s Skiwerx Club finished just four points back in third, after falling at the start of the race and finishing fourth on the day. On the boys side, Caden Albrecht scored a perfect 180 points in the Series, having won the two Midwest Championships events and two prior events (best four events count). Caden was the first of four Fast Kids skiers, sweeping the podium in the U12 boys category. He was followed by Victor Sparks and Stas Bednarski.
The weekend finished with Mixed Relays and SkiCross – and then lots of melting as temperatures soared into the upper-40s as the day went on. The perfect day to end the 2015 ski season!
Photo: Edward Eroe