The Methow Valley Sports Trails association and the Methow Valley Nordic team hosted the 2009 Race of the Methow and J3 Championships on February 7th and 8th in Winthrop, Washington. This race series served as the 3rd and 4th junior national qualifying races for the Pacific Northwest Division. Saturday’s event was a Skate Sprint and Sunday’s event was a dual start 10km, 5km or 3.3km Classic Distance race.
BNT skiers, Pat Madden and Isabel Smith won the Saturday’s Sprint Competition which was held on a newly designed 1km course at Liberty Bell High School. The trails were technical with hard climbs including one called the “Devil’s Staircase.” Sunny skies and fast, transformed snow made the tight and curvy descents challenging. The new trail system was designed to provide training opportunities for individuals who may chose to live in the Methow Valley during pre-Olympic years.
According to Smith, “The sprints were really exciting and the course was super fun. I felt like dynamite! Adrenaline kept me excited and fast until the last stretch then I just had to push through until the finish.”
Madden said, “The course was challenging and I was able to push myself hard.”
Danny Coil was in second position going in to the J1/OJ boys quarterfinal and then suffered a dislocated shoulder. Coil finished the race, but did not advance to the semifinals.
Ben Husaby, coach for the BNT made a guest appearance in the sprint races, placing 2nd overall.
According to Husaby, “Pat, Joe, Kelly and Bella took their successes from the sprints at Soldier Hollow and demonstrated their savvy in the PNSA JOQ at the Methow. But the real surprise was the mettle of Danny Coil- popping his shoulder out in the sprint race and coming back the next day in the classic fighting for a qualifying result despite crashing again and finishing with one arm! The BNT skiers were simply amazed at his determination. “
Vivian Hawkinson, Chase Ricker, Teddy Widmer and Ryan Smallwood represented BNT in the J3 Championships with Hawkinson placing 5th in the J3 girls Sprint.
The following BNT skiers secured Junior Olympic Qualifying Results:
Joe Madden, Pat Madden, Kelly Crowther, Brandon Roadman, Darragh Hildreth, Michael Widmer, Danny Coil, Reitler Hodgert, Isabel Smith and Kelly Smallwood.
Other highlights of the trip included skiing in the moonlight on the Methow Valley Community Trails, attending a local high school basketball game, and spotting over 50 eagles on the drive up and down highway 20.
For complete results visit: http://www.mvsta.com/winter/results.html
For photos from the weekend visit:http://curthawkinson.smugmug.com/Nordic/691466