Author: Jason Hettennabugh
Several Rochester area athletes qualified to compete at regional and national level competitions this season. Nationally, U.S.S.S. Junior Nationals is the pinnacle of junior racing. Junior Nationals bring athletes from across 10 divisions which span the U.S from New England to Alaska. This year’s competition took place at the storied trails of the Birch Hill Recreation Area in Fairbanks Alaska.
Representing the greater Rochester area and Team Mid-Atlantic were Gordon Fagan, Braden Bellizzi, Reid Smith, Emelia Jordan and Molly Heinzelman. Athletes competed in three individual events: a freestyle sprint, classic individual, and freestyle mass start. It was an amazing opportunity to travel to such an iconic venue and location all while racing the best junior athletes in the U.S. Looking forward to the 2024 Junior National Championship which will be held in Lake Placid NY. Results, replays and other info from this year’s championship can be found at: https://jn2023fairbanks.org/
Regionally, the Eastern High School Championships offers athletes an opportunity similar to Junior Nationals but on a regional stage. Athletes represent their state at this competition. 5 states including NY, NH, ME, MA, and VT compete. Representing the greater Rochester area and Team NY were Gabrielle Spyra, Marianne Spyra, Jenna Stainken, Sydney Frank, Drew Larsen, Paul Pippin, Henry Burke, Andrew Cole, Dillon Frank, Nathaniel Burke, and Amer Armbruster. This year’s competition took place at the Rikert Touring center in Middlebury VT. These athletes were able to use this year’s EHSC event to learn and hopefully motivate each other to represent team Mid-Atlantic next year at Junior Nationals! Results can be found at: https://www.bullitttiming.com/events/EHS-2023
Local juniors now set their sights on summer training and next year’s ski season. As the saying goes, “skiers are made in June, July and August” so find a group of like-minded athletes and spend some time on roller skis this summer.