Cross country skiers Moses Lurbur, Kieran Ringel, and Julia Burnham of the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club (LWSC) skied qualifying times for Junior Nationals last weekend at Mt. Spokane. They will join Nathan Wells, Ivy Spiegel Ostrom, and Lydia Youkey and head to Stowe, Vermont, the first week of March as part of the PNSA Junior National team. There they will train and compete in four races over an 8-day period. Building on success from last year, this is the largest team LWSC has ever taken to Junior Nationals.
Fourteen skiers competed for LWSC at Mt. Spokane, with 11 reaching the podium, including Quentin Farrell in the U10 age group, Stella Johnson, Rory Swoboda, and Jerome Jerome in U12, Hadassah Lurbur in U14, Moses Lurbur, Ivy Spiegel Ostrom, and Kieran Ringel in U16, Nathan Wells and Julia Burnham in U18, and Becca Wells in U20.
The previous weekend, as the Olympic Games began in Sochi, nine cross country skiers from the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club competed on the 2002 Olympic venue trails in Soldier Hollow, Utah. There they raced in a Superqualifier against the fastest Nordic skiers from all the western states, from five of the ten USSA national divisions, and 685 competitors. Becca Wells, Blakely Browne, Julia Burnham, Nathan Wells, Daniel Tveten, Ivy Spiegel Ostrom, Lydia Youkey, Kieran Ringel, and Moses Lurbur boarded a plane in Seattle on Thursday morning, bound for Salt Lake City.
They scouted the race course Thursday afternoon, alongside the Olympic rings, and were back Friday morning to compete in a 1.3 km classic technique sprint race. Lydia (1st place) and Ivy (21st place) posted top 30 qualifying times in the U16 age category to make it into the quarterfinals, and head-to-head competition with five other racers in their brackets. Lydia won her quarter final and semifinal heats, and took second in the “A” finals, out of 85 girls in her age bracket.
Coach Marcy Ostrom said, “It was great fun to see the kids on such a glamorous Nordic stage. Lydia was such an inspiration to watch as she charged to the front of the pack, powered up the huge climb as though it was nothing, and swept down the into the stadium time and time again in her classic sprint heats. Beautiful!”
Ivy placed 4th in her quarterfinal heat, but did not advance. Lydia and Ivy, as well as Blakely and Nathan, earned qualifying times for the day against the other Pacific Northwest Ski Association skiers in their bid to make the PNSA Junior National team.
On Saturday they raced skate technique on the 5 km Olympic course, with the younger U16 skiers doing 1 lap, Becca and Julia doing 2 laps, and Blakely, Nathan, and Daniel 3 laps. Blakely and Nathan said this was the hardest race they’ve ever done, having to go up the steep and long Hermod’s Hill 3 times. In this very competitive field, Lydia placed 8th, Nathan 17th, Ivy 21st, Moses 43rd, Kieran 48th, Julia 50th, Daniel 55th, Blakely 58th, and Becca 7th. Lydia, Ivy, Nathan, and Moses, earned Junior National qualifying times against the other PNSA skiers, with impressive finishes of 1st, 2nd, 2nd, and 4th, respectively. The Utah race results fully qualified Lydia, Ivy and Nathan for the Junior National team.