Several Interior skiers were among the selections for Team Alaska for the U.S. Cross Country Skiing Junior National Championships and the Arctic Winter Games.
The selections were Monday by Cross Country Alaska and were based on results in the six-event Besh Cup Series, which ended Sunday with a mass-start classic technique race at the Government Peak Recreation Area near Palmer.
Sixty-six skiers in age groups under 16, U18 and U20 comprise Team Alaska for the junior nationals, scheduled for March 8-14 at the Auburn Ski Club Training Center in Soda Springs, California.
Twenty-one skiers in U14 to U18 groups will compete for Team Alaska at the Arctic Winter Games on March 15-21 in Whitehorse, Yukon.
The Alaska junior national contingent includes 17 skiers from the Interior.
The majority are from FXC, the junior racing and training program of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks.
The junior nationals-bound U16 skiers from the Interior are FXC’s Hannah Delamere, Abigail Haas, Hjelle Personius, Nicholas Buth, Elias Engman, Caleb Petersen and Ezra West.
The Interior skiers who will be representing Team Alaska in the U18 division in California are FXC’s Maggie Druckenmiller, Kendall Kramer, Mallory Presler, Dale Baurick, Josh Baurick, Luke Buth, Eric DiFolco and Jordan Laker-Morris.
Kramer, a West Valley High School senior, also races for the Team USA development squad. She earned the bronze medal in the women’s 5-kilometer classic race at the Youth Olympic Winter Games on Jan. 21 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Three skiers with connections to the Interior will be racing for Team Alaska in the U18 division at the Auburn Ski Club Training Center. The trio consists of FXC’s Maggie Whitaker; University of Alaska Fairbanks freshman Sarah Olson, from Blaine, Minnesota; and West Valley graduate Ari Endestad, who trains and races for the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center of Anchorage.
The Interior skiers who are set to compete on the trails at the Arctic Winter Games are FXC’s Ingrid Baurick, Zarah Laker-Morris, Nelson Hays and Kyle Fischer.
Baurick and Laker-Morris are U14 racers, and Hays and Fischer are U16 participants.
Nome’s Finn Hornfischer also is racing in the male U16 division in Whitehorse.
Besh Cup No. 6
Haas won Sunday in the U16 female 5K classic race on the Government Peak trails.
She completed the course in 16 minutes, 42.10.
Delamere placed sixth in 18:07.20 and Zarah Laker-Morris was 11th in 19:05.10.
Four FXC skiers placed in the top 10 in the 5K for U16 males.
Peterson came in fifth in 16:09.08, Nicholas Buth was seventh in 16:19.10, Engman finished in 16:20.80 for eighth place and West placed ninth in 16:21.40.
Kramer overall in 15:44.20 in the 5K female race for U18 and older skiers. She also came in first in 27:43 in a 10K free technique race Saturday for the same age groups.
Olson was seventh Sunday in 17:03.20, UAF teammate Sabe Robine, a redshirt sophomore from Rossland, British Columbia, placed 15th in 18:03.70. Whitaker and Pressler were 16th and 17th, respectively, in 18:07.70 and 18:09.20.
Forrest Mahlen, a former UAF skier who now competes for APUNSC, won Sunday in 26:52.10 in the men’s 10K classic for U18 and older racers.
Logan Mowry, a UAF redshirt freshman and former Lathrop High School skier, was fourth in 27:31.90.
Endestad came in seventh in 28:26.40 and DiFolco rounded out the top 10 in 28:35.10.
Complete results of Sunday’s race and this season’s Besh Cup Series are available at crosscountryalaska.org.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.
Correction: Nelson Hays is a U-16 skier for Arctic Winter Games. His name was incorrect in earlier versions of the story.