A pair of Durango boys will get a chance to race each other at the national championships, while one Durango girl will gladly accept an alternate spot to get her chance to race at the biggest event of the year.
The Durango Nordic Ski Club visited Vail for the final Junior National Qualifier of the Rocky Mountain Nordic season. After the event, Wiley Corra and Logan Moore learned they had qualified for this year’s U.S. Ski & Snowboard Cross-Country Junior National Championships to be held March 3-10 at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Utah. The two boys will compete in the 16-and-under age division.
Marit May of Durango was named an alternate for the under-20/under-18 girls division. A girl who qualified in front of her won’t make the trip, so she will get to race.
“Our athletes finished the JNQ circuit with some really strong performances,” Durango Nordic head coach Evan Elliott said in an email to The Durango Herald.
“Now, the team is planning on taking advantage of the new snow in Durango to get some quality training in before we send our three athletes to nationals.”
The final JNQ was held Feb. 10-11 at the course in Minturn. Fresh snow falling on the course made conditions tougher to navigate and wax selection key.
Moore claimed the bronze medal in a race that featured four laps on a technical 2.5-kilometer course. Corra was right behind Moore in fourth place. Noah Bodewes raced in the under-18/under-20 division and finished 18th.
May skied two laps of the course in the girls race, and she finished 12th.
Carter Reiter of Durango was 18th.
In the under-16 girls race, Ruth Holcomb finished ninth, and Kristina Bodewes was 23rd.
The 14-and-under and 12-and-under skiers completed one lap on the course. In the under-14 girls race, Halle Moore finished fourth and Maggie Holcomb was eighth.
In the under-14 boys race, Fred Carter was 18th, Tanner Coddington skied to 22nd and Zach Ottman placed 27th.
Andre Craig led Durango in the under-12 boys race in 14th.
Young Betty Holcomb was golden once again in the under-10 girls race, as she skied a 1K course smoothly to claim another win.
“Saturday was definitely a race that favored the mentally tough,” said Durango Nordic assistant head coach Paige Elliott.
“It was wet, it was cold, and the snow was accumulating so quickly it was difficult not to trip over it while skiing.
“Our athletes didn’t feel sorry for themselves, though, and turned in some really strong finishes.”
The classic races held Sunday were competed on the same course as Saturday’s. Sub-zero temperatures made for a frigid morning, but the clouds departed for a perfect day in the snow under blue skies.
Betty Holcomb added a silver medal to her collection in the under-10 girls race.
Corra and Logan Moore also reached the podium, as Moore took silver and Corra earned bronze.
May was 14th in her Sunday race, and Carter Reiter was 21st.
In the under-16 girls race, Ruth Holcomb had her best finish of the season in sixth. Kristina Bodewes was 23rd.
Kiri May also skied to sixth in the under-12 girls race in a strong effort after a recent recovery from an illness.
Halle Moore rolled to eighth in the under-14 girls race.
Maggie Holcomb placed 11th, and Ruby May finished 14th.
Fred Reiter placed 16th among under-14 boys. Coddington was 22nd and Ottman was 25th.
Andre Craig placed 21st for Durango in the under-12 boys race, and Andre Craig was 21st in the under-12.