Durango Nordic skiers battled bone-chilling conditions to collect national honors - including a national title - at the U.S. Cross Country National Championships last week in Anchorage, Alaska.
Tad Elliott of the Durango Nordic Ski Team won the national U23 title in a 10K in Alaska, where skiers battled sub-zero temperatures throughout the week.
Two races were canceled because of the bitter cold. The international limit for Nordic competition is minus-4 Fahrenheit; no races can be held if the temperature is 4 below or colder.
In the 10K that was held, Elliott was the first U23 skier, the seventh American and ninth overall finisher.
With his finish, Elliott, 20, was selected for the U.S. World Cup Team that will compete next week in Canada.
Elliott also was selected to represent the U.S. in European competitions later this month.
He'll travel to Le Praz de Lys, France, for the World U23 Championships.
Teammate Alicia Rose Pastore of the Durango Nordic Team also was selected to represent the U.S. in international competition.
Pastore, 15, will compete in the Nordic Junior Championships for Scandinavian countries (and the U.S.) in Norway at the end of January.
Pastore placed sixth in the junior class (ages 14-17) at the Alaska national championship event. She was 65th overall. A J2 skier, Pastore competed against J1 skiers (16-17).
Six skiers from Durango competed in the Senior National Cross Country Championships in Anchorage.
Paige Elliott, 17, finished 10th in the J1 category, 77th overall.
Elena Breed, 16, was 38th in the J1 field.
Rogan Brown, 17, was 11th in the J1 class, 118th overall.
Lars Ellefson, 19, was 50th in the junior class, 142nd overall.
"Durango skiers did great against our nation's best cross country skiers," said Josh Dalley, Durango Nordic head coach.
"I'm proud that we have two Durango skiers representing the United States in international competitions."