Durango Nordic Ski Club’s Katja Freeburn just missed getting a medal, taking 11th place Monday in the first race at the 2015 Cross County Junior Nationals in Truckee, California.
Freeburn was second in the qualifier for the freestyle sprint in the U16 division, and made it to the “B” group final before taking 11th, assistant Durango Nordic coach Paige Elliott said in an email to The Durango Herald on Tuesday. The top-10 finishers earn medals.
Four Durango women are competing as part of the Rocky Mountain Division team in the week-long event at the Auburn Ski Club tracks.
“It’s very warm here, and the conditions are really tricky,” Elliott said. “The trails start out super icy and then turn to slush as the day progresses. It’s pretty interesting.”
She said athletes are going light on clothing, some in T-shirts, and “sunscreen is an absolute must.”
After two training days, Monday marked the first race of the week. The U18/U20 skiers raced a 1.5-kilometer course, and the U16s raced a 1-kilometer course. All athletes raced a qualifying race, and the top-30 finishers moved onto the elimination rounds.
In the U18 race, Durango’s Avra Saslow fell on an icy corner in her qualifier and lost a lot of time, Elliott said. She finished 71st overall.
Anna Fake moved onto the next rounds in U18 with a 30th place finish in the qualifier. She raced one quarterfinal and placed 25th overall.
In U16, Marit May finished 51st in the qualifier.
The next race will be classic style on Wednesday, 5K for U16 and 10K for U18/U20.