Championship Season - U16

April 6, 2024
Championship Season - U16

The end of the ‘23/’24 season was a challenging time, with limited snow across New England and multiple championship weekends on the horizon. In the time between the last eastern cup and the final races of the season, the athletes put their heads down and did the necessary training to set themselves up for success. With no snow at Weston, this meant roller skiing, hill bounding, running, or traveling to locations with snow.

Thankfully, at the last minute, a seemingly unexpected snow storm rolled around and covered much of New England with the snow needed to successfully host Junior Nationals (JNs) in Lake Placid, U16 Championships (U16s) at Gore Mountain, and Eastern High School Championships (EHS) in Holderness. EMXC had athletes racing in each of these championship events, resulting in a very exciting few weeks! Read below for more details about U16s, JN’s, and EHS.

U16 Championships

U16 Championships were a fun and challenging weekend. A snow storm brought in new, sloppy snow, making for difficult skiing conditions and requiring athletes to be light and agile. Team MA was up for the challenge, as much of our training this winter has been in tricky conditions. This year, Team Massachusetts finished the weekend in fourth place overall behind VT, NH, and ME. The classic day was a great one for the team, as both the boys and girls finished third on the day behind VT and NH.

Course preview (Photo by Sarah Lampe)

Friday 5k Skate

After spending 5+ hours in the car on Friday, athletes hopped on course and began their warmups for the afternoon 5k race. For the boys, team MA placed 5 athletes in the top 26, including EMXC skiers Tor, Zach, and Nolan. Jasper, Lukas, Colin, Roman, and Eddie were not far back - taking spots in the top 53. This was a first-ever championship weekend for many of our U16s, and it was exciting to see all the athletes navigating a big weekend of racing. For the girls, Abby scored a 17th place finish and Keira, Avery, and Iris finished within 5 seconds of each other and all scored in the top 65.

Eddie tackling the downhill (Photo by Sarah Lampe)

Saturday AM Classic 5k Mass Start

A night to settle in at Gore Mountain allowed the athletes to be rested and ready to go for Saturday's mass start classic race. The boys placed 7 in the top 25 including Jasper, Zach, Nolan, Brendan, and Roman. Jasper was only 5 seconds away from a top 10 finish and Zach was close behind in 16th. Lukas and Eddie rounded out the top 35. Kay, Jacob, Lucas, Nathanael and Colin all had improvements from their races the day before! Tor was unable to race due to a sprained ankle. The girls were well-rested too, and we saw big jumps from many of the athletes. To name a few, we saw Abby in 13th place (a personal best), Avery with an amazing 35th place, and Iris with a personal best 53rd. Anneka and Keira skied most of the race together and pushed each other through a very challenging course to place in the top 60! Ulrika was motivated by her experience in Friday’s race, and came back strong in 69th place.

Nathaniel climbing up the hill (Photo by Sarah Lampe)

Saturday PM Skate Sprint

Athletes refueled and got ready for their second races of the day - skate sprints in wave starts with five skiers (one from each state) starting in heats every minute. Team Massachusetts showed off their speed and agility skills, with their best races yet. On the boys side, MA had 8 athletes in the top 33. Tor scored a podium finish; placing 3rd! Jasper was 8th, Roman was 22nd, Lukas and Nolan were 26th and 27th, and Eddie was 33rd. Kay demonstrated that his enthusiasm for grass-skiing speeds earlier that week paid off, and jumped up 2 places from his previous races! The girls side demonstrated the depth of team MA, as there were some new faces from MA representing the top of the field. We placed 6 athletes in the top 40, including Abby in 37th. Keira had a personal best result in 48th place.

Keira speedy on the downhill (Photo by Sarah Lampe)

Sunday Relay

Once again, relay day proved itself to be one of the most fun and eventful days as athletes raced and tagged off to their teammates. MA placed 3 teams in the top 15, proving the success that comes from working together as a team. Congratulations to everyone who participated in the U16 championships - the course and snow conditions were not for the faint of heart, and everyone gave their best!