When BSF Nordic skiers arrived at the U.S. Junior Nationals in Truckee, California, last week they didn’t know that their championships would be cut abruptly short by COVID-19. They prepared for four intense races stretched over six days, with the best junior in the country vying for top results.
It started out good, with five top 15 results and two skiers in the top 10. Seth Wyatt took 15th in the interval-start 10K classic for the U20 age group, and Georgianna Fischer took 34th for U18 women. In the U16 5K classic race, teammates Phineas Fischer took 10th, with Max Kluck five seconds behind him in 15th.
When the team returned to the race course for the Freestyle sprint qualifiers, they had no idea it would be their last race of the championships, and the last race of the season. Four out of seven BSF skiers made it from the qualifying sprints into the elimination heats. Seth Wyatt had the fifth fastest qualifying time in the morning, and went on to ski through the quarterfinals, semis, and the B final, finishing 12th overall among U20 men. Cale Woods had an impressive day of heats as well, finishing 11th for U18 men. And Max Kluck, who also sat in fifth after the qualifiers, took 10th overall at the end of the day.
“Many of our athletes had personal best races at Junior Nationals,” said Andrew Morehouse, BSF Nordic Program Director. The day after the sprint races, as COVID-19 cancellations began to ripple across the country and U.S. Ski & Snowboard took action to cancel all upcoming events, the race organizers made the difficult decision to halt the championships mid-stride. While Morehouse says he knew that there were more top results to come from his team and they were all disappointed, “I was incredibly proud of the positivity and flexibility these athletes showed in the face of this global pandemic.”
Congratulations to all these skiers for representing BSF so well last week: Emma White, Cale Woods, Paige Coletta, Phineas Fischer, Georgianna Fischer, Max Kluck, and Seth Wyatt.
Seth Wyatt 15th U20 27:24
Cale Woods 69th U18 29:18
Georgianna Fischer 34th U18 16:11
Emma White 71st U18 16:57
Phineas Fischer, 10th U16 14:30
Max Kluck 15th U16 14:35
Max Kluck, 10th U16
Phineas Fischer 17th U16
Georgianna Fischer 19th U18
Paige Coletta 59th U18
Emma White 66th U18
Cale Woods 11th U18
Seth Wyatt 12th U20