FIS Ju­nior/u23 Nordic World Cham­pi­onships

U.S.A. Wins Three Medals The 2018 FIS Ju­nior and U23 Nordic World Cham­pi­onships were held in Goms, Switzer­land from Jan. 29-Feb. 3. The Cham­pi­onships were hotly con­tested by all coun­tries, in­clud­ing the typ­i­cal favourites of Nor­way, France, Rus­sia and hos

SkiTrax - - Contents - by Noah Simms

Day One – Jan. 29

The ju­nior women’s freestyle sprint kicked off the Cham­pi­onships with the U.S.A.’S Han­nah Halver­son fin­ish­ing eighth as the top North Amer­i­can, be­hind Moa Lund­gren of Swe­den, who took the win. Nor­way’s Kris­tine Stavaas Sk­istad and Swe­den’s Frida Karls­son rounded out the podium for sec­ond and third. The top Cana­dian fin­isher was Han­nah Me­hain of Sov­er­eign Lake Nordic in 29th.

In the ju­nior men’s race, Canada’s Gra­ham Ritchie claimed 12th, with the U.S.A.’S Gus Schu­macher in 19th. Tom Mancini of France won over Jo­er­gen Lip­pert of Nor­way, with Valerio Grond of Switzer­land in third.

The U23 sprints fol­lowed as Canada’s Laura Leclair fin­ished 15th in the women’s event won by Nor­way’s Tiril Udnes Weng. Nadine Fäh­n­drich of Switzer­land fin­ished sec­ond in front of the home crowd, as Natalia Nepryaeva of Rus­sia rounded out the podium in third. Lau­ren Jort­berg was the top Amer­i­can, plac­ing 22nd.

Nor­way swept the men’s U23 sprint with Erik Valnes on the top step, fol­lowed by team­mates Jan Thomas Jenssen and Even Northug. Canada’s Ri­card Izquierdo-bernier fin­ished 40th, with Bill Harmeyer the top Amer­i­can in 46th.

Day Two – Jan. 30

The fol­low­ing day held the ju­nior Clas­sic events. In the women’s 5km race, Hai­ley Swirbul claimed a his­toric sil­ver medal for the U.S.A., be­com­ing the high­est-placed Amer­i­can skier at the FIS Nordic Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onships. Rus­sia’s Polina Nekrasova won the gold, fin­ish­ing 14.4 sec­onds over Swirbul, with Fin­land’s Anita Korva in third. The top Cana­dian fin­isher was Natalie Hynes in 36th.

Jon Rolf Skamo Hope of Nor­way took the win in the men’s 10km Clas­sic over Rus­sian Sergey Ar­da­shev and fel­low Nor­we­gian Lip­pert. Ben Og­den of the U.S.A. led the North Amer­i­cans, fin­ish­ing in sev­enth, while the top Cana­dian was An­toine Cyr in 12th, fin­ish­ing at 1:07:7 be­hind the leader.

Day Three – Jan. 31

Rac­ing con­tin­ued the next day with Canada’s Kather­ine Ste­wart-jones the top North Amer­i­can, plac­ing 29th in the U23 women’s 10km Clas­sic race at 3:07 be­hind win­ner Yana Kir­pichenko of Rus­sia.

In the men’s 15km Clas­sic, Nor­way’s Mat­tis Sten­sha­gen took the win over Rus­sian team­mates De­nis Spitsov and Ivan Yakimushkin. The top North Amer­i­can was Canada’s Alexis Du­mas fin­ish­ing 31st, with Amer­i­can Ian Torchia right be­hind in 32nd.

Day Four – Feb. 1

Amer­i­can Swirbul made his­tory, earn­ing her third ca­reer Ju­nior Nordic Worlds medal, the most of any U.S. Nordic skier. The Colorado na­tive claimed bronze in the women’s 10km Skiathlon be­hind win­ner Karls­son of Swe­den and Lone Jo­hansen of Nor­way, who took home the sil­ver. The top Cana­dian was Hynes in 24th, with team­mate Me­hain in 37th.

In the ju­nior men’s 15km Skiathlon, Amer­i­can Schu­macher placed 15th, while Félix Long­pré was the top Canuck in 28th. Har­ald Oest­berg Amund­sen led a Nor­we­gian podium sweep, tak­ing the gold over Hope in sec­ond, with Lip­pert in third.

Day Five – Feb. 2

The next day, Rus­sian Spitsov claimed the gold in the U23 men’s 30km Skiathlon race. French­man Jules Lapierre was sec­ond and Nor­we­gian Ole Jo­er­gen Bru­voll se­cured the bronze. Torchia of the U.S.A. led the North Amer­i­cans, fin­ish­ing 27th.

The U.S.A.’S Jort­berg placed 29th in the 15km women’s race, with Canada’s Ste­wart-jones in 31st. Anas­ta­sia Se­dova led a Rus­sian podium sweep, with Nepryaeva in sec­ond and Kir­pichenko in third.

Day Six – Feb. 3

The fi­nal day of rac­ing saw the re­lays for both men (4x5km) and women (4x3.3km), as the U.S. ju­nior men closed the Cham­pi­onships with a strong sil­ver-medal per­for­mance. Luke Jager, Hunter Won­der, Og­den and Schu­macher fin­ished just two sec­onds off the gold medal, won by Nor­way, with Rus­sia in third. The Cana­dian team fin­ished 11th.

Ger­many claimed the gold in the ju­nior women’s race with Rus­sia and Swe­den filling out the podium. U.S.A.’S Swirbul, Kath­leen O’con­nell, Mar­garet and Han­nah Halvorsen fin­ished eighth, while Team Canada’s Me­hain, Hynes, An­nika Richard­son and Alexan­dra Racine placed 15th.

The U.S.A.’S ju­nior squad had an­other strong show­ing at these Cham­pi­onships, bring­ing home a his­toric three medals. The teams look for­ward to next year’s FIS Ju­nior/u23 Nordic World Cham­pi­onships to be held in Fin­land in 2019.

U.S.A.'S Hai­ley Swirbul (r) claimed his­toric bronze in the women's 10km Skiathlon, earn­ing her third ca­reer Ju­nior Nordic Worlds medal, the most of any U.S. Nordic skier.

(l-r) ( l- r) Luke Jager, Gus Schu­macher, Hunter Won­der, Ben Og­den claimed sil­ver, the fi­fi­first- first-ever ever Ju­nior Nordic Worlds relay medal for the U. U.S. S. men.

Hai­ley Swirbul took home his­toric sil­ver and bronze, be­com­ing the high­est-placed Amer­i­can skier at the FIS Nordic Ju­nior Worlds.

Canada’s Félix Long­pré (l) ( l) and Éti­enne Hébert

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