Junior Nordic team finishes season strong at Eldora resort

Hannah Smith top skier in region

The Crested Butte and Gunnison Junior Nordic Team competed this past weekend at Eldora Ski Resort above Boulder in the “year-end” Rocky Mountain Nordic races, which also served as the season’s final qualifying races for the USSA Junior National Ski Championships, which will take place in Truckee, California from March 9-13.



Hannah Smith led the way with a solid effort in the girl’s 5 km classic event on Friday by taking the victory by 15 seconds. Smith followed that up by scoring a close second place in the 5 km skate event on Saturday. Smith has managed to ski to podium finishes in every race this season.  With these races she solidified her spot as the region’s number one qualifier for the Junior National Championships.  
Dawson Stucki closed out his season with a stellar performance in the boy’s 10 km mass start classic race.  Stucki has steadily progressed in his results on the year in classic events, and this race closed out a solid five-year career on the ski team. Way to go Dawson! Ian Boucher continued his solid season with a first place result in the tightly contested boy’s 3 km classic race. Boucher then skied to a strong second place in the 3 km skate race. Boucher won most races he entered this season; and proved that he will be a force on the circuit for years to come.  
Pharwit Durgan, TJ Curry and Forrest Smith skied to good results in both the 3 km classic and 3 km skate results. Durgan rounded out his season with his best performance in the 3 km skate race. Forrest proved that he can ski at this level and looks forward to performing well in the future as well. TJ Curry raced in his first races of the season and showed this sport is his true calling. Kai Sherman rebounded from his classic race to perform outstandingly in the boy’s 2 km skate race on Saturday. Amber Scott, Sarah Sherman, and Taylor O’Neal proved that it is never too late in the season to begin racing. These three girls really toughed it out in both the 3 km classic and 3 km skate races. Way to go girls!
The team is done traveling to races for the season; however, Hannah Smith still has her most important races of the season to come at the USSA Junior Nationals. Please look for results from those races in the near future!

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