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March Madness—GNA Skiers Excel at Regional and National Championships

March 27, 2018

Paluszek Earns All-American honors at Junior Nationals and Stow podiums at NENSA’s U16 Championships

Gilford, NH – March 27, 2018 – Gunstock Nordic Association – After a long season of training and racing, GNA’s top juniors tackled their last races of the season.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard XC Junior National Championships

At the beginning of the month, John Henry Paluszek traveled to the famed Olympic trails in Soldier Hollow Utah to compete in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard XC Junior National Championships. Paluszek skied strong in every event, notably taking 8th in the Freestyle Sprints, earning him All-American honors in the Men's U20 category. Paluszek took 15th in both the 15k Freestyle Mass Start and 10k Classic Individual Start. His week concluded with the team relays where he skied a strong 2nd leg helping the New England U20 team place second to team Alaska.

Throughout the week, New England skiers produced solid results in each race allowing them to secure the prestigious Alaska Cup for another year. The Alaska Cup is awarded to the region that acquires the most points from all 4 days of racing. Paluszek’s solid racing contributed 85 points towards New England’s total score of 1178 points for the week, which bested the Rocky Mountain region by 124 points.

John Henry Paluszek at the start of the B final where he placed 2nd, 8th overall (3/7/2018)
John Henry Paluszek at the start of the B final where he placed 2nd, 8th overall (3/7/2018)

NENSA U16 Championships

Each March, the top-ranked U16 skiers from New York and New England gather to compete in 4 races in two-and-a-half days. This year’s races were hosted by Gore Mountain Resort in North Creek New York. GNA had 4 skiers qualify to represent team New Hampshire.

This year’s competition was kicked off with the Girl’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start where Catherine Stow produced her best race of the year, earning her 3rd in the event. Other GNA finishers include Julie Deacon who placed 67th out of the 102 starters.

Catherine Stow, 3rd Place - Girl’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start
Catherine Stow, 3rd Place – Girl’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start

Julie Deacon - Boy’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start
Julie Deacon – Girl’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start

In the Boy’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start race, Mitchell Townsend skied to 24th and Henry Lord placed 55th among the 100 starters.

Mitchell Townsend - Boy’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start
Mitchell Townsend – Boy’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start

Mitchell Townsend - Boy’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start
Henry Lord – Boy’s 5k Freestyle Individual Start

The follow day featured 5k Classic Individual Start races. In the girl’s event, Stow continued her strong skiing with a 18th place and Deacon placed 69th out of the 103 starters. On the boy’s side, Townsend placed 30th and Lord placed 75th out of the 99 starters. Later that afternoon, GNA skiers got to tackle a brand new event, Skier Cross, where skiers tackle a 1.25km obstacle course with tight turns, bumps, jumps, and slalom—both uphill and downhill. GNA skiers produced the following results: Girl’s – Stow 17th, Deacon 42nd; Boy’s – Townsend 21st, Lord 78th.

Catherine Stow going all out during the 4 x 3k Mixed Team Relay
Catherine Stow going all out during the 4 x 3k Mixed Team Relay

The final day featured the 4 x 3k Mixed Team Relays. Stow contributed a fast leg, helping her team place 2nd out of the 48 teams. Townsend’s team placed 8th, Lord’s team placed 31st, and Deacon’s team placed 39th.

Throughout the weekend, each skier’s results went towards the state team totals. This year, team New Hampshire finished 2nd within the 5 states.

Team New Hampshire
Team New Hampshire

 

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