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GNA Juniors Wrap Up NENSA’s Eastern Cup Race Series and Score JN Nominations

February 25, 2022

Gilford, NH – February 21, 2022 – Gunstock Nordic Association – After a full season of competitive racing, GNA’s juniors wrapped their NENSA race series with podiums and strong skiing at the Dublin Double Eastern Cup. In addition to this being the last Eastern Cup race of the 2022 series, it was also the last opportunity for skiers to score points and qualify for the New England Junior National Team for the upcoming US Ski & Snowboard Cross Country Junior National Championships. Both Catherine Stow and Tyler Watt placed second in Saturday’s sprint races and secured nominations to the 2022 New England Junior National Team!

The weekend started off after another mid-winter warmup and major kudos must go out to the Dublin XC crew who did an amazing job repairing the tracks with new machine-made snow and impeccable grooming. Saturday was a day of freestyle sprints and starting with 1.5k prologue qualifier where the top 30 qualifiers move into the open heats. Then the next 12 U18/U20’s move into the junior heats, and the following 12 U16’s (after the top 30 overall) move into the U16 heats. Skiing was fast and furious, and the GNA team produced several strong results, highlights include:

Catherine Stow

  • Placed 3rd out of all women in the prologue qualifier
  • Won her quarter-final heat (6 skiers racing head-to-head on same course)
  • Placed 2nd in her semi-final heat (6 skiers racing head-to-head on same course)
  • Placed 2nd in the final! (6 skiers racing head-to-head on same course)
  • Finished 2nd woman for the day, which moved her from 15th to 10th overall in NENSA’s EC rankings
  • The top 15 U18/U20s are named to the New England Junior National Team

Tyler Watt

  • Placed 14th out of all men in the prologue qualifier
  • Unfortunately got tangled up in a crash with 2 other skiers shortly after the start, and had to chase the 3 leaders
  • Finished 4th in that quarter-final heat after the crash, and did not qualify for the semi-final heat and finished 18th out of all men for the day
  • Ended up being the 2nd U16 skier and ended the day with a NENSA’s EC ranking of 5th
  • Top 6 U16s are named to the New England Junior National Team

Mitchell Townsend

  • Placed 9th out of all men in the prologue qualifier
  • Finished 6th in his quarter-final round
  • Did not qualify for the semi-final heat
  • Ended up 26th on the day for all men

Aiden Bondaz

  • Placed 76th out of all men in the qualifying round
  • Did not make the top 30 for the open men’s heats but placed 11th in the U18/U20s which allowed him to advance to the U18/U20 semi-final heat
  • Finished 3rd in his semi-final heat, and was lucky loser, and advanced to the U18/U20 final
  • Finished 6th in the U18/U20 final
  • Ended up 46th out of all men for the day

Sunday was the individual start 5k/10k classic races. As with any classic race, grip waxing is crucial, and the cold transformed snow proved challenging. After several laps of wax testing on the course, Coach Nina Gavrylyuk found the perfect combination of klisters and hard waxes—which allowed for solid grip on the climbs and fast gliding skis for all of GNA’s racers. A big thank you goes out to Nina for getting all the skiers and their skis prepped and in place for their starts!

Highlights of Sunday’s classic races include:

Catherine Stow (raced 10k, 4 laps of a 2.5k loop)

  • Had a very good first lap, posting the 5th fastest time
  • Unfortunately, she suffered some stomach issues by end of 2nd lap and had to drop out
  • Fortunately, Catherine’s second place from Saturday’s sprints gave her enough points to maintain her 10th pace NENSA ranking

Tyler Watt (raced 5k, 2 laps of a 2.5k loop)

  • Finished 4th within U16 boys
  • Moved up from 5th to 4th within NENSA’s U16 EC rankings

Mitchell Townsend (raced 10k, 4 laps of a 2.5k loop)

  • Placed 10th overall out of all men
  • Produced his 2nd top-10 finish of the weekend

William Riley (raced 10k, 4 laps of a 2.5k loop)

  • Placed 19th overall out of all men

For the final Eastern Cup weekend in Dublin featured 16 GNA skiers:

  • U18/U20 Women – Cat Stow, Carli Krebs, Mathea Graham
  • U16 Girls – Georgia Eckhardt
  • U18/U20 Men – Mitch Townsend, William Riley, Felix Taracena, Aiden Bondaz, Miles Wharton, Patrick Gandini
  • U16 Boys – Tyler Watt, Henry Stow, Alden Townsend, Carter Forest, Ian Lofblad, Max Ronner-Bland

Congratulations to the whole squad a great year of Eastern Cup racing!

Results and Rankings

Dublin Double Results »
NENSA Women U18/U20 Rankings »
NENSA Boys U16 Rankings »

Catherine Stow and Tyler Watt
Catherine Stow skiing to second place in the Dublin sprint finals and Tyler Watt during his 4th-place ski at the Dublin U16 5k.

Related Article
Catherine Stow and Tyler Watt to represent Team New England »

About NENSA’s Eastern Cup Races

The Eastern Cup Series has been on the New England Nordic race calendar since the early years of NENSA and is considered NENSA’s signature race series, offering competition for BKL, Junior, Senior, and Master skiers. Eastern Cup events also serve as the Junior National Qualifier races for the New England Junior National Team.

 

 

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