Gilford, NH – March 10, 2024 – Gunstock Nordic Association – GNA would like to congratulate Tyler Watt for qualifying for his third consecutive US Ski & Snowboard Cross Country Junior National Championships to be held in Lake Placid, NY March 11–16. Watt ended the season ranked as the sixth-ranked U18 skier. Qualification for the JNs requires a dedicated season of racing coupled with consistent placings in NENSA’s Eastern Cup race series. Skiers are ranked by their top four results for the 2024 season. Watt’s consistent skiing throughout the series qualified him to represent the New England team in the U18 age category.

All races can be watched live on the event’s YouTube page »

The last race of the Eastern Cup race series was the Cheri Walsh Memorial Eastern Cup (2/24 & 2/25) hosted by the Holderness Nordic Club. Saturday was a day of freestyle sprints, starting with 1.5k prologue qualifier, where the top 30 qualifiers move into the open heats. Watt just missed the open heats but managed to finish the event strong by easily winning the U18/U20 non-qualification finals. Aiden Bondaz also skied strong and placed 4th in the non-qualification finals.

Tyler Watt skiing in Saturday‚Äôs U18 SprintsTyler Watt racing Saturday’s U18/U20 Sprints.

Sunday featured the individual classic races which would be the final chance for athletes to earn points toward qualifying for the New England JN team. Watt had a solid outing and skied to 22nd overall in 26:20 within the U18/U20 field (12th U18) and secured his spot on Team New England.

Other GNA Juniors who skied the Holderness 10km classic event included Aiden Bondaz, who placed 32nd, Henry Stow (65th), Carter Forest who finished 67th, Alden Townsend (91st), and Maxwell Ronner-Bland (106th) among a strong field of 113 skiers. In the U16 5km race, up-and-coming skier Gunnar Marvel, placed 27th with a time of 15:53 within the field of 47 skiers. On the girl’s side, Pearl Marvel skied to 42nd while Tess Eckhardt finished 44th in their U16 5km races. In the girl’s U18/U20 10km event, Georgia Eckhardt skied to 39th while Frances Lesser finished 42nd.

After another week of warm weather, kudos go out to the Holderness crew who did an outstanding job preparing their machine-made snow tracks. Ski prep for the weekend was particularly challenging, especially for Sunday’s classic races… Coach Nina Gavrylyuk tested various combinations of klister with hard-wax covers and concocted a combination that gripped well on Holderness’ step climbs while still gliding fast on the downhills. A big thank you goes out to Nina for getting all the skiers (and their skis) prepared for this finale—and the all of the 2023/2024 races!

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

Results and Rankings

Cheri Walsh Memorial Results »
NENSA U20/U18 Rankings »

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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