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NYSEF skiers compete at junior nationals

A contingent of New York Ski Education Foundation nordic skiers are competing this week at the USSS Cross Country located near Truckee, California.

More than 400 of the top young nordic skiers in the United States ranging in age from under 20 to under 16 are participating in the races that run through Saturday.

Competition kicked off Monday with a classic individual start 5- and 10-kilometer races, and Lake Placid’s Kai Frantz turned in a strong showing, placing 33rd in the field of 100 skiers competing in the men’s U18 division. Frantz covered the 10k course in 27 minutes, 49.1 seconds.

Van Ledger placed 76th in 29:29.8, Michael Skutt was 91st in 31:07.1, James Flanigan was a spot back in 92nd with a 31:14.6 result, and Sam Bordeau placed 97th in 32:33.4.

Vermont’s Will Koch, who has trained in Lake Placid in the past and is the son of Olympic medalist Bill Koch, won the U18 division with a 25:03.4 finish time.

Van Ledger tucks on a downhill racing on Monday. Kris Alberga photo

Three NYSEF skiers competed in the U20 race and Joe Wilson turned in the top result, placing 30th with a time of 28:26.3. Saranac Lake’s Jacob Alberga was 34th in 28:58.1 and Alex Fragomeni finished 39th in 29:19.4.

The U20 men’s field included 51 racers.

In the women’s U18 race, Lake Placid’s Marli Damp placed 47th, covering the 5k course in 16:26. Nina Seeman of the Stratton Mountain School in Vermont won the race in 13:58.8. There were 93 finishers in the field.

Saranac Lake’s Sophia Kelting turned in a strong showing in the U16 division, placing 26th in a field of 72 girls who crossed the finish line. Kelting completed the race in 16:41.2. Samantha Smith of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation took first place with a 14:09 finish time.

Lake Placid’s Max Flanigan and Andrew Scanio race in the men’s U16 event. Flanigan crossed the line in 52nd place with a time of 15:50.1, and Sanio placed 68th with a time of 16:56.5.

Marli Damp competes in the U18 division. Kris Alberga photo

Wes Campbell of Park City, Utah skied to the victory in the 5k race with a time of 13:36.1.

The week-long event includes four days of racing sandwiched between training days. Wednesday’s competition was a freestyle sprint, Friday features mass start skate races at distances of 5, 10 and 15k, with the championships concluding on Saturday with a 3k classic relay competition.

James Flanigan digs in on a flat in the boys U18, 10-kilometer race. Kris Alberga photo