Last week we finished the 2018 Junior Nationals at Soldier Hollow, Utah. Alaska Winter Stars had some great performances, but had some unlucky mistakes as well which can always happen during sprint competitions. Our skiers won 3 individual medals. Gus won the 10k skate mass start, second in 10k classic individual and had a fantastic qualifier in the sprint but had an unfortunate mishap in his quarterfinal. Molly Gellert earned 3rd place in the 5k classic, only 2.6 seconds from first. She won her qualifying round in the skate sprint by over 5 seconds then also fell in her quarterfinal. Just like Gus, this was the end of her day; tough luck knowing how fast they were in qualifying but that is sprinting. Quincy Donley, a first year U16 at her first JN’s, showed that she will be a big contender in the next few years to grab some medals. In the classic 5k she was 6th, 5th in the sprint (after qualifying 3rd) and 12th in the mass start. Alexander Maurer was 9th in the 5k classic in his first Junior Nationals. The Service boys captured the top high school men’s trophy for the second year in a row! Team Alaska scored 3rd place as a division, so we are hoping that with some hard work this year we can improve upon our performance when Junior Nationals returns to Anchorage next year! Six of our athletes are headed to Arctic Winter Games this week. Good luck to Nina, Meredith, Elias S, Elias W, Clare, Vivi and Luke in Yellowknife Canada! We have two more weeks of transition session and by the end of March we will be ready to start the 2018-19 training year!