Junior National Championships going well for Team Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Ak-Today up on Birch Hill the Marriott Junior National Cross Country Skiing Championships continued with the qualifying races in the free technique sprints which will conclude this evening.

Team Alaska has been doing it's thing.

The Older Junior women have won golds in the relays and 5 k races with Hannah Boyer and Stephanie Kirk leading the way. Team Alaska won silver in the junior 2 relays and a bronze in junior 1.

For the guys it's been about sophomore Logan Hanneman of UAF and West Valley sophomore Max Donaldson Both have individual golds and were vital on the Team Alaska's gold medals in the Older Junior 3.3 kilometer relay and junior two relay.

I caught up with UAF head skiing coach Scott Jerome as he gave his thoughts on the events and Donaldson just as he qualified for the finals in today's quarterfinal sprints.

"It was super fun. I just kind of stuck behind the first guy and just tried to stay in second and that's all I needed to do. It's been super awesome. You've got to learn how to save your energy and get good rest for the next races. I've had some good experiences just being here and learning how to race," Donaldson said.

Jerom emphasized how important this event is for young skiers like Donaldson and the other skiers from across the nation on Birch Hill.

"What's really important, especially for the 16 and 17 year olds who perhaps want to ski in college or want to get noticed by the US ski team, it's very important for them to ski well at these events and to earn points and this is how they're going to get noticed when they start to think about college or possibly the US ski team.

Jerome also spoke on how great the Junior Nationals has been for the Fairbanks area and the people who have made it work so far.

"To be able to highlight what a great ski trail we have, what a great job the Nortic Ski Club of Fairbanks has done and the organizing committee. Jim Gillis and Allen Peterson are all good, their just doing a fantastic job and I'm so proud of our community. What a great event that we've had up here."