GNA Juniors Wrap Up Season with the NENSA Eastern High School Championships – Kretchmer Scores 3 More Podiums
Chittenden, VT – March 20, 2017 – Gunstock Nordic Association – After a long season of racing and solid results, GNA’s top junior skiers tackled their last races of the season at NENSA’s Eastern High School Championships held at The Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden, Vermont. The championship featured the region’s top high school skiers from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. State teams are chosen based on each skier’s results throughout the 2016/2017 high school race season. This year team NH featured 8 GNA skiers: Alexandra Paluszek, Cal Schrupp, Josh Valentine, Ian Daly, Zachary Ennis, Mark Young, Mary Ketchmer, and Sander Valpey. The event has special significance to GNA senior skiers Mark, Mary, and Sander as it would be their last high school race together.
GNA Skiers for Team New Hampshire with Coach Nina. Left to right: Cal, Sander, Nina, Alex, Mark, Josh, Mary, Zach, and Ian
After a recent snow and seasonable temperatures, skiers were greeted to perfect conditions for the championship. The first race on Friday was the 5 km individual skate. Joshua Valentine was the top GNA skier finishing 9th (13:02.8), Mark placed 27th (13:36.3), Cal placed 38th (14:02.3), Zach placed 50th (14:19.5), and Ian placed 54th (14:23.6) out of a field of 113 skiers. In the girls races, Mary was the top GNA skier finishing 8th(15:21.6) and Alex placed 72nd (18:05.5) out of a field of 100 skiers.
Saturday morning featured the 7.5k classic mass starts. On the girls side, Mary skied an aggressive race and finished 3rd. Alex skied well within the pack and placed 70th. In the boys race, Josh continued his strong skiing with a 13th place finish. Mark was 19th, Cal was 34th, Ian was 59th, Zach finished in 70th, and Sander finished 99th.
Later that day, the skiers raced the sprint competitions where skiers raced in waves of five. Mary again produced another top result with a very close 2nd, missing the win by just a few seconds. Alex raced to 43rd. The boy’s sprint followed with Josh taking 15th, Cal placing 32nd, Mark 33rd, Sander 42nd, Ian 76th, and Zach 87th.
Later that evening, the top skiers in points (from all 3 events) were honored. Mary’s solid skiing throughout the completion earned her a bronze medal for the championship.
The final races—mixed team relays—were held on Sunday. Following the relays, the top 20 skier placings from each race were tallied up to determine which state would take home the annual Graham Taylor Cup, with Vermont just edging out New Hampshire for the title.
Congratulations to all GNA skiers for their solid racing throughout the 2016/2017 season!
A complete listing of all race results are avilable from the link below:
And a recap of the weekend from NENSA
Team New Hampshire
Zach racing in Saturday’s Classic Mass Start
Mary (second skier) racing in Saturday’s Classic Mass Start
Sander racing in Saturday’s Classic Mass Start
Cal racing in Saturday’s Classic Mass Start
Ian racing in Saturday’s Classic Mass Start
Josh and Mark at the start of Saturday’s Classic Mass Start
Alex outsprinting her wave during Saturday’s sprint races.
About the NENSA Eastern High School Championships
The NENSA Eastern High School Championships are the premier event for high school and prep school racers in New England and New York, with each state bringing up to 24 boys and 24 girls to fill a team with the top 20 skiers scoring points. The goal of the EHSC is to provide the highest quality competition for high school-aged athletes.