William Riley and Tyler Watt to represent Team New England in the 2023 U.S. Ski & Snowboard XC Junior National Championships and GNA Juniors Excel at the Dublin Double Eastern Cup
Gilford, NH – February 20, 2023 – Gunstock Nordic Association – GNA would like to congratulate William Riley and Tyler Watt for qualifying for the 2023 US Ski & Snowboard Cross Country Junior National Championships to be held in Fairbanks, Alaska March 13–16. Both skiers ended the season ranked in the top ten of the U18/U20 age bracket—with Riley finishing as the second-ranked U20 and Watt 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 2023 season. Riley’s and Watt’s consistent skiing throughout the series qualified them to represent the New England team in the U20 and U18 age categories.
The last race of the Eastern Cup race series was last weekend’s Dublin Double, hosted by Dublin XC. Saturday was a day of freestyle sprints, starting with 1.5k prologue qualifier, where the top 30 qualifiers move into the open heats. Watt, Riley, and Aiden Bondaz qualified for the sprint heats. During the sprint heats, Watt skied into the semifinal heat where he paced 3rd among the U18s. Bondaz also moved in the semis and finished 7th in the U18s, while Riley placed 20th in the U20s. In the girl’s qualifier, Georgia Eckhardt skied into the U16 semis and finished 18th.
Tyler Watt placed 3rd in Saturday’s U18 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. Riley finished his Eastern Cup campaign with his best performance of the season by skiing into the top spot in the individual 10km U20/U18 classic race. In addition to taking the overall title at the event, Riley was the only skier to break the 26-minute barrier with a blistering time of 25:40. Watt also skied strong and made the U18 podium with a 3rd-place finish, posting a fast time of 26:40.8. Also scoring a top-ten finish was Aiden Bondaz, who took the tenth spot in the U18s with a time of 27:03.6.
Other GNA Juniors who skied the Dublin races included Henry Stow, who placed 28th and Carter Forest who finished 44th among the U18s. In the women’s 10km race, Carli Krebs finished 14th. On the girl’s side, Eckhardt skied to 25th while Frances Lesser finished 36th in the U16 6km race.
Will Riley on the top step from Sunday’s Dublin Double individual 10km classic race.
Will Riley during Sunday’s classic race where he skied to the top time of the day!
Tyler Watt during Sunday’s classic race where he place 3rd among the U18s.
Tyler Watt made his second podium on Sunday by placing 3rd among the U18s.
Major kudos go out to the Dublin XC crew who once again did an amazing job preparing the tracks after another week of warm and erratic weather. Skiing was fast and the GNA team produced several strong results thanks to coach Nina Gavrylyuk. She took care of the day’s tricky waxing conditions and prepared all skiers for their final Eastern Cup of 2023. A big thank you goes out to Nina for getting all the skiers and their skis prepped and in place for their starts.
Congratulations to the whole GNA squad a great year of Eastern Cup racing!
Results and Rankings
Dublin Double Results »
NENSA U20/U18 Rankings »
William Riley and Tyler Watt will be a part of team New England for the upcoming 2023 U.S. Ski & Snowboard XC Junior National Championships.
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.