An amazing confluence of volunteers, racers, blue sky, warm weather, amazing scenery and two leagues coming together to combine forces resulted in a fantastic day of Nordic racing for Oregon high school athletes.
HRV Nordic travelled to Mount Bachelor for the “XC Invitational” a combined Northern and Southern OISRA league 5K skate race. Coach Joe Kelly noted that “All the best racers in the state were in attendance.”
HRV fielded a huge team of 30 racers (19 girls and 11 boys). This was the team’s first skate style race and some racers had only practiced this challenging style of skiing a handful of times.
Coaches Kelly and Holly Wood were thrilled to have their three top boys place in the top 16, which gave them a second place overall behind Summit in first and ahead of Bend in third.
Mario Cacciola of Summit won in a blistering 11:32, followed by four more Summit racers, before Ben Kaden of HRV finished sixth with a time of 12:28. He was followed by HRV’s Pelle Bergstrom at 12th with a time of 13:01, then Marshall Bailey followed in 16th with a time of 13:47. Eight more HRV racers skied in to place in the 106 man field.
For the girls, Sarah Kelley of RPA (Redmond) placed first with a time of 13:18. HRV’s Josephine Dickinson was the first HRV finisher, placing ninth with a time of 14:32.
Her sister, Frances Dickinson, followed at 15th with a time of 15:31. Sophie Kaden was 22nd and Josephine Stenn was 32nd. This placed HRV in the fourth team position behind Summit, RPA and Bend.
Fifteen more HRV girls finished in the field of 116 racers.
Coach Wood noted, “As soon as these amazing girls get more experience and skill, the other teams need to watch out.”
Next up for HRV is a home turf league race on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Mt. Hood Meadows Nordic Area. This is an unusual and spectator friendly “Ski-a thon” style race, where the racers switch between classic and skate style racing. A staging area is set up in the middle of the course for a challenging equipment switch, including boots.