Photographer Eric Engman is on site in Fairbanks, to your benefit. Yesterday was a long day at Birch Hill; with the revised, cold-compressed schedule, quals for the skate sprint started at 11 a.m., and the last final happened after 7 p.m. The sun had not yet set at that point, but it was getting close. Also, the high temperature for the day was a heady +9° F, but the high “apparent temperature” was –1.2° F, so it was a cold day out there too, as well as a long one. Thank a volunteer.
Here are some highlights from Eric’s fine photos from yesterday. All shots are copyright and courtesy of Eric Engman. You can find the full gallery on his site, and should buy downloads or prints of same from there so that he doesn’t lose money for taking three days off from his real job to cover these races. (Eric didn’t ask me to say that, I’m just trying to be forthcoming about the financial calculus here. Junior ski racing in this country is built on the backs of unpaid volunteers.)
Today, Wednesday, is a day off from racing. Athletes have official training for the final day of racing, tomorrow’s mass start skate races, and are otherwise hopefully staying warm. Distances are 5, 10, and 15km, respectively, for U16, U18, and U20.
Here are results from yesterday’s sprint finals and qual. Here are current standings for the Alaska Cup. No update on the top high school and club awards after day two, but West Anchorage and LNR are the presumptive leaders there, based on, well, day one results plus everything I know about junior skiing in this country.
— Gavin Kentch