AP NEWS

Junior national qualifying Nordic race at Mount Spokane this weekend

February 15, 2019

The Spokane Nordic Ski Association is hosting a Junior National Qualifier race Saturday and Sunday at Mount Spokane.

The race is the fourth and final chance for regional skiers to qualify for the Junior National Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, from March 11-16.

George Bryant, the coach of the Spokane Nordic Junior Race Team, said having the race on Mount Spokane gives local kids an edge.

“It’s really nice,” he said. “We know the snow and we don’t have to travel.”

Patrick Korus, 17, and Bridget Burns, 14, the top finishers at the annual Langlauf cross-country ski race last weekend, are expected to qualify for the national championship.

Korus has competed in nationals for the past three years. The race allows local skiers to test themselves against the best in the region and country.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “Everybody skies really fast.”

More than 100 athletes are registered, including potential future Olympians, race director Michael Burns said.

“It’s going to give us great exposure that we have a world-class trail system right here in our own backyard,” Burns said.