Andrew Nadler, 17, of Chicago, qualified over the weekend for the Midwest Junior Olympic team as a J1 skier. The team was chosen from combined OJ and J1 skiers. Here is the whole procedure from the skier himself. Thanks, Andrew, for giving us the skinny on the skinny skiing!
"I qualified as the ninth J1 out of the Midwest. There were eight qualifying races (six distance and two sprints) and the best four of eight races from each racer were taken. I'm a better skater than classic skier, so my best races were a 12th place at a 10k skate race in Ironwood,MI, 10th place in a 1k classic sprint in Wausau, WI, 11th place in a 15k skate in Minneapolis, and a 10th place in a 10k skate race in St. Paul. Unlike most people who qualified, I did not have one race that put me safely on the team (and world cup scoring greatly rewards top results), but rather consistently solid finishes.
"I got my training plan for the year from my ski coach, Igor Badamshin, coach of the CXC Junior Development Team, and probably averaged about two hours a day over six days of a week of training for the year with some high-volume weeks in the summer and some easier weeks in the fall and early winter when I had to also deal with school work. Junior Nationals are in Soldier Hollow, Utah, this year, the sight of the 2002 Olympic ski races. J1s compete in a 1k classic sprint, a 10k skate mass start, a 10k classic interval start, and a team relay. The races are during the first week of March. I'll definitely be putting in a lot of hours throughout February in preparation for Junior Nationals."
It is exciting to have an Illinois skier at this level. We'll try to keep you posted on what Andrew is doing as the nationals draw near.