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On Sunday, February 12, eight Harwood Nordic skiers traveled to Grafton Ponds to race in the Vermont J2 and Eastern high school qualifier. They were vying for a top-20 finish to qualify to represent Vermont at the New England J2 Festival in Rangeley, Maine. It was a very competitive race for the Harwood skiers. Several of the Harwood skiers have only started skiing this year.
They were up against elite skiers from ski academies that train year round.
Harwood qualified three skiers for the Vermont J2 boys’ team. Nathanael Kuzio, Moretown (6th), Brennan Degen, Fayston (7th), and Marcus Helmken, Waterbury (20th). All qualified after two races – one in the classic technique and one in skating. This was a significant achievement for a public high school.
Sarah Hoyne of Fayston was named as an alternate to the J2 girls’ team. Grace Butler, Waterbury Center, is an alternate for the Eastern high school team.
Several of these skiers lack the financial resources to attend the championship meet in Maine and may have to decline their place on the team. The participation fees are close to $300.
“I know that these students and their parents would be extremely appreciative of any donations that may make it easier for them to attend this wonderful opportunity. I have been to numerous championship events on the state, regional and national level. The New England Junior Two Festival is my favorite. It is too bad that several of these skiers may miss out on the experience that they have earned.” said Harwood coach Kerrigan.