Summit Nordic Ski Club’s Nina Schamberger races up, wins Yellowstone Ski Festival U-16 race
The Summit Nordic Ski Club commenced its 2018–19 season last weekend with impressive success at the Yellowstone Ski Festival in West Yellowstone, Montana.
The event featured almost 300 racers from all over the country, including many NCAA-level skiers as well as future and former International Ski and Snowboard Federation World Cup-level skiers.
As the new campaign gets underway, Summit Nordic head coach Olof Hedberg is elated at the elite depth the program has this year, evidenced by the record number of athletes, 23, that the club brought out to the massive, major season-opening event in West Yellowstone.
Never before had Summit Nordic brought 20 or more athletes to the event, and it was 13-year-old Nina Schamberger who, racing up, won the U-16 5-kilometer race. In the 32-competitor race, Schamberger crossed the finish line 30 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Anja Grover of Sun Valley (Idaho) Ski Education Foundation — the top-ranked U-16 skier from last season — with a time of 15 minutes and 57.3 seconds.
It was quite the season-opening statement by Schamberger, who Hedberg described as possessing “an enormous dedication and willingness to push herself to the maximum at any given time.
“We have seen this development over the summer,” Hedberg said. “She has worked extremely hard and with I and the other coaches she has been very dedicated. There’s still a long way to go to the top, but there was no doubt she was the best U-16 skier that day.”
Hedberg said moving forward through the rest of the season, Schamberger will decide on a race-by-race basis whether she will race U-14 or U-16.
Summit Nordic also received podium finishes in the U-14 boys and girls 4-kilometer junior races from racing twins Aisley and Galen Grohusky.
Aisley Grohusky took the win in the girls U-14 junior race, while Galen finished in third-place in the junior U-14 boys race. Summit Nordic also received top-10 finishes from Alex Morano in the boys U-16 race and Tai-Lee Smith in the girls U-16 race.
Summit Nordic will return home this Sunday for the annual “Snolof Inivitational” at the Frisco Nordic Center, which will feature U-14 and U-12 races for about 60-80 kids.
Summit Nordic will then have a junior national qualification event at the center on Dec. 15–16, where almost 400 racers of varying age groups are expected to compete.
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