How To Qualify for Major Championships

December 18, 2017

 

Representing NY at championship races such as Junior Nationals (JNs), Eastern High School Champs. (EHS), or Under 16 Champs (U16s) is loads of fun and offers high school racers incredible race experiences. It's an opportunity to unify with your state rivals and put your hard work to the test against the best from around the region and nation. 

 

But how do I qualify for these teams and partake in these trips? Here is your guide to getting yourself to a major championship. (And here's the good news, you've already done the hardest part: the training)

 

High school v. Club

 

The first thing to understand in qualifying for these championships is there are two "leagues" that parallel each other throughout the season. First is the NYSPHSAA high school circuit and the NYSSRA club circuit. While these two series intersect once or twice, they are generally completely separate from each other. 

 

 

 

This NYSPHSAA season is probably what you are most familiar with because it's the races your high school team participates in. You go to races during the week and cap the season off with sectional and state championships. After that, the season is over. 

 

The NYSSRA club circuit has its own race season. With races mostly on the weekends, there are typically more races thought the winter and these races are open to people of all ages. Instead of racing everyone, you only race the people in your age group and race distances vary based on your age. 

 

NYSSRA races also offer medals and prizes for the winners. For example, the first race of the season a few weeks ago offered racers $1000's of prizes.

 

This club circuit also has a state championship and provides the opportunity to race at these championship races. 

 

Club racing does require a NYSSRA membership. Buying a membership is the first step in qualifying for a championship. Also, you technically do not need to be a part of a sanctioned club team. But, joining a team can offer support at races and give you some perks such as discounts on equipment and race entry fees. Find a club near you.

 

There's another thing, the club series does cost money, however, your race and membership fees go to providing Nordic opportunities through New York State (It's a good cause). 

 

Once you get a membership you are half way to qualifying for these awesome trips. Now all you need to do is race! But which races will get you a spot on the team? Keep reading to find out exactly what you have to do to qualify for each specific team.

 

 

Junior Nationals
Where: Soldier Hollow, Utah

When: March 5-10

Team Website: HERE

Team Leader: Jason Hettenbaugh   jason@rochesternordicracing.com

Info:

 

Junior Nationals is the event of the year for some skiers. Open to age groups U16 (14-15 y.o.), U18 (16-17 y.o) and U20 (18-19 y.o.). Being the United States Jr. Championships, qualification for this team is the toughest. To qualify, a skier must race at least 4 of the 6 Junior National Qualifiers (JNQ) listed on the NYSSRA schedule. Skiers will need a NYSSRA licence and a USSA licence will be needed to compete at the championships.

 

Not only does a skier have to rank highly among other skiers in their age group, they must earn a pre-determined benchmark for points (determined by the Mid-A committee to ensure team is comprised of top-quality skiers). 

 

Qualifying for this team opens skiers to competition around the US and loads of Mid-A apparel which will set you apart as one of the best skiers in the state. For more info on how to qualify for JNs click the team website link above and get all the info about points and team selection. If its too confusing, remember this: go to the JNQs and race fast!

 

 

Eastern High School Championships
Where: Black Mountain Ski Resort. Rumford, Maine
When: March 16-18
Event Website: HERE
Team leader: Brian Halligan bhnordic4@gmail.com
Info:

 


EHS is open to any skier in high school. Typically, it assumed that upper classmen will qualify over underclassmen, however it is not uncommon for freshman and sophomores to qualify for EHS. (Under classmen have their own championship, U16s, but are allowed to race at both pending qualification)


To qualify, a skier must be NYSSRA members and race at any 2 of 6 JNQ designated races. See schedule at the bottom of this page. Additionally, high school skiers who exhibit impressive results at either state championships or their sectional championships may be invited to join the team. (Will have to buy NYSSRA membership prior to event)


The team will consist of a maximum of 24 boys and 24 girls. 


Cost: Approx. $400. 
Includes food, transportation, housing, coaching/wax tech, elite wax and race entry fee.


Racer grants are available by application. (more info to come)


U16 Championships
Where: Gore Mtn - North Creek Ski Bowl. North Creek, New York. (Home snow!)
When: March 9-11
Team Leader: Dave Parrleberg-Kvam   dakvam06@gmail.com
Info:


U16s is open to any skier ages 14 or 15. This event is perfect for young skiers looking for a taste of elite racing. For many, this trip is their first ski trip where they are not staying with their parents, rather with a team of coaches and athletes. If you ask any elite college or senior racer, they will probably tell you U16s is the event that made them fall in love with Nordic sports. 

 

 


To qualify, a skier must be a NYSSRA member and race at any 1 of 6 JNQ designated races. See schedule at the bottom of this page. Additionally, high school skiers who exhibit impressive results at either state championships or their sectional championships may be invited to join the team. (Will have to buy NYSSRA membership prior to event)


The team will consist of a maximum of 24 boys and 24 girls. 


Cost: Approx. $400. 
Includes food, transportation, housing, coaching/wax tech, elite wax and race entry fee.


Racer grants are available by application. (more info to come)

 

More info regarding all championship race teams can be found by clicking HERE

 

Schedule (**designates Junior national Qualifier (JNQ))

***please note: even if you compete at a high school race at the same time/place as a JNQ, you must still register for the JNQ to be included on those results. (you will appear on both NYSPHAA and NYSSRA results).***


January 6th-7th – HURT JNQ (North Creek Ski Bowl)**
January 20th-21st – NYSEF Harry Eldridge JNQ (Lake Placid)**
January 27th-28th – Rochester JNQ (info pending)**
February 2nd-4th – Empire State Winter Games (Lake Placid)
February 24th-25th – NYSSRA Championships (Saratoga Biathlon Club)
March 5th- 10th –Junior National Championships (Soldier Hollow, Utah)
March 9th-11th – U16 Champs. (North Creek Ski Bowl)
March 16th-18th – EHS Championships (Rumford, Maine)


FULL NYSSRA SCHEDULE CAN BE FOUND HERE

 

We hope this clears things up. Feel free to comment with any questions. And be sure to share this Article and other Kick Zone Media content to promote Nordic skiing as a means to a healthy lifestyle. 
 

 

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