Winter Park Nordic skiers qualify for Junior Nationals in California |

Winter Park Nordic skiers qualify for Junior Nationals in California

Alex Holinka, right, and Sylvia Brower, center, have both qualified to compete in the 2020 Cross Country Junior Nationals race at Donner Summit in California while Sebastian Brower, left, qualified as an alternate.
Submitted photo

Two Nordic skiers with the Winter Park Competition Center have qualified to race in the 2020 Junior Nationals at Donner Summit, California, while a third has qualified as an alternate.

Based on a points system, Alex Holinka and Sylvia Brower have both earned spots in what’s billed as “the ultimate junior cross country skiing event of the year” on March 8-14.

Additionally, Sebastian Brower has qualified for Junior Nationals as an alternate, marking a major accomplishment for the three skiers and the young Nordic program.

“Making this trip means they’re solidly entrenched with the top skiers from Colorado, and now they get to see where they stack up against the top skiers in the country,” said Isaiah St. Pierre, director of the Winter Park Competition Center.

For Holinka, making the elite field slated to race just outside Truckee, California, was both a relief and signaled a great opportunity for the young Nordic skier, but he’s not entirely sure it has fully sunk in yet.

“I think that will happen when I’m on the plane headed to Truckee, California,” he said.

Holinka had a pretty good idea that he qualified for Junior Nationals while racing in Utah and looking up at the leaderboard to the results. Then an email showed up in his in box a few days later confirming it.

“It was something that did not come easy to me, and I had to work very hard at it,” Holinka said. “But through hard work and great coaching over the last five years, my hard work paid off and I made it.”

The Winter Park Competition Center’s Nordic program is still young, only coming into existence about four years ago, said St. Pierre, who added that having athletes qualify for “the big show” is a major step forward for the program.

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