PROFILE: Skier Monica Markvardsen
The first week of school after Christmas break, seventeen year old Black Jack Ski Club member, Monica Markvardsen missed as she returned to her birthplace, Anchorage Alaska, to attend the US National Cross Country Ski Championships.
The weather was a factor during the entire event where temperatures were lower than -20 C each of the 6 days scheduled for the event. Under FIS rules if temperatures are below -20 C they cannot safely race. Of the four races planned, they were only able to pull off two when the temperatures rose in the afternoon.
Originally scheduled to be a 10K skate event, the first even was shortened to 5K for safety concerns due to the cold temperatures. Monica had outstanding results placing 35th out of all 170 women, 10th out of the 93 Junior Girls (aged 20 and younger ) and 3rd in the J1 age group (girls 18 and younger).
The second race was pulled off on the final day, Thursday January 8th. This was a 1.3K classic sprint. Monica had even better results where she qualified among the top 30 women and went in to the women’s quarterfinal heats. She placed 4th in her heat and ended up in 18th place overall, 5th among juniors and again 3rd in her age group.
These races also serve as a qualifying selection for US Ski Team development trips to the World Cup in Callahan Valley, British Columbia, and the Under 23 Championships and World Junior Championships in Praz de Lys, France. They are also a qualifier for the J1 (18 and younger) Scandinavian Championships to be held in Folldal, Norway.
Monica narrowly missed out on qualifying for the World Junior team of the top 6 girls but ended up as the top qualifier for the J1 Scandinavian Cup Team. Monica has declined her spot as she attended this development trip last year as an alternate.
Monica will be focusing on placing well in the Junior National Championships to be held in March in Truckee, California. Next fall she will be attending Northern Michigan University, in Marquette, Michigan, where she will be receiving scholarships for nordic skiing, cross country running and for academic achievement.