Earnhart earns second national podium finish at abbreviated Junior Nationals
Michael Earnhart proved once again he’s one of the country’s fastest men on skis.
The Eagle River teen finished third in the men’s U18 freestyle sprint race Wednesday at the U.S. Junior National Cross Country Ski Championships near Lake Tahoe, California. The top-three finish is the second career national podium for Earnhart, who last year won a national championship in the men’s U18 classic technique sprint race.
Washington’s Walker Hall won Wednesday’s race, with Vermont’s Will Koch in second. Earnhart’s Alaska Nordic Racing and Chugiak High classmates Max Beiergrohslein and Porter Blei finished 28th and 50th.
The 2020 championships were called off following the conclusion of Wednesday’s sprint races due to concerns over COVID-19. The cancellation impacted mass start freestyle technique races that had been planned for Friday, as well as a classic relay races on Saturday.
Earnhart wasn’t the only skier from the Eagle River-based ANR club to make a sprint final. Eagle River High alumn and current UAA student Helen Wilson made the women’s U20 A final, placing fifth in a race won by Washington’s Gretta Scholz.
ANR’s Adrianna Proffitt, a Chugiak High senior, placed second in the U20 women’s B final to place eighth overall.
Eagle River’s Emily Walsh placed 15th in the women’s U18 sprint races, missing out on a spot in the B final by just three places. Her Alaska Nordic Racing (and Eagle River High) teammate Claire Nelson was 79th.