Eagle River’s Earnhart wins national championship

Friday, March 15, 2019 - 10:11
  • Eagle River’s Michael Earnhart skis on the first day of the 2019 Cross Country Junior Nationals on Monday, March 11, 2019 at Kincaid Park. On Wednesday, Earnhart won the men’s under-18 classic sprint title. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

Eagle River’s Michael Earnhart won a national title Wednesday when he outraced a field of the top junior cross country skiers in the country to win the men’s under-18 classic sprint title at the 2019 U.S. Cross Country Junior Nationals at Kincaid Park.

Earnhart won the A final by nearly four seconds over fellow Alaskan Zanden McMullen, with Idaho’s Johnny Hagenbuch placing third. Earnhart skis for the Alaska Nordic Racing team, which sent 10 skiers to the national compeition.

In a press release, Earnhart said he was shocked to win the final.

“I was just trying to get a Top-10 today and then that just happened,” he said. “This feels really good. Unreal.”

He told U.S. Cross Country’s Josh Niva that he decided to take an outside line in the final due to better snow conditions there rather than inside.

“I figured out that line, stuck to it, and that’s what got me the win,” he said.

Earnhart wasn’t the only local skier to make the sprint finals Wednesday — his Chugiak High and ANR teammate Adrianna Proffitt also had a big day by finishing fifth in the women’s under-18 sprint final won by Fairbanks skier Kendall Kramer.

Sking contiues Friday at Kincaid with mass start classic technique races starting at 10 a.m.

For more, visit juniornationalsxc2019.com.

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