This was the fourth and last time Lucy qualified for the nordic Junior National Championships. In future years she will be in the U23 category and no longer a junior. She has simultaneously aged out of her club ski team. I’m wistful for her, as this local group of boys and girls has been such a friendly, supportive, joking crew.
However, what a way to go out. It’s hard for a non-sports-person like me to comprehend an event like this. There were hundreds of competitors from all over the country, including a huge contingent from Alaska.
In the two distance events Lucy finished in the top ten, qualifying as “All-American” for the second and third time. She skied her leg of the relay with the second-fastest time in her age group. So she has both medals and satisfaction.
Lucy also was chosen to carry the torch to light the cauldron to mark the start of the championships. This honor was something of an error. It was supposed to be a local Olympian who carried the flame. However there was a mix-up and when the time came for the hand-off, this gentleman was nowhere to be seen. The flustered local announcer recognized my girl standing nearby in her jeans and leaned into the microphone:
“And noooooow, Lucy H— will carry the torch to light the cauldron!”
Lucy was startled but happy to oblige.
Yesterday I drove her and some of her friends to catch their ride back to college. The intense week is over.