Fred Albrechtson set his sights on a top-20 finish at Ski Nationals and delivered.
Albrechtson, representing the Nickel Plate Nordic Centre, finished 20th in the Medium Interval Classic 7.5 kilometre distance, clocking in at 21 minutes, 8.7 seconds in Canmore, Alta.
“That was a really good race. The course was pretty hilly so uphill and downhill,” said Albrechtson.
Albrechtson also placed 24th in the Juvenile boys 10-km event, finishing in 31:28:39. In that race, however, another athlete stepped on his ski, resulting in him falling at the start. After getting back up, he managed to get back into the thick of the race and also placed seventh overall for his 2002 birth year. In that event, his age group was last to race, with the course conditions less than ideal. Albrechston said the slush was a foot deep after being skied on several times and temperatures warming up.
“It was painful,” he said. “As my coach said, ‘only the toughest survive’ like you have to be tough to finish that race. It was a good race and then I tried to set a pace and stick to it.”
Albrechtson, who finished ninth overall in his age group after completing four races, felt he gave everything he had. Competing at Ski Nationals was a great experience for the 15-year-old as he loved meeting people from Canada. He enjoyed being around the best skiers the country has to offer. The highlight for him was having a good performance in the Medium Interval Classic. Now he wants to continue working harder and go to the next nationals.
“I want to do some better placements,” said Albrechtson. “You have to be really committed to ski at such high end.”