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This weekend, I took Annika and Nikhil up to Reno for the National Junior Olympics. Both had qualified at the Regionals in San Diego about 4 weeks ago.

We had a nice flight up to Reno from LAX.  The weather unfortunately was not as nice.  On Friday night before the race we had about a foot of snow.  Just getting to the course in the foothills of Reno was difficult and the races were all delayed.

This is the morning view from our hotel room at Circus Circus.

Here are Annika and Nikhil on the morning before their race during the course walk.  You can see a light snow falling.

This is Annika in the team tent before her race.

Annika’s race was first up.  She ran in the older Bantam Girl’s group (ages 9-10).    It had stopped snowing just long enough for her race but began snowing again soon afterward.  Running on the snow required special cross country spikes (shoes) with 1/2″ spikes in them.  She ran a great race and persevered the brutal conditions and finished 162 (out of 200+).    Annika’s team of 8 won the prestigious National title!  Quite an accomplishment.

Here is the rest of her team at the awards ceremony in the evening displaying their “gold”.  Two of her team mates finished in the top 25 with three others in the top 50.  Their lowest overall point score (kind of like golf) earned them the win.

Nikhil’s team raced under heavy snow conditions and even stiffer competition.   His team placed 11th overall(Nikhil is the 3rd runner in the pic – green/red jersey).  This was the best picture I could get with my puny litle camera!

Here is Nikhil with his buddies after the awards ceremony.

And one last picture of Annika and Nikhil.

Next year’s race will be in Alabama.  We’ll be going again if they qualify!

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