PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The hometown team came through Saturday as New England took first place in the freestyle relay at the 2010 Cross Country Junior Olympics at the Nordic Heritage Center.

Skiing in the Older Junior Men category were Chase Marston of the Middlebury Ski Team and Gordon Vermeer and Sam Tarling both of the Dartmouth Outing Club.

The three skiers completed the course with a combined time of 35:12.8.

New England also saw gold in the Junior Men’s division as Patrick Caldwell of Ford Sayre, Eli Hoenig of Cambridge Sports Union and John Hegman of Mansfield Nordic clocked a race time of 24:43.0 in the relay.

The New England Junior Women took first in the relay as Heather Mooney of Stratton Mtn. School, Madalyn Pfeifer of Proctor Academy and Corey Stock of Cambridge Sports Union skied in 27:33.3.

“Today went pretty much as we expected it to go,” Matt Boobar, New England’s coach, said following Saturday’s races. “But we are still pretty excited about this.”

Calling Saturday’s event a “typical relay,” Boobar said the four previous days of training and competition were beginning to show with the athletes.

“The kids were really tired today,” Boobar said. “But they really rallied for this last day.”

Also taking gold on Saturday was the Alaskan team of Forest Mahlen and Jack Novak, both of Alaska Pacific University, and Scott Patterson of Alaska Winter Stars for the Junior Men in a time of 35:34.4

On the Junior Women’s side it was also Alaska with MacKenzie Kanady of Alaska Winter Stars, Hannah Boyer of Fairbanks FXC, and Annie Liotta of Alaska Winter Stars completing the course in 44:48.0.

Wrapping things up for gold on Saturday was the Midwest team of Eleanor Magnuson of Go Training, Lynn Duijndam of Finn Sisu Skiers and Corrine Malcolm of Montana State University with their race time of 44:27.8.

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Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.