Karl and Scott Schulz of Lake Placid, N.Y. traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to compete in U.S. Nationals in hopes of making to the next level. “I knew I wanted to make World Juniors so I had to land a 1st, 2nd or at the very least a 3rd place finish,” Karl Schulz said. These races determine roster spots on the FIS Junior World Championships and U18 Scandinavian Cup teams! Some of the top competitors of the week are headed to the Olympics. It is easy to say that the field was stacked with talent. The Schulz boys went to Alaska with a goal and accomplished it in all three events: the 15K freestyle race which took place on Wednesday, January 3, the freestyle sprint race on Thursday, January 4 and ended with the 10k classic race on Sunday, January 7.

On Wednesday, January 3 during the 15K freestyle, Karl placed 11th for juniors and Scott was 10th for U18s.

Moving into Thursday, the Schulz boys are known for their sprinting. They certainly impressed all their fans that were online streaming the 3-minutes sprints from the warmth of their home. Karl placed 2nd for juniors and Scott placed 3rd for U18s. “After not making the heats at Junior Nationals last year…I knew I had to push through the sprint and I did,” Karl commented. Even though Karl was excited about his finish in the sprint, he said it was “100 times more fun to watch Scott…cheering him on through the heats was the best part of the whole trip.”  Scott mentioned that competing with Karl “is more supportive than competitive… during the skate sprint Karl is always the loudest person cheering…he leaves the venue with a raspy voice.”

The supportive nature of cross country ski racing shines through this duo. Karl added, “I love racing with Scott, especially when he’s doing well, when I see him racing fast it fills me with pride and makes me want to race faster as well.”

Finally, the week ended with the 10K classic event. Karl placed 4th for Juniors and Scott placed 16th for U18s.

Based on their results, each of the Schulz boys qualified for an international trip! Karl will be traveling to Goms, Switzerland to race in the World Junior Championships at the end of January. Karl had to qualify in the top 6 of all U18s and U20s. Scott will be traveling to Vuokatti, Finland during the same time to race in the U18 Scandinavian Championships. For Scott’s trip, he needed to qualify in the top 6 of all U18s. Each athlete raced three races and the best two of each athlete were scored to name the teams.

Head NYSEF Cross Country Ski Coach, Shane MacDowell said, “long story short, the boys are super-fast and will be representing the USA and NYSEF on the international stage.” When asked Coach MacDowell how are you sharing the excitement on the plane ride home, he commented, “not many young people can say they are the top athletes in the country in their sport …I am so happy for them…they stepped up. We hope the success of last week makes the long trip back to Lake Placid more manageable.”

“I am definitely leaving Alaska on a great note…for the rest of the season my goal is to become a smarter classic racer and also kill it in Europe,” Scott added.

We are confident they will be greeted with hugs and high-fives for days.

Detailed results and highlights from the event, can be found here.