Photo: 20200122 SPORTS new top for Nordic Skier story

Harwood Union Nordic skier Ava Thurston competes during the 2019 high school season.

Harwood Junior

The reigning Times Argus Runner of the Year made an impressive transition to the Nordic ski season by earning four top-five finishes during Vermont Cup races. Competing for the Mansfield Nordic Club, Thurston placed fourth out of 35th finishers to kick off the season during an 8.8-kilometer classic race at the Craftsbury Rodrigues Cup. She finished behind a trio of former NCAA All-Americans. Thurston finished second and fifth during a pair of sprints Saturday at the Prospect Mountain Vermont Cup. The 17-year-old placed first out of 26 racers Sunday during a Vermont Cup 10-kilometer classic event. Next week Thurston will travel to Finland to prepare for junior world championships.

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