RUMFORD — Although neither could rightfully claim to be a national champion, Dartmouth freshman Carly Wynn and Middlebury sophomore Austin Cobb shared an unusual distinction Tuesday afternoon at Black Mountain.

Each won a junior sprint title at the U.S. Cross Country Championships after being the slowest skier to qualify for one of the 24 quarterfinal berths.

“Qualifiers for me are never as good as the heats,” said Wynn, from Queensbury, N.Y., in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. “But nothing as dramatic as this ever happened.”

Because several junior skiers qualified for the men’s and women’s quarterfinals, those skiers will be ranked ahead of Wynn and Cobb in determining berths on Scandinavian Cup teams. Still, it was a thrill to emerge victorious in the championship heat after not winning either of their quarterfinal or semifinal heats of six racers.

“On one of the downhill sections I went over a patch of ice and almost fell,” said Wynn, second in her quarterfinal and third in her semifinal. “But it ended up working. I just didn’t skate until I was over the ice. Then I went under the bridge (behind the ski lodge) and realized, ‘Wow, I am totally going to win this thing!’”

Cobb, who grew up in Peru, Vt., is a graduate of the Stratton Mountain ski academy. He placed third in both quarters and semis.

MONDAY’S POSTPONED races compacted the schedule for the rest of the week. Adaptive sit-ski races of .8 kilometers were pushed back to 10:30 this morning because of expected frigid temperatures.

The distance freestyle events – 15 kilometers for men and 10 for women – were bumped back a day to Thursday with the distance classical mass start races (30 and 20 kilometers) scheduled for Friday.

Longer adaptive sit-ski races are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday, with classical sprints wrapping up the week on Sunday.

Distance events on consecutive days shouldn’t be a problem, said Cape Elizabeth native Clare Egan, 13th in the women’s freestyle sprints Tuesday.

“It’s kind of like a regular race weekend for us,” she said.

Egan’s mother complimented her daughter on the photo in the Maine Sunday Telegram along with a story previewing the nationals.

Only problem, Egan said, is that the skier pictured was her former teammate at UNH, Elizabeth Guiney.

“I don’t usually look that good,” Egan said with a laugh. “She’s got really good technique and she’s 6-1 and, like, really beautiful. But we’re both tall, skinny brunettes, so it’s cool.”

The only other Maine natives to earn quarterfinal berths came in the junior sprints. Rachel Hall of Cumberland, now a freshman at Middlebury, finished 20th among the girls and Nick Michaud of Fort Kent and Bates College placed 17th among the boys.

Those who fell short of qualifying included Welly Ramsey (New Sharon) at 43rd, Nils Koons (Sidney) at 44th, Mike Lessard (Greene) at 45th, Sam Tarling (Cumberland) at 52nd and Fred Bailey (Andover) at 59th.

Among women, Lucy Garrec (Freeport) was 34th, Hilary McNamee (Fort Fairfield)  47th, Emily Attwood (Cape Elizabeth) 79th, Lauren Jacobs (Presque Isle) 100th, Shelby Aseltine (Wilton) 109th, Hadley Moreau (Falmouth) 141st, Amy Lones (North Yarmouth) 142nd and Zoe Chace-Donahue (Freeport) 147th.

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH