FAIRBANKS, ALASKA — Go ahead and add All-American to Luke Rizio’s impressive resume. The back-to-back Vermont gold medal winner and Mount Anthony Nordic star held his own against the fastest skiers in the country this week at the junior national championships, registering top-10 placements in all three of his races.
Representing Team New England, It took Rizio just 23 minutes and 35.6 seconds to earn the All-American accolade during his first race of junior nationals, the 7.5 kilometer classic on Monday. That time put him in ninth place in his under-18 division, though he was just getting started.
Rizio followed that performance with another ninth place finish, this time in the 1.35 kilometer skate sprint which he completed in 3:04.17.
He saved his best for last, grabbing fourth in the country in the 10 kilometer mass-start skate race on Thursday – crossing the finish line in 26:09.2. He was just five seconds behind the winning pace of fellow Vermont skier Tabor Greenberg (26:04) of Green Mountain Valley School.
Vermont skiers swept the under-18 boys events with Greenberg also picking up the victory in the 7.5 kilometer classic with his time of 22:28.6. In the 1.5 kilometer stake spring, it was Stratton Mountain School’s Finegan Bailey (2:52.1) emerging victorious.
Rizio helped MAU secure its second consecutive state championship Feb. 28 at Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton.