Note: This is the fifth preview in a quick-and-dirty series on U.S. elite teams. We asked coaches to send their 2012/2013 rosters and tell us what’s new for the coming season. We will be publishing additional reports over the next few weeks. Teams are presented in no particular order.
Team: Craftsbury Green Racing Project (GRP)
Coaches: Pepa Miloucheva (head coach, 15th season), Jeremy Nellis (junior coach)
Senior roster: Ida Sargent (U.S. Ski Team), Susan Dunklee (US Biathlon), Hannah Dreissigacker (US Biathlon), Clare Egan, Maria Stuber, Amy Glen, Caitlin Patterson;
Bryan Cook, Dylan McGuffin, Patrick O’Brien, Tim Reynolds, Alex Howe, Nils Koons, Gordon Vermeer
Who’s new: Glen (2012 University of Vermont NCAA champion, Anchorage native), Patterson (also from UVM and Anchorage), Howe (another recent UVM grad; New Hampshire native), Vermeer (Dartmouth grad from Minneapolis) and Koons (former GRP training partner, New Zealand native)
Who’s missing: None.
Top results last season: In her first year on the U.S. Ski Team, Sargent notched 12th at the Moscow World Cup sprint. Also a national-team rookie, Dunklee (US Biathlon A-team) posted a best-ever finish by an American woman at the World Biathlon Championships in Ruhpolding, Germany, placing fifth in the 15 k individual race and missing the podium by just seven seconds.
Dreissigacker recently earned a spot on the US Biathlon B-team after cracking the top 20 at the IBU Cup in Canmore, Alberta, where she placed 16th in a sprint. She competed in a hefty number of cross-country races last season and was ninth at U.S. nationals in the classic sprint, but will be focusing on biathlon this year, according to a GRP press release.
Also at the 2012 U.S. Cross-Country Championships in Rumford, Maine, Stuber (a training partner) placed 10th in the 10 k skate and Egan followed in 11th.
On the men’s side, Reynolds wrapped up the season with a bronze medal in the 50 k at U.S. Distance Nationals in Craftsbury, Vt. McGuffin won a SuperTour in St. Paul, Minn., and O’Brien was second overall in the Tour de Twin Cities multi-stage event. O’Brien also tallied three top-10′s at U.S. nationals – in both sprints and the 30 k classic – and was eighth in the 50 k at distance nationals.
Another Craftsbury training partner, Cook finished fifth at U.S. nationals in the 15 k skate and was ninth in the 30 k in Rumford. Koons won the 2012 Craftsbury Marathon, was third in the Boulder Mountain Tour and posted four SuperTour top-10’s last season. This spring, he became a full-time team member.
Coach’s comment: With five new athletes, the GRP roster has grown to a whopping 14, and coach Pepa Miloucheva has been impressed with their training.
“The new athletes did fit right into the training program and into the center’s projects,” she wrote in an email. “It is a great group of very similar-in-speed athletes, but also with different strengths and needs, [which] allows them to really improve by training with each other. For me as their coach, [that’s] a great challenge to have!”
The team is currently seeking one or two wax techs/assistant coaches for the upcoming season. As for their summer schedule, Craftsbury is hosting the NENSA Eastern Regional Elite Group (REG) Camp and Stratton Mountain School Elite Team this week. In September, the GRP will join the U.S. Ski Team dryland camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., for two weeks of training and time trials.