The USST members were not the only ones showing their preseason muscle recently in Lake Placid. Many juniors from the New England region did not hesitate to hop in and rub shoulders with the big guns. NENSA capitalized on the opportunity to schedule a fall camp that coincided with USST training camp so their skiers could put some hours in alongside (or maybe a little behind) the top skiers in the country.
Among the junior skiers that traveled to Lake Placid for the NENSA camp were Parker Tyler, Sophie Caldwell, Megan Killigrew and Karmen Whitham, from Stratton, Jennie Bender from UVM, Alex Howe and Sam Marshall from Gunstock Nordic, Patrick O'Brien from Dartmouth and coaches Sverre Caldwell (Stratton) and Janice Sibilia (NENSA).
At the beginning of the week the NENSA skiers were able to go for a distance classic rollerski with CXC members and get technique advice from Pete Vordenberg, Matt Whitcomb and Pat Casey. Later in the week the junior skiers were given the choice of doing 30 second intervals with the sprinters or 7 minute level 3 intervals with the distance skiers. Many of the junior skiers that chose the longer intervals took the opportunity to ski up a bit into level 4 so that they could hang with top skiers in the country and learn from hanging in behind them.
As Janice Sibilia, NENSA Competitive Program Director, pointed out, during an additional interval workout the lessons learned may have far out weighed the fitness gains of the day. â€œTo witness the focus within each workout was also impressive. On the first day of group intervals with the US Ski Team athletes, a couple of skiers from various groups were left in the dust before the workout even started. When you have an opportunity to ski behind Liz or Morgan or Kris or Andy, you'd do well to observe, and take advantage of it – getting a late start out of the van will not get you where you want to be. They do not wait, nor should they. It is all about being professional in what you do, and part of this is being on time, and on top of your game. The athletes quickly got it and jumped in the subsequent intervals, enabling them to step it up.â€
â€œFor the NENSA team, the entire week took on a feel of going 'Pro', putting the hammer down when beneficial and taking it down a notch when necessary,â€ said Sibilia. The camp concluded with the athletes participating in the â€œClimb to the Castleâ€ rollerski race, which was hosted by NYSEF.
To read more about the NENSA camp visit www.nensa.net.
The NENSA skiers hop in line with the big guys, what a sight!
Matt Whitcomb (USST) gives advice and goals before the workout