Jesse Downs and Heidi Halvorsen claimed victory in a large and competitive field last weekend in Jericho, Vermont. The final event in the NENSA Summer Rollerski Series attracted nearly 70 athletes for the 12km freestyle. With 20 pairs of matched rollerskis, the series provides a leveling factor that is often missing in rollerskiing racing – though the size of this event meant that a number of top athletes raced on their own equipment. While all racers are listed on the results, only those on matched skis can officially win the race.
Held on the excellent rollerskii loop at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vermont, the course provided excellent skiing terrain – good transitions, corners and varied terrain. And with school back in session a number of top Eastern skiers battled for the top spots.
Biathlete Jesse Downs looked strong in skiing to a 17 second win over University of Vermont's Franz Bernstein. Kalle Jahn of Brattleboro was third overall, though Alex Howe, also of UVM, was the third racer on NENSA matched skis. In fact, 5 of the top raced on their own equipment.
In the women's race Heidi Halvorsen rolled away with a 2 minute victory. Overcoming a crash that left her bloody, the young skier from the Green Mountain Valley School look strong but was aided by extremely fast skis. Jennie Bender (UVM) was second on matched skis, and the official winner edging Burke's Corinne Prevot by 3 seconds. Prevot was not on matched skis. World Junior skier Ida Sargent, coming off some hard training, took fourth overall and officially, second place. Caitlin Patterson rounded out the official podium.
All photos courtesy of UVM head coach Paul Stone.