The Craftsbury Outdoor Center and NENSA are proud to announce the Green Team, a new post-graduate ski racing program. The Green Team was conceived to fill a gap in support for skiers pursuing racing after college, and to keep elite skiers in New England, where they can give back to the skiing community that has nurtured them thus far.
The Green Team will be based out of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and coached by Pepa Miloucheva. A former ski orienteering World Champion with an academic background in physiology, biomechanics, and the science of sports training, Miloucheva has been coaching the junior racing program at Craftsbury for ten years. During that time, the program has produced multiple Junior National champions as well as many skiers who went on to successful college careers, including EISA carnival wins and NCAA All-American performances.
But the Green Team aims to be more than just an elite racing program. Athletes are expected to contribute to the mission of the Outdoor Center: to support and promote participation and excellence in lifelong sports with a special focus on rowing and Nordic skiing, to use and teach sustainable practices, and to protect and manage the surrounding land, lake and trails.
In particular, athletes will be working on a broad range of sustainability projects around the Center, such as implementing a composting center, facilitating the transition to local food at the dining hall, improving trails, and removing invasive milfoil from the lake. In this first year, athletes will have the opportunity to define their work to match their specific environmental interests.
After a written application process, six athletes have been selected to form the inaugural Green Team.
Matt Briggs grew up in eastern Massachussets, where he competed for Concord Carlisle High School and the Cambridge Sporting Union. He has spent the last four years as part of the Colby Ski Team. Career highlights include two top-40 results at U.S. Nationals in Houghton in 2008 and the Mules’ 4 carnival race wins that same year. He hopes to help Craftsbury establish itself as one of the top teams in the country while he pursues his goal of skiing in international competition.
Ollie Burruss is a native of Sherborn, Massachusetts, and is another product of the Cambridge Sports Union. He attended Harvard for his undergraduate education, where he was a scoring member of the team starting his freshman year. Ollie was a two-year captain before spending the 2009 season as an assistant coach at Bowdoin. He is elated to have the opportunity to continue to race with the Green Team.
For Hannah Dreissigacker, joining the Green Team means returning to her home club of Craftsbury Nordic. Hannah spent the last four years at Dartmouth, where she was a junior national sprint champion, an EISA carnival winner, and an NCAA All-American. She skied 23 of the 24 carnivals held during her career, and captained the EISA champions her senior year. Hannah is excited to have an opportunity to focus on skiing when she’s not at school, and will make sure that training involves plenty of adventures. She likes balance, so she’s planning to put her environmental engineering degree to use when she’s not training.
Lauren Jacobs grew up in Winthrop, Maine, and from there went to Bates College. After graduating in 2007, Lauren has spent the last two years in graduate school at Université Laval in Quebec, where she was part of the Skibec Nordique team. One of the highlights of Lauren’s 2009 season was winning the final Coupe Québec race at Mont Sainte Anne. She is pleased to be joining the Green Team because of the balance between the narrow focus of high-level skiing and the broader vision provided by our sustainability and community work; she is particularly interested in the local foods aspect of sustainability.
Chelsea Little is a native of Lyme, New Hampshire, where she began racing with the Ford Sayre club in high school. From there she moved down the road to Dartmouth, and has steadily improved over the last four years. Highlights of her college career include top-10 carnival finishes in 2007 and the amazing experience of being part of one of the best women’s college teams in the country. Chelsea is incredibly excited to continue to train and race, and is hoping to use her ecology degree to contribute to the sustainability focus.
Born and raised in Vermont, Tim Reynolds is psyched to be part of a team operating out of the Northeast Kingdom of his home state. He spent his undergraduate years at Middlebury, where he was an EISA carnival winner and three-time NCAA qualifier and All-East pick. Tim captained the Panthers his senior year, and finished in the top 40 at both races at U.S. Nationals in Anchorage. Tim is interested in figuring out the obvious hypocrisy of being a sustainable ski racer.
Athletes will be moving to Craftsbury in the next few weeks, and will go through their first rounds of physiological testing. They will spend the summer and fall training at Craftsbury before heading to early-season SuperTours in the west and then to U.S. Nationals in Anchorage in January.
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