New Paltz is home to the famous Shawangunk Mountains, a Mecca for rock climbing, trail running, mountain and road biking and paddling. This past weekend it was also home to 14 Nordic skiers eager to learn more about the sport.
Nick Mancuso, Camp organizer, had a goal of offering an opportunity for High School juniors to train together, and receive an overview on training and technique for Nordic skiing. In addition to the ski components, the area provided a unique array of sights not readily available at most ski camps.
Skiers had several chances to roller ski both skating and classic on the country roads around New Paltz, including Huegenot Street. This street boasts several of the oldest stone houses in the country and has varied terrain enabling everyone to practice different techniques on the distance workouts.
The Mancuso’s “campground” worked beautifully as home base and the athletes were treated to home cooked meals every day and access to the Wallkill River literally in their backyard.
Coaches included Nick Mancuso Sr., Wallkill HS Coach and Mid A JO Coach; Art Stegan, former Olympic Biathlon Coach and National Guard Biathlon Team Coach; Jason Hettenbaugh, Mid Atlantic JO Coach: Greg Malia Section IX Nordic Coach; Nick Mancuso Jr, currently attending UNH and Head Coach Janice Sibilia, JLS Sports and NENSA Competitive Program Director. Joe Rivera, who also works closely with the Wallkill Ski Team, was also instrumental in the camp organization and making it a success.
Over the course of the camp, skiers took part in a very cool trail hike/run complete with large tallis rock scrambles and caves, a mountain bike session on the “Gunks” Escarpment trails leading to a swim in Lake Awosting, A skate and Classic distance ski with video analysis, Speed and agility on roller skis, a strength test and a Time Trial on the roads of West Point Military Academy. For non athletic endeavors, campers were able to see the sights and sounds of Times Square in Manhattan and enjoy a meal at the famous, albeit strange, Jeckyl and Hide Restaurant.
After today’s time trial at West Point, Art Stegan led the group on a tour of the Military Academy.
The main focus was to introduce everyone to the different concepts that make up the life of a nordic skier…technique training, fitness training, the importance of proper recovery and balancing it all with a whole lot of fun!
It appears from the feedback that we accomplished our goals and many comments were heard about what a beautiful environment we have here for training. In November there will be another chance to experience the area with the Annual Kingston Roller Ski Races.