The NENSA Eastern Cup series opened on a cold and clear morning at Presque Isle, Maine’s Nordic Heritage Center. College, high school, and senior racers alike toed the line for the freestyle sprint on the new Fred Bailey-designed sprint loop at the Nordic Heritage Center.
The course, which measures in at just over 1200 meters, starts with a downhill out of the stadium, then turns tightly and begins the tough climb back up to the biathlon stadium. Racers then pass under the spectator bridge right into two sharp rollers leading up to the final hill into the stadium. The crux of the course is the first downhill corner. Coming off a screaming downhill and then turning right and uphill, the corner played a key part in both qualifying and heats.
Qualifying was led on the men’s side by Stratton Mountain School’s Skyler Davis and on the women’s by Dartmouth skier Sophie Caldwell.
Caldwell moved easily through her quarterfinal, as did the majority of the top female qualifiers. Of the top 5 women, only third-ranked Alex Jospe did not move through to the semi-finals.