ALL THE COWS ARE IN THE BARN…THE WORK IS DONE; NOW IT’S TIME TO RACE!
The Olympic Trials Selection Process is about to begin. Two men, Jay Hakinen and Tim Burke have already pre-qualified, but for the other athletes their journey is about to begin. For the athletes in North America, their trials process begins with five races over nine days. These races will take place in Coleraine, MN, just 15 minutes outside of Grand Rapids, where the athletes are currently preparing. The best 3 of 5 races will be scored and used to select up to 4 men and 4 women to head to Europe and compete in 3 competitions in Germany January 7-10. They will be joined by the athletes currently competing on the World Cup and not qualified already for the Olympics. These competitions in Germany will be the last opportunity to show their metal and make their bid for an Olympic berth.
CURRENT CONDITIONS IN COLERAINE
The current weather in Coleraine is cold. Temperatures are well below zero and the wind chills are even lower. Yet, the athletes continue to head out each day to get their workouts in, to fine tune and stay in sync with their routines.
Snow finally hit east of the Rockies, although not much in most places. Grand Rapids unfortunately was missed by the storm so the amount of natural snow is only a few inches. Luckily a strong core of volunteers from the community under the leadership of the Mt. Itasca Nordic Ski Association has laid out a 2.5km loop of manmade snow. Working around the clock blowing snow, pushing it out on to the loop, and grooming, the course is just about set for this weekend.
READY TO GO
Walt Shepard of Yarmouth had two strong finishes for the Maine Winter Sports Center in the opening weekend of racing placing 4th and 8th. Last weekend, Russell Currier of Stockholm cleaned (hit 10 for 10) his first race ever and won in the 2nd NorAm weekend. BethAnn Chamberlain of Caribou has also performed well in both weekends and looks poised to make a push on her “home course”. Chamberlain grew up and attended high school in Grand Rapids before moving out to Maine. Also competing for the MWSC:
Bill Bowler – Wasau, WI
Eliot Neal – Wilson, WY
Grace Boutot – Ft. Kent
Andrea Mayo – Wallagrass
Hilary McNamee – Ft. Fairfield