Excerpts taken from articles posted by Pat Cote for NENSA
all photos from flyingpointroad.com
While the talk was mostly about the crazy men’s qualifier round, the performances of the day came from two J2 women who stepped up to earn the top two spots in the overall women’s race. Stratton Mountain School’s Heather Mooney (Peru, VT) won both the qualifying round and the heats, while Corey Stock fought from a lower qualifying position to grab 2nd in the final. Green Mountain Valley School’s Elena Luethi earned third.
For J2 Boys, Jack Hegman (Mansfield Nordic / Huntington, VT) made if three for three on the season with his victory today. Eli Hoenig (Cambridge Sports Union / Sudbury, MA) and Mackenzie Fisher (Stratton / Brattleboro, VT) rounded out the podium.
The J2 Girls were obviously led by Mooney and Stock. Proctor Academy’s Maddy Pfeiffer (Andover, NH) also qualified up into the women’s heat to earn 3rd in the J2 category. NYSEF’s Maile Sapp won the J2-only heats for those who did not ski in the women’s heats.
Sunday’s Distance Races:
The many junior racers in attendance and others at the side of the trail at today’s TD Bank Eastern Cup watched attentively every time Kris Freeman skied by during his warm-up. Those at the venue were excited to be in the presence of a skier who with a 4th and a 7th place finish on the World Cup this year can be viewed as a true Olympic medal threat.
During the race, Freeman did not disappoint and moved around the course with perfect technique through challenging conditions. He skied away from a field that included his brother Justin Freeman, a 2006 Olympian and Ben Koons, a 2010 Olympic team member from New Zealand. Russell Currier (Maine WSC/Caribou, ME) did his best to hang with Freeman and certainly impressed by staying within just over a minute of the nation’s best distance skier. Justin Freeman (Holderness Ski Club/New Hampton, NH) earned the final podium spot with strong performances by Tim Reynolds (Craftsbury Green Racing /Craftsbury, VT) and Ben Koons (NZ Ski Team/Sidney, ME) rounding out the top 5.
After the early morning’s Bill Koch League youth races, the J2 Boys took to the 5 kilometer course. It was Jack Hegman (Mansfield Nordic/Huntington, VT) with the win, extending his winning streak to all four races on the TD Bank Eastern Cup circuit this winter. Today he faced his toughest challenge to date with Patrick Caldwell (Ford Sayre/Lyme, NH) starting to get into top shape and pushing Hegman right to the line only to cross 0.6 seconds short of ending the winning streak. Another 9 seconds back was Eli Hoenig (Cambridge Sports Union/Sudbury, MA.)
The J2 Girls were next and before they even completed a short stadium loop at the start, a pack of three had formed at the front with Corey Stock (CSU/Lincoln, MA), Heather Mooney (Stratton/Peru, VT), and Maddy Pfeiffer (Proctor Academy/Andover, NH) taking control of the race. In the end it was Stock by four seconds over Mooney with Pfeiffer another twenty-three seconds back.
The women featured another very close race at the front. Isabel Caldwell (Stratton/Peru, VT), Lauren Jacobs (Craftsbury Green Racing/Craftsbury, VT), and Gage Fichter (Stratton/Putney, VT) battled near the front for the entire ten kilometer course. The lead pack also included Hannah Smith (CSU/Wellesley, MA), Megan Killigrew (Dartmouth/Putney, VT), Cambria McDermott (Stratton/Putney, VT) with other strung out behind them. At the line it was Caldwell by five seconds followed by Jacobs, with Fichter another 2 seconds behind. Smith and Killigrew grabbed 4th and 5th.
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