With 53 entries in the FasterSkier Climb to the Castle pick the podium contest, the competition for the top spot was hotly contested.
And when two dark horses cracked the podiums, no one succeeded in picking the top 3 men or women correctly.
In fact only four people picked women’s winner Laura Spector to reach the podium and six had men’s 3rd place finisher, Ben Sim (AUS NoCo), listed.
Men’s winner Kris Freeman (USST) was picked correctly on 24 entries, and was listed in the top-3 39 times. Runner-up Noah Hoffman (USST) was listed in the top-3 just 14 times, including eight times in second position.
On the women’s side the US Ski Team duo of Morgan Arritola and Liz Stephen were listed together in the top-3 an impressive 43 times. Arritola, the 2009 winner was the consensus favorite, picked 1st by 29 people, and on the podium 46 times.
Stephen was picked as the winner 19 times and on the podium 45 times.
The two women finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Nordic Combined star Billy Demong (USST) was the most picked man to not make the podium, listed 29 times. He ended up in 12th. Ida Sargent (Darmouth/Craftsbury Green Team), who ended up 5th, led the non-podium women with 24 picks.
Because no one selected the podiums correctly, we used a formula that rewarded picking spots correctly, with the most points available for 1st. We also gave points for having podium finishers listed in the incorrect spots, but within the top-3.
After all the tough addition, Nina Lennie came out on top by a narrow one point margin. Her total of 17 points bested a three-way tie for second, consisting of Nick Crawford, Drew Scott, and Jason Hettenbaugh.
Ninahad three correct picks, with Freeman, Hoffman and Stephen all in the right spots, and also had Arritola in the top-3 for the women. Nina also had probably relation Aidan Lennie in 3rd. Lennie end up 5th surprising the racers around him.
Honorable mention to Sean Halligan, Jon Dellios, Bill Brooker, and Jim “Harvester O’Sorow” Kobak for picking Laura Spector for the podium, as well as Penny Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Pete D’Arienzo, Brett Denney, Sean Halligan, and Finn Marsland for picking Ben Sim to podium.
The Peru Nordic Masters also deserve recognition for picking themselves across the board.