Craftsbury, VT – Extreme cold overnight allowed the crew at Craftsbury Outdoor Center to blow a huge pile of snow, and racers on the 1.5K artificial snow loop today were greeted with even better conditions than the day before. With almost 450 starters in today’s 4.5 and 9 kilometer freestyle events, the additional snow and slightly widened trails were much appreciated.
The J2 Boys raced 4.5K with Stratton Mountain School’s Koby Gordon earning a narrow 5.3 second win over Gatineau, Quebec’s Zacharie Turgeon. Ben Hegman (Mansfield Nordic) was third with Jake Elder (Cumberland County Nordic) just 1.5 seconds behind him to claim 4th.
The J2 Girls raced 4.5K with the women’s field. Cambridge Sports Union’s Julia Kern grabbed the victory with an impressive 13th place overall. Anne-Marie Comeau from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Quebec was second with Stratton’s Brooke Mooney and Katherine Ogden third and fourth.
Overall, the women’s race featured a runaway win by Dartmouth’s Sophie Caldwell, but an intense battle behind her with only 6 seconds separating 2nd from 7th place. In second was the Craftsbury Green Racing Project newcomer and former CXC Elite Team skier Maria Stuber enjoying another strong finish with her new team. UNH’s Elizabeth Guiney and UVM’s Lucy LeGarrec took third and fourth.
By the time the men’s race temperatures had warmed a bit, and no team was hotter than the Craftsbury Green Racing Project who put four athletes into the top six. Another team newcomer and former CXC athlete Brian Cook took advantage of his early start and stormed to a lead that held as over 200 men crossed the finish line. Teammates Dylan McGuffin and Nils Koons were 2nd and 3rd. Patrick Johnson of Middlebury College was just 0.5 seconds behind Koons to grab 4th.
Despite so much warm weather across New England this December it was once again another winter-like day in Craftsbury. Participants enjoyed plentiful artificial snow, cold temperatures, and lots of fantastic ski racing thanks to a superhuman effort by the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Many thanks to the hosts, racers, and supporters who made this weekend a great opening to the 2011-12 TD Bank Eastern Cup season.
About the Craftsbury Outdoor Center:
The Craftsbury Outdoor Center began in 1976 when Russell Spring and his family purchased the Cutler Academy campus and began remaking the facilities into lodging for guests and athletes. A Nordic trail network was cut on the land, with sculling and running camps founded shortly after, providing year round training and athletic opportunities in a beautiful natural setting.
After over thirty years of growth and guidance under the Springs, the Center began a new chapter in its life in November 2008 when Dick Dreissigacker and Judy Geer purchased the Center. Dick and Judy promptly reformed the company as a non-profit organization with a new mission.
The mission of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center is:
- to support and promote participation and excellence in lifelong sports with a special focus on rowing, nordic skiing, and running;
- to use and teach sustainable practices; and
- to protect and manage the surrounding land, lake and trails.
The New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) is the Olympic development organization for cross-country skiing in New England as well as the umbrella for most organized Nordic skiing events in the region. NENSA hosts over 50 events and more than 20 clinics for skiers and coaches at venues across the Northeast. Cross-country skiing, as practiced by our youth skiers and families, is a lifetime activity firmly rooted in New England tradition. Cross-country ski racing, as performed in the NENSA Eastern Cup series, and at our Championship Events, is a fast, explosive, and visually dynamic sport.