This weekend’s Eastern Cups held another weekend of racing at the base of an alpine slope on man-made snow. Due to lack of snow, Saturday’s sprints (which were supposed to be held at Bond Brook in Augusta) were moved to the same location as Sunday’s distance race, at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington, Maine.
Fortunately the crew at Titcomb were prepared to make as much of a course as they could with the terrain and snow that they had, and the races were pulled off without a hitch despite some plummeting temperatures and wicked windchills.
Unfortunately, the classic sprint course had little challenging terrain and, coupled with the fast snow, resulted in a better part of the field deciding to race without kick wax. Nearly all of the men’s field raced on skate skis or non-waxed classic around the 1.2 km loop. Several of the top women raced without kick, but even some of the women who started the day with classic skis switched over to the all-double-pole strategy for the final rounds.
Though Tim Reynolds of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP) won the qualifying round by 2 seconds over teammate Patrick O’Brien, it was Bend Endurance Academy’s Dakota Blackhorse Von-Jess who blasted through the heats and took the Men’s A Final at the end of the day, Reynolds and O’Brien rounding out the podium in second and third, respectively. Taking fourth through sixth places in the final were Sam Tarling (Dartmouth) , Erik Lindgren (UNH), and Nils Koons (CGRP).
By posting the top time in the morning’s qualification round, Corey Stock told the field that she was the woman to beat.
And then she didn’t let the field touch her for the rest of the day.
A senior at Lincoln-Sudbury, Stock raced the weekend for her club team of Cambridge Sports Union (CSU). Though Rosie Brennan (APU) and Maria Stuber (CGRP) looked strong throughout their own heats, Stock double poled her way to victory over her two challengers in the Women’s A Final; Brennan in second and Stuber finishing third. Rounding out the final were Clare Egan (CGRP) in fourth, Hilary McNamee (Maine Winter Sports Center) in fifth, Hannah Miller (CGRP) taking sixth.
The race organizers utilized part of the alpine slope and combined the long uphill and fast downhill with the flat sprint loop in order to create an effective and challenging course for Sunday’s distance skate races. The men raced 8 laps of the 1.6 km course and the women raced 6 laps. It was a gorgeously sunny day, but bitter cold, the windchill temperatures dipping well below zero.
The CGRP took the day, grabbing five of the six podium spots in the senior race.
The top two women in the senior’s race crushed their competition by over a minute on the 9.6km course. Maria Stuber was back on the podium, this time with a victory. Posting a time of 26:27:30, Stuber was just 8.5 seconds faster than runner-up Chelsea Holmes. Clare Egan (CGRP) finished third, with a time of 27:43.
The men’s race was much tighter, the fifth man back finishing 35 seconds down to race leader Patrick O’Brien. O’Brien posted a time of 30:03.6 over the 8 loop, 12.8k race, with two of his CGRP teammates finishing just behind him. Bryan Cook averaged just one second slower per lap to finish in second place, while Nils Koons posted 30:31 to place third.
Julia Kern (CSU) and Koby Gordon (Stratton) won the J2 division races.