At the conclusion of each season NENSA is always excited to announce the overall male and female Eastern Cup Champions. Recipients will see a new title on their award this year as it has been renamed the Mike Gallagher Cup. This standing award, donated by a Vermont family, will reside at NENSA, and the male and female champions will receive a hand made mug from TwoPotters of Vermont.
“The Eastern Cup circuit is New England’s premier race series and we feel the competition and community behind the series speak to Mike Gallagher’s legacy as an athlete, coach, and community leader,” said NENSA executive director, Zach Stegeman. “Thank you to the Gallagher family for supporting us in our approach to honoring Mike’s legacy for NENSA.”
This season athletes were introduced to a new Eastern Cup venue at Waterville Valley, NH and also returned to Black Mountain (Rumford, ME) and Holderness School, (Holderness, NH) both back from a hiatus in 2013. Opening weekend at Craftsbury and the Combined Eastern Cup /College Carnival at Trapp Family Lodge, completed a schedule of quality events.
This was a particularly competitive year on the Eastern Cup circuit as several visiting out-of-region skiers stepped up the pace while vying for a chance to earn points in the hopes of securing a spot on the US Olympic team for Sochi.
In the end it was Katharine Ogden, SMS and Patrick O’Brien, Craftsbury Green Racing Project, taking home the overall NENSA Eastern Cup overall championship honors.
Katharine continued the tradition that began last year with Cate Brams, CSU, by winning the women’s series as a junior skier. Katharine has competed Internationally for the past two years gaining valuable experience that she brings back home to Vermont with her.
Caitlin Patterson of the Craftsbury GRP placed second and Heidi Halvorsen, Stowe, VT, took third upon her return from training and racing in Norway.
Patrick O’Brien, also representing Craftsbury, has been a mainstay on the CGRP since its inception several years ago. Pat has traveled Internationally as well with the team in races across the pond.
Jack Schrupp, Gunstock Nordic was second in the overall points, followed by Peter Kling, APU/GMVS, who amassed high placings in the early season races.
The NENSA Eastern Cup series is the premier race series in New England and one of the most competitive regional events in the country. Participation consists of college, juniors, seniors and masters racers all vying for Eastern Cup points. The juniors have the added incentive to earn separate points for the highly competitive New England Junior National Team. USSA National Ranking points are up for grabs at each of these races (FIS points too, in most cases), for skiers looking to gain better seeding in USSA races and potential starts in OPA and World Cup races.
The racing format of the Eastern Cups allows skiers to go head to head against the best skiers in our region, who are also some of the best in the country. One can find the traditional race format of interval start races at these events, along with full sprints with heats brackets, short distance prologue races, and exciting mass start races in both classic and skating technique.
For full Eastern Cup results go to: http://www.nensa.net/
Alex Kochon (email@example.com) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.