(Dec. 21 press release)
On day two of the NENSA Eastern Cup Opener, the courses at Rikert Nordic Center were fast and covered with a dusting of fresh snow. The day was chilly, with temperatures at 25, and flurries throughout the morning and into the afternoon, causing racers to whip out their glasses to see through the snow.
The Bill Koch League racers got to lead the packs today and they competed in freestyle races, the first of the day. Highlighting the BKL events, and indeed the day, was Olympian and USST member Andy Newell of Stratton t2 handing out the BKL awards. The other racers participated in mass start freestyle races. First, the U16 girls, then the U16 boys competed in a 5-kilometer race, and then there was the 10-kilometer race for the women, and finally, the men, whose race was 15-kilometers, finished off the day.
Mae Chalmers (14:23) of Stratton Mountain School set the pace for the U16 girls who raced first for the day, with Kirsten Miller (14:27) a close second, and Alia Sanger (14:49) bringing in the bronze.
The U16 boys were again dominated by Stratton Mountain School, with Russell Boswell (12:22) in first and Adam Witkowski (12:24) in second, and Walker Bean (12:26) from Green Mountain Valley School in third.
Katharine Ogden (25:43) from Stratton Mountain School again topped the podium for the women, with Erika Flowers (25:48) of the SMS t2 team in second and Jennie Bender (26:18) of NE Nordic finishing in third place.
Finally, Patrick Caldwell (33:07) of Dartmouth cleared the way for the men’s race, with Gordon Vermeer (34:24) of Craftsbury Nordic and Jack Hegman (34:27) of UVM taking second and third, respectively.
Caldwell avoided these tussles, and ended up winning the men’s race by a long shot. “It was really fast skiing out there, the fresh snow didn’t slow it down at all, it was a fun race and a good crowd, and fun to have almost 200 people start at once!”
“What a great weekend to kick off our 2014-15 EasternCup Series!” said NENSA executive director, Zach Stegeman. “We enjoyed two days of tremendous racing. We had deep an talented fields across the board, and Saturday’s exceptional men’s field boasted impressive points and the unque opportunity for our New England athletes to race with Olympian, Andy Newell. The Rikert Nordic Center crew did an outstanding job preparing the race courses. If you listened to Pete Davis interview Andy Newell this morning, Andy talked about Rikert having some of the best skiing anywhere right now – coming from the World Cup circuit, that is saying something! Frost Mountain Nordic were terrific hosts, putting on an event as sweet as those maple syrup prizes from Sunrise Orchards. All in all, this sets the stage for a great season of racing ahead.”
Mike Hussey, the director of Rikert Nordic Center did a great job helping to put on the race at Rikert. “The race went great! Thank you Santa Claus for bringing a weekend of great weather and we might have even had a record number of racers for an Eastern Cup Opener, and everything went really smoothly thanks to the Frost Mountain crew, the NENSA crew, and the Rikert crew, and all the volunteers who helped put this on. It was a huge effort, and it was really well done, so thank you all!”
— Article by: Sophie Hodges
(Day 1 press release)
Rikert Nordic Center & Frost Mountain Nordic Host Successful Opening Day of Eastern Cup Racing
Rikert Nordic Center and host club, Frost Mountain Nordic pulled out all the stops to put on an amazing race on a pristine day at the Breadloaf campus of Middlebury College. The trails were beautifully groomed, the conditions were impeccable, and the sun decided to show its face as well, making for a lovely day of skiing and a fun time for all.
The races today started off with a 5-kilometer classic individual start for the U16 boys. Next up were the women, who skied a 5-kilometer classic individual start as well, and finally, the men, who did a 10-kilometer classic individual start. Stratton Mountain School and the SMSt2 Team combined for a Stratton sweep of the top step of the podium to kick off the 2014-15 Eastern Cup campaign.
Adam Witkowski (14:28) and Russell Boswell (14:31) combined to open the EasternCup season with a one-two punch for Stratton Mountain School, edging third place, Adam Gluek (14:35) from Ford Sayer in the boys U16 race.
Katherine Ogden (14:55) of Stratton Mountain School set the pace in the Women’s field, with Middlebury’s Heather Mooney (14:59) skiing to second on her home course ahead of Erika Flowers (15:18) of SMSt2.
In the men’s race, U.S. Ski Team and Stratton t2 Team member Andy Newell (24:44), skied to the top of the podium ahead of Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Gordon Vermeer (24:57) and David Sinclair (25:04), skiing for Green Mountain Valley School.
It was a great day for racing, with blue skies, temperatures around 25 degrees, and the sun keeping everybody who was spectating nice and warm. Bill Rogers put it nicely. “How could anyone be disappointed in today, with sunshine all day, beautiful snow for late December skiing, and really first-class competition!”
There were two racers who joined the ranks from the SMS t2 team, Andy Newell and Erika Flowers. Erika seemed pretty excited to have joined in on the race today. “The course today was pretty awesome, it was fast which made for a quick race, it was pretty speedy out there and sunny, there was definitely some ice around those corners, so you had to ride it on the outside, but it was good practice, and made for a fun day!”
Ogden, the winner of the women’s 5k classic, had a great race. “My skis were awesome, thanks to and incredible crew of Stratton wax techs and it was just really awesome to ski on the beautiful Rikert trails on a perfect day!”
Thanks to all the volunteers and race coordinators for a wonderful first day of races!
— Article by Sophie Hodges
Link to full results here (scroll down on this page to find results links).