The 2022 NENSA Summer Series hosted its first rollerski race of the season at the beginning of July. The Lost Nation Roll took place at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center on July 3rd, and by all accounts, was a huge success. Both men and women raced 10 k in an interval start format on the Outdoor Center’s paved rollerski loop.
Coinciding with the Eastern Regional Elite Group (REG) camp, around 40 top Eastern juniors boosted the race attendance numbers. NENSA’s Competitive Program Director, Justin Beckwith, explained that this year’s edition was the third open event they’ve co-hosted with Craftsbury and it was the best attended. Beckwith said, “It’s exciting to see the community out cheering and of course to have elites from CGRP (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) and SMST2 (Stratton Mountain T2), with three [U.S.] Ski Teamers in the mix, Ben [Ogden], Will [Koch] and Sydney [Palmer-Leger].” As Lost Nation Roll was the first race out of the seven in the NENSA series, it was also the debut moment for the podium cheese provided by Cabot, which was certainly a highlight.
On the men’s side, Ogden (SMST2) topped the podium, finishing in a time of 23:25.3. Brian Bushey (University of Utah) came in second, +11.9 seconds behind Ogden. Finn Sweet (Craftsbury Ski Club/UVM) completed the podium, in third place (+13). The 6 k U16 boys competition was won by Micah Bruner of SMS (13:04.9).
For the women, Margie Freed of CGRP took top honors, with a finish time of 26:29.6. Behind her, Evelina Sutro of SMST2 finished second (26:55). In third position, Kelsey Dickinson, also of CGRP, finished in 27:04.7. Ruth Krebs, skiing for Craftsbury Ski Club, won the U16 girls race in 15:39.3.
Beckwith extended thanks to the race hosts, saying, “Craftsbury’s track and their amazing community / race crew make hosting a race easy and fun.”
Up next in the series is the first of three hill climbs, the Rollins Roll up Mt. Kearsarge in Warner, New Hampshire on August 21st. About the upcoming event Beckwith said, “While we know we will have a strong junior showing we are really hoping to boost masters participation in our three hill climbs throughout the series (Rollins, Climb to the Castle, and Mt. Greylock).” As incentive, Beckwith explained that there will be a special overall prize for the best two of three placements for masters from Allagash Brewing.
Taking place the same day as the Lost Nation Roll, was NENSA’s second Learn-to-Roll event of the 2022 summer season. Spearheaded by NENSA Youth & Introductory Program Director, Kait Miller, the clinic provided an opportunity for any skier looking to try their hand at rollerskiing for the first time.
Miller explained that over the course of the summer she hopes to add a few more Learn-to-Roll opportunities in combination with scheduled rollerski races. She said, “So far the Lost Nation Roll is the only event we’ve done this with and it seems to be a good format with some clinic participants showing up early to watch the races.”
Capping off an action-packed day, skiers headed to Craftsbury village for a little time on natural snow. Emerging from Craftsbury’s summer snow storage, the strip was fashioned into a jump course which saw some great aerial moves.
Growing up in Washington’s Methow Valley, Ella was immersed in skiing and the ski community from a young age. From early days bundled in the pulk, to learning to ski as soon as she could walk, to junior racing, a few seasons of collegiate racing, and then to coaching, she has experienced the ski world in many forms. Now, as a recent graduate from Dartmouth College, she finds herself living in France splitting her time between teaching English at a university in Lyon, avidly following ski racing (and now writing about it!) and adventuring in the outdoors as often as possible.