The Craftsbury Outdoor Center hosted a Sprint Doubleheader this past weekend — skiers of all ages put on a show and tested the new sprinting track that will be used this weekend for the Eastern Cup Opener (and US Nationals this January). Please note that REGISTRATION for the EC closes this Wednesday at 5pm. (There will ONLY be day of race for the masters waves on Sunday.) Please check your teams roster and make sure athletes sign up early and on time!!
On Saturday the groomers were able to lace a beautiful set of four tracks around the course — with refreezing snow providing an icy sheen and demanding strong klister. Several racers tested out double poling strategies, but given the terrain, snow conditions, and technique control zone employing diagonal techniques was the key to success. Julia Kern (SMS T2) led the women’s field the entire day with a qualifier time of 3:44.39. The men’s field was a battle between two University of Vermont skiers, Ben Ogden won the qualifier in a time of 3:16.36 and Bill Harmeyer edged him out for the overall victory in the A Final. The top master skiers were Kathy Maddock (Dublin XC) and Tyler Magnan (NWVE).
On Sunday skiers switched to their freestyle boards, screaming around the course and posting times roughly ten seconds faster than with traditional technique. Josh Valentine of GMVS was the class of the men’s field winning the qualifier in 3:05.07 and the A Final in 3:02.56. Heather Mooney of the Bridger Ski Foundation did the same in the women’s field with times of 3:33.25 and 3:30.08. Alex Jospe of CSU snuck into the top-10 overall and led masters women, while Tyler Magnan continued to show his strength by placing 18th in the men’s qualifier. Full results can be found here. Awesome photos from Paul Bierman.
Saturday’s event marked the second day of Zak and Club Cup scoring for the season with a diverse body of skiers competing throughout New England. Over 18 clubs are already included in Club Cup rankings with participants from junior to master. Stay up to date on season long rankings here. Sunday’s Eastern Cup is the next stop on the exciting schedule of scored citizen races. Full schedule.
Hats off to Craftsbury for an excellent weekend and one more reminder to sign up before Wednesday’s 5pm registration deadline for the first Eastern Cup weekend — and the start of New England Junior National Team selection. Full Eastern Cup Opener information.