NENSA News Feed http://www.nensa.net/ The New England Nordic Ski Association provides year-round educational, recreational, and competitive programs at all levels of cross-country ski racing. NENSA works to sustain a vital and active skiing community in New England, and to provide the support structure necessary to bring athletes to their highest potential at regional, national, and international events. en-us Thom Perkins Retires from Jackson Ski Touring Foundation http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6704 Jackson, NH: After leading the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation (JSTF) for 38 years, Thom Perkins has announced his retirement from the organization. 

]]> As its Executive Director since 1976, Perkins has been instrumental in transforming the small village of Jackson, NH into one of the nation’s premier cross country skiing and snowshoeing venues.  Passionate about the sport of cross country skiing, Perkins developed the existing trail system from a modest number of trails to the present far-reaching network of 150 kilometers, all the while setting the standard for grooming of cross country ski trails.

An active member of the cross country skiing community and the 2010 winner of SkiNH’s Al Merrill Award for outstanding contributions to cross country skiing, Perkins provided training opportunities to skiers ranging from school children, college teams, Paralympic and Junior National competitors to Olympic level athletes. 

Perkins is a Board Member Emeritus of the international trade association of cross country ski areas – CCSAA.  He was the recipient of the North American Ski Journalist Association Lifetime Achievement Award and was named one of 25 Nordic Heroes in the United States in a feature article in Cross Country Skier Magazine.  Perkins represented New Hampshire’s cross country ski industry as a member of the Board of SkiNH, the trade association for the state’s Alpine and Nordic areas.

During his tenure, Perkins nourished the unique circumstances under which JSTF was founded. With almost all Foundation trails located on private, government or town owned land, Perkins was a steward for private land owners and a hero to cross country ski enthusiasts, working tirelessly to provide skiing and economic benefits to the region.  He proposed legislation enacted in 2013, which increases protection from liability for landowners who permit use of their land for recreational purposes. 

“We as a community recognize the tremendous strides Thom has made over the decades to position the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation as one of the most recognized cross country skiing and snowshoeing facilities in the United States. Thom’s name is synonymous with the Foundation and cross country skiing in New England,” said Kevin Killourie, President of JSTF. 

The Foundation is pleased to announce that Breanne Torrey, Director of Operations, has been promoted to Acting Director of the JSTF. Torrey has worked at the Foundation for the past 5 seasons in many capacities including Director of Ski Patrol.  She received her BS from the University of Maine in National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, and Tourism.

 “Brea’s education, 5 years of experience at Jackson Ski Touring and her background make her well-poised to step into the role of Acting Director,” noted Sam Harding, Vice President of JSTF. 

As part of the transition, respected local businessman and avid outdoor enthusiast Dave Kinsman has been named Transition Coordinator to assist Brea. A resident of Fryeburg, Maine, Dave has been an active and contributing member of the JSTF community for many years and is a past rental shop manager.

The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, chartered to maintain trails in and around the charming village of Jackson, NH. The Foundation maintains 150 km of varied and breathtaking cross country ski and snowshoe trails. The Foundation operates under a Special-Use Permit with the White Mountain National Forest, and with the cooperation of 82 private landowners, and the village of Jackson. More information about the Foundation and its offerings can be found on the web at www.jacksonxc.org.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:40:51 EST
Bill Henchey Honored with 2014 John Caldwell Award http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6710 The New England Nordic Ski Association is proud to honor Bill Henchey with the 2014 John Caldwell Award. The Caldwell Award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to Nordic skiing in New England.

]]> “One of the defining strengths of our Nordic community are the many folks working tirelessly behind the scenes to elevate the experience for everyone else,” said Zach Stegeman, executive director at NENSA. “Bill epitomizes that spirit and I hope this recognition of his efforts will inspire younger skiers who have benefitted from his work to give back in a similar fashion.”

That dedication to the sport and focus on making the best experience for all participants is evident in Henchey’s multiple roles. Many skiers will know his work from the terrific skiing conditions, and quality racecourses at Trapp Family Lodge. Henchey can also be seen in the signature yellow parka as a Technical Delegate at competitions across New England, ensuring a safe and fair competition for all.
"Bill is the hardest working person in the ski business that I know,” said Jim Rodrigues, a fellow TD who has managed NENSA events for twelve years. “It shows in every event he is involved in, down to looking at the smallest details."

Sam Von Trapp of the Trapp Family Lodge echoed Rodrigues’ sentiment. "With Bill in charge we always know that we will host top-notch races. From course prep leading up to the event, to putting together an über-capable team, Bill only knows how to succeed.”

And succeed he has. A shining example from this season was his instrumental role in the success of the 2014 Junior National Championship, a monster event that Henchey and the team at Trapp Family Lodge and Stowe Nordic Outing Club turned into a great showcase for the historic venue.

“Bill Henchey is the driving force behind creating the reliably beautiful race course conditions and stadium setups at Trapps.," said Carol Van Dyke, President of Stowe Nordic Outing Club. “Even busy with his own summer landscaping business, Bill works doggedly year round to improve his TD certification training and is openly available for consultations about upcoming races. Bill astutely applies all his expertise to his Chief of Competition role at high-level competitions at Trapps, as well as traveling to other venues as a skilled Technical Delegate. He is a trustworthy, proficient, and visionary personage to work with.”

In reflecting on Henchey’s impact Von Trapp concluded, “The Trapp Family Lodge, and the New England nordic community, are lucky to have him help carry the flag for our ‘virtuous sport’."

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Sat, 19 Apr 2014 08:17:31 EST
BKL Leadership Award Goes to John Ogden http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6709 NENSA is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Bill Koch League Leadership Award is John Ogden of West River Nordic.

]]> John Ogden, aka JO, JohnnieO, Ogden, or Fox’s Assistant, is best known for his annual job as the Relay Race Starter at the BKL Festival and can be seen sporting a colorful wig or outlandish sunglasses or a grass skirt (or a combination of all three). His booming voice ringing out over the kids lined up in the start line with course instructions—“What’s the most important thing to remember out there? That’s right! Have FUN!” And with a wave of his hand they’re off, sprinting down the stadium. For many of these kids his encouragement is the lighthearted but critical reminder to relax and enjoy the race.  

Mary Anne Levins, chair of the New England BKL Committee, and longtime friend of Ogden’s remembers one of the many Festivals they’ve worked together, “I think the best was his broken ankle/leg (from a mid-winter wilderness ski holiday) in 2007. We put him down at the far end of the field at Trapps to start each relay…. all day… no help… NASTY weather. We all took cover and he would radio us now and again and we would continue to encourage his great work, afraid to ask if frostbite had set in on the foot or not… while we remained warm and cozy in timing. Eight festivals after his inaugural Relay starter position in Bethel, he is still at the helm of the Festival relay, and more importantly, he continues to set the 'rules' of only positive energy allowed at the NEBKL Festival… for racers and parents alike!! This award couldn't go to a more influential person of NEBKL over the last 12 years!!  His attitude and perspective on what NEBKL is and can become is infectiously positive and a vital component to the overall success of the program for the last 12 years!”

Ogden embodies the true spirit of BKL: fun, community, and a lifelong and deep love of the sport. He knows the importance of a positive attitude and always shows up with a smile, always willing to help, ready to throw himself fully into the whatever the task is: wrangling kids, sorting bibs, marking courses, handing out awards, controlling crowds, or just cheering on the sidelines. Chloe Levins says that he is “New England’s number one cheerleader!” remarking on his loud voice that carries along the course. Among other important positions, he is a famed “target washer” at the annual Mountain Top Paintball Biathlon, maintaining his grin despite constant heckling from race organizers and officials.

His willingness to give extends way beyond his own club or local BKL races that attends or organizes. Poppet Boswell, co-District Chair of Southern VT (with Ogden) laughs that he just can’t say no. “Basically, wherever John is, there's a good time and a can do attitude. John has been known to invite our whole SMS crew over to the fields around his house on which he had groomed trails in years with low snow. He has groomed tracks for us on a local forest service road for practices.”

When the first day of the 2013 BKL Festival had to be canceled because of the Boston Blizzard, John was the first one to organize a ski tour in the woods behind the hotel, taking kids on a real urban adventure. He sees the positive and makes things happen; at the root of his motivation is joy and giving kids lasting memories.

One of the featured presenters at all of the BKL Coaching Clinics in the last four years, he has lead discussions on healthy competition, coaching various ages and abilities in a group, and how to structure a program. He has years of skiing experience, both with his own children (he has three—Katharine, Ben, and Charlotte) and the ones he coaches at West River Nordic, his Southern VT BKL Club. Whatever the activity, he stresses that his most important tool is his afternoon cup of coffee because to be successful with kids you have to “meet energy with energy!”

Sverre Caldwell, Stratton Mountain School Coach, has known John for a long time and has seen firsthand the benefits of a healthy BKL program. "John does a great job of combining expertise and enthusiasm with his BKL group. He will always be the first on to don a funny costume and has a knack for recounting crazy stories. John embodies what we look for in a leader for our BKL skiers."

Kate McNay Koch, a friend and fellow leader says “John O brings great enthusiasm and energy to our West River program. He doesn’t dumb down his skiing for the kids.  When he plays games or jumps in relays, he goes all out. It pushes them. The kids know when they tag him, or when they are older and flat out beat him, they have arrived; he never gives it away."

Ogden’s main motivation is fun and he walks the walk, with his own family and with his friends. Jonathan Bigelow, one of Ogden’s good friends and coach of the Burr and Burton High School Nordic Team says, “John loves to see kids go fast, and he loves to give little pointers about how to ski the corners, milk the rollers, and gain time on the downhills. He just can't help it, and there's no sense in trying to deny this. But the truth is that this is not at the center of skiing for him. He just loves to see kids out on skis, being active, being outdoors, being engaged in the world around them. Strip away the competitions, and he would still be out there getting kids to ski. 

John is incredibly tough and able as a skier/outdoorsman, and he will badger you into the most outrageous adventures. Sometimes I will be visiting with my mom, and I will tell her, "John called, and he thinks we should… " It's right at that point that my mom will cut me off and say, "Oh, Honey, I don't think you should go off with John. You'll probably get in over your head."  But John is incredibly generous when you are out with him. He'll push you, and the whole time he's looking out for you. He's got the extra energy bar and thermos stuffed down in his pack, and quite frankly, if you really get into trouble, he'll just put you on his shoulders and ski you out. 

From my own perspective, and I know this will sound ironic, I think those of us who get involved with BKL sometimes get too focused on kids. It's all about the kids we say to ourselves, and so we scurry around making things right for them. As much as anything kids need to see us adults doing these activities. If we say skiing is a life-long love, we need to live it and model it. This is JO! Oh, he loves to put on a show and wear the goofy wigs, but I think the real impact is that he so clearly loves being outside sliding on snow. You can't fake that, and there's nothing showy about it.”

 

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Ogden showing off one of his many wigs. [Kris Dobie photo]

 

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Presenting at a BKL Coaching Clinic.

 

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His usual state!

 

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Mountain biking through the night at the Lunar Quarry 12 at Pine Hill Park in Rutland, VT.

 

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Organizing the urban ski tour at the 2013 BKL Festival.

 

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Working on the race crew at the 2013 Grand Prix.

 

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He's not afraid to wear glitter!

 

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Bigelow, MA, and Ogden at the Mountain Top Paintball Biathlon.

 

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Bigelow and Ogden showing important pre-race game faces.

 

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Fox and Fox Assistant at the 2014 BKL Festival.

 

 

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abby@nensa.net (Abby Weissman)Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:02:04 EST
Craftsbury to Hire Biathlon Coach http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6708 Craftsbury seeks to hire a Biathlon Coach to start in the late Spring/early Summer of 2014. This would be a full-time position; the coach will also be expected to participate in other projects and activities at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center as time permits. Compensation could include most meals, and a place to live.

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Now Hiring: Biathlon Coach

Last Updated: 17.Apr.2014

Coaching responsibilities would include the following athlete groups:
o    Green Racing Project: developing senior athletes
o    Juniors: both introductory and experienced (aiming for Jr National Team)
o    Youth: development programming
o    Any possible collaboration with USBA on Development Programming or supporting visiting National Team biathletes

Oversee all biathlon programming at Craftsbury, including:
o    Above-mentioned training
o    Range maintenance (working with athletes)
o    Equipment inventory and care (with athletes)
o    Develop a regular schedule of races or time trials
o    Camps for all ages (weekend, or weeklong)

Coach would travel with athletes to appropriate racing opportunities to provide support, waxing, etc.

Qualifications:
o    Previous biathlon coaching experience.
o    Prior experience as a competitive biathlete
o    Ability and desire to work well with all age groups and all levels of experience.
o    Strong communication skills

While we will continue to accept applications until the position is filled, we are eager to fill this position, and hope to start the interview process by May 1. To apply, please send resume and cover letter to judy.geer@craftsbury.com.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:50:01 EST
L.L.Bean and Fast and Female Bring Kikkan Randall to Maine! http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6707 Kikkan Randall is coming to Maine on Saturday, May 17th and will be running a Fast and Female event at the L.L.Bean Flagship store in Freeport! Kikkan is a new design and test partner for longtime NENSA sponsor L.L.Bean and is excited to host two Power Hour sessions and an autograph signing. Thanks to the generosity of L.L.Bean this event is completely free, but make sure you sign up to reserve your spot (and snazzy new L.L.Bean tshirt)! Click here for information including a link to online registration.

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abby@nensa.net (Abby Weissman)Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:07:57 EST
NENSA 2014 Club of the Year: Stowe Nordic Outing Club http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6705 Stowe Nordic Outing Club named as NENSA 2014 Club of the Year!

]]> Stowe Nordic Outing Club (SNOC) is an organization of Nordic ski enthusiasts in the Stowe, Vermont region. The club puts on a Wednesday race series, organizes a Bill Koch Youth Ski League program, and a low-key masters ski race team. A season pass to the three nordic touring centers (Trapps, Mt. Mansfield and Topnotch) is available to club members. The club is affiliated with NENSA and welcomes all comer, whether you're new to skiing or a master of the sport.

“Stowe Nordic Outing Club was incorporated in 1995 with the mission to promote outdoor activities,” said SNOC President, Carol Van Dyke of Stowe. SNOC has taken that mission and run with it, fostering a great local community with an ever-expanding calendar. This year, their key role in hosting the 2014 USSA Junior National Championship at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, stands as a shining example of SNOC’s growth and the level of engagement they have achieved. 

“Jim Rodriguez and Allan Seranno offered enough Technical Delegate education to Stowe Nordic Outing Club and Trapp Family Lodge for us to dare to do the 2014 USSA Junior Nationals,” said Van Dyke. “Sam and Kristina von Trapp were the driving forces in bringing this event to Stowe. Add the work of Stowe Nordic Outing Club volunteer soldiers as well as ringers from our neighboring clubs and support from the Town of Stowe all made the event such a success both as a competition and a celebration.”

“It was truly rewarding to see the club and community come together and do such a fantastic job with this [Junior Nationals] event. Special recognition of club members Carol VanDyke, Kristina Frame, and George Jackman should be given for going above and beyond their assignments,” said SNOC Secretary, Trina Hosmer. “Since Dave and I moved to Stowe 7 years ago, we along with many others have been trying to grow the club not only in numbers but in community involvement and recognition. With Trapp Family Lodge hosting Junior Nationals this past March, the club was able to step up and participate in many ways: supplying volunteers, promoting, and advising. ”

A successful Junior National Championship is a recent highlight, but is only one chapter in the SNOC story.

“At around the turn of the last century, my personal involvement in the club morphed into total immersion because for the Bill Koch Program to continue, it was my turn to take on that leadership,” said Van Dyke. “What ensued was a great decade of companionship with my children growing up skiing with family friends who shared the same ideals.  In 2005, Max Cobb coerced our club to up our game and get involve in race organization by hosting our first NENSA Eastern Cups.  Then in 2006 it was the BKL Festival and 2007 the Eastern High School Championships.  From there, Due to strong leadership in the club ranks, our Bill Koch program continues to thrive, and junior and masters training are a notch above with our VTXC coaching partnership.  Thanks to visionaries on our SNOC board, we look forward to a solid nordic future in alliance with the greater New England cross country community.”

Today, Stowe Nordic Outing Club supports a large Bill Koch League program, with over 70 kids, from Lollipoppers to 8th graders participating in a program focused on developing skills through game play and fun activities. Led by a group of dedicated volunteers, this program has a long tradition of instilling a love of outdoor sport in these kids. From biathlon to telemark turns to post-session snacks, Stowe Nordic is committed to providing a seriously fun experience.

For kids who are looking for more, VTXC offers a supplemental program that is open to BKLers who want to learn more specific technique tips. There is no requirement to race, only to show up with a positive attitude, motivated to learn. This is a great option for the kids who want to ski as a group more than once a week.

“The Stowe Nordic BKL Mini-Marathon is a highlight of the winter,” said NENSA Youth Program Director, Abby Weissman. “This event, started in 2003, is a treat for all ages. Designed to challenge and motivate the whole family, the Mini-Marathon is an untimed tour through the magical trails at the Mount Mansfield Nordic Center. Kids and parents ski 25K with stops along the way to motivate them. Hot blueberry soup, cookies, and of course a bonfire with s’mores, are just a few of the special stations along the way where skiers stop to snack and chat. Stowe Nordic club members are focused on making this event a unique and memorable experience for kids—wooden finisher medals, a post-ski chili feed, and a warm woodstove to gather around and celebrate the day’s accomplishments. This event embodies the spirit of BKL by promoting community and the love of winter and is a gift to New England families!”

“Vermont, and Stowe in particular, has a rich skiing heritage that has given rise to a strong club presence,” said NENSA Executive Director Zach Stegeman. “The thriving Bill Koch League, the rise of the new VTXC team, and the investment of the community in the Nordic lifestyle combine to make Stowe Nordic Outing Club a strong and growing group. Add to that their successful work with Trapp Family Lodge in hosting USSA Junior Nationals this year and their willingness to serve as a resource for other clubs and communities, and you have NENSA’s 2014 Club of the Year!”

Having been named NENSA Club of the Year, SNOC will nominate one of their coaches to travel to Washington D.C. for the National Coaches Conference hosted, in part, by the USOC and NCAA. This trip is made possible through NENSA’s designation as a Community Olympic Development Program for New England.

“NENSA has been the driving force supporting our club on all aspects of nordic skiing in both materials and personnel,” said Carol Van Dyke of Stowe Nordic Outing Club. “The NENSA Annual Fund drive is on now, and without NENSA we would not have the resources we need to help make New England nordic skiing so strong.  A strong club model showed US strength at this year’s Olympics.  Please click and give generously to NENSA in salutation for all the clubs!"

At the conclusion of a big season for Stowe Nordic Outing Club, Trina Hosmer sums it up, “being recognized by the whole New England Nordic ski community as NENSA Club of the Year is, as they say, ‘frosting on the cake.’ Thank you NENSA for this recognition.”

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:12:04 EST
2014 NENSA Coach of the Year http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6702 Nick Mahood, Woodstock Nordic – NENSA Coach of the Year 
A quiet unassuming coach, Nick Mahood often flies under the radar as he coaches the Woodstock Nordic programs in Woodstock, VT.  Woodstock Nordic consists of two groups that covers K-12 grades;  Nordic Runners is the K-8 BKL program and then there is the High School team (9-12 grades).

]]> Within the High School team program is the eastern cup team for those that want to expand their race opportunities beyond HS racing. As Nick explains, “We overlap our coaching staff when we can, especially at the Middle school/High School level, so some days I might work with a few middle school skiers.  We are unique in this set-up as it allows for a very seamless transition up through the age groups and especially for 8th grade athletes coming onto the High School team.”  

Despite being relatively new programs, over the past couple of years athletes from these programs have qualified for Eastern HS Championships and Junior Nationals. This is no easy task for an athlete who resides in New England. While it is apparent that these programs are showing results with respect to performance, the one thing I heard over and over is that they are having fun. You will hear why this is so important for an athlete as you read Jordan Field’s account below.  Nick embodies all of the attributes a coach needs to be effective with athletes not only helping them improve in their sport, but also in their life. 

Michele Fields has this to say about Nick…“Nick Mahood is the kind of coach who always has something positive to say. He is quiet by nature but determined to say and do just the right thing to help each and every one of his skiers reach his or her potential. His dedication knows no bounds from filming summer roller skiing, leading fall treks up mountains to a five-month season that sometimes finds him driving three hours to a race just to wax his racers skis to make them “just right” before heading back to his “real” job.

My sons Jordan and Zane Fields both reached their goals of making the New England JN team and then, eventually, becoming All Americans because of Nick Mahood. He met with them (and still does for Zane) at the end of each season to plan off-season training and to set goals for the next year, then he helped them every step of the way in getting there.  Along the way, he taught them how to accept the losses as well as the wins and to always move forward supporting their peers as well as themselves. Both Jordan and Zane have said to me separately that they see Nick not only as a coach, but as a mentor for life.  In his second year out of Nick’s program (now skiing for Williams College) Jordan still consults with Nick on a weekly basis throughout the season. In fact, he talks to him more than me, but I completely understand.  A plaque Jordan and his two fellow Woodstock Union High School and New England JN teammates (Jeff Tucker who now skis for Colby College and Joshua Bassette who skis for West Point Academy) had made as a parting gift for Nick summed it up well. It reads: Nick Mahood: Coach of a Lifetime. “

Justin Beckwith, GMVS Head coach, has worked with Nick in several ways. In the wax trailer the past several years they teamed up and contributed greatly to the New England JN team’s successes; Most recently, both played a part in launching the inaugural Vermont Co-op event series, along with Tim Weston and Cam MacKugler.

Justin shared this with NENSA; “Nick brings a passion to the table (and wax table) at every race and event.  He gives his time selflessly and supports his athletes with an enthusiasm as if he were the one competing -- all while keeping it laid back and illustrating that the whole process is fun!”

“Nick spreads his passion for skiing to the entire team, and makes Nordic a challenge and an adventure,”  writes Carmen Bango another skier from the Woodstock Nordic program. “Nick works extremely hard to make the individual and team goals that we set at the beginning of the year a reality with long hikes, road trips, technique video, early-morning intervals, and by just believing in us. The Woodstock Nordic program has traveled so far under his leadership, and continues to grow and grow. Our whole team absolutely adores and respects Nick, and we all agree that one of the best parts about ski racing is seeing Nick's big smile at the finish line. “

One of the neat things I encountered when talking to people about Nick Mahood, is that it didn’t matter if it was a coach, a parent, or an athlete sharing their encounters- they all were acutely aware of the insight he has for his athletes and what a positive, long lasting impression he makes on them.  Jordan Fields talks about his time spent learning the sport with Nick-

“My coaching experience with Nick began when I was just a Bill Koch skier. Nick and his wife Gretchen had recently taken the helm of the Woodstock Ski Runners Nordic program and I was a new skier, having made the switch from alpine racing after 5th grade after some coercion from my close friend and Colby skier Jeff Tucker.

            We didn’t know much about training as elementary school skiers, what we did know though was that using the sand pits on the golf course as jumps was the best way to spend our practices. Nick won us over his first day at practice when, to our surprise, he followed us to the top of the in-run and launched off the jump right after us. The next time around he did a 360 off the jump. That was it. He had us. Hook, line and sinker.

            Since those early days of my skiing career things have changed a lot. Training, rather than jumps, has obviously become the paramount focus and my attitude towards the sport has changed and grown. However, even as the focus became training hours and jumps became 6am gym sessions before school, Nick kept it fun. Having fun was always the most important thing and is still today for him and his athletes. As a sport where success at the highest level takes such dedication, drive and focus, the fun can often fade as more is asked of athletes. Nick recognizes this and does an incredible job of simultaneously developing a love for skiing and a desire for success.

            He truly cares and is remarkably in tune with his athletes. After every race I would meet him at the finish and he would know exactly what to say, good race or bad. He knows how to build success upon successes and, more importantly, how to build success upon disappointments. As an athlete who often thinks a little too much, Nick was the perfect coach for me as a developing skier. He recognized this and somehow knew exactly how to help me move on past bad races and be confident going into my next start.

            Growing up as a public high school skier it was intimidating for my teammates and I to race against the “ski school kids” and it was so easy to assume that they were somehow innately faster and stronger than us. Nick tore this idea down and told us it could be done, made us believe in ourselves and then was there to greet us at the finish line with a triumphant yell and raised arms when we did it. His enthusiasm matched or even out did our own; it was inspiring.

            Nick is the kind of coach who transcends the tracks and trails. What I have learned from him is unquantifiable, both as a skier and a person. I am two years removed from Nick’s program now but I still talk to him all the time. The greatest part about Nick’s coaching is that it isn’t just an experience limited to your time as one of his athletes, but one that you’ll have forever, one that I hope to have for the rest of my life, as an athlete, a fellow skier, a person, and as a friend. “

Nick gives his personal account of what coaching means to him: "Two things stand out about coaching: One is, that my athletes have shown me anything is possible.  If you set a goal, train hard and train smart, you can achieve your goals no matter how out of reach they might seem.  The other is seeing my athletes truly develop a love of skiing and with that, the desire to keep the sport in their lives past High School.  Skiing has shaped my life with travel, amazing people, and life-long friends.  It is exciting to see my athletes begin their own journey guided by an incredible sport!"

From all of us at NENSA, Congratulations Nick, on an award well deserved!

 

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janice@nensa.net (Janice Sibilia)Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:19:29 EST
NENSA Announces 2014 Eastern Cup Champions http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6701 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/results. Congratulations to these athletes who produced fine performances throughout the season and made this year's Eastern Cup race series fun to watch!

 

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janice@nensa.net (Janice Sibilia)Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:11:49 EST
April USOC Coaching Newsletter http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6698 Here is the April newsletter from around the world of USOC Coaching Education and our NGBs. Some of this month’s items of interest are a Dartfish Certified Technologist course, Overuse Injuries and Burnout in Youth Sport, Paralympic news, and more. Link to PDF

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janice@nensa.net (Janice Sibilia)Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:12:54 EST
New England Nordic News | Spring Issue Now Available http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=6700 The latest issue of NENSA's membership magazine, New England Nordic News (NENN) is available now. Click here for the Spring 2014 Issue. NENN is published six times a year as a benefit to the New England skiing community. An archive of past issues of NENN can be accessed online at the NENSA website here.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:33:02 EST