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 2016 NENSA Eastern High School & U16 Championships Set http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7252 We are pleased to announce the NENSA Eastern High School Championship will be held at Rikert Nordic Center near Middlebury, VT and the NENSA U16 Championship will be at historic Black Mountain of Maine in March 2016.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:34:31 EST
REG Camp at GMVS a Great Success! http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7251 Great coaching, sunny days and fun trails highlighted this year's Eastern REG Camp hosted by GMVS in Waitsfield, VT. Camp was a great success due to logistics management by GMVS coach Justin Beckwith, motivational talks with US Ski Team Coach Matt Whitcomb and coaching by Rob Bradlee from CSU, Nathan Alsobrook from Bowdin College, Jason Hettenbaug from RNR and Margaret Maher from NYSEF. Click below for updates on the last few days of camp!

]]> On Sunday "We woke up to the sound of rain for the first time this week. Despite the New England weather that we were bound to experience, we ventured out into the rain. The weather wasn't going to stop us from having a incredibly kick butt bounding workout. After watching some world cup examples of technique, we followed our fearless leader, Justin Beckwith along many winding, muddy trails until we reached an enormous hill. We ran through several mobility exercises and then got right into it. A few threshold intervals to get ourselves into the swing of things and then began the hard stuff. 30 seconds of all you got bounding up the hill. During the girls intervals the boys lined the hill to cheer us on and vise versa. Matt Whitcomb was stunningly motivational (there's a reason he's the USST coach) and made the point of trying to push yourself to have "not another average bounding workout, but make this one of your best bounding workouts ever." Although short, the intervals were super hard but also super fun, lots of pushing ourselves and each other. Some of the boys faces were truly terrifying as they pushed themselves to the absolute limit. As our intervals concluded, we followed windy trails back to campus where we had to cross a river, with no way to get across other than to walk right through it. This lead to wet feet and some very muddy bodies. Embracing this, the girls went mud sliding making the best of our New England weather. We got back just in time to enjoy an another amazing lunch, thanks to Chelsea and Brie!!"

-Kaelyn Woods and Leah Brams

That afternoon, "we got to watch the U23 world championships men's relay. It was inspirational to see such an excellent, high-level event that some of us could likely attend in the future. I found the different technical styles of the different teams fascinating, especially the contrast between the French, who seemed more quick and snappy, and the Russians, who were less snappy, but more powerful. It helped motivate me to try to improve my skiing to a level where I might be able to improve the U.S.'s result in the future. Afterwards, we did a really fun strength workout. I really liked the exercises we did with TRX suspension things because they worked stability as well as strength. Overall the workout was great and gave me many fun ideas of what I could do at home to improve my strength and stability."

-Adam Glueck

On Monday morning, the U16s headed to Stowe for a skate rollerski technique workout, while the U18s had an cold and rainy adventure hike up Mt. Mansfield. The recovery activity that afternoon was a run or bike on the blueberry lake trails, and everyone had a chance to use stand up paddle boards on the lake.

Monday night Matt Whitcomb presented on what it takes to achieve greatness. He encouraged the group to train smart while at the same time push themselves in training. On Tuesday, the last day of camp, there was an uphill running time trial for the U16s up Mad River Glen. Simultaneously, the U18s rollerskied up the access road and everyone met at the top for a group photo. At the wrap up meeting, prizes were given to the winners of each test as well as for best teammate during the camp.

gmvs

Find more photos of camp here!

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:28:43 EST
Catamount Trail Association Youth Program and Outreach Coordinator Position Announcement http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7249 The Catamount Trail Association (CTA) is seeking a highly motivated individual to fill a one-year full-time AmeriCorps position as Youth Program and Outreach Coordinator.

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Responsibilities include coordinating and instructing our youth ski program, recruiting, coordinating, and leading volunteers in CTA trail projects and events; instructing youth and adult cross country and backcountry ski clinics; supporting staff in CTA events; conducting outreach for CTA at local events; maintaining CTA's website and social media; creating blog posts and news releases; and providing general office support including membership assistance, direct mailing, and database updates.

 

The ideal candidate is a highly motivated, organized, outgoing, and self-directed individual who is willing to solve problems and take on challenging tasks.  The full-time position will be a combination of outdoor and indoor work.  Recreational cross-country skiing or racing experience required.  Must have access to a car.  

 

Full-time benefits include a living allowance of $15,300 (pre-tax), and an education award of $5,730 (pre-tax) upon successful completion of service. Other benefits include health insurance, federal school loan forbearance, and various training opportunities.

 

To apply, applicants must complete an online application through the MyAmeriCorps Portal <http://www.vhcb.org/americorps/menu_events/positions/> . In addition to completing the online application, interested candidates are highly encouraged to send a cover letter, resume, three references, and two letters of recommendation to Amy Kelsey <mailto:akelsey@catamounttrail.org>  by July 30, 2015.  This is typically a very popular position.  Interested applicants should submit their materials as soon as possible.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:01:19 EST
Amie Smith to Lead NENSA Competitive Programs as High Performance Director http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7250 New Gloucester, ME - The New England Nordic Ski Association Board of Directors and Staff are pleased to welcome Amie Smith of Wellesley, MA to the team as the new High Performance Director.

]]> "I am very excited to be joining the NENSA team as their new High Performance Director, said Amie Smith on looking ahead to her official start. “We have a great season of training and competition coming up, and I am looking forward to working with and supporting the incredible community of Nordic athletes, coaches, clubs and race venues here in New England, to advance all of NENSA’s competitive programs." 

A Vermont native and lifelong skier and racer herself, Amie grew up skiing in the Torger Tokle / Bill Koch League out of Bennington, VT. She attended the University of Vermont, earning a BS in Human Development before going on to earn her masters degree in Social Work and Community Organizing from Columbia. Amie has shepherded two daughters through NENSA and the Cambridge Sports Union program out of Boston/Weston and onto the EISA circuit. Recently, Amie has been helping to lead the Cambridge Sports Union - NENSA 2015 Club of the Year - filling many roles for CSU since 2007, including serving as CSU Board Chair since 2011. Amie has been the race organizer for an EasternCup at Weston, NENSA’s Junior National Championship Trip Leader for two years, and is a NENSA certified coach.

“Amie brings a collaborative spirit to her leadership approach and an authentic enthusiasm that will propel her in galvanizing our New England nordic community,” said NENSA Executive Director, Zach Stegeman. “She has great vision and the requisite attention to detail to engage across segments. Amie’s credentials for the position and her familiarity with NENSA are a clear advantage for us. The energy and inclusivity behind her strong leadership ensure we are putting our best foot forward with Amie leading NENSA’s competitive programs as our High Performance Director.”

In keeping with the NENSA mission, the High Performance Director is tasked with positioning NENSA as a central resource for our community and as a national leader in coach, athlete, and club development. Smith will be guiding and creating resources to support NENSA’s athletes and coaches and will work closely with community stakeholders including EISA, USSA, local clubs, and the NENSA staff team. As HPD, Smith will also support NENSA’s EasternCup race series and manage scoring and competitive rankings. In keeping with a two-year tradition, Smith will also serve as Trip Leader for the annual trip to the USSA Junior National Championship.

The High Performance Director position was established along with the departure of long-time Competitive Programs Director, Janice Sibilia. In her nearly 9-year career, Sibilia oversaw the organization’s racing and athlete development programs through a period of tremendous growth for the organization. (More on Sibilia here.)

“The talent in the pool of applicants for the newly formed High Performance Director position was a compliment to NENSA,” continued Stegeman. “I am thrilled to have Amie join the NENSA staff team. She is well positioned to have an immediate impact in advancing our competitive programs, community resources, and our coaching education initiatives.”

Smith officially starts on July 13, 2015 and can be reached via email at amie@nensa.net. She was selected by a search committee composed of five members of NENSA’s Board of Directors, NENSA Executive Director, NENSA Youth Program Manager, and one community representative.

About NENSA:
The New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) is the community Olympic development program for cross-country skiing in New England as well as the umbrella for most organized Nordic skiing events in the region. NENSA hosts over 50 events and more than 20 clinics for skiers and coaches at venues across the Northeast. Cross-country skiing, as practiced by our youth skiers and families, is a lifetime activity firmly rooted in New England tradition. Cross-country ski racing, as performed in the NENSA Eastern Cup series, and at our Championship Events, is a fast, explosive, and visually dynamic sport. Learn more a www.NENSA.net.

NENSA Mission Statement:
It is the mission of the New England Nordic Ski Association to implement educational, recreational, and competitive programs at all levels of cross-country skiing. NENSA works to sustain a vital and active skiing community in New England, and to provide the support structure necessary to bring cross-country skiers to their highest potential at regional, national, and international events.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Wed, 01 Jul 2015 08:35:13 EST
STRATTON MOUNTAIN SCHOOL GRADUATES 28 http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7248 STRATTON MOUNTAIN, VT – Stratton Mountain School (SMS), a ski and snowboard academy based in the heart of southern Vermont’s Green Mountains, today announced 28 students graduated at a ceremony on Saturday, June 13. Former Major League Baseball (MLB) player and current sportscaster, Jim Kaat, addressed the SMS class of 2015 as the keynote speaker.

]]> Graduates earn spots at top colleges and national team nominations 

Kaat urged the graduates to ask for help when they need it and to be prepared. He said, “If you’re prepared, no game is a big game,” and that the graduates should strive for joy and humility. “Learn to be a gracious loser and a humble winner,” he said, continuing that graduates will encounter challenges and they should approach life with tolerance. He urged them to curb distractions and expect disappointment. “Be careful that what you’re waiting for isn’t something that you’re counting on,” he said. Finally, he told the graduates to “Live well. Love well. Be Well. Go get ‘em.”

Kaat is a former MLB pitcher whose career spanned 25 years over four decades, the third longest playing career in history. He was an All-Star for three seasons and a Gold Glove winner for 16 seasons. He was the American League (AL) leader in shutouts in 1962 and the AL leader in wins and complete games in 1966. In addition to his 283 career pitching wins, he has three 20-win seasons. He continues his career as an announcer and is celebrating his 58th season in professional baseball in which he has participated as a player, coach and later an announcer. He is currently announcing on the MLB network with Bob Costas.

“We are so proud of the class of 2015,” said SMS Headmaster, Chris Kaltsas. “They have worked so hard athletically and academically, and they deserve all the success that they have earned.”

Two speakers from the graduation class addressed their peers as well, class of 2015 Valedictorian George Steffey, of Hanover, NH, and student body President, Michelle Dreimann, of Lake Forest, IL.

All SMS graduates have distinguished themselves in their respective winter athletic endeavors: alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, freeskiing, freestyle and snowboarding.

Among the accomplishments of the SMS class of 2015 are nominations to national teams. Alice Merryweather of Hingham, MA, has been nominated to the U.S. Ski Teams C Team. George Steffey has been nominated to the USST National Training Group and will train with the U.S. Ski Team Alpine D Team throughout the summer and fall. They join four other current SMS student athletes who have received nominations to National Teams this spring in snowboarding, freeskiing, alpine skiing and Nordic skiing.

The graduates have also earned admission to top colleges and universities, including: Boston College; Cornell University; Dartmouth College; Georgetown University; Harvard University; New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; Penn State University; Tulane University; the University of Denver; the University of Vermont, Washington; and Lee University among others.

Several awards were given during the ceremony. The school’s most prestigious award, the Founders Award, was presented by SMS Headmaster Chris Kaltsas and the 2014 Founder’s Award recipient Lara Lathrop. Lathrop finished her freshman year at the Williams College and skis on the Williams Carnival Alpine Ski Team. The 2015 Founder’s Award was presented to Alice Merryweather.

Alice, an alpine skier, was accepted to Harvard University, which she will defer, in order to compete on the U.S. Ski Team.

Class of 2015 Awards:

  • Founder’s Award – Alice Merryweather, of Hingham, MA
  • Faculty Awards – Amanda Steffey and George Steffey, both of Hanover, NH
  • Lisa Tuttle Award – Zoe Nelson, of Montclair, NJ
  • SMS Alumni Association Awards – Michelle Dreimann, of Lake Forest, IL
  • Vermont Principals’ Association Awards – Gavin Chen, of Incline Village, NV, and Anne Guarino, of Rutland, VT
  • Jay Leach Award – Koby Gordon, of Londonderry, VT
  • Academic Achievement Award – George Steffey, of Hanover NH
  • Vermont Scholar Award – Anne Guarino, of Rutland, VT

Athletic Awards:

  • Alpine Men Improvement – Gavin Chen, of Incline Village, NV
  • Alpine Men Achievement – George Steffey, of Hanover, NH
  • Alpine Women Improvement – Anne Guarino, of Rutland VT
  • Alpine Women Achievement – Alice Merryweather, of Hingham, MA
  • Nordic Women Improvement – Ana Witkowski, of
  • Nordic Men Achievement – Koby Gordon, of Londonderry, VT
  • Snowboard Men Improvement – Andrew Tousignant, of Sandy Hook, CT
  • Snowboard Men Achievement – Kurt Weidman, of Charlotte, VT
  • Freestyle Improvement – Jack Simon, of Manhasset, NY
  • Freestyle Achievement – Christina O’Brien, of Pittsfield, VT

About Stratton Mountain School:

Stratton Mountain School (SMS) is a ski and snowboard academy based at Stratton Mountain in the heart of southern Vermont’s Green Mountains. For more than 40 years, the SMS community of students (grades 7-12), teachers, coaches and administrators share the pursuit of excellence in education and sport. As the first ski academy accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, SMS has a strong tradition of college preparatory academics combined with the most comprehensive and innovative training programs available to alpine, Nordic, freeski, freestyle and snowboarders. Since the school’s inception, nearly every SMS graduate has continued to a four-year college or deferred to pursue a career in ski racing or snowboarding. SMS alumni include 66 Olympic placements and 42 Olympians as student athletes, while more than 100 have been National Team members.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:57:18 EST
Colby College Seeks Assistant Nordic Coach http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7244 The Colby College Department of Athletics seeks a part-time assistant men’s and women’s Nordic ski coach, beginning October 1, 2015 and ending March 20, 2016. Colby is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III institution and is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). The Assistant Men’s and Women’s Nordic Skiing Coach responsibilities include assisting the head coach in all duties involved in running a competitive Nordic ski program. Click here for more.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:51:35 EST
"Fred." http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7241 This film from Stella Holt is a great and joyful profile of a pillar of our New England cross country skiing cmmunity. 

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Fred. from Stella Holt on Vimeo.

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Wed, 24 Jun 2015 22:10:28 EST
Third and Fourth Day at REG Camp http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7247 Yesterday, the third day of the Eastern REG Camp, Simi Hamilton and Sophie Caldwell skied up Brandon Gap with the U20 and U18 skiers in the morning. Simi and Sophie stayed all day at camp and greeted the U16 athletes who arrived in the afternoon. Click below for more updates on camp and some write ups from skiers.

]]> Yesterday was another beautiful day in the Mad River Valley and for the afternoon the U20 and U18 skiers chose to go on either a recovery run or mountain bike ride. Meanwhile the U16 campers took their turn to rollerski up Brandon Gap. That evening, video from the day was reviewed and technique was discussed.

The agility test took place at the GMVS campus today for both groups. It went over grass, around sidewalks and zig zagged through campus. The U18 and U20 skiers were tested on the course in the morning. "We took on the agility test today. This is when we race over and around obstacles testing our ski skills. We do this not only to practice for races but also to help us prepare for sketchy situations we may face during summer training. Luckily we all were able to make it through the test without hurting ourselves! There were some fast times and great efforts out there today." said Kamran Husain from Stratton Mountain School.

"Before breakfast, Amber lead all the girls in yoga, a nice alternative to running! Afterwards we headed to start our warm up for the uphill double pole test. We got to the bottom of the hill and looked up at a really steep 800m climb! We started in waves and each person was 15 seconds apart. We also all used matched rollerskis to make the test fair. After everyone had finished the test, we did an easy cool down run and headed back to GMVS for lunch. After a nice few hours of rest, we got ready for the agility test. Although everyone was super nervous it turned out to be a lot of fun! After we got over the initial fear of the tight turns and jumps, we were able to speed around the course with only a few falls and scrapes. We went through the course three times! The test helped us push us ourselves out of our comfort zones." wrote Mae Chamlers, Callie Young, and Phoebe Sweet about their day today.

Find photos from the camp here!

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Sat, 27 Jun 2015 19:36:47 EST
Kids Adventure Games Returns to Trapp Family Lodge http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7243 Registration is under way for the 2015 Kids Adventure Games™ (Kids A.G.) at Trapp Family Lodge, the country’s premier adventure race for children ages 6 -14. The race is part of the newly expanded eight-race series at ski resorts across the country, which originated in Vail five years ago. The race features teams of two navigating a mountain obstacle course. Modes of transport include mountain biking, hiking and running while maneuvering through zip lines, rope swings, cargo nets, climbing walls, mud pits, a giant slip-n-slide and more. Register Here!

]]> "The idea behind the Kids Adventure Games™ was to create an event that gets kids outside, without technology, engaging with the outdoors, challenging themselves physically and emotionally, and feeling a huge sense of accomplishment when they cross the finish line,” says Billy Mattison, Kids A.G. Co-Founder, international adventure racer, and Race Director. “The race emphasizes teamwork, problem solving and overcoming obstacles.”

This child-centered event is about grit, resiliency, self-reliance, as well as teamwork. Whereas most races allow parents to help and coach their kids, Kids A.G. mandates the course as a parent-free zone, keeping parents on the sidelines as cheerleaders. The exact race course is kept a secret until race day. Once kids receive their course map at the pre-race meeting, they can only discuss plans of how to conquer the course with their teammate.

Parents are astounded at what their kids can accomplish. Summer Sanders, mother of two ages 6 and 8, whose kids competed at Snowbird last summer said, “One hour and 59 minutes later, our muddy, sweaty, and smiling kids crossed the Kids A.G. finish line full of pride, with just a few scratches. They were exhausted and yet so pumped about the experience. Later we would learn that the Snowbird course was the most challenging that the organizers had ever put together.”

Kids A.G. is thrilled to take the event back to Trapp Family Lodge for a 2nd year. ”Trapp Family Lodge is a perfect venue for the Kids A.G. and we are excited to partner with them again. They share our goal to provide kids the opportunity to learn, grow, thrive, be adventurous and most importantly, have fun,” says Mattison.

Trapp Family Lodge Event Details:

 

•       Online registration and information available at www.kidsadventuregames.com

•       Friday, July 10th, 2015, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Adventure racer check-in and optional skills clinic.

•       Saturday, July 11th, 2015, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM - Race Day

•       Cost: $75 per person based on a team of two.

About the Kids Adventure Games™: The Kids Adventure Games™ was co-founded in 2009 by Hélène and Billy Mattison in Vail, Colorado.  It is the only race of its kind in the nation. The goal is to create a fun and confidence building outdoor experience for kids to gain problem solving skills while navigating a mountain obstacle course. It offers kids the thrill of adventure racing while enhancing teamwork skills, sportsmanship, and a healthy, active lifestyle. 

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:46:24 EST
CSU Named 2015 NENSA Club of the Year http://www.nensa.net/news/index.php?id=7239 NEW GLOUCSTER, ME: New England Nordic Ski Association is proud to recognize Cambridge Sports Union with the 2015 NENSA Club of the Year Award. This award is given annually to honor a New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) club tht is making great strides in supporting the NENSA mission to sustain a vital and active nordic skiing community in New England.

]]> “I am very excited that CSU received the Club of the Year award.  We are an all-volunteer club and I think it is a real testament to the hard work of our ten coaches and over 100 parents who do so much to make the success of the athletes possible,” said CSU Head Coach, Rob Bradlee.

Cambridge Sports Union (CSU) brings a tradition of success at all levels in actively engaging the Boston area cross country skiing community. The CSU program is a model for engaging and utilizing parent volunteers to support the organization across the board – from the wax bench at EasternCups to the fun skiing sessions at Weston Ski Track. 

"I am thrilled to hear that CSU juniors has been named NENSA club of the year!  We have a amazing group of coaches, athletes and volunteers who all work together to make CSU a success, “ said CSU Coach and General Manager, Amie Smith. “I am so happy to be a part of this club." 

“I am very proud of our hard-working athletes and their positive attitudes,” Bradlee continued. “We are a real community who lives our motto of ‘we have fun working hard and work hard at having fun.’  We love ski racing and love being part of the great ski scene here in New England.”

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staff@nensa.net (NENSA Staff)Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:17:03 EST