Friday, April 30, 2010

CSUers Named to NENSA Elite and Development Teams

Here is the list of CSU Juniors that have been named either to the NENSA Elite or Development teams.  I've also included the CSU alumni and CSU seniors that have been named.  Congratulations everyone!! This is a testament to a lot of hard work, clear focus and fast racing on everyone's part. 

Elite Team
Jackson Rich
Corey Stock

Development Team
Cate Brams
Hamish McEwen
Eli Hoenig

Hannah Smith

Olga Golovkina
Chris Stock

Clare Egan
Matt Briggs

Alex Jospe
Ollie Burruss

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Isaac's Report for Leg 2

From Isaac:

Run of the Charles Leg 2.

Thanks to some great navigational support from my parents, Corey and I arrived in Dedham with plenty of time to spare, and after only a little trouble registering we were free to get pumped up and watch all the various individual racers start off. The pro boat start was crazy It reminded me off a mass start ski race and even featured one boat that flipped, righted itself, and then promptly flipped again.

Before we knew it it was almost time for the relay boats to arrive. Corey and I, along with Bob and Jamie who were also paddling leg two for the CSU masters team were all jumping up and down, and peering through the bridge. Jim and Cate arrived in a flurry, (they were the first boat in their wave, and had past all but one boat in the wave ahead) we performed an extremely smooth take off, and before we knew it Corey and I were paddling hard downstream.

The first half of our leg was characterized by long straight open sections of water, this was ideal for us since steering was somewhat of an issue. We rapidly closed the gap between us and the one boat ahead of us, and after only one near flip when I ruddered around a funky ninety degree turn we had pulled ahead of them. As we drew up alongside them, they tried to exchange pleasantries. Luckily, we recognized this chatter for what it was, a sly attempt to distract us, so we nodded curtly and picked up the pace.

Unfortunately, at this point the river became curvier, and less open, and as I hinted at before, curves were our weakness. Just as we managed to pull ahead of the boat we had caught, the boat would go in a different direction then I wanted it to go, and our competition would catch back up to us. However, they never managed to pass us again.

With around ten minutes to go, as we were navigating a particularly curvy length of river, the boat with Jamie and Bob caught us. They were paddling furiously, and executing the turns with the utmost precision. We were able to paddle inside their wake for maybe ten or fifteen strokes, before I inadvertently turned out of it, and then a bend came and we were left in the dust.

At long last we spotted the exchange zone on the other side of the bridge, Corey picked up the pace and we threw down vicious final kick. Sadly our final sprint brought us into the landing roughly five feet farther out then was ideal. The current at that point was too strong for us to make it to shore before being swept downstream, so we had no choice but to bail out. Fortunately the water was shallow enough for us to stand – I fell in up to my neck, and Corey got wet up to her waist. Still, we quickly dragged the boat to shore and handed it off to Neil and Kaytie. Sadly during this time, our rivals, the team we had been battling with the entire way passed us.

After putting on some dry clothes, and eating and drinking lots of complimentary Lara bars, iced tea, and cereal we were super psyched about our race. Not counting our exchange to Neil and Kaytie we had passed one team and been passed by only one team. Arguably more importantly though, we had a boatload of fun, and put the fear of god into the hearts of the CSU masters.

In a final note, thank you to all the parents who accomplished the logistical feat of transporting the different athletes, to different starting locations, at different times, and to Chris who organized the logistics, organized the teams, reorganized the teams, and handled all the final tweaks, and frantic last minute questions. All without being able to race himself.

Run of the Charles

It turned out to be a fine day for a canoe race today and many skiers were in evidence out on the Charles.  The CSU Jrs. entered a relay team for the first time, organized by Chris Stock, who unfortunately couldn't race.  It was evident that the juniors had a great time!  Rob Bradlee, Bob Burnham, Wes Denering and I paddled for the Quinobequin Boat Club team, my 12th year doing the relay with them. 
Cate and Jim
Starting out strong on Leg 1 with Jim Stock and Cate Brams, the CSU team handed off 2nd to Isaac Hoenig and Corey Stock, while our team handed off 5th.  Isaac and Corey powered their way to first for a while, but they had to deal with the engine I had in my boat in the form of Bob and we finally passed them about a mile from the end of the leg.  CSU handed off for Leg 3 to Neil Garrison and Kaytie Innamorati in 3rd, while Bob and I handed off in 1st.  Our team hung in in first through the 3rd leg, handing off to Wes and Everett for the 4th leg, maintaining a slim lead when they handed off to Rob and I. We almost blew it at the put-in on our first portage and were being hounded by the Snoopers, our major competition for several years but put a bit of distance on them as Rob and I kicked it in to the finish. Neil and Kaytie handed off to Eli and Hannah for the long 4th leg to Waltham where Erin Dubinski and Kevin Sprague from Harvard took over.  They had a little mishap in the quick water and got caught by a sweeper tree leaning over the river and got a bit wet, but finished strongly for 11th place overall.  The CSU team did great and with some practice I think Quinobequin better watch out!
Corey and Issac (Peter Hoenig photo)

Hannah and Eli (Peter Hoenig photo)

Bob and Jamie (Peter Hoenig photo)

CSU Skiers at the Boston Marathon

CSU skiers and CSU junior parents had a darned good day at the Boston Marathon this year.  Sorry if I've missed anyone.  Let me know and I will edit the list.  The weather seemed to be nearly ideal with bright skies and a side or tail wind and comfortable temperatures.  Sure was nice for spectating!  Here is what I have for results:

Terry McNatt         2:55:38    59th M40-49  Pace 6:42
Lisa Doucett           3:31:31    24th F50-59   Pace 8:04
Fabio Schiantarelli  3:48:10     480th M50-59  Pace 8:43

Terry McNatt at 19 miles

Lisa Doucett

Sunday, April 11, 2010

CSU Slide Show

The 09 - 10 version of the CSU Slide Show can be found at:

Party in the USA!!

A fun video by the CSU Jrs.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Last Wax

Spring has to come eventually.  It was really early this year so time to put the skis away and clean up the mess in my basement before I start to ramp up the training. Those CSU ski racks sure made this job easier!  Next - get out the bikes and kayak
Too many skis!
Can't complain about waxing when its 75F!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Eastern High School Championships - Mass Moves UP!!

After having awesomely beautiful, sunny and warm weather for J2s, the forecast for the week leading up to EHS was dire, dark, dismal and potentially disasterous.  We were going to get dumped on for 3 days and it would be MISERABLE.  Thank god, once again, the weather forecasters completely screwed up!  Did they EVER get it right this winter?  Methinks not.....
I was very excited to be coaching at EHS this year because I thought we might have the best all around team from top to bottom of any Mass team I've been involved with.  I scooted over to Gunstock early so I could get around the course a couple times Friday afternoon to test rills and get a feel for the snow and the course.  Of course, this involved multiple trips back and forth across the road with piles of stuff to set up the Mass wax area.  What a pain!  However, Gunstock had done a magnificent job with their snowmaking because even though there was no snow down at the Margate and only some in the woods up at the ski area, the trails were covered with feet of snow!!!  Manmade, Weston type snow.  CSU was going to do ok on this stuff!

Caitlin and Katie
Friday's race was a 5km individual start skate race on a 2.5k loop under mostly cloudy conditions.  With a two loop course the coaches actually got to watch a lot of racing! The girls got things started as Mackenzie Hitchcock nailed down a top 10 finish for the Mass team, coming in 7th, followed by Olivia Meyerson in 19th, Nadja Kern in 22nd, Catherine Benson 43rd, Kaytie Innamorati 51st, Heather Fisher 71st, Meryl Cherner 74th, Kelsey Colpitts 84th, Katie Cosman 91st, Caitlin Guiney 104th and Ellen Goldberg in 107th.  The snow was pretty soft and a lot of the girls struggled in this opening race.  On the boys side, the Mass team fared quite a bit better, with Isaac Hoenig having an excellent race, coming in in 2nd place, 2 seconds behind Kalle Jahn, followed by Tommy Rummel in 8th and Andrew Reed in 10th, Chris Burnham 25th, Neil Garrison, recovering from a bad cold in 30th, Rion O'Grady continuing his excellent form from J2s in 31st, Erik Brote 68th, Nick Serbedzija 80th, Michael Chiauzzi 89th, and Ian Meyer 104th. 
Tommy Rummel
Saturday morning dawned mostly cloudy, but still no precipitation, much to our relief and off I went to set up shop at 7am and try to claim slightly more room for our wax area than we had the day before.  I convinced the Maine team to move over a bit so we'd all be less crowded and then went out to ski the skate sprint course.  It was very hard and icy and had one corner that was going to give racers a lot of trouble given the fast conditions.  Once again, the girls led off with Mass skier Andrea Fischer, who had been really sick for a few days (she didn't ski on Friday) getting after it in a hurry, coming in 2nd in a tie with Shelby Aseltine from Maine, but well behind the winner Mary Kate Cirelli from Vermont.  Mackenzie, skiing very consistently, was 8th, with Nadja moving up to 16th, followed closely by Olivia in 18th.  The Mass girls were off to a much better start!!!  Catherine Benson was 42nd, Kelsey moved way up to 58th, Kaytie Innamorati 88th, Ellen moved up to 97th, Meryl 103, Heather 104, Caitlin 105 and Katie Cosman 112.  Several of the girls fell down somewhere due to the icy conditions and wave start format.  For the boys, things softened up a bit to make the skiing quite a bit better, although now the last uphill was really soft and made for some tough skiing.   With the order changing, but maintaining 3 top 10 finishes, Andrew Reed took charge for the Mass team finishing 3rd, followed by Isaac in 5th and Tommy in 7th.  Chris Burnham popped an excellent sprint to come in 15th with Neil in 39th and Erik moving up to 47th, Michael having a stellar race in 57th, Rion, who had fallen, in 63rd, Nick 74th and Ian Meyer improving to 86th.  One of the top Mass boys, Andrew Nesbitt, broke a pole which hurt our team scoring a lot, but for the 2nd race managed to stay ahead of the NH team.  Our team goal for the weekend was to beat NH and the boys were ahead in both races!  So far, so good.
Neil sprinting for home
After the lunchtime break, where, thanks to the efforts of Anne Burnham and other parents there was an excellent lunch table, complete with hot chocolate, so the kids (and coaches) could fuel up, we got ready for the mixed gender, mixed technique relay, always a highlight of EHS.
 Isaac with Rion getting a good draft

For the last two years the Mass team had won the relay, but quite frankly I wasn't sure if we had the horsepower to pull it off again.  Three years in a row would be very sweet indeed!  Nadja led off in the classic scramble leg and skied very strongly to move into 2nd place behind Jenna Maddock. When there is a team event on the line, NEVER, count Nadja out!  She handed off to Isaac, who very methodically moved up and passed the NH skier to take over 1st place by 10 sec or so in the 2nd classic leg.  Isaac handed off to Mackenzie Hitchcock who also skied very well, lengthening their lead a bit by the time she handed over to anchor leg skier Andrew.  Andrew put the hammer down and gapped 2nd and 3rd by over half a minute and brought the 1st Mass team home as winners for the 3rd year in a row!!!  Sweet!  I think the results are incorrect because by my count I'm sure they won by over 30 seconds, although the results show the gap only being 14 seconds and they show Andrew skiing with a much slower time than the next several skiers, but he increased the gap on his leg, so something is fishy there.  However, no question about what place the team took!  Other Mass teams finished 12, 19, 22, 28, 30, 34, 36, 40, 46, 47, 49. In addition, Mass finished the relay only 70 points down on Maine and ahead of NH.  Things were starting to look very good for staying ahead of NH.
Andrew brings it home with no one else in site!

Sunday dawned with the dire forecast finally coming was pouring out with a nice bit of slush thrown in.  I headed up to the venue to set up the Mass team wax area with Ollie Burruss, arriving before the other teams and set up the CSU tent, benches, etc. and headed out to ski the course and test wax in our raincoats.  It was pretty horrendous weather but with 1" of new ice pellets overnight and several feet of manmade snow under our boots, the skiing was actually very respectable!  The Maine, NY and VT teams set up their waxing in the large tents that were for the kids, wimping out completely - what's with that, anyway??  I figured the kids needed all the dry space they could get and decided to stay out in the CSU tent.  I had to go to a coaching meeting where the NH coach argued to cancel the event or at least shorten it from 7.5 km to 5 km.  It was decided that a 5k mass start race would not work well with the timing and that the kids would stand around out in the rain less in a mass start event than if we switched to interval start and a shorter course.  All the other coaches and I voted to keep the event as it was scheduled and so it went.  But, it was nasty out there.  I didn't even try to take pictures, so it must have been bad!
Olivia leads it out the relay
Katie Cosman #156 navigating the crowd as Sverre looks on
Due to the rain and wet snow, we ended up waxing with Rex OU (orange) and daps of Toko silver mixed in for added kick.  Our kids had excellent skis and everyone was a true warrier, went out and skied their hardest in the lousy wind and rain.  Isaac noted that he hardly noticed the rain once he started racing.   Everyone stepped up beautifully with Nadja leading the way in 3rd place, followed by Mackenzie in 8th, Olivia in 16th, Catherine in 64th, Ellen moving way up to 71st, Heather 85, Katie Cosman 93, Kaytie Innamorati 94, Caitlin 97, Kelsey 98 and Meryl 106.   The boys race was very exciting as Isaac took it out with a NH boy and slowly, inexorably pulled away to an insurmountable lead by the end of the 3rd lap, bringing home the top honors with Andrew Reed not far back in 4th, Andrew Nesbitt in 8th, Chris Burnham in 15th, Neil in 17th, Tommy 31, Rion 40, Erik 53, Nick skiing out of his mind in 60th, Ian Meyer 72 and Michael Chiauzzi, who suffered a broken pole, in 109th.  The boys skied so well from top of the order to the end of the order that they beat both NH and Maine, while the Mass girls beat Maine and hung close enough to NH that in the total team score Mass came in 3rd for the first time in, like, forever!  It was an awesome effort in the classic race, the race which only a few years ago we would have our worst result.  YEAH MASS!  HOOO YAA!
Nadja going all out in the relay
What a great way to go out on the season!  To top things off, not only did Mass come in 3rd, but in the all around scoring Isaac finished 2nd to Kalle Jahn and Andrew Reed came in 3rd to put two CSU seniors on the podium!  Tommy was 13th, Chris 16th, Neil 26th, Rion 38th, Erik 54, Nick 71, Michael 83 and Ian 92.  For the girls, Mackenzie was 5th overall for Mass.  Nadja was 10th, Olivia 18th, Catherine 48, Kelsey 86, Heather 91, Ellen 97, Katie 103, Meryl 106.

Erik in the relay
Nick hammers home