Tuesday, November 30, 2010

News on Nadja Kern and Alums Chris Stock and Olga Golovkina

Nadja Kern recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at UC-San Diego.  Doro said that "all the college coaches in the elite recruiting camps this summer wanted to know what kind of workouts she is doing, because her fitness and strength is far beyond high-school players and better than many college players. They thought that she is doing a special weight training, but she told them, no, it's cross country skiing training!!" 

Here is an article about Nadja that appeared in the Waltham paper:

On the alumni front Chris Stock had an awesome result up in Canada last week, coming in 2nd by a mere whisper of 0.1 sec in the university division of a big race.  Here is an article about the prospects for the Harvard team this year and Chris as one of the young guns.  Please note what Chris has to say about the prep of the new skiers in the program:

“We’ve been lucky with the incoming classes,” City said. “It’s been a group of athletes that have come in with a higher level of preparation and have come out of strong athletic programs. They come out with a level of experience that we haven’t had in the past.”


In the women's race Olga Golovkina came in 4th.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yellowstone Ski Tour Photos

A few more photos from Hannah of her and Rob's tour along the Madison River.

West Yellerstone

From Hannah:
I’m currently on the plane coming home from a fantastic week of skiing in West Yellowstone, Montana and the coaches have been pestering me about a blog post, so I figured I should write one.

Arriving at the airport

The Early Week:

You all heard about Rob’s luggage snafu, so I won’t go into that again, only say that aside from that ranty email he handled the situation very well and I was very impressed with his A, B, and C plans all ready to go. I really owe him for driving me up to Bridger Bowl to ski that day. I would have been pissed if I had flown across the country, landed in beautiful powdery snow and then was tortured by watching other people enjoy a winter wonderland. So lesson: always have back up plans and it sucks when your athlete has SNS bindings and you have NNN, but try to make the most of it anyways.

The first few days at altitude, it was definitely hard to adjust to the lack of oxygen. Some people just walked around on skis. I skied, but I also stopped for water (or just a breath) a lot. This adjustment was kind of trivial because the skiing was amazing, the nicest powdery hard tracks, corduroy, and light falling snow combination. It was especially nice to get back into classic striding V2 skating.

Mid Week:

Wednesday there was a cold snap (-20 at night, warming up to 1 by noon), so Rob and I skied for only just over an hour at a time in the morning and afternoon. When he told me this was the plan before the workout, I was kinda like, sure, but no way I’m actually going to head in after an hour. An hour in I was begging him could we please go back and warm up in the car. I learned that thermo belts with hot gatorade and those full face balaclavas (the ones that make you look like you’re about to rob a bank) are key to surviving cold weather.

To warm up from the cold, we also went to this cool ski shop/coffee shop called the Freehell N Wheel in town that had really yummy hot chocolate type drinks - I had an almond joy hot chocolate, yum, I’m definitely going back for that. The best part of that place, aside from the toasty drinks, was it was a major congregation spot for friendly cross country skiers. By midweek skiers from all over the country were in town and on the trails. There wasn’t really anything else going on in the town aside from skiers there for the festival. Imagine a world of only cross country skiers. Blissful.

Late week:

Thursday and Friday I entered the Supertour races. Rob has already provided most of these details. Thursday was both a skate and classic sprint prelim on courses that were point to point and mostly uphill. I had begun to think that I had adjusted to the high altitude, but I have never had such a head rush and nausea at the end of a race. I was talking to Justin Beckwith, who coaches GMVS, that evening back at the hotel and he asked me how the race went. I said, not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, which I mean, I was talking about a ski race, so I must have been feeling pretty crappy. The weird part was that my results from that day (which I hadn’t seen when I had that conversation) were better than I had expected. I was mid-pack in a SuperTour race at altitude that I had to race in 1º + windchill conditions. I will smoke it tomorrow, I thought!

Haha, that was a nice thought. Friday was a 10k skate - what I usually think of my specialty. I was bib #7 so placed before the A seed. No one passed me until maybe the 4k mark and from then until the end of the race I’m pretty sure the entire USST, APU, MSU and whatever other big ski powerhouses there are passed me. On the one hand, how often do Morgan Symth and Holly Brooks track you? It was inspiring in the sense that all these women were extremely strong, powerful skiers. Their muscles were bulging out of their ski suits. But it was also kind of depressing in the sense that I was dying. The lack of oxygen was frustrating. I started feeling anemic - I wanted to go harder and generate some speed, but I just couldn’t. I got the pity cheer from people, which is my absolute least favorite thing. I mean, either cheer for me because I’m having a great race and you’re excited to see how well I’m doing and you want to keep up my mojo, or just be quiet. Don’t say, hang in there, or just over the hill or a half-hearted Go # 7 when #45 probably just went by. The only thing that mentally kept me going were technique goals Rob had me set before the race. I had wanted a really smooth stride, and big V2. While I was definitely not getting any power, at least I had something to focus on beside how bad I was feeling. I think that’s a good thing to have before every race - to help go faster if you’re doing well and distract you if things aren’t. Results, I don’t even really want to mention for this race, they weren’t very pretty. Rob’s race experience was pretty similar to mine and we have decided to move on and blame it on being sea level flatlanders with only 5 days on snow.

In all, I was really glad I did both races. It was fun to get the bib on, line up in the start gate and motor through when the guy with his hand on your shoulder says “3”. Ski racing is still fun, even when results are bad.

Yesterday afternoon Rob and I went for a little ski into Yellowstone park on the river trail. It was a good little adventure and after a week of training and racing my brains out (Rob will vouch for my lack of coherency at about 3PM Friday) a necessary reminder of why I took up this sport in the first place. Here are some photos: (not to make anyone too jealous or anything...)

Then last night I travel waxed my skis at the Ski Expo (this every evening event where all sorts of ski, wax, binding, clothing vendors set up to promote their gear and give out posters, stickers and answer any questions). I was the demo at the Toko area, cleaning, brushing and applying a travel layer to all my skis while all the Toko reps answered people’s questions about Toko. The Expo also had all sorts of nightly talks, events, and classes. I went to one on Tuesday night called the Chemistry of Waxing. This big Swiss guy, Udo, the head chemist the head chemist of the Toko company demonstrated why you apply base paraffin, then HF, and THEN jetstream. Turns out the stuff binds together, but if you don’t put it in that order, it won’t. Jetstream on the bottom of a ski that wasn’t waxed with HF wax won’t bind chemically to the wax and will just rub off and basically be a waste of wax and all that money you spent on it. So a very educational trip too. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hannah at the Races

Hannah got the season off to an excellent start yesterday skiing two sprint races out in the West Yellowstone Super Tour and finishing very well.  One was classic and the other skate with no elimination rounds.  She finished 36th and 38th.  In today's 10km skate race Hannah came home in 64th.  A few photos:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Annursnac Time Trial

It was significantly colder than yesterday, the kind of fall weather that makes you think skiing won't be far away!  Nine juniors showed up, 5 to ski the time trial and 4 who just finished xc running season to ski the course and yack a lot.  After a good warmup the five time trialists toed the line and took off with Katie, Ryan, Zoe and Julia taking off at a more leisurely pace after. Jody Newton watched the corner at Strawberry Hill Rd while Albert watched the one at the school.  At the finish, at the top of Annursnac, the results were:

Hamish McEwen     14:27
Max LaChance       15:08
Cate Brams            15:43
Chris Koziel           16:40
Rebecca Smith       20:23

Albert greeted the skiers with bags of popcorn which the boys then proceeded to eat during their cool down.  Hmmmmmm  A relaxing cooldown followed by Julia's birthday cake for Ryan made for a pretty nice late fall afternoon. 

 Hamish gets it done
 Max with Cate breathing down his neck
 Cate's sleeves are rolled up for business
 Rebecca stays focused
 Chris finding his arms after xc season
 Zoe and Ryan work on no pole skating
Hamish eats while everyone else poses

Saturday, November 20, 2010

State XC Championships

From today's State XC Championships.  It looks like Eli Hoenig did not run as he has been nursing an injury.  Here is what I could find.

D1 Boys
131 #648 Greg Holman          JR Lincoln-Sudbury        16:01.6

D1 Girls
57  #70 Charlotte Cole       FR Brookline              18:28.1                

D2 Boys
81 #558 Rion O'Grady         SO Dover-Sherbon          15:57.9     

D2 Girls
45 #445 Zoe Snow FR              Weston                       18:30.7 31

Some of the Western Mass skiiers from Mt. Greylock had excellent races, including:

D2 Boys
32 #727 Matt Cheung JR      Mt. Greylock Reg            15:29.3 16
88 #729 Josh Harrington JR Mt. Greylock Reg             16:02.2 53

96 #732 Will Kirby SO Mt. Greylock Reg                    16:09.1 60

102 #735 Logan Wilson JR Mt. Greylock Reg              16:11.6 63
148 #731 Greg Karabinos SR Mt. Greylock Reg          16:58.9 98

D2 Girls
 5 #283 Cate Costley         SR Mt. Greylock Reg       17:19.9    3           
21 #284 MacKenzie Hitchcock JR Mt. Greylock Reg 17:55.3 16

27 #288 Laura Nolan          JR Mt. Greylock Reg       18:11.7   20          

101 #282 Kat Chenail SO Mt. Greylock Reg               19:26.4 59

107 #281 Stephanie Adamcyzk SO Mt. Greylock Reg 19:32.9 65


While Rob and Hannah wing their way to West Yellowstone, everyone else is relegated to another week of rollerskiing at Littleton.  Plenty of company on a cool morning, however!

 Andy showing surprise at Jamie's driving skills shooting photos while driving.  Is that against the new law?
 Jacob, dropped off by Dad out on the course, catches up to the action.
 Another drive by photo shoot.
 Blake and Bob
 The pack approaches the hill
Frank setting the pace, as usual, followed by Chris, John and Albert

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rollerski safety

This is a repeat of something I emailed out to the mailing list last week, but I felt that it was important enough to serve as a reminder on the blog, too.

This time of year, we're all rollerskiing a lot, and getting quite excited for skiing on the actual white stuff. As we do this, I just want to remind you all about some important safety things. First off, it can't be said enough that we are a very small community, and so the actions of one rollerskier affects every rollerskier - we NEED to stay on the good side of the drivers out there, especially in the areas we like to ski (Littleton, Heath Bridge, Annursnac, etc). If we are inconveniencing drivers, they are more likely to complain, and once they complain enough, they might get motivated to actually do something about those annoying people taking up the whole road and slowing down folks who actually have to get somewhere (please read the sarcasm). So, our number one goal as rollerskiers should be: DON'T PISS OFF DRIVERS.

Understandably, sometimes we don't hear a car coming, or we have some other perfectly valid reason for not moving to the side of the road. This is fine, but, we should do everything in our power to be polite and share the road back. A couple guidelines:

-Ski single file as often as is practical.
-Ski single file if there is oncoming traffic or a car behind - when other skiers call out "car back", it is an action thing - so that you know to move into single file.
-When getting into single file, do it quickly, even if that means crowding the skier next to you.
-Obey the yellow line rule - do not EVER ski on the left side of the road.
-If there is a car coming towards you at the same time as a car behind, double pole.
-Be polite if a drive rolls down his window to curse at you.
-Be reflective and bright (CSU juniors all wear bright yellow reflective vests)
-Wear a helmet, and be cautious on big downhills.
-If you aren't skiing (for example, a coach is telling you something about technique), get off the road, and stand on the shoulder.

That's it for now, thanks for listening.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kearsarge #2 Results

Here are the results from the second Kearsarge race with a little commentary from John regarding the course conditions.  Kearsarge was an adventure!  Lots of twigs and limbs down, which Albert and I worked on clearing until we ran into the trees across the road.  We were able to clear the first one but a little ways further up there was a tangled mess of 5 or 6 big trees across the road at about the 1.4 mile mark (2 miles from the parking lot).   So, we finished clearing on the way down and then moved the start down the road about 1 mile.  The race went off well after that and I think the racers enjoyed going around the round-about at the entrance with the music playing.  The course ended up being about 2.5 miles. 

Mt. Kearsarge Race #2 Results – Modified Course ~2.5 miles (sunny and in the 40’s)
Sunday November 15, 2010
1. Hamish McEwen 19:46 (CSU Junior)
2. John Sakalowsky 20:10
3. Max LaChance 21:00 (CSU Junior)
4. Sean Skahen 22:48
5. Hannah Smith 22:57 (CSU Junior)
6. Albert Innamorati 23:20
7. Robert Faltus 24:01
8. Doug Armstrong 24:30
9. Cate Brams 25:03 (CSU Junior)
10. David Loney 25:21
11. Jim Graham 26:00
12. Rebecca Smith 26:27 (CSU Junior)
13. Cheryl Carlson 26:30
14. Ellen Chandler 28:24
1. Dave Cahill 19:02
2. Douglas Jansen 22:40
3. Benjamin Kramer 23:45
4. Greg Larkin 23:47
5. Paul Carlson 24:12
6. Brett Rutledge 25:19 (flat tire)
7. Kevin Brouker 26:58
8. Tom Simon 30:05

Links to race video, courtesy of Ellen Chandler, filmed by : Frank Wilich



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Total commitment

One of the key concepts in skiing is a forward body position. One way I like to teach this is to tell people to "fall" up a hill - you can get uphill with really minimal effort if you're in a good body position. And if you let your body fall forwards from the ankles, you'll be in a good body position.

So, today during specific strength practice, I was telling Katie to fall up the hill. She did a great forward lean, missed both pole plants, and fell smack onto the pavement. Now THAT is the commitment we expect from CSU athletes! When I say fall, you hit the ground!

Katie is fine - no skiers were injured in the execution of this drill.

Yes you CAN!!

Ask yourself......can I make it to the Show?  The BIG Show?  A World Cup level race?  YES!!  Two former CSU skiers made it there this week.  Skiing for the Craftsbury Green team, Matt Briggs and Olie Burruss raced this weekend at Muonion, Finland.  Muonion is located above the arctic circle in Lapland country where today the sun came up above the horizon at 11:30am!  In Friday's sprint race, in which Andy Newall qualified second and finished 16th and Kikkan Randall won, Matt finished 67th and Olie finished 87th in the qualifying round.  Not bad for a couple flatlanders from Massachusetts!  They also raced in a classic race Saturday, won by Kris Freeman and a skate race on Sunday, where Freeman finished 2nd. Matt did not even start racing until high school at CC, but both he and Olie got totally fired up about skiing when they joined CSU.  Matt went on to ski very well for Colby and Olie for Harvard and last March Olie was on the wax crew for the Mass EHS team.

So remember, two of your own have raced with some of the best on the World Cup!  CSU goes world-wide!

Sprint Qualifying (105 in race)

67M133BRIGGS Matthew3530563USA03:12,14

M139BURRUSS Oliver3530602USA03:19,51

10 km classic (229 in race)

141BRIGGS MatthewUSA28:35,6

177BURRUSS OliverUSA29:11,0

10 km skate (216 in race)

124BRIGGS MatthewUSA25:12,7

147BURRUSS OliverUSA25:39,2

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Double Pole TT - More Photos

Frank executes a perfect kick-DP


Rob and John with new CSUers Rosie and Tom

Rob executes perfect lean-on-poles technique


Tommy warms up


Thursday, November 11, 2010

DP TIme Trial

Perspectives on the Application of Power

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

XC Running Moving Toward Season's End

Cross Country update

Saturday, November 6
MSTCA Invitational, Wrentham, 5000
Div. 1, 10th, men
3     Eli Hoenig, 16:41.65
175Hank Yoder20:45.69
185 Ryan Clemens, 21:06.73

Div. 1, 11/12th grade, men
50 Chris Burnham, 17:29.65

Div. 1, 11/12th grade, women
68   Katie Cosman       22:26
159 Blake McCartney 24:37.7
234Hannah Perkins     30:21.20

Div. 1, 10th grade, women
20 Julia Schiantarelli, 21:16.10

Monday, November 8, 2010

Erik's Sweden Report!


It’s been three months since I left for Sweden, and I thought that I should write an overdue update about how everything is going. So far it’s been both interesting and fun adapting to the European culture. Stockholm is a very multicultural city so it hasn’t been hard to find people in a similar position as me. Everyone here is super friendly so the transition here has been easy. School has been going great, regardless of how good my Swedish is. It’s beginning to feel like I belong here except I miss my CSU friends (there are plenty of other things to whine about like how dark it is all the time, but I’m not writing this to complain).

As for skiing, I’ve joined a new club Sundbybergs IK, which is for all age groups. More specifically I’ve been training with Sundbybergs Elite which is for juniors and seniors racers. There’s a lot of talent within the group and it’s been interesting to see the differences in skiing between the US and Sweden. I’ve been training hard, and am super-siked for this winter even if I don’t know how it’s going to work out. The focus for this year is to the gist of things here. I also have to make a big jump in race lengths from 5k and less to longer races that can be between 10 and 30k. To get ready for this I have done one 10k and two 30k rollerski races. Rollerskiing is taken very differently here, almost as if it is its own sport. I’m ready to start racing!

This past week I had vacation, so my family took a trip to my grandparent’s ski-house in Funäsdalen, a village in the mountains about seven hours north of Stockholm. Nearby is another village, Bruksvallarna, which has hosted several world cup level events. Unfortunately they didn't have any natural snow, but they had a 3k uphill which was covered with manmade snow. It made for some great early season skiing. I think I logged about 10 hours on snow. The French and Japanese ski teams were there along with some Czechs, Swiss and of course Swedes and Norwegians. It was a fun trip and I look forward to going up there again over winter vacation when they have more snow.

Overall, I’m enjoying myself here, but still miss Boston. I promise to keep everyone more updated in the future. Thanks for making my time in CSU enjoyable, I look forward to seeing everyone again next summer.

10km Race

View from the trail

Erik on Snow!  Sweet!

Note the Reindeer in the background!

Race Video

Many thanks to Tom Smith for shooting some video during the race!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rollerski Race Photos

Race Start - Chris City photo
Keven Sprague - 1st

Hamish McEwen 1st Jr

Tony Ryerson

Frank Feist leading Andy Milne and Tanner Wiegand
Bob Burnham - Chris City photo

Cate Brams

Harvard's Claire Miller

CSU Fall Classic Rollerski Race

The latest edition (21st year?) of the CSU Fall Classic Rollerski race had one of the larger fields in a number of years with some fast skiing to boot.  It was also kind of cold standing around doing the timing, something I haven't had to worry about before, but this was the first one that I couldn't race in myself.  Next year.

In the 1 lap junior classic race Hamish McEwen ran away with it, finishing in a very strong 19:40, followed by Hannah Smith in 22:53 (1st F).  Next up was Max LaChance in 24:38, Cate Brams in 25:04, Rebecca Smith in 25:42 and Sean Skahen in 27:14. 

In the 2 lap Senior/Masters race Keven Sprague easily dusted the rest of the field, coming home in 37:48, which is certainly one of the fastest times ever for classic.  I'll have to investigate if that is a course record.  There was a good hammer-fest for 2nd though, with Chris Stock prevailing after breaking a pole tip at the start and grabbing a new pole as he went by the team van and having to play catch-up the whole race.  2 seconds back was Andy Milne and another 3 seconds in arrears came Frank Feist and then Tony Reyerson another 8 seconds back.  There seemed to be more pole damage than usual with Chris, John Rich, Albert and at least one other person losing pole tips somewhere out there on the course! 

On the Women's side Anna McLoon, who warmed up by riding her bike to the race, easily took first in 46:55.  Esther Kennedy was next in 48:31, Jennifer Rolfes in 3rd in 50:49 and Alena Tofte in fourth in 51:35.

Prizes were pies from the local apple farm and gift certificates, ski ties and a few other items from The Bikeway Source in Bedford.  Much thanks to my volunteers for watching the corners and timing, including: Marsha Rich, Sarah Doucett, Erin Dubinski, Walter Page, Tom Smith (video), Kathy Colpitts, Ed Summersby and Bill Aldrich. 

1  Hamish McEwen    19:40
2  Hannah Smith         22:53
3  Max LaChance      24:38
4  Cate Brams           25:04
5  Rebecca Smith      25:42
6  Sean Skahen         27:14

Senior/Masters Men
1  Kevin Sprague       37:48
2  Chris Stock           40:14
3  Andy Milne           40:16
4  Frank Feist           40:19
5  Tony Reyerson     40:27
6  Tanner Wegand    40:38
7  Bob Burnham       43:22
8  Romain Cartori     44:46
9  Victor Golovkin    44:56
10 Albert Innamaorati 46:11
11 Robert Faltus        48:38
12 John LaChance     49:25
13 Tor O'Brien          50:49
14 John Rich             51:21
15 Carl Cignoni         56:04
16 Scott Betournay 1:04:10

Senior/Masters Women
1  Anna McLoon       46:55
2  Esther Kennedy     48:31
3  Jennifer Rolfes       50:49
4  Alena Tofte           51:35
5  Clair Miller            58:45
6  Jody Newton      1:01:38

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Littleton roll

We were missing our fearless leader, Frank, since he couldn't come, but luckily, we know the drill, and Andy was there to make sure we had some leadership. I was skiing in the group with Cate, Hannah, Chris (a visit from a college skier! woo!), Bob, Peter, and Alfred, with a couple other masters joining the group in the beginning. We had some fun conversations, and worked a lot on technique. This is a good time of year to be doing a lot of no pole skiing, so we did lots of that, most noticeably up the hills. If I had a dollar for every time Cate asked "Can we use our poles now?" I'd be rolling in dough, enough for at least one more cup of coffee.

One of the things we were working on is V2 alternate: a lot of people, after poling, bring their chests back up to standing almost immediately, and then they swing their arms forward. This almost looks like you're doing it right, since you can have a big armswing, but really, you want to use your arms to bring your chest up. Its all about momentum. If your chest is already in the "up" position, you're missing out on all that potential energy of actually bringing it up with your arms, in one motion. So, the drill we were practicing was exaggerating the "down" phase of V2-alt. Then on the up-swing, EVERYTHING comes up together - chest and arms, in one motion. See the masterpiece below for the visual explanation:

This makes it a much more powerful stride. It feels weird at first, but its worth fiddling with your V2alt technique...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Aims and Terry....first on white stuff on skis, locally!

To add to Alex's motivational piece below, need I say more? 

Today Terry wins the prize for fastest transition from sound asleep to gliding. I was jogging around the nearby soccer field this morning making deep prints in the frost when I realized, “hey, I could be skiing”. I ran back to the house as fast as I could. Terry jumped right up out of bed and we got out there. It was really fun, I’ve been on many midwinter trips with less glide. Our wax was SWIX CH8, applied last April.

Seize the day!

Weekly Roundup

Charlotte and Julia both ran really well in their league meet last week.  Here are the results and a photo of Julia.  Congrats girls!

Bay State League XC Championships
16 Cole, Charlotte            Brookline                  20:25.16
37 Schiantarelli, Julia         Newton North          22:02.66