Monday, February 18, 2019

Rikert Eastern Cup

Great skiing this past weekend at the Rikert Eastern Cup. Conditions were fantastic, pleasantly warm on Saturday and colder but sunny on Sunday, with a rock hard track. It was a good day for CSU, with skiers posting some speedy times around a very hilly and technical course, that challenges the best of us.

Saturday was the second day of the Middlebury carnival, so our juniors got to be in the same race as a lot of our alumni, now racing in college. Those college kids are fast! Impressive top-10 results for Leah Brams and Lewis Nottonson, and a host of other great results from athletes who got their start at CSU!

The men's 10k skate went first, and Henry led the way with a 6th place for the U18s, despite a crash. Ayden was our next skier, followed four seconds back by Jacob Jampel, a CSU alum that we were waxing this weekend. Linden was our next skier, coming back strong despite getting a bit rattled by a crash in the warmup. There were some really tricky corners out there, that were getting icy. Quinn, from DXC, came in next, with some strong skiing. Devin came through just ahead of Connor, separated by just under a minute, and Alex and Ben followed them, right in the mix with a lot of junior skiers. Lucas wasn't too far back, starting to find his form on these hills, and Dwight had a solid race just behind him. It was exciting to see every one of our boys right in the mix with the other juniors, and sometimes being in the same race as the college kids gives you a sense of where the top actually is.

The open women were next, with the U16s mixed in. Shea led the way for us, as the 4th U18 and just 15 seconds off a podium spot. She was followed closely by Sofia, who had a really strong race as the second U16. Our DXC friend Schuyler wasn't far behind, as the 6th U18, and Amelia 10 seconds behind as the 8th U18. Evie was close behind, claiming the third place spot on the U16 podium! Our next skier was Lily, from DXC, followed by Clara, Madeline, and Mica, in a pack separated by only five seconds. Laura cruised in behind them, with Aggie from DXC and Francesca just behind, Francesca fighting strongly through some back pain. Phoebe was our next skier, followed by Tali and Ella, who were separated by only 5 seconds. Flora skied a strong race, and Serena made it down all the scary downhills!

We had three EMBK skiers joining us: Emily, Willa, and Mirra. This sort of Eastern Cup is a crazy hard experience, and hopefully they all learned something and had a good time, in their longest and hardest race to date!

The U16 boys had to wait all day before they could finally get on course. Lucas led the way, showing that skiing onto the EHS team was no fluke, in 24th place. Clint (DXC) was just behind, and Sam skied a strong race, moving quickly through what was left of the course at the end of the day. Milo skied well too, about 40 seconds behind Sam, despite all the ice on those corners.

Sunday morning, roles were swapped, and the U16 girls went first. Mass start racing is always exciting, and we had a lot of light blue uniforms at the front of the race! Sofia had another great race, landing on the podium again in 3rd, followed closely by Clara, in 6th, and then Francesca in 8th and Evie in 9th. Mica and Ella both struggled a little with their kick, and I deeply apologize that we didn't get them on their skis soon enough to test the wax, but they both fought bravely nonetheless. Sometimes, grownups screw up and it ruins a kid's race, but luckily, that doesn't have to ruin your day.

The U16 boys were next, and Clint had a good day, landing in 14th! Lucas was just behind, in 17th, another excellent race. Sam fought hard on a tough course, unfortunately just losing out in a sprint, and Milo rounded us out, skiing very nicely. We had one EMBK skier joining us, Ian Brenner, and he got some good experience both with racing on not quite enough kick, and at a very high level of racing!

The U18 women were next, and the top three SMS girls blew the race out of the water. It was quickly strung out, but Schuyler hung in there for a 5th place finish (and third U18!), followed closely by Shea, Laura, and Madeline, as the 5th, 6th, and 7th U18s. Lily skied well, ending up as the 10th U18, and Phoebe had a really good race, showing that yes indeed 10k classic races might be her thing. Amelia was just behind, followed by Aggie. Flora demonstrated beautiful classic form, and Serena navigated the sketchy downhills with finesse.

In the open men's race, Jacob J led the way for us, as the 2nd U20, and 7th overall. Henry had another good race, again finishing as the 6th U18. Quinn finished as the 11th U18, not far behind Henry, and followed closely by Linden, just 10 seconds back. Lucas B popped a great race, showing that he can indeed race classic, just beating out Ayden in a sprint, a great race for both athletes. Ben finished in a sprint, which he won, and Connor had some good parts and some less good parts of his race. Alex finished the race after a really good effort, proving that he is fit enough to race for the entire 15k now, and Devin had a conservative start, but spent the whole race moving up, to finish just behind Alex.

With that weekend of racing over, we're enjoying a week off from school at Bretton Woods, for a training camp, or maybe a resting camp, before the final weekend of Eastern Cups! Super duper thank you to all the volunteers at the food table, in the wax tent, around the course, and the race organizers, for an excellent weekend.

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