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Spring Action

Ski season might be over and the snow might be (mostly) gone, but that doesn’t mean we’re done working! Last spring the team had the good fortune to hook up with Doug at the Charter House Coalition to start some work on a playground they’re building.


[caption id="attachment_4627" align="alignnone" width="300"]Last spring we removed a bunch of soil, roots and rock to make way for this playground Last spring we removed a bunch of soil, roots and rock to make way for this playground[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4182" align="alignnone" width="225"]It was no small amount not shoveling and wheelbarrowing! It was no small amount shoveling and wheelbarrowing! The pile of debris was turned into a mini sledding hill…[/caption]


This past weekend a few of us returned to the playground to help out again. This is a slow moving project as its progress is reliant on volunteers and mostly donated materials. Our man Doug seems to devote much of his weekend time to helping out at the Charter House and we were happy to work with him again this spring. Our project was to move and level many yards of pea gravel in the playground to make for a safe and clean play environment for the kids that will be spending time there.


[caption id="attachment_4628" align="alignnone" width="300"]No action shots of this group, but where they are relaxing after the job was done. No action shots of this group, but here they are relaxing after the job was done.[/caption]





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Late Season Recap

Here’s a long overdue recap of the end of the season. Thanks to Dennis Curran some great shots from NCAA’s!


[caption id="attachment_4613" align="alignnone" width="300"]MIDD-SK-23 Kelsey had a solid 5K skate race and finished 20th.[/caption]


NCAA’s was a great week for Middlebury. On the nordic side we had some frustrations with illness as Heather and Stella both came down with a nasty bug as we headed into the week, but they salvaged some solid results in the classic race. Kelsey and Patrick had great weeks, with Kelsey skiing to an 11th in the 15K classic. Her result did not match the effort, however, as a late tumble on a long section of downhill dropped her finish several spots. Still a great result though!


[caption id="attachment_4604" align="alignnone" width="300"]MIDD-CL-9 Kelsey on her way to the finish line.[/caption]


Patrick participated in his first NCAA Championships and was the lone Middlebury men’s representative. He had a very solid week with his best finish of 23rd in the 20K classic. 


[caption id="attachment_4610" align="alignnone" width="300"]Patrick in the 10K skate en route to a 27th place finish. Patrick in the 10K skate en route to a 27th place finish.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4607" align="alignnone" width="300"]Patrick mid-race in the 20K mass start classic. Patrick mid-race in the 20K mass start classic.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4608" align="alignnone" width="300"]It was a tough day with wet, klister conditions and a little fresh snow falling. Patrick skied a smart and gutsy race and picked off several guys in the last couple K's! It was a tough day with wet, klister conditions and a little fresh snow falling. Patrick skied a smart and gutsy race and picked off several guys in the last couple K’s![/caption]


Heather and Stella didn’t have the weeks they were hoping to have, but they did what they’ve done for much of their four years here – provided great leadership, were fun to be around, and kept working and trying hard right to the end! We’ve been lucky to have them here at Midd and we’ll miss them next year.


[caption id="attachment_4605" align="alignnone" width="300"]MIDD-CL-12 Stella skied to 30th in the 15K classic; a great race and a tremendous effort given the circumstances.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4602" align="alignnone" width="300"]MIDD-CL-6 Heather skied to 16th in the mass start classic. Not really representative of what a healthy Heather could do, but a great team result non-the-less and one to be proud of![/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4601" align="alignnone" width="300"]With NCAA's being hosted just an hour-and-a-half from campus, team spirit and enthusiastic supporters were seen in abundance!! With NCAA’s being hosted just an hour-and-a-half from campus, team spirit and enthusiastic supporters were seen in abundance!![/caption]



[caption id="attachment_4600" align="alignnone" width="300"]The TEAM! The TEAM![/caption]


Following NCAA’s, a portion of the team made their way to Spring Series in Sun Valley, Idaho. It was quite a departure from what we’ve seen in the east all year; warm temps and lots of sun made for an enjoyable week. We had some of our best races of the season at Spring Series, which made for a great end to the season and has us eager to get to work in preparation for next season (after a short break, of course!)


[caption id="attachment_4597" align="alignnone" width="300"]In the skate sprint Kelsey and Heather finished 2nd and 10th. It was quite a day for the Panthers, with Jake Volz finishing 5th for juniors, as well. In the skate sprint Kelsey and Heather finished 2nd and 10th. It was quite a day for the Panthers, with Jake Volz finishing 5th for juniors, as well.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4598" align="alignnone" width="300"]Podium! Against a pretty serious field;) Podium! Against a pretty serious field;)[/caption]


Now that the season has come to a close it’s very easy to pronounce this year a success. We had some great race weekends with really strong results, and the handwork that the entire team put into the year paid off in improvements across the board. More importantly the team worked together very well throughout the fall and winter. They challenged each other at times and reveled in each other’s successes at others, and our student-athletes’ best attributes seem to come to the forefront when a teammate is challenged by disappointment or struggle and in need of a little extra support.

We are all enjoying a little downtime and enjoying spring. Now, if spring would just cooperate;)


[caption id="attachment_4614" align="alignnone" width="225"]Photo from 4/8... Photo from 4/8…[/caption]




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2015 Winter Carnival




2015 winter canival sched poster





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Mid Season Update

We’ve hit the midway point of the Carnival racing season – three down, three to go! So far we’ve raced in bitter cold and funky snow squalls in Rumford, pretty normal winter weather in Stowe, and this past weekend another snow storm and some more bitter cold at the St Michael’s Carnival in Huntington, VT

[caption id="attachment_4563" align="alignnone" width="300"]10830883_10152983905735837_5612179064291406922_o Penelope charging through the storm last weekend.[/caption]


So far, the season has been very good with lots of gains over last year and a lot of hard work paying off in good results. Just as importantly the team is motivated and striving for more. Our training is geared towards achieving our best races when it matters and to keep us on an upward trajectory through the end of the season. Some excellent snow and skiing at Rikert is only helping to keep the stoke high!

[caption id="attachment_4564" align="alignnone" width="225"]IMG_0574 Just this morning, on the Holland trail at Rikert. While skiing I was trying to think of things that could make the skiing any better…I came up with nothing![/caption]


Highlights of the season so far have been many. Heather has won 3 of 5 individual carnival races to date, but it hasn’t been a one-woman show as Stella and Kelsey routinely join her in the top 10 and the women have won the team score on multiple days of competition. On the men’s side Adam and Patrick have both nailed down top-10′s which are marks of huge improvement over last year. Across the board our youngsters are stepping up and having significant positive impact the team, both on the results sheet and in our daily training.


[caption id="attachment_4555" align="alignnone" width="300"]Relay start - Stella in front, Kelsey starting a little further back... Relay start – Stella in front, Kelsey starting a little further back…[/caption]


Most fun (so far!) though was this past weekend’s relay event at the St Mike’s Carnival. A mixed gender race, the relay featured alternating legs of women and men for a 4x3K race. It was an exciting race with lots of lead changes and an uncertain outcome right up to the very end, but things came out in our favor with our number 1 and number 2 teams finishing 1st and 9th, respectively. Relays are fickle beasts, and to have all eight of our racers on Saturday show up and compete as well and with as much fight as they did (and to be cheered on as heartily as they were by their teammates) gives a glimpse of the character of this group.


[caption id="attachment_4556" align="alignnone" width="300"]10498017_10152983907150837_7670634794621588671_o It did not take Kelsey long to emerge from her starting position in the middle of the pack…she would go on to gap the field by the end of the first leg![/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4558" align="alignnone" width="300"]Adam and Jacob - finishing up strong second legs Adam and Jacob – finishing up strong second legs[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4559" align="alignnone" width="300"]Heather in route to a dominating 3rd leg Heather en route to a dominating 3rd leg[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4562" align="alignnone" width="300"]On of the harder things to do in skiing is to take a slim lead on an anchor leg and maintain it to the finish. Especially when fast pursuers have you in their sites the entire time. Here's Patrick, 200 yards from the finish, having done just that! One of the harder things to do in skiing is to take a slim lead on an anchor leg and maintain it to the finish. Especially when fast pursuers have you in their sights the entire time. Here’s Patrick, 200 yards from the finish, having done just that![/caption]


This week we’re off to Craftsbury for the Dartmouth Carnival and the Craftsbury Eastern Cup and SuperTour. Should be some more great – albeit cold – conditions. The following week we’ll bring the circus to our backyard and host the Middlebury Carnival. We have lots of season left and lots of work still to get done, but we’re excited to see where we end up!



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To Kazakhstan!

Last week some of the team participated in the US National Championships in Houghton, MI. Aside from braving some of the fiercest winter weather seen in a long time (examples include 8 inches of new snow over a 4 hour period during a sprint race, -35F wind chills, whiteouts, canceled flights, etc) we also hard some really, really good results!

[caption id="attachment_4541" align="alignnone" width="225"]IMG_0494 Heather striding towards in the finish in the 20K classic mass start[/caption]

Heather was 6th in the classic sprint and 10th in the 20K classic – good enough to qualify her for the U-23 World Championships. She has chosen to decline the invitation as she’d prefer to spend her senior year focusing on the college season and NCAA’s.

[caption id="attachment_4536" align="alignnone" width="225"]IMG_0469 Evan – aka “Big E” – in the sprint prelim[/caption]

Evan Weinman, one of our many talented first-years, was the top-ranked junior in the classic sprint (in 19th) and had a solid distance classic race as well, despite getting tangled up with a fellow racer. He qualified for the World Junior Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in early February. He will be making the trip, and we’re excited to get some reports from his time there!

[caption id="attachment_4542" align="alignnone" width="225"]IMG_0487 Adam (on the right) battling a group of guys to the finish in the 10K classic mass start junior race[/caption]

Adam Luban – the lone sophomore on the trip – had a breakout week as well. He qualified 7th in the junior men’s classic sprint and finished 6th in the junior men’s 10K classic mass start. More impressive, he was fighting for second in the race before a little trip in the last few meters relegated him to 6th.

First-years Katie Feleman and Jacob Volz were also in Houghton. While neither had quite the week they were hoping for results-wise, they gained some valuable experience and will be ready to head into the carnival season at full steam!

This weekend we’ll head to the Bates Carnival, where the nordic team will compete at the venerable Black Mountain of Maine. We are excited to get the carnival season underway!


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US Nationals – Sprint Day





This week a contingent of Middlebury Ski Team athletes are racing at US National Championships in Houghton, Michigan. We’ve been greeted with cold and snowy conditions – as I write this it’s snowing and blowing hard, with a windchill of -35F!

Yesterday we raced a classic sprint. Conditions were relatively warm – about 8F – but the wind was howling and we picked up about 8 inches of snow throughout the day. But, you know what they say: when the going gets tough, the tough get going!

[caption id="attachment_4534" align="alignnone" width="225"]IMG_0464 The day started with the women’s prelim. This is Heather heading out of the start.[/caption]

Heather had a very strong day, qualifying 16th and making it all the way to the Final and finishing 6th overall!

[caption id="attachment_4537" align="alignnone" width="225"]IMG_0472-2 Next up were the men – here’s Adam heading into the finish.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4536" align="alignnone" width="225"]IMG_0469 Evan striding his way into the finish and a 19th overall placing![/caption]

Evan raced to 19th in the prelim and finished a close 4th in his quarterfinal to end up 19th overall on the day and the top junior finisher! Adam made his first sprint heats ever in the junior heats and finished 52nd overall on the day – his best nationals result ever.

[caption id="attachment_4538" align="alignnone" width="225"]IMG_0475 Evan and Heather demonstrating good cold weather survival practices…expose as little skin as possible![/caption]
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Save the Date. Winter Carnival Reception February 14th, 6 pm

Save The Date:

 Middlebury Skiing Logo2


Middlebury Ski Team Alumni, Parents and Friends of Skiing

Winter Carnival Reception


You are cordially invited to join current Middlebury Ski Team members, as well as the coaching staff, in celebration of the Middlebury Winter Carnival.


WHEN:    Saturday, February 14th, 2015

6:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Two Brothers Tavern (lounge downstairs)

Middlebury, Vermont


The reception will include light food and beverages.


We hope to see you there.



Stever Bartlett – Alpine Ski Team

Andrew Johnson- Nordic Ski Team

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Thanksgiving in Quebec

Last week the team loaded up the van, the truck, and the trailer and we made our annual pilgrimage to Foret Montmorency, Quebec. The “Foret” is a ski area about an hour north of Quebec City that tends to receive snow considerably earlier and in greater amounts than we do here in Vermont. In addition, they make a huge pile of snow in the spring and store it over the summer under a layer of wood chips. This pile of man-made snow is laid out on a 2.5 kilometer track in late October, so we’re essentially guaranteed some pretty good skiing even if the natural snow gods don’t cooperate! This year we had good natural snow, too – by the end of the week we were skiing on about 25 K’s of good trail.

We had a great camp. Most of the team had about 2o-25 hours on snow over the 8 day trip, and we all competed in a race at the end of the week with several of our fellow EISA teams. We had several fun harder workouts, as well a few longer skis that allowed us to explore all of the terrain the Foret has to offer.

We’re back on campus now for the last week of classes in preparation for finals next week. We’ll be training at Rikert, and thanks to the hardworking crew up there we have good snow for training. We’re excited for the opening Eastern Cups later in December that Rikert will be hosting!

[caption id="attachment_4461" align="alignnone" width="300"]_DSC0325 Our team! Left to right: Coach Patty Ross, Patrick McElravey, Adam Luban, Nick Underwood, Jacob Volz, Evan Weinman, Kelsey Phinney, Heather Mooney, Nicolette Amber, Katie Feldman, Penelope Spencer, Luna Wasson, Kaitlin Fink, Cate Brams, Stella Holt, Coach Andrew Johnson (Not pictured: Jack Steele, Alia Johnson)[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4462" align="alignnone" width="300"]_DSC0366 Patrick striding it out during a pace workout early in the week[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4463" align="alignnone" width="300"]_DSC0261 Luna and Penelope during the same pace workout[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4464" align="alignnone" width="300"]_DSC0462 Adam and Heather enjoying one of the many (two) sunny days![/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4460" align="alignnone" width="300"]_DSC0150 Evan attacking the big hill during our skate TT on Saturday[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4465" align="alignnone" width="300"]_DSC0277 Part of our cheering crew for the men’s race![/caption]


[caption id="attachment_4466" align="alignnone" width="300"]_DSC0019 Thanksgiving![/caption]


Best wishes from our team to you for a happy and healthy start to winter!

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Captain Stella Takes a Break from Biking!

Wow! After reading up on everyone’s summers I’m again reminded of how lucky I am to be a part of such a vibrant team! So many cool kids out doing rad things all over the world!

While others have been on the road and moving about throughout the last three months, I left Midd almost a week before most students (perks of being a film major) and headed back to Whitefish, MT to live at home for the entirety of summer. Last summer I landed a position as a barista at a local bike shop and returned to my post behind the espresso machine this summer. Whitefish primarily operates as a resort town, catering to the many visitors from Alberta and beyond. When I wasn’t brewing Canadians Americanos, I was serving them Kokanee on the deck of the Golf Course at my night job. Being a waitress can be frustrating sometimes, you always work your butt off, but the perks are good – delicious food and great tips.

As part of my returning to Great Northern Cycles this summer, the shop helped me purchase a new mountain bike that quickly became the focus of my summer. When I wasn’t chitchatting with customers, I was out on my bike ripping up the trails around the Flathead Valley. After talking about, looking at, and reading up on bikes every day, I think it is safe to say I have found a growing passion that in time will hold a place in my heart similar to Nordic skiing. While I have been known to spend as many hours as I can trekking around in Glacier Park during the summer months, I only summited two peaks in the last three months, partly due to late spring snowfall that difficult to access much of the area, partly due to too many hours on the clock, and partly due to bikes.

As a shutter happy adventurer, I have a just few pictures from the summer…


[caption id="attachment_4347" align="alignnone" width="225"]New bike, dirty bike. New bike, dirty bike.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4353" align="alignnone" width="225"]An early summer ride – with snow! An early summer ride – with snow![/caption] [caption id="attachment_4354" align="alignnone" width="224"]Work is hard sometimes… Work is hard sometimes…[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4355" align="alignnone" width="300"]I went fishing for the first time! Fish are still weird though. And slimy. I went fishing for the first time! Fish are still weird though. And slimy.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4348" align="alignnone" width="225"]At the top of an evening ride. At the top of an evening ride.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4349" align="alignnone" width="300"]The crew between laps in big sky country. The crew between laps in big sky country.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4350" align="alignnone" width="300"]Piper came to visit so we climbed a mountain! Piper came to visit so we climbed a mountain![/caption] [caption id="attachment_4351" align="alignnone" width="300"]On the way up… On the way up…[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4352" align="alignnone" width="300"]…And at the highest point of the Curly Lake ride. A truly unbelievable day on two wheels! …And at the highest point of the Curly Lake ride. A truly unbelievable day on two wheels![/caption]

I am so excited to return to Middlebury and to my team in just a few days and to kick things off with the Kelly Brush Century ride – because, you know… bikes!


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Introducing Ann Spencer – One of Our Alaskan First-years!

Hey everyone,

I hope everyone is off having crazy adventures. I spent the first month of my summer in Italy, exploring the dolomites with my dad for the first two weeks and then visiting Florence, Siena and Lucca with my mom, sister and grandma for the next two weeks. It was nice to get home though and start training with APU for the summer. I have spent most of my summer eating, sleeping and training and I have spent lots of hours in the mountains. I also spent one week up on the glacier skiing with the APU bridge program. The weather was beautiful and it was a wonderful opportunity to get on snow in the summer.


Unfortunately, right after coming off the glacier, I was mountain biking out of a hike, went over the handle bars and fractured the radial head in my elbow. I have almost full mobility back but I am getting really tired of roller skiing with no poles. I’m so excited to start school and I hope everyone has had an amazing summer.  -Ann



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