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"] 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"] 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.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4607" align="alignnone" width="300"] 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![/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"] 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"] 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!![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4600" align="alignnone" width="300"] 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.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4598" align="alignnone" width="300"] 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…[/caption]