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"] 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"] 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…[/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"] 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[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4559" align="alignnone" width="300"] Heather en route to a dominating 3rd leg[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4562" align="alignnone" width="300"] 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!
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"] 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"] 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"] 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!
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"] 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"] Next up were the men – here’s Adam heading into the finish.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4536" align="alignnone" width="225"] 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"] Evan and Heather demonstrating good cold weather survival practices…expose as little skin as possible![/caption]
Save The Date:
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
WHERE: Two Brothers Tavern (lounge downstairs)
The reception will include light food and beverages.
We hope to see you there.
Stever Bartlett – Alpine Ski Team
Andrew Johnson- Nordic Ski Team
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"] 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"] Patrick striding it out during a pace workout early in the week[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4463" align="alignnone" width="300"] Luna and Penelope during the same pace workout[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4464" align="alignnone" width="300"] Adam and Heather enjoying one of the many (two) sunny days![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4460" align="alignnone" width="300"] Evan attacking the big hill during our skate TT on Saturday[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4465" align="alignnone" width="300"] Part of our cheering crew for the men’s race![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4466" align="alignnone" width="300"] Thanksgiving![/caption]
Best wishes from our team to you for a happy and healthy start to winter!
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.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4353" align="alignnone" width="225"] An early summer ride – with snow![/caption] [caption id="attachment_4354" align="alignnone" width="224"] 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.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4348" align="alignnone" width="225"] At the top of an evening ride.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4349" align="alignnone" width="300"] 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![/caption] [caption id="attachment_4351" align="alignnone" width="300"] 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![/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!
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
Wow, it’s hard to know where to start – since school got out, I’ve been in fifteen different states, had two jobs, moved around five different dorm rooms on campus, taken a full semester of classes, spent a week in an army barracks, lived out of my car in middle-of-nowhere Vermont, and am now spending three days at home before heading back up to Middlebury to start ResLife training. It’s been a pretty crazy summer, but I’ve definitely been keeping myself busy and I can’t wait to see all of you (and especially get to meet all of the new freshman!) in just a few short weeks!
I’ve spent the majority of my summer in Vermont, but back in May I took a cross-country road trip with two friends from Bowdoin. We took ten days to get from Vermont to Truckee, California, which gave us a little extra time to explore along the way. We rollerskied in every state we crossed, and I’m pretty sure that we were able to give some Iowans and Nebraskans their first-ever glimpse of nordic skiing![caption id="attachment_4321" align="alignnone" width="224"] They’re not messing around. Hundreds of truckers – only two rollerskiers.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4320" align="alignnone" width="300"] Agility workout?[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4319" align="alignnone" width="224"] Somewhere in Colorado…or Utah…or Nevada…[/caption]
I came back to Midd to work Reunion weekend, and got to hang out with the 55th through 70th year reunion classes – so, Middlebury graduates who are now in their late-80s to mid-90s. I met one 87-year-old who was apparently a world record holder for the 80+ men’s 400m relay – and he ran the entire cross-country course with me as part of the 5K fun run. It was pretty inspiring to see him still out there running, and I hope that I’ll still be able to do what he’s doing when I’m his age!
I worked for a few weeks down in the Recycling Center; for those of you who have never checked it out, you should definitely stop by. It’s not exactly the most thrilling job, and there were some times when the smell was a little overwhelming, but there’s some pretty awesome free stuff to pick through. I may or may not have acquired a unicorn suit and a dragon suit that might be finding their way to ski team activities this year…
From there, I spent six weeks living down in Munford and taking classes with Dylan, Eliot, and nine other students as part of Middlebury’s inaugural year of the School of the Environment. Fitting a full semester of classes into six weeks doesn’t exactly result in the most relaxed of summers…but it was amazing to get to share that time with such a wonderful and inspiring group of people. It was definitely an un-traditional classroom experience; in all of the six weeks, I think there was maybe one class that felt like a “lecture”. We spent most of our time in small groups (Dylan and I actually got the chance to work together on our final project as part of the “Dream Team”), visiting museums and historical sites, or out on Lake Champlain aboard the College’s research vessel. I didn’t get to check out as many of the swimming holes as I would have liked, but I’m really glad I got the chance to be living on campus this summer with such an awesome crew![caption id="attachment_4318" align="alignnone" width="300"] Not exactly a typical class…[/caption]
Since then – I spent a week over at the Jericho army base with my club team from home, hitting up a combined volume/intensity training block and hanging out with junior biathletes from all over the world, and then spent some solo time up at Burke Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. I discovered that pay-showers really do exist ($1.00 for 5 minutes of running water) and the backseat of my car is a lot more comfortable as a bed than I had expected…
I’ll be back up at Midd for good starting this Friday, so if any of y’all are headed back to campus early and need a bed for the night (or a few nights), definitely hit me up! I’ll catch up with the new freshmen during orientation, and I can’t wait to see the rest of you when you’re back in Vermont! : )
This camp really set the vibe for a fun summer of training, and I returned home in Mid-June to find this:[caption id="attachment_4305" align="alignnone" width="300"] Which month is it??[/caption]
I spent the next month training in the valley with a group of other college skiers (including Midd kids Adam, Sam, and recent grad Ben) and babysitting in between training sessions. On off days I’ve been going to local concerts and/or heading up to Stanley to watch sunsets from the best swings ever:
After a very hot July, I headed to North Carolina with my family for a reunion with all of the cousins. We wanted to go running, but it was so hot and humid during the day that we couldn’t figure out when. Since we’d heard the sunrises are beautiful, we decided to head out for some barefoot sunrise runs on the beach. The5:30 alarm was incredibly early, but well worth it as we beat the heat and even saw some wild horses![caption id="attachment_4309" align="alignnone" width="300"] Sunrise run[/caption]
12 miles later, our feet were blistered, legs were tired, and it was nice to spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.
While July and August are usually sunny and really warm here in the valley, we’ve had about two weeks of afternoon thunder and rainstorms. As I was told on Tuesday during L3 skate intervals in the pouring rain, it’s just preparation for the East! Note to self: put fenders on rollerskis before school starts! Fortunately, there was a break in the rain this past weekend, allowing a group of us to head out on an off-trail adventure in search of a water-filled basin known as Window Lake. After a rather steep ascent, we arrived to the bright blue water and were greeted by four mountain goats on the snowy peak behind the lake.Window Lake[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4306" align="alignnone" width="300"] The descent[/caption]
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