With the three NCAA boys (Jordan, Eli, and Braden) settled into the Benson's guest house, and soon followed by Jason and myself, we skied into the Monday before the first race feeling like we were back in Steamboat, Colorado. Bluebird skies, 40 degrees, and plenty of snow! However, we knew the nice, Spring-like weather wouldn't last.
The night before the 10k, every weather report was forecasting something different. Essentially, we weren't sure if it was going to snow a little, snow a lot, be above freezing or below, or be blowing wind. That morning we awoke to blowing snow, and by the time we got to the truck, it was sunny. This pattern went on all morning, and created quite possibly the most stressful wax testing I've ever experienced. With bullet proof icy tracks, slowly filling with fresh powder, we didn't know whether we should wax with straight klister, klister-covered, straight hard-wax, or prepare the skate skis for double-poling. Luckily, we were able to come up with a solid wax job right before the start that put them in the mix.
|Eli skied a great race to finish just outside of the top-10 in 11th place!|
|Braden skied an impressive first NCAA race for 15th place - 14seconds from All-American!!|
|Jordan had a solid classic race to finish 32nd overall!|
With one race down, we looked to rest and recover before the 20k skate on Saturday. And by rest and recover, I mean do homework every waking second that we weren't skiing, eating, or sleeping. Not only do these guys ski hard and train hard, but they work REALLY hard in school as well, and it's super impressive!
On Saturday, we awoke to frigid temperatures - 0-5degrees F, and 30mph gusts. It was a cold one! Luckily no one was phased by the cold, and the boys skied an awesome final race. The pace was fast from the gun. Jordan and Eli skied most of the race around 10th-15th place, with Braden not far behind.
|Start of the men's 20k.|
|Jordan skied a gutsy race, leading a chase pack for much of the second half, ultimately finishing 12th!|
|Eli skied an awesome race to finish 15th!|
|Braden continued to impress in his first NCAA Championship finishing in 21st.|
|The five guys! They finished 6th as a men's team in the whole country! 1st NESCAC school, 2nd EISA school!|
Upon returning back to campus from NCAA's, most of New England was gifted with a healthy snow storm, Prospect included of course. I've been skiing everyday, as the 40F weather, and perfect conditions at Prospect are too amazing not to ski.