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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NCAA's 2017

I know this post is a little delayed, but I'm just now recovering from a wild and crazy season!  NCAA's was a great finish to a historic season for Williams Nordic, and I guarantee it will be remembered and talked about for a long time.  I'm already fired up for next year, and building upon what we accomplished this year.

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.  


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Break!

We made it! After a couple long car rides, 2 planes, and a day in Oslo, the men's team (minus Hans, plus Jordan's brother Zane) is in the Lofoten Islands of Norway.

Sunrise in Oslo, heading to the airport - early morning flight up into the Arctic Circle

Snow storm rolled through and dropped 1 foot+ of snow. Skiing will be awesome the next few days! We're all starting to smell like cod after checking out a cod drying rack (center of pic).

We're staying in a pretty isolated cabin out at the end of a peninsula. Cheesy pasta for dinner. 

Everyone's psyched to explore the islands this week. More updates to follow...


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Regional Championships 2017: Making History!

WHOA - what a weekend!  As I walk around campus, I'm constantly stopped by other coaches to congratulate us on our performance this past weekend at Regional Championships, and both mine and Jason's emails were flooded with congratulatory notes.  Our team skied out of their mind, and it's such a good feeling to end the regular season on a high note.

Friday's race saw warm temperatures and sloppy snow conditions, but our fitness shined.  Eli Hoenig won the men's race for the first individual cross country event nordic win in Williams College history!  Braden Becker wasn't far behind Eli, finishing in 2nd place, making that two podiums in one day.  Jordan Fields finished 6th, Nick Gardner 9th, Jack Schrupp 12th (5 in the top-12!), and Luke Costley 24th!

The women continued to build upon the men's finishes, with Sonya Jampel skiing to a career best 14th place, Carmen Bango in 16th, and Ingrid Thyr in 17th place.  Hannah Cole finished 23rd, Tsaina Mahlen 26th, and Hannah Benson in 33rd.  Their results helped the nordic team as a whole win the day!

Eli, on his way to winning the 10k classic!!
Braden finished 2nd, for a career best!
Highlighting how close and supportive our team is, the men headed out to cheer on Luke to the finish - with shirts off of course!
When you realize you finished 1st and 2nd!
Coaches being coaches.
Sonya had her best result of her career, finishing 14th in the 5k!
Carmen skiing to 16th place!

Ingrid finished right behind Carmen in 17th place!
Friday night, at the EISA dessert banquet, Jason was awarded the EISA Nordic Coach of the Year for the second year in a row!!

Saturday's mass start skate races again saw warm temperatures with some added rain, but the team persevered.  In the men's race, we had all six guys finish in the top-20, with Jordan Fields garnering a career best 2nd place, and Eli finishing on the podium again for 3rd!! Braden finished 7th, Nick 9th, Jack 15th, and Luke 20th.  In the women's race, Carmen impressed with a 12th place finish, Hannah Cole finished in 14th, and Hannah Benson in 15th!

Jordan Fields coming into the finish for a career best 2nd place!

Eli, making it 4/6 men's podiums!
Senior boys at the finish!
Best men's team in Williams College history.

Carmen crushed to a 12th place finish!

Hannah Benson (R) and Ingrid skiing in the lead pack. 
Benson capped off her Senior year strong with a 15th place finish!

Can't thank the parents enough for all of their hard work!
More podiums!!

Senior class: Coach Jason, Hannah Cole, Eli Hoenig, Hannah Benson, Luke Costley, Tsaina Mahlen, Jordan Fields, Coach Perry, missing Hans Halvorsen.  Gonna miss these guys and gals!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Senior Boiz

It's been four years of adventures for me, Hans, Eli and Jordan and this post is an ode to ways the ski team allows us to share so much of our lives with each other, whether skiing or not.

It's not often that ALL FOUR of us get in the same pic at the same time. But here are lots of good combinations.
Tounges out because we love skiing.

Here we are before our first Purple Valley 5k freshman year

Hearts full of love

We were pretty lucky to go to Norway together during the spring of our freshman year. Let it be known that the four of us (Eli was there too) set the tone for the epic 75km ski seen above.

By that summer, Jordy hooked us all up with a dope life in Bend; we all lived together - training, watching the World Cup, and playing with our land lord's dog Delilah to our heart's content.

Epic summer days!

Sophomore year we saw early signs of the GOAT's imminent arrival. Here he is racing at NCAAs

We also asserted our ferocity off the ski trails

Took on a leadership role during our junior year

And we are proud to be seniors on arguably the best men's Nordic team in school history. Time to cement that legacy with these two and Braden representing us at NCAAs!

Thanks for the memories dudes! I'm sure there will be plenty more to come.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Half-Naked Boys are the Best Boys

This past weekend was an historic occasion. It was also a hot and wet few days, so of course shirts had to come off. Enjoy the photos (courtesy of Dad, aka Peter Hoenig).

Hats off to Jordan, with his best finish ever (second place) after a legendary one-on-one duel with Dartmouth skier Fabian.

Hats off to Braden, also with his best finish ever (second place). He told me before the race that he was going to basically sprint the first lap -- he did.

Hats off to Joey, who went insane on the last lap of the 20k and was heard screaming and seen gesticulating madly while racing. See Ingrid's post below for a representative photo of his mental state. He had his season best, and definitely blacked out.

Hats off to Luke, who, although was maybe slightly more relaxed than Joey, skied like an animal and also had a personal best (20th) for his last race of his skiing career. Still can't believe it, and I can't see how the ski team (sorry underclassman + Joey) is going to function without Lukey taking care of business.

Hats off to Nicky-Bobby who skied up and led the pack ~3 seconds before crashing. He skied 9th place, which is badass, and would have qualified for NCAA's in the process if we didn't have such a damn fast team.

Girls killed it.

Coaches killed it as usual.

I won. We won. Damn right.