Monday, January 19, 2015

More Photo's From Bates 15/20K Mass Start

Hannah Cole (40th overall) battles through the 15k

Hans - So smooth!

Jenna (51st overall) stridin' and glidin'

Jordan (34th overall) fights through the pain

Josh (74th overall) has a mustach??

Luke (52nd overall) makin' moves

Rebecca (62nd overall) chases down the enemy!

Vanya (45th overall) cruisin'

Will, Eli, and Jack skiing through the chase group

Mens start - Eli (on the right) says: "Get out of my way little boy!"

Bates Carnival

Whoa.  That was a whirlwind of a weekend.  It literally feels like the past few days were sped up, and I can't believe we're done with the first carnival and onto the next one.  Before I get into the details pertaining to this past weekend's carnival at Bates, let me first show you what the team was up to leading into it.

Eli doing some skate intervals at Prospect.
Olivia charges during some L4 skate intervals.
The team climbs 2290 at Prospect.
Heidi and Eliza practice their H-bone!
That's a whole lot of H-bone!

Josh, Eli, Hans, and Will enjoy the beautiful scenery and skiing at Prospect!
As you can see, we've been pretty spoiled with the awesome skiing at Prospect.  Despite a kind of lackluster snow year in most of New England so far, Prospect continues to have some of the best skiing around.  This was solidified while we were in Rumford this past weekend.  I think it's safe to say that most of the team got a fresh "stone grind" on their race skis during the 15/20k mass start classic and 5/10k individual skate races at the Bates Carnival.  An even layer of rock and gravel was added to a select few areas on the race course to shake things up a bit.  I must say though, it was a pleasant surprise to be driving through Rumford and it not smell like a complete sewer.

Thursday, the team packed up the ski truck and vans pretty early.  We left Williamstown just after 8am, and headed towards Falmouth, ME.  The Abramson's offered to host us for lunch, so we took a quick pitstop at their house.  We arrived at Black Mountain in Rumford, ME that afternoon for an easy skate ski/course preview.  

Friday was the 15/20k classic mass start.  Waxing conditions were slightly weird.  The women started first, and at the time it was fairly sunny and in the low 20'sF.  Olivia was our first finisher in 20th.  Tsaina and Heidi weren't far behind in 26th and 28th.

Olivia skis to 20th in the women's 15k mass start classic.
Tsaina skis to a career best 26th.
Heidi scores for the team in her first carnival race in 28th!
The men's race was a little weirder.  Half way through the 20k race, a snow squall rolls over Black Mountain and covers the tracks in an inch of powder.  This created some variable snow speeds throughout the course, as in some places the men would lurch forward as their skis hit powder.  Regardless, the men had a good showing with Eli almost cracking the top fifteen in 17th, Jack right behind in 18th, and Will rounded out the scorers for 21st.

Eli was our first scorer in the 20k in 17th.
Jack skis to 18th in his first carnival race!
Will skis a solid race for 21st.
Despite being 5 degrees F at the start of the women's race, Saturday's 5 and 10k individual skate races provided another day of exciting racing.  There was a high attrition rate on the women's side, as many are battling colds after returning to campus.  So we only had four possible scorers for the women.  In just her second carnival race, Heidi skied another great race as our first scorer in 21st.  Tsaina had another career best in 24th, and Olivia rounded out our scorers for 37th.

For the men's 10k, Will skied to an impressive 11th place finish.  Jack skied to another solid finish in only his second carnival race for 18th overall.  Vanya skied into the top twenty for our third scorer in 20th.

Happy Freshman!
Coaches coaching.

We had a great start to the season, and the team is hungry for more!  Pretty psyched for this weekend in Stowe, Vermont hosted by UVM.  HUGE thanks to all the parents this past weekend!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Odds Are You Eat All These Rice Crispy Treats...

So I definitely didn't post as much as I would have liked during our Quebec training camp, but that's not entirely my fault - the internet where Jason and I stayed was real bad...I'm still trying to load the weather page that I opened a few days ago...

Since my last post, a lot has happened.  The team had a successful New Years dinner party, a three hour distance ski in a snow storm New Years day, a 5/10k individual skate time trial, a 10/15k mass start classic TT, and a spontaneously early start to our departure back to Williamstown, among other shenanigans.

Hannah Benson welcomes the new year!
New Years eve, the team decided to play a game called "fishbowl".  The basic premise of the game is everyone writes down two or three different names of people (can be famous, or on the ski team, etc.), everyone divides into two teams, and each team acts out each name they pull out of the "fishbowl" while their teammates try and guess who they're pretending to be.  Well, I was pretty good...
The lighting makes Sarah Becker (in the corner) look (even more!) like an angel!
On New Years day, we had a pretty epic snow storm for our distance classic ski.  Another foot of snow was added to the trails at Monte Sainte Anne, and the skiing was phenomenal for the next few days.  Jason and I did a solid 2h40 classic ski, and didn't see any of the team until 2h30 into it... Speaking of phenomenal skiing, we had a skate time trial on friday with some impressive performances.
Benson, Josh, and Hans getting ready for the start.
Luke, out of the start
Will rounds through the lap.
Benson and Olivia posted the exact same time on the 5k loop for first place, with Hannah Cole not far behind in 3rd.  For the men, the Freshman - Jack - sealed the victory, with Will and Eli rounding out the podium for 2nd and 3rd.

The men lead the women out of the start for the 10/15k mass start classic.

Will leading the men early in the race.
Tsaina pushing the pace!

Eli handed the men their warm-ups at the finish line because after 5k into the race he took off and didn't look back.  Will finished strong ahead of Jack and Luke to take 2nd. A photo finish gave Jack and Luke the tie for 3rd.

Hannah Cole won the women's race after gaining a convincing lead early on. Tsaina cruised to 2nd, while Olivia snagged the final podium spot.
After the race Saturday, Jason and I confirmed the weather reports before making the call to leave that afternoon instead of Sunday morning.  As we crossed the Canadian border, the snow started to accumulate.  We made it safely to St. Johnsbury, Vermont where we had dinner and got a hotel to wait out the storm.  By morning, it had warmed up and turned to rain.  At which point we got our butts out of Dodge, and headed home.  The team made it safely to Williamstown yesterday, so they can begin winter study classes today.

Ski camp was always one of my favorite times on the ski team when I was in college way back when.  It's a great time to get in some good on-snow training, hang out with friends, and relax.  I had a really fun time this past week skiing at MSA with the team.  We have an amazing group of athletes here.  They work hard everyday in practice, they bust their butts in school, they balance it all, and above all they have fun doing it.  Jay and I have the best job in the world!  Stay tuned - the first Carnival hosted by Bates in Rumford, ME is right around the corner, and the team is lookin' yoked!

Back row (L to R): Coach Jason, Luke Costley, Will Wicherski, Josh Harrington, Jordan Fields, Hans Halvorsen, Eli Hoenig, Ben Corwin, Jack Schrupp, Coach Perry.
Front row (L to R): Jenna Maddock, Hannah Benson, Olivia Meyerson, Rebecca Smith, Sarah Abramson, Hannah Cole, Heidi Halvorsen, Sarah Becker, Tsaina Mahlen, Eliza Rorabaugh, Kristin Halvorsen.
Missing: Vanya Rybkin


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Oh man!  I don't know what's more exciting: skiing three+ hours a day on some pretty awesome trails with a REALLY fun team, watching redneck Canadiens clean up tractor-trailer wrecks, or watching people catapult pumpkins thousands of feet...because that's pretty much all Jason and I have been doing...Sooooooo it's been a pretty fun week so far!!

Doing some V1 drills.

Eli and Will sprinting!

Awesome end of the day skiing!
Kristin and Heidi Halvorsen - Sibs!
Happy New Year everyone!! The team is having a blast in Canada, and we hope you have a wonderful start to the new year!  Cheers.


Monday, December 29, 2014

First Day In Quebec!

After eight hours of driving, a whole lot of coffee and donuts (Thanks Kalle!), and a couple stops along the way to pick up the stragglers, (most of) the team made it to Monte Sainte Anne yesterday evening.  Everyone is in good spirits and excited for a great week of skiing!  Josh was so excited he decided to eat mayonnaise while staring down was great...

The vans rolled out at 8:15am today for an easy skate ski.  Everyone was little unsure as to what the conditions would be like considering how warm and rainy it's been.  To our pleasant surprise, the skiing is really great!  In the words of Jack Schrupp:

"The conditions are impeccable. Race skis only.  Matter of fact, just take the cutest puppy you can find and strap it to your boots. Then, fill your water-belts with champagne, replace your Williams tights with cashmere long johns, and use maple butter and brie instead of klister."

Jason and I watched as the whole team ditched us as we were getting ready to hit the trails.  It worked out ok though.  We found some sweet terrain to beat them up with for intervals and TT's later in the week.  
Dope tracks!
Trying to read the map...
We headed out this afternoon for an easy classic ski.  Luckily, hardwax kick was bombproof!  
The team gathers for technique.
Josh stridin'!
Skiing into the sunset!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Eastern Cup At Rikert

This past weekend Coach Jay and I headed to the Eastern Cup Opener at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vermont.  We left Williamstown fairly early Saturday morning - at 5am.  A quick pitstop at Dunkin Donuts for breakfast proved to be a big mistake, as whatever mystery "breakfast sandwich" I ate didn't quite sit that well, and the coffee (as per usual) was scalding hot for the entire two and a half hour drive...Nonetheless! We made it to Rikert right on time to obtain the final parking spot to plug the wax truck into the grid.  Apparently, the current trend is to get a trailer and park it at the race venue overnight so as to take up several parking spots and allow no other team to park near the trail for grid access.
Saturday morning sunrise - view from the wax truck across Rikert stadium.
Coach Jay getting ready to test some kick wax!

Pretty legit wax truck set up!
Saturday seemed like a complete blur.  After testing several different kick and binder combinations, the team arrived ready to kick some butt!  The women did a 5k classic, and the men a 10k.  The tracks were solid, and the downhills were fast.  In the women's race, we had Hannah Benson and Olivia Meyerson skiing to impressive 10th and 11th place finishes.  Sarah Becker skied to a solid 54th place, with Rebecca Smith in 71st, and Jenna Maddock in 96th.  For the men, Jordan Fields finished 25th, Eli Hoenig 33rd, Luke Costley 57th, and Josh Harrington 74th.  Before I knew it, we were packing up the wax truck after a solid showing from the Eph's, and preparing for Sunday's mass start skate races.

Jason and I didn't really get a chance to watch any of the races on saturday, so after making everyone's skis faster than rocket ships, we headed out on course to cheer on our athletes!  I must say, I don't think I've ever seen a pile-up quite like the one's that occurred in both the women and men's races.  Two hundred meters into the race, on a short decent out of the stadium, it seemed like the front ten racers decided to just lay down across the trail in front of the other 150 racers as they all skied into each other.  Add on some of the iciest downhill s-turns I've ever skied, and I think it's safe to say that most of the racers spent more time rag-dolling and wrapping themselves around trees, than actually skiing.  Ok, I'm exaggerating...a little...Anyways, the Eph's had another great day of racing!  Benson skied to her second top-fifteen race of the weekend, finishing in 14th.  Olivia made a huge comeback after crashing pretty hard early in the race to earn 27th.  Becker wasn't far behind Olivia, skiing to 33rd.  Rebecca and Jenna finished strong to earn 72nd and 75th respectively.
Start of the Women's race

Becker - Cruisin'!

Olivia - Charging!
The men also turned in some impressive results!  Jordan skied to an impressive 10th place.  Eli finished the day in 19th, Luke skied a great race to finish 38th, and Josh skied to 67th.
Start of the men's race
Jordan getting tall!
Luke and Josh skiing out of the start!
I'm am SO impressed with everyone's racing this past weekend!  I can tell that there's good things to come this year from the Eph's!  Huge thanks to all the parent's that helped out and provided some delicious food.  I wish everyone the happiest of holidays, and I'm looking forward to regrouping in Quebec this weekend!