The men's race got started first - 4 laps of 5k - and the men put themselves into a good position right off the start line. Dimitri and Keith held strong at the front of the pack, Mark Johnson working steadily right behind them. Dimitri took his turn at the front for awhile before giving the lead to Eric Packer and Scott Patterson, skiing just several meters back for most of the race. Coming into the finishing stadium, Dimitri was in the clear for third place, more than 25 seconds ahead of 4th place and less than 4 seconds behind second place. First individual podium finish of the year for Dimitri and for Williams!
Keith was not far behind, sprinting to the finish line behind UVM's Franz Bernstein for a 9th place. Mark Johnson was in an even tighter sprint to the finish, taking 16th place just at the line. All three scores - the best classic finishes for all three men this season - added up to a third place team finish for the day!!
Finishing the year even stronger than he started, freshman Isaac Hoenig placed an impressive 23rd place.
The women's start was not as clean as the men's, involving several pile-ups which the Williams' women thankfully managed to avoid. Kirsten Johnson had a strong race, battling through the second pack of women to finish in 20th place. Not far behind, her teammates Sarah Tory, Holly Whitney, and Christina Knapp finished in a 29th, 31st, and 32nd pack.
A great day of racing for the team, only made bittersweet by the fact that it was the last race for four of our fantastic seniors.
Dimitri Luthi, Keith Kantack, and Sarah Tory qualified for the NCAA's in Stowe, VT, which takes place two weeks from now. Though Mark Johnson had his best classic race of the season eysterday it was just enough for his NCAA points to TIE with the last man on the list, Harrison Harb of UNH. The tie was then broken by looking at the best result of the season: for Mark it was a 12th, for Harb a 10th. SO CLOSE. But as Coach Fisher remarked in his end-of-the-trip talk to the team, it is not always about the end result, it is about how you got there. Mo-Jo is one of the hardest working and disciplined athletes out there. I am sure we will see him on his race skis again soon!
Thanks again to the parents who helped shuttle gear, feed us, and cheer us on out there! Really amazing to have all those smiles and all that support during the long weekend.
|The men's start|
|Mark in a double pole sprint to the finish|
|the mens team cheers on the womens team|
|The coaches and seniors: Bud Fisher, Sarah Tory, Evan Dethier, Keith Kantack, Mark Johnson, Maddy Wendt, Kirsten Johnson, Aubrey Smith|
|Phil: he can do more than just ski fast|