Monday, February 23, 2009
This past weekend the Burke athletes participated in the fourth and final Eastern Cup weekend in Hanover and Gunstock. These are the last races which decide the New England team for JOs in Truckee, and as a few of our kids were somewhat on the bubble, it was a make-or-break weekend for them. Fortunately both Lucas and Janey skied incredible races which solidified their places on the team on Friday in Hanover. Lucas took the first 5k lap relatively conservatively but then broke it all out for the exausting series of climbs on the next lap, coming in 8th, just over a minute off the pace. Janey and Corinne both looked great throughout the race and placed 5th and 6th, just five seconds apart! The Y-ME boys also skied respectable races, and Evan especially is starting to use his technique to his advantage. Sam also has been working hard on his skate technique, and it clearly paid off as he finished less than 10 seconds off the podium in 4th.
Sunday's classic race in Gunstock, NH was difficult to wax for due to changing temperatures and looming snow clouds overhead that made everyone wait until the last minute to decide what the women would race on. The snow was held off for the girls and the 2x2.75 laps of the course went by quickly for both Corinne and Janey, who placed 4th and 9th in a very tight field. Then the snow hit before the men's race but luckily it did not turn in to harries conditions and the boys all got by on hard wax, even if it got a little slow as the race went on. Despite the less than favorable conditions, Sam still hammered his way into 14th place and Yannick pulled out another great effort in 27th. After the race we attended the JO team naming ceremony where Sam, Lucas, Corinne, and Janey were all recognized.. now its just a quick 2 weeks of last minute race prep before we fly out to Truckee!
For complete results of the weekend's races, click here
Monday, February 9, 2009
The new race course at Trapps is a piece of ski racing art. When we first encountered it on Friday afternoon it was hard not to go too fast on it because its just fun to ski. Its a definite improvement on the old course's skiability while still maintaining the "feel" of racing at Trapps- fast downhills with sharp turns, good climbs, excellent grooming, and of course the brutal climb up and into the finish. There was definitely a feeling of excitement among the team to pull a bib on and throw down on the 5k loop. The girls raced a quick but tough 5k in the morning which went well for both Corinne and Janey, placing 33rd and 62nd overall. These were especially impressive results because the race was a combination of the Eastern Cup, UVM Carnival, and Supertour events. Burke Alums Lucy Garrec and Elise Moody-Roberts, now skiing for Colby and Middlebury respectively, placed in the top 10 overall at 6th and 8th- just barely over 30 seconds off the winner!
The men skied the 5k loop twice on Saturday for the skate race. As fun as the course is to ski, there is no question that it is hard. As one racer told me, "this course is full of 'active rest', which is really just a fancy term for 'no rest'". The final 200 uphill meters into the windblown finish didn't help the lactate build up in the legs, but nonetheless the boys overall had a pretty good day, with Sam finishing 40th and Lucas finishing just over 30 seconds behind in 57th. Although the results haven't caught up to him yet, Evan also had a breakthrough day, skiing technically as good as we've seen him this year.
The classic race on Sunday was a different game entirely. We got to the venue at 8am in hopes of being able to nail down the wax before the girls arrived for thier race, but the combination of sleet, rain, wet snow, more snow, wind, and changing temperatures made predicting wax for more than a 10 minute time period next to impossible. The girls raced on harries, which was the only thing kicking and not icing at the time, but especially in the wind-blown fields they were pretty slow. In the woods the tracks were wet and icy but Corinne and Janey were both able to kick anyway which could not be said for much of the field. Both had stellar races, placing 22nd and 30th, while former Burkies Lucy, Ida, and Elise placed 3rd, 4th, and 10th!
The 15k mens race was not any easier to wax for, as the conditions continued to change in various ways, and some decided to use thier Zeros while others used klister. Suprisingly enough, we haven't had many klister days in the east this year, and some of the guys were clearly not used to working the kick. Overall it was a tough day on the Burkies with the exception of Yannick who didn't seem to care that the tracks were in different conditions each lap and came in 88th overall, 7th J1. From here we have a sprint with GMVS coming up on Friday, followed by February Break and then its on to the Hannover/Gunstock Eastern Cup- and the last chance for some of us to qualify for JOs in Truckee.
Thanks again to the Tarlings for bringing lunch on Saturday and Sunday!!!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Sam and I made the trek across RT 2 to Rumford again- this time for the Classic Supertour Sprint on Wednesday. The course this time was a ridiculously long 1.7 kilometers, less than 100m short of the FIS limit. It definitely changes the game when there are three seperate long climbs in one race- it makes sprinting less about strength and more about having a high VO2 max, and the ability to just hurt. The small turnout (29 men, 9 girls) meant that everyone was qualifying for the rounds, so it was guarenteed to be a long day from the start. This was also my first solo coaching gig, which could have complicated things further, but fortunately the wax was pretty managable and the conditions weren't changing on us too much throughout the day. Sam qualified 16th with a time of 4:03 but was knocked out of the running finishing 4th in his quarterfinal, just behind Eric Packer, Tim Reynolds, and Kevin Hochtl. Despite not moving on, Sam still put forth a great effort and is now preparing along with the rest of the team for the Eastern Cup/Supertour/UVM Carnival hosted by Trapps this weekend! Speaking of Carnivals, keep your eyes open for Burke alums Ida Sargent, Lucy Garrec, and Elise Moody-Roberts, all of whom have been on the podium at least once at the Carnivals so far!