Thursday, October 8, 2015

Climb to the Castle 2015 (Better Late Then Never...!)

By: Dana Hatton

Welcome back to the SLU Nordic Ski blog!  It’s been awhile since we’ve updated you, and we apologize, but now that the season is in session, we should be regularly posting! 
Here’s a quick recap on the Climb to Castle race:
Our first unofficial race happened on Sunday, September 20th!  We had a good representation at the Climb to Castle race.  For those that don’t know this race, the course starts at the Whiteface Mountain Toll Booth, climbing for 5 miles with an average grade of 8% on the Whiteface Memorial Highway up to the summit.  Whiteface is New York’s 5th highest peak at 4,867ft.  Many endured it for the first time; the gang included: Erin P, Calvin, Rueben, Dana, Kyle, Morgan, India, Blaine, Dustin, and Henry.  We loaded up cars and left promptly at 5:20 am, still dark and cold.  We arrived to an unexpectedly cold fall morning.  It was cloudy and overcast.  The top was very foggy and unfortunately, the scenery was none.  When we had all crossed the finish, we hurried inside to seek warmth.  We met up with previous years Assistant Coach Adam Terko, and rekindled our friendship with him. We heard all about how his new job is going.  

Results took awhile to come out, but excitement was to be had, as Erin and Kyle placed in the top respectively.  It was an overall great experience and the SLU skiers really grinded it out.  Once we headed back down in the vans provided by NYSEF, we drove straight to the Lake View deli and had a tasty, scrumptious lunch.  After a long morning, tired legs, sore arms, and a belly full of food, people hit the snooze buttons as we made the winding drive back to school.  Thanks to all who made the event possible!

Here’s a link to results:

Check out the awesome pictures below!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Saint Mikes/Dartmouth

St. Mikes Carnival was very special for me, as I grew up skiing at Sleepy Hollow and spent my whole high school career there...good times.

Also good were the results and the racing! On the individual day Phil, Will and Lizzy posted their best results so far. Will broke into the top-15 and Phil stormed the scene in a big way: a week prior he had a gutsy race and hung in to sprint for 30th place and his first NCAA points...this time, he skied the whole race on a mission and looked like to be totally comfortable on the way to smashing that first points race with a big 21st place showing.

Lizzy went into the race with a game-plan, focused on the tactics and stuck to her goals the whole way. It was clear to see she was really getting after it and putting the pressure on in the last few K!

Kyle also had his best-ever classic result, and Erin also skied to one of her better classic EISA races.

Taren, Sliz and Phil: Mission accomplished (photo by Barb)

The relay was exciting with many lead changes, stumbles, yelling, flags, facepaint and glitter. It was totally unique and special to see a mixed-gender event, and all the teams got into the spirit.

Erin moving in to tag Will (photo by Barb)

The action moved quickly to Dartmouth and one of the biggest weekends of the year: the combined Carnival/Supertour/Eastern Cup at Craftsbury! Friday got started with a bang...Erin qualified in 8th for the open heats (3rd EISA skier) and raced to 3rd in her quarterfinal...end result? 6th place in the Carnival! Huge PR, and the first women's top-10 since the 11/12 season!

Erin racing earlier this season in Canada (photo by Barb)

India also had a great race, earning her first top-50 in 49th place! The men were led by Blaine in 18th, with Kyle and Phil also in the top-30 and Isaac just outside in 31st...the men have put at least 3 in the top 30 EVERY race so far this season. Depth depth depth! 

Kyle ripping up the live feed

In the next day's distance race, the highlight came from Kyle narrowly missing his first top-10 in 13th place...there is some great skiing of his featured on the Fasterskier video of the event. Especially cool (and aptly put) is color-commentator Austin Cobb remarking "...a Dartmouth skier and Kyle Curry of St. Lawrence going by....looks like Kyle has a little more energy out there!"

Definitely a correct observation. You can see Kyle making some moves at 24:43 in this video feed:

Kyle led the men to another day with 3 in the top-30 as Austin finished 28th and Will finished 30th. The men ended up 5th on the day...they been either 4th or 5th all season and are chasing down the podium. 

In the women's race both Erin and Kate posted top-30 results, with Erin having one of her best distance races in 26th and Kate matching her second-best EISA finish in 28th. The pacing from both was key, leading to some great finishes with more to come for sure. 

Dana scored her first top-50 with a 50th place showing and her best NENSA points as well!

Of course, another highlight was the annual Carni-Crush tradition, in which stripping, innuendo and dances all were very well represented:

The SLU girls sing a song (and show some leg, it looks like) to the Bates boys (photo by Bob Townsend)

On Sunday there was some extra excitement for a few members, as a crew remained for Sunday's mass-start. It was a big field but Lizzy, Dana, India, Morgan, Isaac and even coach Terko held their own! It was one of Morgan's best races ever, and Isaac was right behind for some great points. 

Dana led the women, and all three finished in good company!

Coach comes out of retirement to rip it up. Sort of like Justin Freeman, except not as fast (photo by Bob Townsend)

The team is now enjoying copious amounts of snow on campus (as is much of New England) and preparing for the Middlebury Carnival and Eastern Cup finals (in Hanover and Holderness) this weekend...we will see you on the trails!