Archive for January, 2013
By: Alex White
Warm weather makes for soft snow and soft snow makes for slow races. Those were the conditions the Berkshire County nordic skiers faced this Saturday at Prospect Mountain for the county’s first classic race in two years. With temperatures hovering around forty degrees and a light rain falling at times, skiers slogged through the 5K course. Some resorted to striding the downhills just to make it through.
In what is becoming a bout Marquez and Pacquio would be proud of, Lenox’s Josie Marshall took round three—her second in a row—over Greylock’s Kat Chenail. Chenail befell some serious misfortune in the second half of the race when she lost a ski and had to fight to make her way back into the race. Despite the fact that Chenail and Marshall were in the same wave, foul play has been ruled out of the question due to the fact that Marshall has never done anything mean to anybody. In the end, Marshall’s powerful skiing created too big of a gap for Chenail to overcome. In a post-race interview, Marshall expressed her delight to be back in the tracks saying, “I was just happy to be classic skiing on any conditions because haven’t had a classic race in so long.” Greylock’s Sophia Dastoli, Alexa Adams, and Steph Adamczyk took third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
Following closely on the heels of the Girls Varsity skiers was the JV Girls, led by Greylock’s Greta Savitsky, Sophie Gerry, and Christina Butcher. Savitsky crossed the line in an elapsed time of 26:01 for the victory.
A Greylock one through five sweep in the Boys Varsity race was more than enough for the Mounties to snag the victory with a perfect score of ten, McKayla Maroney style…oh wait. Too soon? Senior Alex White took the victory in a time of 19:28. Close behind White were fellow seniors Sean Houston and Will Kirby. Cracking the top five for the first time this season were Jonah Majumder and Jake Foehl. Northfield skiers Estevan Velez and Henry Colt each scored notable top ten finishes, while Mohawk’s Tom Damery quietly continued his impressive season as he snuck in in eighth place. Houston, doing his best to contain his excitement upon hearing the results, stated, “Going one through five was a goal of ours entering the year, and today was as good a day as any to achieve it. I think it’s a real testament to the hard work a lot of these guys have put in both at practice and in the offseason.”
In their best effort to emulate their varsity brethren, the Greylock JV boys ultimately one-upped the Mountie V-Squad by placing six in the top six. Caleb Raymond recorded his first victory on the year, and first year skier Carter Stripp’s third place victory was an inspiration to all.
While the next few days’ weather has next week’s race location up in the air, one thing is for certain: there will be a race, and skiers better bring their game faces…as well as their skis, boots, etc. Don’t just bring your game face cause that won’t get you very far.
By: Alex White
DALTON, Mass - Week two of Berkshire County nordic ski racing provided all the excitement the county needed to get it through to the afternoon’s NFL playoffs. Being a mass start, as opposed to the wave starts Berkshire County is accustomed to, each race consisted of all its participants starting at once. As so often happens in mass starts, pandemonium ensued at the back of the starts with skiers piling up as they neared the first slight uphill. Despite the slight chaos, it was an excellent experience for all the skiers because of the prevalence of mass starts on the regional, national, and international levels.
Packs quickly formed out of the double pole zone in the boys’ varsity race. Out in front, Greylock’s Alex White and Will Kirby traded the lead off many times before White finally managed to squeak out a narrow one-second victory on the relatively flat, two-lap course. On the first lap, a chase pack of about five skiers including Greylock’s Will Nolan, Northfield’s Henry Colt, and Greylock’s Sean Houston—eventual third, fourth, and fifth place finishers, respectively—followed within twenty seconds of the leaders. The second lap consisted of Nolan breaking free of Houston and Colt, who battled until the finish, with some strong skiing.
Similar to the battle for the top two spots in the boys’ race, Greylock’s Kat Chenail and Lenox’s Josie Marshall fought to the finish line of the girls’ varsity race. Marshall, who led most of the race with Chenail on her heels, showed breakaway speed in the final sprint to get her first victory of the season. Mohawk’s Allison Lull beat out Greylock’s Alexandra DeVeaux for the bronze, a minute back from the leaders. Rounding out the top five was Greylock’s Sophia Dastoli.
Coming into the last turn in the Boys’ JV race, five Greylock skiers had an opportunity to claim the win. Caleb Raymond, who dragged the pack for the entire race, and Ian Culnane separated themselves in the final one hundred meters as Culnane grabbed the victory. Next, came Jake Kobrin, Thomas “Manchild Thomas” Schoorlemmer, and John Driver.
Greylock’s Grace Smith took an early lead in the girls’ JV race, her first race of the season, and never looked back as she cruised to nearly a two-minute victory over fellow Mountie Christina Butcher. Three Greylock freshmen—Greta Savitsky, Holly Fisher, and Ellie Williams—completed the sweep of the top five places for Greylock. Lenox’s Grace Elrodt, Jessie Ubertini, and Alice Huth all turned in top ten finishes for a solid Millionaire showing.
Next week’s race at Mohawk will be the first classic race of the season and is sure to provide an interesting change of pace for fans all over the county.