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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

Spirits Not Hampered by Slow Snow, Warm Weather

GIRLS RACES:

After opening the season with three competitions to find the best skier, this Saturday provided the setting to find the best racer. Skiing and racing can be two different things. Wave starts test your skiing ability and “guts” as you are often out on the course by yourself grinding just as hard as you dare over the 5k and finding out later how you performed against the competition. Mass starts can be a completely different beast altogether. Will you take the lead and push the tempo? Will you be able to hang on to the competition just in front of you? Racing in a mass start involves as much strategy and guile as it does technique and fortitude. Welcome back mass start racing!

After graciously hosting in a generally snow-less environment last week, Mohawk Trail Regional would again be the sight of this weeks’ test. Instead of icy conditions, today would be about who had the legs in the slush. Each school would place their top eight racers on varsity, with an open category for any racers not considered top eight for their school still eligible to compete.

The girls’ mass start got off well with only minor carnage at the back end of the opening straightaway. Brandi Gill (MG) and Alice Huth (LX) were out front at the first downhill with a long line of pursuers that became a solid pack through the opening field. By the first uphill, Gill and Huth nurtured a small gap that would quickly close as Margo Smith (MG), Clarissa Pollard (MOH), Lilly Wells (MOH), Emma Jourdain (LX), and Emma Polumbo (MG) drew back up to the two leaders through the ups and downs of the middle field.

It appeared that the Mt. Greylock duo of Gill and Smith might break away to begin the second lap but as other contenders slowly slipped away, Jourdain would claw her way back to create a lead pack of three. Alice Huth would remain a solo chaser through the second lap as the pack that now included Helen Greenfield (MG), Marion Hugh (LX) and Maggie Sorrentino chased behind her. Smith took over the lead of the front trio midway through the lap with Gill and Jourdain just behind.

As the third and final lap began, Gill took advantage of the flat terrain to regain the lead and create the decisive gap needed to win the race. She would not be directly challenged for the lead again as she pushed to her third win of the season and her third straight. Smith and Jourdain, however, were not finished with their battle. Smith would lead throughout the remainder of the sweeping climbs and descents until the final climb. Jourdain demonstrated a very strong V1 technique in pushing past Smith and creating the space she would hold through the finish for her strongest result of the season (2nd) and her first podium. Smith, the Heidi Weng of the Berkshire County league, was yet again on the podium with another top three result.

After Smith, Greenfield would stretch away from the pack to finish 4th; her first top five result. Alice Huth would be a mere 17 seconds back from Greenfield with yet another strong showing in 5th. Only one minute would separate skiers five through 10 on the day as Wells, Marion Huth, Polumbo, Pollard and Sorrentino rounded out the place winners.

The Mt. Greylock girls managed to win again and place skiers high in the standings again, but the gap between first and second was narrowed considerably. The Mounties scored a seemingly normal 16 points on the day with four skiers in the top eight. The Lenox Millionaires, however, demonstrated that they will be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch by scoring a mere 24 points with four skiers in the top 10. Lenox jumped back over Mohawk in finishing second this week. Mohawk and NMH finished tied on the podium for third with 70 points apiece.

BOYS RACES:

The twisting course of Mohawk have once again hosted a battle for the top spot for the boy’s in the Berkshires. The usual top ten skiers, minus Ric Donati (MG) who did not race, jumped at the chance to all ski together given the mass start format. The start itself, narrowing quickly into a downhill, was uncharacteristically non chaotic with only a small breakdown in the middle of the racers. Tobias Weed (NMH), Kent Yoshikawa (NHM), Willy Wright (A), Luke Sedor Protti (A), Jakin Miller (MG), Evan Arthur (MG), and Cameron Castonguay (MG) jostled for placement in the lead pack coming through the first kilometer. Jacob Adams (MG) was not far behind following a fall at the start.

The leaders stuck close through the first lap, with first place changing from skier to skier. In the fields of the second lap, Arthur and Miller attacked to try and get some space from the pack. In an unfortunate accident, one of Arthur’s baskets broke off causing him to decide to get a pole from his coach on the sideline. The time to get the new pole along with his now uneven pole heights hampered Arthur making him fall back. Yoshikawa, Weed, and Wright followed Jakin in his surge. Three quarters of the way through the second lap, Arthur received a better suited pole and passed Castonguay who had passed him before in the confusion.

The head four battled together throughout the rest of the race with Arthur almost fully catching up in the third lap. Miller, leading the entire race after his surge, managed to pull away on the final climb for his first league win (24:50). Behind him, Weed took second after a similar move to Miller’s (25:07) finishing ahead of Wright (25:11) and Arthur (25:20). Yoshikawa had to drop out in the third lap because he had started to feel sick. Almost a minute later, Castonguay (26:05) just barely edged out Adams (26:06) who had been gaining back time over the entire third lap.

Rounding out the top ten Protti (27:25) beat out Avery Smith (NMH; 27:27) in a final sprint for 7th. A little behind, Corban Miller (MG; 27:58) and Aidan Sandvik (M; 28:07) took 9th and 10th respectively.

Because the many JV racers moved up to the longer race, the Junior Varsity race was unusually spread, especially for the top ten finishers. The race was dominated Walker Niemeyer (MG; 18:25) taking an early lead. Behind him, Carter Lemaire (MG; 19:18) and Owen Tucker-Smith (MG; 19:26) worked together for most of the race until Lemaire attacked with about a half a kilometer to go, gapping Tucker-Smith for second. The next five were also dominated by Greylock with Finn Welch (19:38) at the helm. After Welch: Michael Maruk (19:44), Gabe Gerry (19:57), Julius Munemo (21:00), and Ezra Sutter (21:17) all finished strong. Topping off the top ten were NMH’s Louis Salz and Garrett Weil beating out another pack of three Greylock skiers.

Thanks to Coach Rayton and the crew from Mohawk for hosting and to the Mt. Greylock volunteers for all the race day work.  There is no scheduled race for next weekend, which will hopefully allow snow to build up here in the Berkshires. If that does happen (do your snow dances, everyone) the first league classic race will be hosted at Notchview Reservation. See you all there!

 

RESULTS:

Boys Varsity

Boys Varsity Team

Girls Varsity

Girls Varsity Team

Boys Junior Varsity

Girls Junior Varsity

Junior Open

A Secret Patch of Snow

GIRLS RACE

You want snow? Go to Mohawk Trail Regional School. You want great exercise? Learn to cross-country ski. You want great competition? Look no further than the Berkshire Nordic Ski League girls’ varsity races. While both of the first two races of the season resulted in an 11 second margin of victory, the third race saw four racers all within 11 seconds of each other and three within one second of the win.

With Grace Smith now competing at the collegiate level, the top spots for the league appear up for grabs each week. For the second straight week, however, Brandi Gill was able to snatch the win; this week by the narrowest of margins. The freshman from Mt. Greylock started from wave two, which proved to be the most competitive wave of the day. Clarissa Pollard (MOH) and Alice Huth (LX) were matched in a wave with Gill for the second straight week. The trio went out together behind the school and through the first field. In the first series of undulations Gill opened a small gap on the two chasers. Unlike last week when Gill pulled away early, Pollard was able to respond and latched onto Gill for the remainder of the race. At times a small gap would open, but Pollard constantly fought to bring it back. The two would ski together the rest of the race and finish in the order they raced, Gill at 14:12 and Pollard at 14:13. Huth would push on in a solo effort to a fifth place finish with a time of 14:34.

Starting from wave three, MG Sophomore Margo Smith was out by herself very early in the race. At the first check she was tied with Gill and Pollard. As the race progressed, Smith was always within 3 seconds of the duo in the wave ahead. At the last check on the final downhill, Smith was still three seconds down, but clawed back two seconds in the final climb to finish tied with Pollard (14:13) and one second off the winning time.

The only other race winner on the season, Niku Darafshi (MG) started in wave one along with several other favorites: Lilly Wells (MOH), Nevada Powers (NMH), and Emma Jourdain (LX). Darafshi pulled away early and was the virtual race leader at the first time check. Darafshi continued to pull away from the wave but at the same time slowly bled time back to the race leaders. Darafshi would fight her way to a fourth place finish (14:23). The three chasers also begrudgingly gave time away to each other and finished 6th through 8th with Wells leading the pack(15:02), Powers 13 seconds back (15:15), and Jourdain chasing them home (15:23). Powers and Jourdain each improved one place on last weeks result while Wells returned after missing last weeks race.

The three remaining place winners came from three different waves. Starting in her first varsity race, Anna Butcher (MG) earned her first top 10 finish. Skiing solo from wave six, Butcher came home in a time of 15:38 for 9th place. From wave eight, eighth grader Hazel Scullin (MG) also cracked her first top 10 (15:57) finishing tied for 10th. Rounding out the place winners was Sarah Gokey from Mohawk. Gokey finished tied for 10th (15:57) and in so doing continued her streak of top 10 finishes in each league race this season.

The Mt. Greylock girls (16 pts.) again finished on top of the team podium even without last weeks 6th place finisher Emma Polumbo. The return of Lilly Wells and the high placing of Pollard helped propel the girls of Mohawk (39pts, 2nd place) over Lenox while knocking NMH out of the top three for the week. Lenox fought to the third place finish with Marion Huth (15th) and Maggie Sorrentino (19th) rounding out their scoring (47 pts.)

The Junior Varsity race was junior in name only, even with last weeks top two (Anna Butcher and Ariel Dupras) being moved up to the Varsity race. Race winner Tenley Smith (MG) and 2nd place Amelia Murphy switched finishing places from last week and finished in 16:11 and 16:25 which would have been good for a 12th place and 17th place finishes in the Varsity race. Behind Smith and Murphy was a horde of Mounties who competed with each other help Mt. Greylock take the top eight places overall.

Alice Glab (16:36) finished 3rd with Miriam Bakija seven seconds back from the next wave (4th, 16:43). The next two places were a reprise of last weeks duel but this week from separate heats as Josie Smith took 5th (16:49) and Ella Dudley was 6th (17:00). Bella Bote moved up one spot from last week in finishing 7th (17:40) while Avery Powers (18:12) moved into the top 10 after last weeks 12th place showing.

The only non-Mounties to break into the top 10 were Julianne Harwood (LX) and Rebekah Keator (NMH). Harwood finished in 9th place (18:32) with her first top 10 of the season while Keator was in 10th place (18:44) with her second straight top 10 finish.

A big thank you to the Mohawk coaches and parents for all the hard work you put into pulling off the race. A fun course, great viewing, a competitive atmosphere and marvelous athletes all made for a great day.

While a classic race at MG next week does not look promising, not many of us thought there would be skiing this week at Mohawk…let’s hope!

BOYS RACE

As with last weeks race at Wahconah, the top spots were in hot contention. The hilly (compared to last week) and highly technical course allowed for some seriously fast times and for the top fifteen all to fall within two minutes of each other. Once again Kent Yoshikawa(NMH)  took the top spot from the second wave just seconds in front of Willy Wright (A). The two stuck together for the entire race separating little. By the last hill and final stretch Yoshikawa was able to pull just a bit ahead to grab his three second win over Wright finishing the course in 12:11.

Taking the last podium position was Toby Weed, a senior also from Northfield Mount Hermon. Taking advantage of the quick bottleneck at the very beginning of the course, Weed gapped the chasing group of Luke Protti (A), Jacob Adams (MG), and Miles Marshall (L) and kept his lead all the way to the finish (12:21).

After Weed, 4th through 8th were all Greylock lead by Ric Donati (12:29) from the third wave. Jakin Miller lead the fourth wave to come in twenty seconds behind Donati (12:39). Behind Miller, Jacob Adams (12:56) edged out teammate Evan Arthur (12:57) by one second. Topping off Greylock’s top five was Cameron Castonguay (13:08) in the fifth wave.

To round out the top 10: Amherst’s Luke Sedor Protti (13:13) finished in 9th with Lenox’s Miles Marshall (13:15) biting at his heels after an earlier fall, finishing 10th. Monument’s Aidan Sandvik (13:19) just missed the top ten in his first league race of the season.

Once again, Greylock (22 pts) took first for the day. With the great performances of Yoshikawa and Weed, NMH (37 pts) pulled past Amherst (63 pts) lead by Wright.

The Junior Varsity race was washed away by a wave of red as Mount Greylock took the top 15 spots except for Emmet McDonnell holding onto 10th from Berkshire Nordic Ski School. Greylock Senior Zach Armet(14:01) manned the helm to take first ahead of teammate Walker Neimeyer (14:06).

The next three: Carter Lemaire, Col McDermott, and Finn Welch, packed together early in the race and stayed tight throughout. Coming to the final two hills of the course, Mcdermott attacked and briefly parted from the other two. In the chute, however, Lemaire (14:15) just barely managed to overtake McDermott(14:16) finishing a second ahead. Not far from the two, Welch (14:22) finished in fifth.

Sam Edge (14:42), John Skavlem (14:54), Gio Cavalli (15:02), and Julius Munemo (15:09) rounded out the last Greylock skiers in the top ten. Munemo and McDonnell fought for the second part of the race after McDonnell worked back some lost ground. The 10th place showing for McDonnell (15:10) was his first appearance in a Berkshire league race as he finished just a second behind Munemo.

With a classic race possibly in the works, boys from both the Varsity and Junior Varsity are wondering if the top spots will stay the same, or change with such a different discipline. With any luck, we will be able to see for ourselves next Saturday.

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Greylock Rolls on at Wahconah

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All photos courtesy of WRHS Ski Team and SA Sears Photography

Coach Ryan Touponce of Wahconah High School put in endless hours to make this race happen.

Coach Ryan Touponce of Wahconah High School put in endless hours to make this race happen.

The usual worries of hosting a cross country ski race were nothing for Coach Ryan Touponce of Wahconah High School. Timing, set up, and securing volunteers on race day took a back seat to snow cover. Three days and 20 hours of repeated cycles of grooming and shoveling later (not to mention hours by other volunteers) the Berkshire Ski League races were ready to roll. The setup and snow cover were fantastic and even managed to hold up under the skis of 503 total laps raced.

GIRLS RACES

The hard work was only just beginning, however as the Varsity girls race took off. Alice Huth (LX), Brandi Gill (MG) and Clarissa Pollard (MOH), the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th place winners from the previous week were all entered in the first wave. Huth led the trio through the opening field loop and was passed by Gill right before they entered the woods toward the middle school loop. Throughout the race, Gill never relinquished that lead while Huth and Pollard would trade positions back and forth over the remaining 4.2K. Gill continued to stretch the margin finishing first in the wave and 1st overall at 19:28. Huth managed to hold off a hard charging Pollard right at the finish line as they crossed one second apart at 19:58 and 19:59 which resulted in 4th and 5th place finishes overall.

The second wave proved very competitive and contained four of the top 10 finishers. Emma Polumbo (MG) led this wave from the start, while Nevada Powers (NMH), Emma Jourdain (LX), and Sarah Gokey (MOH) battled each other right up to the finish. Polumbo, 6th overall, pulled away from the trio within the first kilometer and finished with a time of 20:00, 40 seconds ahead of the next girl in her wave. Powers also managed to pull away en route to a 20:40 finish and 8th overall. Jourdain (21:02) held off Gokey (21:05) to hold places 9 and 10 on the day.

The remaining top 10 place winners were all from Mt. Greylock and came from 3 different waves. Niku Darafshi and Margo Smith (1st and 4th last week) pushed hard by themselves with only the knowledge of their splits compared to the leaders from wave one. Navigating the course was not the only difficulty, however, as they also had to pass skiers from waves one through four along the narrow route. Darafshi displayed tremendous heart in a gutsy solo effort from wave 3 which yielded a time of 19:39, good enough for 2nd place. Smith’s effort from wave 4 of 19:43 for 3rd overall was equally impressive to Darafshi in heart and will and even included a fall and quick recovery in the woods that marginally affected her time.

The final top 10 place winner of the day may have been the most impressive as Sonia Glab (MG) started in wave 7 and skied her way through earlier waves to finish in 7th overall at 20:46. This was the first top 10 finish for Glab.

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Wahconah’s Gabby Orlando gets her race started with a strong double pole on her way to 12th place in the girls’ varsity race.

Originally scheduled as a mass start race, the switch to a wave start allowed racers equal opportunity to get out of the gates strong and safely onto the narrow course. While there was some unpredictability in the results of each wave, the top spot in the team standings was remarkably predictable. Mt. Greylock demonstrated its traditional strength in pulling away from the field with 12 points. The next three places after the Mounties were hotly contested with Lenox (48), NMH (59), and Mohawk (61) battling to finish 2nd through 4th place.

The second girls race of the day was like the first in that it was dominated by Mountie finishers. Mt Greylock skiers took home 11 of the top 12 places and were only separated by a 10th place finish from Rebekah Keator of NMH (25:27). Top honors for the day went to first time race winner Anna Butcher whose flawless V2 technique led to a dominant performance on the flat course. Butcher was nearly a minute ahead of the rest of the field as she crossed the line in 21:20. The next four Mt. Greylock finishers were separated by a mere 22 seconds. Ariel Dupras, Amelia Murphy, Tenley Smith, and Miriam Bakija competed with each other like it was a practice on the fields of the Williamstown/Lanesboro high school.

One of the most exciting finishes of the day came out of the fourth wave as Ella Dudley and Josie Smith battled back and forth over the entire course. The teammates were both bent on winning the duel which came down to the final meters. Each alternate pole stroke resulted in a change in lead down the stretch as Dudley caught the finish line just right, finishing a toe ahead of Smith for 6th and 7th (23:13).

The remaining top 10 spots came from waves 3 and 6 as Bella Bote and Elizabeth Westerdahl raced to times of 23:52 and 24:36 respectively for 9th and 10th.

The Wahconah team knew how to work every inch of their home course.

The Wahconah team knew how to work every inch of their home course.

BOYS RACES

On the boys side of things, Greylock repeated as champs in the boys varsity race, but in a far less dominant fashion then last week’s 9 point showing. The addition of the Northfield-Mount Hermon (NMH) team and of Willy Wright (Amherst) who missed last week’s race, made for a much more competitive race this time around.

Sophomore Kent Yoshikawa (NMH) took the win with a time of 16:52 out of the hotly contested second wave. 2nd place finisher Willy Wright (AMH) and 3rd place Ric Donati (MG) also started in the second wave, and finished with times of 16:59 and 17:04 respectively. Yoshikawa led from the gun, and by the half-way point of the five kilometer race, had opened up a slight lead. Wright and Donati battled throughout, taking turns leading, but a decisive move by Wright with a kilometer to go earned him second place.

The first wave was also hotly contested with NMH’s Toby Weed (4th, 17:18), Mount Greylock’s Jakin Miller (5th, 17:26), Lenox’s Miles Marshall (tie 7th, 17:29), and Amherst’s Luke Sedor Protti (9th, 17:30) all racing together. Weed led the group for the entire race, and managed to break away from the rest with a surge at the end of the first lap. Seder Protti led the chase for most of the second lap, but faded towards the end, as Miller attacked with half a kilometer to go.

Mount Greylock's Head Coach, Hiram Greene, keeps it fun as always.

Mount Greylock’s Head Coach, Hiram Greene, keeps it fun as always.

The rest of the top 10 was all Greylock. Evan Arthur (17:27) finished 6th, Jacob Adams (17:29) tied for 7th, and Cameron Castonguay (17:39) rounded out the top ten. Wahconah’s top skier, Sam Pyser, finished nearly a minute back of Castonguay in 11th. Taconic’s Noah Shepardson put in a strong effort in 12th, Hoosac’s Mitch Barnes finished 22nd, Simsbury’s Adam Bosenburg came in at 31st, and Mohawk’s only skier, Guy Rice-Lesure, finished right behind in 32nd.

As in the girl’s race, Greylock won the team standings with 21 points, but the next three spots were hotly contested. Amherst finished 2nd with 43 points, Northfield-Mount Hermon finished 3rd with 52, and Lenox just missed the podium with 54.

In the JV race, it was all Greylock. The top eight finishers and 14 of the top 20, all bore the red-and-white bibs of the Mounties. 8th-grader Corban Miller took home his first win with a time of 18:58, a time that would have earned him 13th place in the varsity race. Miller and 2nd place finisher Sam Edge (19:18) both started in the first wave, and Edge made use of a strong double pole start to take an early lead, but Miller soon took over the lead. Edge managed to hang on to his teammate for the first lap, but lost contact soon after entering the second lap, and by the 3.5 kilometer mark, Miller had opened up a substantial lead. While Edge managed to claw back a handful of seconds in the closing stages, he never caught his teammate. After Edge, six more Mounties followed, with Carter Lemaire (19:53) in 3rd, Col McDermott (20:01) in 4th, Finn Welch (20:04) in 5th, Nima Darafshi (20:11) in 6th, John Skavlem (20:14) in 7th, and Gio Cavalli (20:39) in 8th. Ted Yee of Lenox and Julius Munemo of Greylock rounded out the top 10, with times of 20:56 and 21:13 respectively.

The overall theme of the day was that Wahconah had done a wonderful job managing the snow and course to provide for the enjoyment and competition of 265 racers. Thanks to the Wahconah coaching staff and all the volunteers for making it happen. See you next week.

Complete Results:

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Wahconah’s coaches, team and volunteers were amazing hosts as always.

BNSL – New Season, New Faces, Same Result

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Berkshire League, Race 4

Berkshire League – Boys Varsity Final Results 13116 Sheet1

Berkshire League – Girls Varsity Final Results 13116 Sheet1

Berkshire League – Girls Varsity Final Results 13116 Sheet2

Berkshire League – Boys JV Final Results 13116

Berkshire League – Girls JV Final Results 13116

Berkshire League – Beginner Results Race IV

Massachusetts State EHS / U16 Qualifier Results

Boys

Girls

Teams

Berkshire League Race #3

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 23, 2016 – Boys’ Varsity

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 23, 2016 – Girls’ Varsity

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 23, 2016 – Boys’ Junior Varsity

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 23, 2016 – Girls’ Junior Varsity

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 23, 2016 – Beginner

Results MBW XC Race #1

2016 MBW Results Race 1

Berkshire League Race #2 Results

Berkshire League Race at Berkshire East

Girls Varsity Results Race II

Boys Varsity Results Race II

Girls JV Results Race II

Boys JV Results Race II

Berkshire League Race #1 Results

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 14, 2016 – Boys’ Varsity

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 14, 2016 – Girls’ Varsity

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 14, 2016 – Boys’ Junior Varsity

Berkshire Nordic League Results – January 14, 2016 – Girls’ Junior Varsity

Wellesley Girls and Mount Greylock Boys Take Top Honors at Massachusetts State Championship

Massachusetts State Championship – 2-11-15 – BOYS

Massachusetts State Championship – 2-11-15 – GIRLS

Berkshire Regular Season Concludes In Style

Berkshire Leage Race 2-7-15 – Varsity Boys

Berkshire Leage Race 2-7-15 – Varsity Girls

Berkshire Leage Race 2-7-15 – JV Boys

Berkshire Leage Race 2-7-15 – JV Girls

Massachusetts EHS/U16 Qualifier Results

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2015_J2_EHS_Girls_Results_FINAL

Frozen Block Launch or Frigid Mass Start, You Decided

Berkshire League Race 1-31-15 – Varsity Boys

Berkshire League Race 1-31-15 – Varsity Girls

Berkshire League Race 1-31-15 – JV Boys

Berkshire League Race 1-31-15 – JV Girls

Greylock Defends Home Course in Mass

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Berkshire Leage Race 1-17-15 – Varsity Boys

Berkshire Leage Race 1-17-15 – Varsity Girls

Berkshire Leage Race 1-17-15 – JV Boys

Berkshire Leage Race 1-17-15 – JV Girls

Brrrrerkshire League Continues at Prospect Mountain

Snow Time Like Race Time

Co-written by Ian Culnane and William Nolan

After missing the second race of the season last Saturday due to lack of snow, the skiers of the Berkshire Nordic Ski League were eager to get racing again back at Prospect Mountain in Woodford, Vermont. With many athletes returning from winter break, sixty-four new skiers were added to the starting lists, with boosts coming from Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) and Berkshire Country Day School (BCD) who both missed the first race. NMH, a private school in central Massachusetts, adds strong skiing and competition while BCD brings positive energy and enthusiasm.

The frigid air and snowy skies made the walk from the buses to the entrance of the Prospect lodge daunting. Like Barney Stinson, teams “suited up” in preparation for the single digit temperatures. No team was more crafty than the Millionaires who reinforced the insides of their race suits with duct tape to protect themselves from the painful wrath of windburn. The freezing bodies of skiers were warmed by the camaraderie of competitors, like Shannon Meisberger from Lenox, who cheerfully delivered high-fives to all.

The varsity skiers traversed a roughly 7K two lap course covered with lovely groomed snow, which was quite a turnaround from the bare and icy conditions of last week. JV skiers raced on an identical layout, less the second lap, for a total of 4.5 kilometers. The cold temperatures created slower trails, however, making the wave-style race a little more strenuous, both physically and mentally. In addition, the course-makers added a slightly longer finishing loop, bringing skiers flying out of Woodpecker and into the crowd mobbing the Prospect arena around the finish chute. All in all, the new course (free from non-racing skiers) allowed for a technical and enjoyable tour of the scenic ski area.

On the boys side, we saw very similar results to the league race eleven days ago. A tight pack led the varsity standings, with Mount Greylock’s William Nolan and Ian Culnane, NMH skier Estevan Velez, and Greylock’s Matthew Wiseman all finishing within fourteen seconds. Rounding out the top 10 were MG skiers Jake Kobrin (5th), Jonathan Driver (6th), Jake Foehl (7th), Joseph Gais (8th) and Thomas Schoorlemmer (10th). Sneaking into the 9th spot was Amherst skier Willie Wright, a freshman who is sure to stake his claim in the top ten in future races this season and beyond. Commendable performances also came from NMH skier Toby Weed, Hoosac Valley’s Jared Haley and Lenox skier Matas Rudzinskas, who all duked it out to the end; finishing within six seconds of each other and claiming places 11 through 13. Perhaps the biggest improvement came from Wahconah athlete Moses Greenspan who moved up an impressive eight spots from race one. Matthew Rabasco, top skier for Taconic/PHS and a strong cross country runner, made a valiant stab at a top twenty finish, a feat for which his parents will reward him with a brand new pair of skis (or so he says). In the team standings Greylock took first with 12 points, NMH second with 37 points, while Amherst edged out Wahconah 60 to 63 for the last spot on the podium.

In the girls’ varsity race, MG’s Grace Smith (29:07) dominated again pulling away from the field to finish nearly two minutes ahead of her Mohawk’s Alison Lull (30:57) skiing out of the third wave. A Greylock triumvirate of Sophie Gerry, Greta Savitsky, and Christina Butcher completed the top five finishers. Just five seconds out of fifth were Wahconah’s Stacey Tutela and Lenox’s Alice Huth respectively who both put in their strongest performances to date. NMH’s Loulou Tanski (8th) and MG’s Ellie Williams and Niku Darafshi rounded out the top ten. Greylock earned a team score of 12 followed by NMH with 51, Mohawk with 65 and Amherst with 67.

As the boys and girls JV races got underway, the sun emerged from its doldrums, warming up the temperature for all the racers to enjoy the skiing without fear of losing all feeling in their appendages. In the boys’ race first year MG skier Sam Kobrin skied away with the win on the 4.5k course. After the downhill team was cut from MG this year, Sam decided not to give up ski racing and transferred to the Nordic team, joining his twin brother Jake. Following close behind Sam was a swarm of MG skiers led by eighth grader Jakin Miller (who fought his way to second from the last wave), last race winner Zach Armet, junior Graham Kaegi and junior Samuel Swoap.

In the JV girls’ race, the defending gold and silver medalists flip-flopped from the last competition, with Greylock’s Emma Polumbo (Freshman) charging to victory in a time of 20:45, closely followed by Brandi Gil (7th grade). Behind Brandi was Catherine Cavalli, making her Nordic racing debut by started in the last wave, and nearly passing the entire field to claim third place. The third girl to cross the line was Tenley Smith (unrelated to Grace and Margo Smith, Zeke Smith, and Owen Tucker-Smith), tackling her first race of the year. More strong showings came from fifth place finisher Ariel Dupras, Mohawk competitor Mae Rice-Lesure (6th), MG’s Rosie Walter and Emily Lescarbeau (7th and 8th), and NMH’s Isobel Rountree and Emma Lindale (9th and 10th).

The strength of the League and the popularity of Nordic skiing showed in the total number of competitors with 249 athletes participating. Due to limited training opportunities, the next Berkshire County League race will be changed from a classic-style competition to a freestyle race hosted by and held at Mt. Greylock Regional High School. Though Greylock will probably need a little help from Mother Nature before this race can be realized, the league will keep its hopes high to ski at a new venue and to continue enjoying New England winters in the most integrated and fulfilling way.

Results:

Berkshire League Race 1-10-15 – Varsity Boys

Berkshire League Race 1-10-15 – Varsity Girls

Berkshire League Race 1-10-15 – JV Boys

Berkshire League Race 1-10-15 – JV Girls

Berkshire League Kicks Off

The Berkshire League got its 2014/15 campaign underway at Prospect Mountain on Tuesday.

 

(For complete results click the title of this post)

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6th Annual Ski For Scholarship: Mathias Jessup Bartels Community Nordic Ski Race

By Thomas “Chi City” Schoorlemmer and Jake “Jakey-boy” Kobrin

Racers were all smiles at the 6th Annual Mathias Bartels Scholarship race last Sunday as they began lining up for the 6K – the first race of the day. Skiers and spectators alike were present to celebrate the life of Mathias Bartels and to support the scholarship fund in his name. The Mathias Jessup Bartels Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior who exhibits the integrity, kindness, and commitment to excellence shown by Mathias. Entrants in the race included Berkshire alums, coaches, former Olympians, second graders, and High School skiers and their families. Most people were looking to have a fun day out on skis, and for many Mount Greylock alums, that meant proving that they’re still the baddest Nordic skiers around. Some of the County’s fastest skiers duked it out for over six kilometers of rolling hills, sharp climbs, and welcomed descents. Evan Dethier, Topher Sabot, Will Kirby, Nick Fogel, and Will Nolan all fought for the title of the best Greylock skier. They were joined by a contingent of Northfield Mount Herman, Lenox, Wahconah, Hoosac, and Mohawk racers, as well as many other Mountie teammates and skiers from the tri-state region.

Hiram Greene, the unofficial-official Spirit of Winter and course groomer, was recruited to start the race.  After he roared “Go!”, the course was a flurry of snow as the racers struggled to advance their position without having much hard snow to pole on. This was thanks to 18” of new snow that fell consistently the two days prior to the event. A lead pack formed just after the start but spread out by the top of apple tree hill where Mathias’ monument stands. As the top skiers distanced themselves from each other, the next group of racers attempted to maintain their place, making dicey passes in tight situations. Behind the leaders, family members moseyed along, happily following in the racers tracks. The Lenox Ski team helped a previously injured teammate though the course from start to finish. This care and kindness is what the Mathias race is truly about. Families and friends had a great time sharing their love of Nordic skiing while supporting the Bartels’ family and the memory of Mathias.

The weather could not have been any better with a strong gusty wind petering out just prior to race time. A bright blue sky, fresh snow, and smiling Nordies made the event a joy for all. When Evan Dethier glided effortlessly into the finish, a large group of supporters were on hand to congratulate him for his win. Next came Topher Sabot, Northfield Mount Herman’s Estevan Velez and Henry Colt, and recently graduated “out of shape” Greylock skier Will Kirby. Greylock’s Grace Smith beat out her mom, Brenda Smith, by one second to be the first female finisher. They claimed 16th and 17th places respectively.

The next race was the 3k, which saw Michael Virgilio, Luke Sedor Protti, and Devon Mikaniewicz take the gold, silver, and bronze in the boys’ division. The girls’ 3K race was claimed by Heidi Peterson who also participated in the 6K. Clarissa Pollard and Louisa Kimball took second and third. 76 year old Grandma Fisher skied the course right alongside seven year old Phoebe Barnes showing how Nordic skiing can unite those of all ages and abilities. With skiers still milling around from the previous race, these finishers received a strong cheer when they crossed the finish line.

Leigh Niedeck and Thane Adams charged through the lollipop course presenting one of the cutest sights of the day. Leigh showed off both her classic and skating techniques en route to first place.

The Olympic theme music and announcing by Mark Santella provided special inspiration to the racers. After the races had finished, everyone made their way inside to eat delicious chili and baked goods. Participants perused the table of fabulous prizes, soon to be awarded to the top finishers in a variety of age categories. These racers could choose from Camelbacks, Swix duffels, waxing kits, and even top notch technical outerwear. But probably the most coveted prize was quickly grabbed by Matt Voisin of FasterSkier fame: the highly sought-after “Tower of Bunnies.” What age category he won, we’re not entirely sure, but he certainly won in the prize department.

After the standings were announced and the prizes claimed, Philip Bartels gave a heartfelt speech about his brother Mathias, and thanked all of the participants, organizers, and sponsors who made this amazing event possible. The Greylock Ski Team, in turn, presented a team card to the Bartels family.

All were appreciative of the Bartels’ family’s efforts and the volunteers who organized such a great race for the whole community. Mathias is a reminder to us all to never take anything for granted and to live our lives to the fullest everyday. Races like this one help us focus on what really matters – family, friends, and community (and good ‘ole Nordic skiing!).

Complete Mathias race results 2014

Mass Bay West Race 5 Results

2014 MBW Race 5 Results

Berkshire League: Back to the Mountains

Co-Written By Will “Wolan” Nolan and Ian “Culnawné” Culnane

 

With new snow, and love in the air, the Berkshire nordic ski league headed back into the mountainous terrain for a Valentines themed final league race. Despite temperatures hovering around zero, the buses were able to start without trouble, and everyone congregated early in the morning at Notchview Reservation. Following the storm on Wednesday, the trails boasted fresh snow (where little had been before), which became sugary at points following the teams’ warm-ups.

Very similar to the upcoming State course on Tuesday, the Berkshire County Nordic Ski League gained insight into what lies ahead. Most of the state course was included: Ant Hill, Stair case, and the ever notorious Shaw Road. On Tuesday, an extra kilometer will be tacked on featuring an extended Shaw and an even longer downhill. Leaving the stadium, skiers experienced strong winds, pushing them to go faster, or (such as when ascending Shaw) slowing them down to a grueling pace. While new snow often makes for great conditions, the light powder we received this past week made long glides a struggle in some locations.

On the boys varsity side, a new course meant new results. First time winner, Henry Colt skied in for a gold performance with a time of 21:26. Fellow NMHer Estevan Velez finished just behind, rocking pink Valentine boxers over his already shnazzy spandex. It’s safe to say Estevan makes skiing a spectator sport. Forty seconds behind Velez, MG skier Matthew Wiseman finished with a time of 22:19. Coming in 4th with the best finish of his season, Tyler “Meg” Andrews from Mohawk, broke up the Mount Greylock wolf pack separating Wiseman from teammates Ian “Culnawné” Culnane, Will “Wolan” Nolan and Jake Foehl (Who received quality digits today, which speaks for itself). Rounding out the top 10 were Wahconah skier Curran “Doyle Curran” Doyle, Jared Haley representing the hurricanes, and Jonah Hudson-Erdman. Both Haley and Hudson-Erdman finished with their best skate results to date. Henry Colt and Estevan Velez, and the whole NMH team will not be attending states. When asked what he enjoyed about our league Henry said “the camaraderie among teams in the berkshire league is even a little better than my other league”. Leaving our league with good memories and better times.

Mountie Grace “G-Smitty” Smith continued her fantastic season with another crushing victory. She finished with a time of 24:52, followed by Allison Lull of Mohawk and Lenox’s Josie “JoMar” Marshall, with times of 26:05 and 26:12, respectively. The top five featured five separate teams, the fourth and fifth spots claimed by NMH’s Louise “Roo” Weed and Wahconah’s Ellen Ross. Sophie Gerry came in next, continuing her solid season, followed by Louise “Loulou” Tanski (NMH), Christina Butcher (MG), Valerie Willocq (AMH), and Izzy Lotocki (NMH) to complete the top ten.

Greylock had strong showings in both JV races, with Joseph “José” Gais and Laura “Laurel” Galib both capturing their first wins. On the boys side, Gais was followed by teammates John Driver, Carter “=speed” Stripp, and Cameron Castonguay. The fifth spot was claimed by Wahconah’s Sean Harvey not far behind. In the girls race, Mt. Greylock’s Tenley Smith took second, and Eve Charest of NMH third. Greylock’s new Olympian in-training Margo Smith, and Simsbury skier Ellen Ransley took the next two spots to complete the top five. All JVers delivered impressive times, especially considering Varsity boys and girls had already given the course quite a beating.

As the races ended, with endorphins clouding young minds, Valentines were exchanged. The superior Valentine prize, easily goes to the Lenox team, who came up with many ski-related quips, ensuring amusement. The league also engaged in a snowball fight, Revolutionary war style. People pelted each other with snowballs, quite irrationally refusing to move or run away. And of course, everyone also participated in the Flash Mob, organized by resident fitness man, stud, oakley wearer, dj and choreographer, Mark Santella.

 

 

As we round off the season, teams looks forward to taking on the Eastern Mass racers, competing for our honor.

 

Complete Results:

Berkshire Nordic Ski League – 2-8-14 – Girls Varsity Results

Berkshire Nordic Ski League – 2-8-14 – Boys Varsity Results

Berkshire Nordic Ski League – 2-8-14 – Girls JV Results

Berkshire Nordic Ski League – 2-8-14 – Boys JV Results