January 14th, 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.
January 5th, 2013
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.
January 2nd, 2013
Following a year marked by little snow and way too much time spent at Berkshire East, the Berkshire County skiers found themselves finally back in business at Prospect Mountain to close out 2012. With over two feet of snow having fallen in the past week, Prospect was more than equipped to handle of onslaught of racers.
The Boys Varsity faced varying conditions as they were the first to go off at 9:30 am. Falling snow turned to sunny skies by the end of the race. Greylock skiers took four of the top five spots with Will Kirby successfully claiming victory in a time of 16 minutes and 9 seconds. Alex White and Sean Houston, both from Greylock, claimed second and third respectively. Rounding out the top five were Mohawk skier Tom Damery posting a time of 17:44 and Greylock skier Will Nolan.
On the girls’ side of things, Greylock’s Kat Chenail took the first victory in what is sure to be a season-long rivalry between herself and Lenox’s Josie Marshall. Their times were 18:55 and 19:08, respectively. Mohawk’s Allison Lull slipped into third place in front of a pack of five Greylock girls, including Sophia Dastoli, Alexandra DeVeaux, Chloe Anderson, Alexa Adams, and Sophie Gerry.
In a family sweep, Thomas Kirby followed in his older brother Will’s tracks by winning the Boys JV race in a time of 19:18. The Girls JV Race, the last race of the day going off at 10:30 amidst howling winds and persistent flurries, featured Greylock’s Christina Butcher coming in first with a time of 23:19. She led a strong contingent of six other Greylock girls.
Next week’s skate race at Wahconah will provide an opportunity for newcomers and top varsity skiers alike to improve upon their results and enjoy the snow we missed last year.
By: Alex White
March 9th, 2012
Once again photographer Tamara Hitchcock put together a collection of what she saw through her lens at the Massachusetts State Championship last week at Prospect Mountain. Enjoy!No comments
March 2nd, 2012
By: Luke Costley and Josh Harrington
The girls’ race kicked off the competition at this morning’s Massachusetts State Championships, as skiers from thirteen different schools took to the course at Prospect Mountain in Woodford, Vermont. The girls worked hard throughout the 7.2-kilometer race, pushing themselves over a series of Prospect’s longest hills and down the subsequently challenging descents. The freshly fallen snow, a novelty in this mild winter, was another factor, as it could be squirrelly in spots, and powdery in others. But paying little mind to the difficult conditions, the girls put forth tremendous efforts across the board; their fierce competition set the tone for the rest of the day’s races.
February 21st, 2012
CHARLEMONT, Massachusetts – Once again the Berkshire League was blessed during this snowless winter by the generous support of alpine mountain Berkshire East, who continues to help keep the season going. This fourth league race, third at Berkshire East, was hosted by the Mount Greylock team who devised a challenging mass start race complete with a chevron start used to create a uneventful embarkment. Once on course the veterans displayed their skills for four laps, while the newcomers contested for three.
February 1st, 2012
January 31st, 2012
CHARLEMONT, Massachusetts – The high school cross country skiers of Western Massachusetts once again took to the alpine trails of Berkshire East last night for their third league race of this weather challenged ski season. The three-lap course utilized the bunny slope and the bottoms of the main trails around the base lodge with conditions which challenged even the most seasoned veterans. By the end of the evening, as the lycra clad athletes emerged from the darkness to cross the finish line it was for the second straight week Mohawk’s Brenna Keogh and Mount Greylock’s Josh Harrington who showed that they were coming into top form at the right time of year.
January 29th, 2012
GRAFTON, Vermont – Last year at the Eastern High School Championships in Rumford, Maine Massachusetts climbed over Maine and New Hampshire to finish second as a team on the trails of Black Mountain. Now Vermont, the longstanding top dog, stands as the final rung to get to the top of the northeast high school ski ladder.
Massachusetts skiers and coaches seem willing to do whatever necessary to get there and as Bill Murray’s character, Carl Spackler, proclaimed in the 1980 comedy ‘Caddyshack’, sometimes you have to prepare like your enemy in order to beat them.
“I have to laugh, because I’ve outsmarted even myself. My enemy, my foe, is [Vermont]. In order to conquer [Vermont], I have to learn to think like [Vermont]. And, whenever possible, to look like [Vermont]. I’ve gotta get inside [Vermont's] pelt and crawl around for a few days.”