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Deep Fields, Fast Competition Highlight NENSA Fall Rollerski Classic

Harvard’s Chris O’Brien heads out of the start gate at the NENSA Fall Rollerski Classic on Oct. 7 in Jericho, Vt. (Photo: Liam John)

UVM racers dominate men’s and women’s open races

By Adam Terko

This past Saturday, Oct. 7, nearly 100 racers from all over New England and New York converged on the rollerski track in Jericho, Vermont, for the NENSA Fall Rollerski Classic presented by Mansfield Nordic Club and Ethan Allen Biathlon Club.

Another event in a string of area rollerski races that began with NENSA’s App Gap Challenge in July and the NYSEF Climb to the Castle in September, this race wound competitors through the twisting corners and steep hills of Vermont’s only paved rollerski trails. U16 racers competed in a 6 k individual start race, followed by open men’s and women’s races over 10 k.

The U16 categories were won by local Mansfield Nordic Club skiers Aidan Burt and Magdalena Lelito, respectively. Both Burt and Lelito train and race with MNC and are more than familiar with the climbs, curves, and descents of the rollerski track at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site.

After her race, Lelito was excited to see a summer and fall of hard work paying off.

Middlebury skiers Alex Lawson (52) and Cate Brams (53) mid-race at the NENSA Fall Rollerski Classic on Oct. 7 in Jericho, Vt. (Photo: Liam John)

“I felt great during the race,” she said. “The intervals we do during practice really help, and I felt stronger knowing the course and how to ski aggressively…I like the experience of racing before the winter season because I get a good idea of what to improve on before the real deal.”

The 10 k races featured deep fields, and a mix of both junior, collegiate and masters competitors. Attendance from EISA schools like University of Vermont (UVM), Middlebury, Bowdoin, Harvard, and St. Michaels gave the event the feeling of a big winter race without the snow, with familiar faces and rivalries playing out throughout the day.

In both races, UVM left a strong impression on the results sheet. The Catamount women swept positions 1-4, while the men placed 1-6.

UVM sophomore and northern Vermont native Bill Harmeyer won the men’s race with an 18.1-second margin over teammate Juri Miosga. Another Catamount, senior Cully Brown, rounded out the podium in third.

UVM skiers Bill and Henry Harmeyer power toward the finish line at the NENSA Fall Rollerski Classic on Oct. 7 in Jericho, Vt. (Photo: Liam John)

“Awesome to have NENSA and my home club, MNC, put together a stellar event. It’s not everyday you get 100 skiers together during the fall to throw down,” remarked Harmeyer. “Really nice to have an event to remind myself what it feels like to go fast wearing a bib. Also reassuring to know that the fitness is there, and I’m looking forward to transferring that to snow soon!”

In the women’s race one of the newest members of the Catamount roster, Evelina Sutro, finished atop the podium. Sutro edged UVM teammate and 2017 All-American Alayna Sonnesyn by a scant 3.7 seconds, while third place went to Margie Freed, also representing UVM.

The only non-UVM skier to finish in the top-five in either of the 10 k races was Harvard’s Tegan Thorley, who raced to fifth in the women’s event.

NENSA’s Competitive Programs Director Justin Beckwith was in attendance to help with the running of the event, and also to observe the atmosphere and competitions.

“We are excited to see such strong participation from throughout New England and New York,” remarked Beckwith. “The fall classic had the distinct feel of a ski race and the camaraderie of the teams is healthy for our Nordic community. This was a great opportunity for several college teams to get in a hard effort and for junior skiers to run elbows with some of their peers and role models.”

Results and timing, courtesy of EABC and TrembleBach Timing, can be found at www.mansfieldnordic.org, eabiathlon.org, and below.

Fall Rollerski Classic 2017 Results

For additional photos, please visit the following galleries:

Fall Classic photos by Carl + Dave Priganc

Fall Classic photos by Liam John

For those looking to view or compete in more rollerski races before the snow flies, consider NENSA’s Elite Invitational rollerski race and winter kickoff party on November 4th, or the NY State Rollerski Championships presented by HURT Nordic on November 12th.

U16 athletes Aidan Burt, Ali Priganc and Magda Lelito take in the scene during the open races at the NENSA Fall Rollerski Classic on Oct. 7 in Jericho, Vt. (Photo: Liam John)

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To submit a recap of a regional event, please email info@fasterskier.com.

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