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Archive for March, 2009

We need a girl!!

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Heres the rundown on Junior Nationals….

Overall, it was a great week of racing. Every single junior athlete on FAST qualified, except one. FAST went in as a relatively unknown club with just a handful of athletes, and emerged having shown the country what was up.

Of course, Logan’s clean sweep of every available J2 boys gold medal was totally impressive. He is usually all too eager to let his nerves get the best of him, but he came out with guns blazing and handily thrashed each race. David Norris and I had pretty consistent results, although we didn’t quite go 1-2 in every race like we wanted. But I was definitely happy with my week, getting 2nd in the sprint, 5th in the mass start skate race, and winning the interval classic race. The sweetest part was hearing that I won that race just a few hours after my brother had won his. Wyatt Mayo surprisingly showed that he might actually be able to sprint after all, busting out a 22nd place in that event, and Robert Hovda had a couple of solid top tens in the J2’s.

But the best part was learning at the awards banquet, after all the points had been added up, that we were by far the best boys club in the country. With only six athletes racing in California, FAST actually had more total points than any club or school in the entire country! No small feat, when you consider that we had to outscore the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and their limitless multitudes of athletes. You should have seen when we went up to get our award. People could hardly see our tiny group, and then SVSEF was like overflowing the stage. But because we didn’t have a single girl racing there, we weren’t eligible to officially claim the overall win.

Medal count: 5 gold, 1 silver 

 

Logan and coach Eric Strabel yelling at me in the relay

Logan and Alaska coach Eric Strabel yelling at me in the relay

 

Wait, theres no STEAM function on this iron? David attempts to travel wax

Wait, theres no STEAM function on this iron? David attempts to travel wax

 

Celebrating the week at SugarBowl

Celebrating the week at SugarBowl

Racing in Cali Pics

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

So, here a bunch of photos from the later part of the week. Everything was amazing; the sun, the snow, the trails, the food, the company, the coaches, and the fun. Look for a more thourough recap within the next day or two.

A partial Team AK in the basement of the Auburn Ski Club lodge

A partial Team AK in the basement of the Auburn Ski Club lodge

 

Waxing in one of the Northstar houses

Waxing in one of the Northstar houses

 

Big Sam Dougherty and Logan Hanneman working over the J2 boys pack

Big Sam Dougherty and Logan Hanneman working over the J2 boys pack

 

Becca "Wrecka" Rorabaugh pressing the gas on her way to the win

Becca "Wrecka" Rorabaugh pressing the gas on her way to the win

 

The start of our OJ boys 15k

The start of our OJ boys 15k

 

Freind or foe? For most of the year, AWS' Jan Buron wants his athletes to beat us. Here he runs alongside David, as Alaska coach to Alaska athlete

Freind or foe? For most of the year, AWS' Jan Buron wants his athletes to beat us. Here he runs alongside David, as Alaska coach to Alaska athlete

 

The J1/J2's thought it necessary to post a sentinel to watch over their lair at all times

The J1/J2's thought it necessary to post a sentinel to watch over their lair at all times

 

David double poling through the rays in the classic race

David double poling through the rays in the classic race

 

I think racing at altitude is not about feeling good, but just different degrees of feeling bad. I guess I didn't feel all that bad in this race.

I think racing at altitude is not about feeling good, but just different degrees of feeling bad. I guess I didn't feel all that bad in this race.

 

The best part of the week was finishing my last race as a junior and seeing this

The best part of the week was finishing my last race as a junior and seeing this

JO Sprint w/ Pics

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Truckee, California and the volunteers for the 2009 Junior Nationals well exceeded their goal of putting on a good sprint race. Racers were welcomed to fast snow, high twenty degree weather, and a very welcoming crowd on the homestretch filled with gasping athletes. Looking at Reese’s conversion chart for altitude skiing, a 900 meter sprint race = eating a handful of gravel. Some of the h-core sprinters raced up to 4 times to make the top 12. Doing the math, that’s 4 handfuls of gravel.

 

            FAST had a good day. In the J2’s Logan “Blogs” Hanneman put down his first Junior National win, while Robert “Hebert” Hovda finished a solid 10th. In the J1’s Wayatt “Mayonaise” Mayo was eliminated in the quarterfinals to finish 22nd. Werner Hoefler finished 39th from the qualification round. Reese Hanneman finished had a sick 2nd place race, and David “D Nor” Norris followed close behind to get 4th. FXC’s Kelsey Boyer finished 8th for a good first Junior National start. Team Alaska had a good day one, but hoped for better and is stoked to do better in the upcoming races. Tomorrow is a 15k mass start skate for the J1/OJ boys and a 5k for the J2. Photos of the sprint race follows, click on them to get an enlarged photo.

Acclimating in Tahoe

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

I think we are finally starting to feel good. Ok fine, not good. But better. The hardest part about the altitude might be simply reassuring yourself that you are actually in shape. Doing a level one workout is pretty much a joke, one that requires a complete lack of glide. The heart-rate conversion factor works kind of like this: 8-minute-mile run pace in Fairbanks = closing your bindings in Truckee.

But after a week of chill skiing with two interval sets sprinkled in, it’s beginning to feel more natural. We are on the eve of the first race, a skate sprint, and it should be a good one. Alaska definitely has one of the gnarliest teams, as by gnarliest I mean strongest. It should be a good day.

 

Logan and David skiing on the Auburn Trails

Logan and David skiing on the Auburn Trails

 

Team AK gearing up for a training session

Team AK gearing up for a training session

 

The blazing sun and the freezing nights make for some monster icicles!

The blazing sun and the freezing nights make for some monster icicles!

 

The swanky Northstar Village next to our condos offer many upscale amenities, including olive oil tasting

The swanky Northstar Village next to our condos offer many upscale amenities, including olive oil tasting

 

The team invades one of the houses every morning and evening for a mass feeding

The team invades one of the houses every morning and evening for a mass feeding

 

Got a chance to demo some of these cutting edge boards today: super sweet!

Got a chance to demo some of these cutting edge boards today: super sweet!

Buried Alive!! (Pics)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

 Surprisingly, we have been off the grid for a few days. David Norris, my brother Logan, and I came down to California a few days ago to start our acclimation process prior to Junior Nationals. We flew into soggy, agricultural Sacramento, and then drove up into the Sierra’s towards Donner Pass. The three of us stayed at a small house, right across the street from the Royal Gorge ski trails. Which would have been awesome, except for the snow. No, not a lack of snow. I’m talking about so much snow that it started getting obnoxious.

I could try to tell you how much snow there was, or how much snow fell over the three days we were there, but the pictures probably work better. But I will say this; we shoveled the deck last night before we went to bed, and this morning the snow was higher than the four foot railing.  

Hitting up a California staple on our way up to the pass

Hitting up a California staple on our way up to the pass

  

Us three, with FAST alumni Becca Rorabaugh

Us three, with FAST alumni Becca Rorabaugh

 

Skiing through the snow encrusted trees

Skiing through the snow encrusted trees

 

Gearing up for the hike to the lodge, to turn in some homework online

Gearing up for the hike to the lodge, to turn in some homework online

 

Logan, with a little hand draggin off the jump

Logan, with a little hand draggin off the jump

 

David with some tele air action

David with some tele air action

 

Me throwin down on the skinny skis

Me throwin down on the skinny skis

 

Logan and I looking into the second-story kitchen window via the tunnel we dug

Logan and I looking into the second-story kitchen window via the tunnel we dug

 

Looking down the street from our house

Looking down the street from our house

 

Earlier today we met up with the rest of Team Alaska and moved into our luxurious condos in the Northstar Village. The funny thing is, it’s way cheaper to stay here than at the little old Best Western down in Truckee. Most of the Fairbanks athletes met up for a little ski, walking into the Village and taking the tram up to the trails. They were pretty sweet, but the continuous heavy snowfall made them a little squishy. The internet here is remarkably iffy, but I will be trying to keep the blog updated with more gibberish and pics as frequently as I can.

Riding up the Northstar-at-Tahoe tram to get to the cross country trails midway up the mountain

Riding up the Northstar-at-Tahoe tram to get to the cross country trails midway up the mountain