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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

End-of-July Roundup: New Club Hires; NENSA’s Coach of the Year; Olympic Trials

— On July 17, the New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) out of Lake Placid, N.Y., announced that Shane MacDowell would take the reins as new head cross-country ski coach on Sept. 1, 2017. Originally from Peru, Mass., MacDowell attended Burke Mountain Academy and raced for the University of New Hampshire. He most recently served as an assistant coach for the Northern Michigan University nordic team.

According to outgoing cross-country coach Margaret Maher, who held the position for more than 11 years, she was “excited to see a fellow UNH Wildcat take over the NYSEF program and look forward to watching the athletes grow and excel to the best of their abilities,” she stated in a press release.

Starting in September, Maher will transition to a full-time job as a registered nurse in orthopedics and sports medicine, while MacDowell will work alongside Maher in August to finish the summer training season.

 

— Also this month, Ben Grasseschi was hired as the new executive director of Tahoe Cross Country (TXC) after spending the last nine years with Far West Nordic.

“Ben has been a cross country skier for over 40 years, raced in college, pursued a post-graduate racing career and began coaching full time as a PSIA Level 3 instructor in 2005,” a TXC press release stated. “His 18 years of coaching experience and 4 years as Assistant Manager, nordic buyer and specialist for Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City places him as an ideal choice for TXC’s Executive Director.”

 

— The New England Nordic Association (NENSA) recently named Adam Terko,  executive director and head coach of the Mansfield Nordic Club in Underhill, Vt., its Coach of the Year. Terko, originally from Shelburne, Vt., raced for the St. Lawrence University nordic team for four years and went on to serve as its assistant coach. In 2015, he joined the Mansfield Nordic Club, and since then, MNC athletes have taken medals at local and regional championships, and have competed nationally and internationally.

 

— Earlier this month, the Steamboat Today out of Steamboat Springs, Colo., published an in-depth feature on the U.S. Nordic Combined hopefuls. The article describes the complexities of making the 2018 Olympics, especially for the U.S. team where only two spots are essentially locked up (and belong to brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher).

“I need to start scoring World Cup points,” said Steamboat native Ben Berend, one of the athletes who will be vying with childhood friends Jasper Good and Grant Andrews to make the Olympic team. “That’s the easy way to make it without getting into the criteria and the complicated stuff.”

The U.S. team anticipates getting two more Olympic spots to bring its quota to four. But the athletes most likely to qualify — Berend, Good, Andrews, Wisconsin brothers Adam and Ben Loomis, and Park City’s Stephen Schumann — need to score World Cup points to ensure that.

The article hones in on the rise of Steamboat nordic-combined skiers and how three out of more than a dozen have continued their quest for the 2018 Games. Read more here.

 

 

— Speaking of Olympic qualification, U.S. Ski & Snowboard has set the dates for 2018 Olympic Team Trials for ski jumping and nordic combined. These will be held Dec. 30-31 at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, “in a winner-take-all event where the victors will be named to Team USA,” according to a press release.

Nordic-combined trials will be held Saturday, Dec. 30, followed by ski jumping for men and women on Sunday, Dec. 31. According to the press release, NBC will be providing national coverage of the two-day event. “The winner of each event will receive a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. The remainder of the ski and snowboard teams will be named later in January.”

 

— While U.S. cross-country skiing doesn’t have Olympic trials, U.S. Ski & Snowboard released the entire 2017/2018 SuperTour schedule last month, which includes eight stops across the U.S. starting Dec. 2 in West Yellowstone, Mont., and ending with SuperTour Finals in Craftsbury, Vt. At the annual U.S. Ski & Snowboard (formerly USSA) Congress, the decision was made to start the tour a week later than usual to encourage Canadian skiers to participate and thus boost the field size.

U.S. Cross Country Championships (a.k.a. senior nationals) will be held in Anchorage, Alaska, from Jan. 3-8, which will be followed by a regular-season SuperTour in Craftsbury Jan. 26-28 before the SuperTour returns there in late March for the last week of racing (March 23-28).

Two weekends in Canada will double as both SuperTour and NorAm (Canada’s Continental Cup) races. The first will be at Sovereign Lake near Vernon, British Columbia, Dec. 9-10, and the other in Gatineau, Quebec, Feb. 1-3.

“A strong SuperTour calendar is pivotal in providing our juniors, collegiate and senior cross country skiers the opportunity to compete head-to-head and continue to improve,” U.S. Ski Team (USST) Development Coach Bryan Fish said, according to a press release.

“This season will be the most exciting year of racing in the quadrennial, with not only World Cup berths available after every period of racing, but also Olympic team nominations,” USST Head Coach Chris Grover said in the release. “We have an exceptional group of venues and organizers committed to hosting the 2017-18 SuperTour and we are excited to watch the competitions unfold.”

Period 1:
Dec 2-3, 2017
West Yellowstone, MT

Dec 9-10, 2017
Silverstar, British Columbia

Period 2:
Jan. 3-8, 2018
Anchorage, AK

Jan. 26-28, 2018
Craftsbury, VT

Feb. 1-3, 2018
Gatineau, Quebec

Period 3:
Feb. 15-18, 2018
Ishpeming, MI

Feb. 24, 2017
American Birkebeiner
Hayward, WI

Period 4:
Mar. 23-28, 2018
SuperTour Finals
Craftsbury, VT

 

— Some of the women from the Craftsbury Green Racing Project recently held a Girls with Guns biathlon clinic in Lake Placid, N.Y. Emily Dreissigacker “spearheaded” the July 9 clinic with the help of her teammates Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Caitlin Patterson, male teammate Alex Howe, and special guest Andrea Henkel-Burke, according to Patterson’s blog post with photos.

 

— The 2021 Winter Universiade will be held in Lucerne, Switzerland, from Jan. 21-31, 2021. According to Inside the Games, Lucerne was the only city to bid on the games, which include nine winter sports contested by international university athletes. Universiade is organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), and the last time Switzerland hosted the Winter Universiade was in Villars in 1962.

“We do hope that the National University Sports Federations and their student-athletes competing in snow and ice sports will book these dates to compete in Lucerne and achieve their best performance during these Games while celebrating great moments together,” Milan Augustin, FISU’s director for the Winter Universiade, told Inside the Games.

 

– In the works for the last year, a new website belonging to the Australian Cross-Country Skiing (AUSXC) team was recently launched. Among the website’s features is a national race calendar with competition info. The site will also include competition rules, selection policies and race licenses.

AUSXC will continue to bring you regular news and results from the Australian winter and on Australian skiers racing around the world,” AUSXC said in a statement, according to Inside the Games.

 

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