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Wild Rumpus Sports

Carpe Cursum – Berkshire Nordic Ski League Seizes the First Race of the 2014 Season

Grace Smith (MG) on her way to her first career win in the Berkshire League.

Grace Smith (MG) on her way to her first career win in the Berkshire League with Ellen Ross (bib 189) trailing right behind on her way to fifth place for Wahconah.  Photo: Tamara Hitchcock.

Co-Written by Ian Culnane and Caleb “Craymoney” Raymond

With the possibility of not having a race due to lack of snow and low temperatures, the Berkshire Nordic Ski League managed to kick off its first race this weekend at Notchview. The wave-start freestyle race returned to the short course/long course format, with the varsity racers skiing two laps of a hilly 3 kilometer course, while the jv finished after just one. Conditions were cold and windy, with the start delayed until 3 pm to allow buses to start (because according to the bus company, buses only start above 10 degrees – can we get them some electric blankets for next week?) and to allow the race to be during the warmest part of the day.

The snow was soft and powdery which can be frustrating, but everyone skis in the same conditions. In the open field, the air was very windy and frigid, the trees provided shelter throughout the race, making the race temps just a little more bearable. Mountie Coach Hilary Greene was especially excited for the race saying, “Notchview is one of my favorite places to ski, with great terrain (like Shaw Road), beautiful scenery and a supportive atmosphere.”

Jake Foehl (MG) gets his 2014 campaign started with a win.

Jake Foehl (MG) gets his 2014 campaign started with a win.  Photo: Tamara Hitchcock.

Mount Greylock continued its traditional dominance in the league with all four individual race winners and both team wins. In the boys’ varsity race, junior Jake Foehl skied to victory with a time of 26:07. Jake remains positive saying “The race conditions were slow, but at this point I consider myself lucky every time there is enough snow to race, and using that motivation to make the most of every race.”

For all you Latin folks, carpe diem “seize the day,” or in our case carpe cursum, “seize the course.” Close behind Foehl were sophomore Ian Culnane, junior Will “Wolan” Nolan, junior Jake Kobrin, sophomore Matt Wiseman and sophomore Tommy Kirby. Greylock took seven of the top ten, giving them a perfect team score of 10.

Also making an appearance were veteran skier Tom Damery and his partner in crime Tyler Andrews, both from Mohawk rounding out the first ten finishers along with Curran Doyle from Wahconah. Amherst skier Kale Wenczel finished with an impressive 16th place in his first ever skate race.

On the girls’ side, sophomore Grace Smith placed first with a time of 30:10 to claim the gold. When interviewed on her race Smith stated it was an “exciting experience” winning, and that it’s always “a great feeling knowing all of your hard work in the weeks before and during the season paid off.”

Just behind Smith was Allison Lull from Mohawk, 30:20, and Josie Marshall from Lenox, with a time of 30:39 taking a slight detour to the finish, attempting to take a third lap at race pace. Dedication comes in all shapes and sizes, apparently.

Strong finishes from sophomore Sophie Gerry (4th), Christina “Tina” Butcher (6th) and 8th grader Abby Wiseman (7th) gave Greylock the win. Other top 10 finishes were Mount Greylock skier Zavi Sheldon, Charlotte Prince from Amherst, and Ellie Williams from Mount Greylock.

With many of the JV skiers skiing the long course, the newer skiers to the sport got a taste of glory. Seasoned skier Cameron Castonguay clinched the win over teammates Graham Kaegi and Owen Brandriss, both within 4 seconds of him. In the girls JV race, Mount Greylock winner Molly Haskins took number one after taking a year off from skiing.

With initial first race jitters out of the way and under our belts we look towards Wahconah to hold the next race on their relatively flat course, provided there is sufficient snow. So lick a spoon, place it in the freezer, wear your pajamas inside out and don’t forget to do your snow dances before bed!


Berkshire Nordic Ski League – 1-4-14 – Boys Varsity Results

Berkshire Nordic Ski League – 1-4-14 – Girls Varsity Results

Berkshire Nordic Ski League – 1-4-14 – Boys JV Results

Berkshire Nordic Ski League – 1-4-14 – Girls JV Results

Photos of top finishers courtesy of Tamara Hitchcock:

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