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A Little Rarity in a League of Routine

By: Maggie Bouvier, Shelby Boyer, Lily Nejaime, Lizzy Barry, Olivia Ciolfi, & Josie Marshall

When word got out that the next Berkshire Nordic Ski League race was still on and switched to Mohawk Trail, there were nearly riots in the streets.  People first questioned whether there would even be sufficient snow. More freak-outs occurred when skiers recalled the thin, winding trails through the woods and thought about the difficulty of passing on skate skis. Even the fear of being electrocuted came into the picture when heavy rain and lightning came into the forecast.  It seemed inconceivable that there would be a race on Saturday.

Despite the doubt and anxiety, skiers found themselves groggily piling onto buses on Saturday morning equipped with raincoats and dry clothes for after the race. Expecting to see more and more snow accumulation as they headed up to Mohawk, the teams were disappointed as fields of grass continued to pan by their bus windows.  Once stepping out to the dense mist and slushy snow, skiers scanned the scene and all seemed to be thinking the same thing.  As Isaac Gotterer, a junior from Lenox, put it, “why the *!@# are we here?”

However, the next few hours would provide even veteran skiers with an incredible, unique and memorable experience.  Mohawk School seemed magical in that it had the only snow for miles around.  Skiers’ spirits lifted with the faster-than-expected snow and wider-than-expected course. In fact, the two-lap course was fun and well mapped, challenging all technique with exhilarating turns and giving racers ample time for recovery on well-groomed flats. The open course lent very well to enthusiastic spectators who could view skiers throughout the entire race.

Varsity girls took to the course first with the advantage of having the least skied snow.  This was particularly helpful on the sharp corners which later turned icy and choppy.  Mount Greylock’s Grace Smith finished first (21:36) and skiers from a variety of schools rounded out the top five.  Josie Marshall from Lenox, Ellen Ross from Wahconah, Sophie Gerry from Mount Greylock, and Roo Weed from Northfield took these slots respectively.

On the boys’ side, Will Nolan (18:26) and his usual cohort of strong Mount Greylock boys asserted their presence in the top ten; however, it was broken up by notable performances from Estevan Velez and Henry Colt from Northfield and Tom Damery from Mohawk.  They took places fourth, fifth, and ninth respectively.

Varsity skiers finished their races shivering with boots and uniforms soaked, but remained on the course to cheer their JV teams through the snow they just destroyed.  Carter Stripp and Margo Smith from Mount Greylock took the wins.

Some elements of the day happened as they usually do at the routine BNSL races: the course was marked, skiers were sent off by Tom Voisin with his usual enthusiasm, corners were raked, wipe-outs ensued, everyone cheered at results, and Mount Greylock teams dominated both boys and girls.  However, the strange conditions seemed to bring the league together and provide unique outcomes.  Everyone cheered for Ellen Ramsley, the Simsbury skier who fought her way into the top twenty.  Skiers from different teams mingled and bonded more than usual as they tried to find cover from the rain.  After experiencing the tough conditions, skiers became especially enthusiastic about cheering for all racers.  Lauren Farry, a fairly new skier from Pittsfield reflected on the day as “a lot of fun” while usually exhausted racers frolicked in puddles in the parking lot on the way to their busses.  The League remains hopeful that weather will provide us with another race and opportunity to continue this camaraderie.

 

 

Complete Results:

Berkshire League Race 1-11-14 – Girls Varsity

Berkshire League Race 1-11-14 – Boys Varsity

Berkshire League Race 1-11-14 – Girls JV

Berkshire League Race 1-11-14 – Boys JV

 

A selection of photos of some of the top performers:

 

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