Ski Report

photo by Jackie Schneider | Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Caitlin Patterson leads the final sprint heat on her way to her tenth U.S. National title in Soldier Hollow, Utah, last week. Becca Rorbaugh (10) of Alaska Pacific Univeristy finished second, followed by Sydney Palmer-Leger (6) of the University of Utah.

Ski Race Moved to Craftsbury

photo by Eric Hanson | Craftsbury Academy’s Sadie Skorstad and Ava Purdy at the start of the varsity race.

CRAFTSBURY – Harwood and Montpelier were supposed to host two smaller cross-country ski races recently, but with the lack of snow and a base, they combined forces and hosted a larger race at Craftsbury on December 21.

In the varsity girls’ race, Ava Thurston (Harwood) led the field in a time of 13:15. Craftsbury Academy’s (CA) Ava Purdy followed in 12th and Sadie Skorstad in 15th. Harwood led the girls’ teams: Harwood (23), U-32 (25), St. Johnsbury (55), Lamoille (60), Lyndon Institute (93). Other teams were incomplete.

Carson Beard (U-32) finished first in the varsity boys’ race in 12:47. CA skiers Alan Moody skated to fourth, with Linden Stelma-Leonard 20th, and Noah McKibben 24th. In the boys’ teams results, U-32 had a strong showing with 14 points (add up places of top four skiers), Montpelier was second with 58, Harwood and CA tied for third with 76, followed by St. Johnsbury (89), Lamoille (90), Stowe (109), and People’s Academy (123). Lyndon Institute did not have four starters.

In the boys’ JV race, CA’s Silas Hunt won his second JV race in 7:59 with Calvin Cacciamani fourth. This was Calvin’s first ever race and Silas Hunt will likely move to varsity races in the future. Over 70 middle schoolers jumped into the mix with Max Demaine taking the win followed by Thomas Kehler (Greensboro – second) and Andrew Cyrtzer (CA – 24th). In the girls’ MS race, Claire Seranno won in 7:48, followed by CA’s Aemlia Terrone (third) and Ada Allen (24th). Over 230 skiers participated in the various races of the day, almost the size of the Vermont state meet, making for a festive afternoon.

Craftsbury Skiers Dominate Local High School Race

CRAFTSBURY – It helps to start skiing when you’re young. Ski technique takes time to develop. Running is a bit more pure: just your shoes and time and grit. Skiing requires more time developing technique no matter how fit you are.

Many of the Craftsbury Academy (CA) skier have been skiing since elementary school and it’s showing in the results of the recent high school races. Four schools competed in a skate race on January 4, with CA skiers taking most of the top spots, except for Maggie McGee from Lamoille, who won the girls varsity race in 12:57. CA’s Ruth Krebs, Amelia Circosta, Anika Leahy, Ava Purdy, and Sadie Skorstad took five of the next six spots. For Ava and Sadie, both have only been cross-country skiing for two years, but having faster skiers to chase has helped them improve.

In the boys’ race, CA took the top five spots with Cormac Leahy (11:41), Charlie Krebs, Leo Circosta, Alan Moody, and Charlie Kehler skiing well and fast. The next tier of CA skiers, who are all relatively new to skiing, also did well, with several of them skiing varsity for the first time. Silas Hunt took 10th place, followed by Cole Van Winkle (14th), Noah McKibben (15th) and Aidan Moffat (16th). In the JV boys’ race, CA’s Calvin Cacciamani won, followed by Cole McNaughten in second. This was Coles’s first race ever, and Calvin’s second.

Racing action continues next week with a home classic race likely on Wed. Jan. 12, moved from Tuesday because of the forecasted cold temperatures.

Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s Patterson and Martin Win National Ski Titles

SOLDIER HOLLOW, UTAH – Caitlin Patterson, UVM graduate and Craftsbury Green Racing Project veteran, showed the up-and-coming young skiers how to ski strong and steady, winning two U.S. National titles this week and placing second and third in the other two races. Patterson, now 31 years of age, has been a top domestic skier for many years, but has had difficulty cracking the top 30 at the World Cup level. She was back on track with her domestic dominance this past week, winning the skate sprint and 10 km classic titles, placing third in the 20 km mass start skate race and second in the classic sprint. These are her 10th and 11th National titles. Her top finishes make her a candidate for the U.S. Olympic team for the second time, but lots of factors go into being named to the team, including another weekend of racing in Idaho next week. Stay tuned.

Former Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC) junior alum Alex Lawson (West Burke) graduated from Middlebury College last year and is now a new member of the GRP. She had a fourth in the skate sprint, fourth in the 20 km skate mass start, fifth in the 10 km classic race, and fifth in the classic sprint. Other female GRP skiers also skied well, with Margie Freed fifth in the 20 km and sixth in the classic sprint. GRP teammates Anika Landis, and Michaela Keller-Miller all had several top 20s in the four races over the week. 

On the men’s side, GRP skier Adam Martin won the 15 km classic race by almost 50 seconds ahead of U.S. Ski Team member Scott Patterson. This is Martin’s first national title. In the 30 km skate race, Martin was hoping to be on the podium, but could not keep pace with the top three skiers, Scott Patterson (Caitlin’s brother), David Norris, and Hunter Wonders. Martin outsprinted Stratton Mountain’s Ian Torchia for fourth place, with GRP skier Braden Becker skiing strong for seventh.

Two COC junior skier alums, Jack Young and Finn Sweet, skied to 17th and 22nd place in the skate sprint qualifiers. Sweet also took fifth in the junior (under 20) 10 km skate race. Young is a first-year student at Colby College and Sweet is a first-year at UVM. The Craftsbury GRP skiers continue racing on the Supertour series in Sun Valley, Idaho after which the Olympic team will be named. For those not going to the Olympics, they return to the East, racing in Lake Placid in late January and at home Craftsbury on February 4-6.

Although the individual skier is the result the public sees, Coach Pepa Miloucheva, wax tech Nick Brown, and wax testers Jake Barton and Ollie Burress help create the best possible outcome for these national-level athletes. Jake and Ollie probably skied 30+ km each in preparation for the just the 10/15 km classic races testing skis for the 40 F conditions.