CRAFTSBURY – Harwood Union high school hosted the first race of the season on Dec. 21, where the Craftsbury Academy (CA) boys team took first place. Montpelier’s Sage Grossi had the fastest time of the day (10:57) ahead of Hazen Union’s Leo Circosta on the two lap 4.6 km course. Leo and his sister Amelia are home-schooled in Greensboro so have a Hazen Union affiliation.
For Craftsbury, Cormac Leahy and Charlie Kehler placed fifth and sixth with Alan Moody ninth, and Silas Hunt 11th. Lake Region’s Max Demaine placed 10th battling it out with Hunt over the last 800 meters. The CA boys (top four skiers scoring) finished first (27 pts.) followed by Montpelier (40), Harwood Union (79), St. Johnsbury (86), Lamoille Union, People’s Academy, South Burlington, Burlington, Stowe, and Lyndon Institute.
In the girls’ varsity race, Burlington’s Rosalie Brown placed 1st (13:13). CA’s Anika Leahy was third and Hazen Union’s Amelia Circosta was sixth. Former CA skiers, Ruth Krebs and Ava Purdy were seventh and 23rd (both are now at St. Johnsbury). Montpelier took the team crown with 33 points ahead of Burlington (58), St. Johnsbury (59), U-32 (62), Lamoille Union, Harwood Union, and BFA Fairfax.
In the JV boys race, CA’s Cole McNaughton pushed hard to finish first ahead of BFA Fairfax’s Gage Magnuson. Callum Robison (Harwood Union) won the middle school race. In the middle school race, CA’s Jenner Brooks placed sixth, Glover’s Nora Demaine 13th, and Hazen’s Ava Stratman 15th.
On January 6, CA hosted 10 schools in another cross country skate race. With almost all the natural snow from the holiday week melted away, skiers sloshed their way around a 2 km loop of manmade (now slushy) snow. The CA boys (15 pts.) showed their depth edging ahead of Montpelier (18 pts.) with Charlie Kehler fourth, Cormac Leahy seventh, Alan Moody 11th and Silas Hunt 16th among 44 starters. Brady Morgean (Mount Mansfield Union) won in 17:08 on the slow skiing course. Hazen Union’s Leo Circosta placed third and St. Johnsburys’s Charlie Krebs placed sixth (Krebs lives in Crafsbury). St. Johnsbury finished third (23 pts.) followed by People’s Academy, Lamoille Union, BFA Fairfax, Stowe, and Lyndon Institute. In the girls varsity race, Greensboro’s Amelia Circosta (Hazen Union) came in first (20:55) ahead of St. Johnsburys’ Ruth Krebs second, Anika Leahy CA fifth, and Ava Purdy St. Johnsbury 11th. Montpelier won the team race (9) ahead of St. Johnsbury (18), PA (32) and Lamoille (32), BFA Fairfax, and Lyndon Institute. The middle school race was the largest race of the day with almost 80 starters. MMU’s Kate Carlson had the fastest time on the one-lap race in 6:23. Local skiers included Jenner Brooks (7), Thomas Kehler (8), Oryon Hart (12), Aemilia Terrone (21), Nora Demaine (22), Stig Linck (23), Ava Stratman (27), and Maeda Urie (41). Skiers lined up in waves of 10-15 skiers and went off every two minutes for varsity, JV, and middle school. Nineteen “waves” of skiers went off in this race.
In the foreseeable future, it looks like several high school races might be moved to Craftsbury with the only a few other cross country ski areas capable of making snow in New England.