Two-person XC Ski Relays Make for Hectic Scramble


photo by Eric Hanson
Craftsbury Academy’s Oryon Hart and Jenner Brooks take off at the start of the middle school race with 36 teams.

CRAFTSBURY – Several northern Vermont middle and high school teams competed in two-person relays this past week. Varsity skiers raced three-laps each tagging off to their partners on the 1 km course. St. Johnsbury’s team of Charlie Krebs (lives in Craftsbury) and Sisu Lange took top honors just ahead of Hazen-Craftsbury Academy’s (CA) three-person team of Leo Circosta, Alan Moody, and Silas Hunt in the 12-team field. In the girls varsity race, Hazen Union’s Amelia Circosta teamed up with independent skier Tillie Lange for the win ahead of People’s Academy (2), Lamoille Union (3), St. Johnsbury Team 1 with Ruth Krebs (Craftsbury) and St. Johnsbury Team 2 with Ava Purdy (Wheelock), and Craftsbury’s (6) team of Anika Leahy and Sadie Skorstad. There were 15 teams in the race. CA’s Calvin Cacciamani and Cole McNaughton placed third in the boys JV race. There were 36 teams at the starting line for the middle school race. BFA-Fairfax’s team took first place followed by two CA teams consisting of Aemelia Terrone/Jenner Brooks and Oryon Hart/Stig Link. Maeda Urie (Albany) teamed up with a Lamoille Union skier to place 22nd.

Circosta and Kehler Ski to Top-Fives at 2nd Eastern Cup

RUMFORD, Me. – In the second of four weekends of Eastern Cup ski action, the Craftsbury Ski Club (CSC) racers competed with skiers from all across the Northeast along with the Eastern College Racers on day one. In the 5 km individual start skate race, Charlie Kehler skied to fifth place in the Under 16 (U16) competition, and Amelia Circosta placed second just behind Mary Harrington (Green Mountain Valley School). CSC’s Claire Serrano was third, Ruth Krebs 12th, Anika Leahy 13th, and Emily Linton 46th. Lamoille Union graduate, Maggie McGee, skied to 26th in her second-ever college race skiing for Colby College in the open women’s 10 km race. Her Colby teammate and another former CSC member, Jack Young (Jay, VT), was 18th. McGee placed 18th in the first day of racing for an outstanding start to her college career.

photo by Eric Hanson
Ava Purdy (St. Johnsbury/Wheelock) and Sadie Skorstad (Craftsbury Academy) push each other to the finish in the girls’ varsity relay race.

Sprint racers were on order for the second day of Eastern Cup racing. U18 CSC skiers Sage Grossi and Leo Circosta both qualified in the top 30 for the open men’s heats. In quarterfinal three, Grossi placed second and Circosta was third. The top two advance to the semifinals. Grossi continued to find speed placing second in the semi-final and finished fifth in the final. Each heat consisted of six skiers. Tabor Greenberg (GMVS) won the final. In the open women’s race, CSC’s U16 youngster’s displayed their stuff with Amelia Circosta, Anika Leahy, and Ruth Krebs all qualifying for the quarterfinals. Amelia Circosta and Krebs moved onto the semifinals, where Amelia Circosta placed second and Krebs had a fourth. In the final, Amelia Circosta finished fifth with Evelyn Watson (Eastern MA XC) taking the win. Amelia Circosta ended up being the second overall U16 skier for the day. In the U16 boys sprint races, Charlie Kehler placed second in his semifinal and third in the final behind St. Johnsbury/CSC’s Sisu Lange who placed first for the best race of his life.

Craftsbury Graduate Skis at World University Games

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Finn Sweet, a Craftsbury Academy graduate and now UVM skier, was one of eight skiers named to the U.S. men’s squad to compete in this international competition that is essentially a mini-Olympics for college-aged competitors. Cross country skiing is one of numerous sports at the games that include hockey, speed skating, alpine skiing, snowboarding, curling, biathlon, and ski jumping. In the opening cross country event, Finn paired up with Renae Anderson (Bowdoin) in the team sprint where 37 teams ski in two semi-final races with the top two teams from each heat automatically moving onto the final along with the next six fastest times. Each skier races three legs. Sweet and Anderson placed sixth in semifinal one, but the pace was so fast that their time put them in the top 10 overall. Neither Finn nor Renae are known for their sprinting ability, but unlike an individual sprint race where athletes ski one short (1.3 km) lap at a time with 20-30 minutes rest between heats, the team sprint requires endurance skiing three times with the only rest being the time your partner is on course. In the final, team USA stayed in the hunt after the first leg sitting in fourth place but only one second back from Team No. 1 of Norway. Sweet moved team U.S. up to third after his second leg and Anderson moved them to second after her second time out. Team Norway caught Sweet on the final lap, but then Anderson dueled it out with Norway to take the silver medal by three seconds. Japan was the surprise winning team of the day.