Craftsbury Middle School Skiers Looking Strong

courtesy photo
Bjorn Westervelt (Stowe) takes gold in the 12.5 km pursuit at the World University Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.

CRAFTSBURY – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) middle school team jumped up a level to race with Junior varsity skiers. The race was a last minute opportunity for them as it was re-located from St. Johnsbury to Craftsbury. Oryon Hart, Stig Linck, Jenner Brooks, and Aemelia Terrone are learning what it is like to be part of a team as they train and race together each week. Terrone showed her home course advantage and lots of time on skis winning in 12:48 ahead of Zoe Buhner from St. Johnbury. Stella van der Linde (Burke town school) was third. Bjorn Peterson (Burlington H.S.) paced the JV boys for the win with CAs Oryon Hart, third (11:58), Jenner Brooks, fourth, and Stig Link, sixth.

On Friday, the U-32 sponsored race was also moved to Craftsbury because of low snow conditions. The CA varsity squad entered this wave start 5.5 km race consisting of three laps around Lemon’s Haunt trail. Amelia Circosta (Hazen) 16:35 placed first followed by Meg Voison, second (Montpelier), and Anika Leahy, third (CA). Sage Grossi (Montpelier) and Leo Circosta (Hazen Union) played cat and mouse over the first two laps before Grossi pulled ahead on the final lap (14:41) finishing eight seconds ahead of Circosta. CAs Charlie Kehler was third (15:18), Cormac Leahy, fourth, Silas Hunt, seventh, Linden Stelma-Leonard 29, Calvin Cacciamani 33. This was Calvin’s first varsity race. The Montpelier boys won the team title with four skiers in the top eight.

photo by Eric Hanson
Sit-skier, Otis Loga from U-32, competes in the boys varsity race. Otis spent some time this past summer in Lake Placid, N.Y. learning about sit-ski technique from professional paralympic athletes.

Westervelt Wins Silver and Gold in Biathlon at the World University Games

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Bjorn Westervelt (Stowe) who trained with the Craftsbury Ski Club and is now at UVM took some time off from school to compete at the World University Games held in Lake Placid. Athletes came from around the world to compete in skiing, skating, jumping, and curling events. In Bjorn’s first race, the 10 km sprint, he hit 8/10 finishing (27:59) 8.3 seconds back from Bekenty Turlubekov (Kazakhstan) who shot clean. Had Bjorn hit one more target he would have won gold. In the 12.5 km pursuit the next day where Bjorn started 8.3 seconds behind Bekenty, he used his skiing speed to catch him and keep everyone else behind winning the race in 35:38. He hit 16/20 targets. In a pursuit race, start times are determined by the time back from the winner in the sprint race; the first one across the finish line is the winner.

photo by Eric Hanson
Calvin Cacciamani approaches the finish line in his first varsity race.

Finn Sweet, another Craftsbury Ski Club and Craftsbury Academy graduate, placed sixth in the 10km classic race. To give you an idea of the international flare of the completion, the first five finishers were Ryo Hirose (Japan) winning in 24:37, second Mangus Boee (Norway), third Andreas Kirkeng (Norway), fourth Mikayel Mikayelyan (Armenia), and fifth Tomas Dufec (Czech Republic). Finn then hung on to finish seventh in the skate pursuit the next day even though he had the 17th fastest time of the day. At the beginning of the games he won a silver in the mixed relay team sprints with Renae Anderson (Bowdoin).