LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Ask any coach at the Craftsbury Ski Club (CSC) about what’s important: learning to ski, having fun, living healthy, skiing with friends and family, challenging oneself. Racing and top finishes are not at the top of the list. Skiing is a neat sport in that you do not have to make the varsity squad to participate. There are no try-outs. Everyone skis and progresses at his/her own level. Most of the pressure comes from a few parents who want their kids to finish high-up in the standings.
There have been hundreds of youth skiers who have gone through the CSC programs from the beginner Catamounts to the Eastern Cup racing group. The low-key approach at the junior level likely helps those skiers who advance to more serious competition deal with the pressures that come with that training and racing intensity. Skiing stays more fun, which often translates into better results and lower burnout rates. Four of these CSC alumni skied at the NCAA Championships this past week: Jack Young (Colby), Finn Sweet (UVM), Quincy Massey-Bierman (Middlebury), and Nina Seeman (Dartmouth). With only 40 men and 40 women in the race, the CSC was well represented. Finn and Jack’s best of two races was the 10 km freestyle where they placed 22nd and 29th, respectively. Nina and Quincy’s best results were in the 20 km classic mass start race placing 25th and 30th, respectively. Ava Thurston from Waterbury (skiing for Dartmouth) had some of the best eastern skier results placing 7th and 10th in the two races. For both the men’s and women’s field, the Western and Alaskan skiers filled out most of the top 10 places from schools like Utah, Denver, Colorado, and UA-Fairbanks.
For the four CSC skiers, I bet you will find them back-country skiing or alpining this next week or two or if they’re back in the area, jumping in to help with the CSC Catamount program. They’ve learned how to keep skiing fun and healthy and will apply these same lessons to all their future endeavors. * Correction: In last weeks’ ski report, I mistakenly reported that Jack Young did not make NCAAs. He was not in the top 13 of the Eastern Collegiate circuit but did qualify due to other circumstances.
Local High Schoolers at Eastern High School Championships
RIPTON – Leo Circosta, Charlie Krebs, Anika Leahy, and Ruth Krebs wrapped up the ski season racing for the Vermont team at the Eastern High School Championships with teams from New Hampshire, New York, Maine and Massachusetts. Most teams had 24 boys and 24 girls making for a large field of participants with three races over two days. Circosta had three top-10 finishes closing out his year in fine form. He was the second Vermonter in the 7.5 km classic race. Krebs had two 3rds to finish out his senior year of skiing. Leahy’s top finish was sixth in the 5km freestyle race where she was the second Vermonter. Anika is only in 10th grade so has two more years to keep getting faster. Ruth placed 18th in the 5 km freestyle and 7.5 km classic races. Sage Grossi (Montpelier) who skis with the CSC won the boys sprint race. Vermont won the team title ahead of New Hampshire and Maine. A unique aspect of this race is that every skier counts in the scoring whether you’re in the top 20 or back at 110th.