And I have gone just about as far as I could possibly go without a post on here and have discovered just how quickly, yet again, that time can fly by whilst in the midst of ski season. February flew by at the speed of a Super-G racer careening down Main St showing little concern for the transition and has made a rather noticeable dent in the month of March.
Since my last post, the MMSC U16 crew has raced now 13 times, (more for some) including two more regular Northern Vermont Council events, two consecutive weekends of Vermont State Competitions which planned to cover three different disciplines, The Eastern U16 Championships, and we are now half-way through a two day series over in Lake Placid known as the alumni race. It has been an incredibly busy time for us as we have worked all season long to accomplish our goals. Some of us are still working towards them, and others have already revisited the goals in order to adapt them for the remainder of the season. Please bear with me as I have a fair amount of information to publish and hopefully the vocabulary to avoid redundancy.
Way back on February 3rd, the MMSC crew got to sleep in their own beds the night before racing Giant Slalom on our home hill. As always, the snow at Stowe held up very well allowing for an optimal day of GS. Our racers displayed solid skiing and accomplished some good results, some tough crashes, but an all around great day. On February 10th, we again were able to stay in our own beds as we were making a short trip over to Sugarbush for another NVC race. Competing in Slalom, arguably one of our stronger events, athletes achieved more good results as the day went on. Some tricky course sets challenged our U16 competitors, but we drove away from Sugarbush on the 10th excited as a good time was had by all.
|Setting a course for some training on Main St|
The following weekend provided round two of our state competitions with the girls racing at Sugarbush for their remaining two GS events and the boys racing both a SL and a GS on our home hill at Stowe. The snow was able to set up a little better for us as temperatures were slightly colder at nights allowing the surface to become more firm. Due to the success of our athletes throughout the course of the weekend, MMSC athletes Sandra Schoepke, Grant Gutstein, and Trent Gutstein qualified for the Eastern U16 Championships at Sugarloaf, ME, and Dash Kim qualified for the Eastern Finals at Attitash Mountain in NH.
Before heading up to Sugarloaf, and down to Attitash, some of our athletes competed in the John Kearns Memorial race at Mad River Glen on March 5th. While the field was rather small, our athletes totally dominated owning all three spots on the podium as well as the fourth position as well. For their success, our athletes were each given a bit of swag in the place of a medal.
|Our boys at the John Kearns Memorial(Sorry it is blurry!)|
On the 9th of March, Girls were given the day off to allow for the boys to run their GS. An incredibly difficult course set knocked nearly 50% of the field out on the first run, but the 2nd course setter was much more friendly providing a course that allowed athletes to push their limits without the fear of blowing out of the course. March 10th gave the boys a day to rest and recover for the final SL event, and hosted the girls GS with a much friendlier first run set than the boys. The second course also provided an opportunity for our single female competitor to excel and push her own personal limits while throwing down a very solid day keeping her right where we wanted to be going in to the SL, our strongest event.
March 11th came about quicker than one could imagine and there was definitely a sense of urgency in the air. The first course set for the girls was exceptionally difficult as it was a grinding course forcing athletes to work from the second they left the start to the very last gate of the course. In other words, to be successful, you had to stay focused and move dynamically from gate to gate without blinking until crossing the finish line. While most coaches were grumbling about the difficulty of the set, members of the NVC smiled as our female competitors held 9 of the top 10 positions after the first run. The boys first course was rather different as it was a wide open "all or nothing" styled set. One after the other, boys came down with great runs stacking the field for an exciting second run. MMSC athletes executed the plan on their second run beautifully allowing everyone to move up in the ranks. Sandra Schoepke finished the day with a bronze medal around her neck and Trent Gutstein held down the 11th position when all was said and done.
|The top 10 Finishers for the girls SL|
|Group Shot at the end of the Eastern U16 Championships|
With another day of racing to go here in Lake Placid, all are excited to head out in the morning and give Whiteface another run for its money!
|Jack making a few turns down towards the top of Main St|