March was a busy month for Bowdoin skiers and alumni! Here’s a rundown of everything that happened:
Kaitlynn Miller ’14 competed in the Ski Tour Canada – her first World Cup races! She completed the whole tour – a grueling schedule of 8 races in 12 days, with the last 4 at altitude in Canmore. She held her own against the best skiers in the world, including a 39th place finish in the 10k classic and 38th in the classic sprint. She closed out the tour with the 38th fastest split in the classic pursuit to take 41st place in the overall tour. Several Bowdoin skiers went up to cheer her on for the Quebec races – definitely one of the highlights of the season!
Nick Crawford ’09 wrapped up a successful first year as head coach at Alaska-Fairbanks. His skiers performed well at the NCAA Championships in Steamboat, highlighted by a 4th place team finish in the women’s classic race, with his top skier earning All-American honors.
Wilson Dippo ’12 had several skiers representing Bogus Basin at Junior Nationals. His top skier earned All-American honors in all three of the individual races and was on the winning U18 relay team, along with a Jackson Hole HS skier coached by Rainer Kenney ’13.
Jackson Bloch '15 and Tyler DeAngelis '15 finished their two-month European marathon tour by completing the most prestigious of all nordic ski races, the Norwegian Birkebeiner, in which they were the top American finishers.
Jake flew to Finland over Spring Break to ski in several Paralympic World Cup races. His best performances came in the classic sprint and the 10k skate – just off the podium in 4th place!
SuperTour Finals in Craftsbury provided the big finish, with a huge crowd of Bowdoin skiers and alumni in attendance. Mac and H. Miller did all four races, along with alumni superstars Spencer Eusden ’12 and Kaitlynn. Jake, H. Marshall, Sean, Ellie, August, and Sam each doing at least one, and our alumni marathon specialists Tyler and Jackson dropped in for the 50k. Since our NCAA training/racing period was over, the skiers had no coaching support and had to wax their own skis – the variable spring conditions made this tough at times, but they did a great job of figuring it out from day to day. H. Miller led the way with a 43rd place finish in the 10k skate, and Mac followed it up with a 46th in the classic sprint, just a few seconds from qualifying – very strong results against a super competitive field that included almost all of the top skiers in the US, along with dozens of college skiers and fast juniors. On the alumni side, Kaitlynn took 8th place in the sprint and 12th in the 10k. The Bowdoin folks formed 2 teams for the mixed relay, and Miller Low Life (Mac, Jake, and both Millers) scrapped their way to 21st place finish. The final race of the week (30/50k classic mass start) was an event like no other – many, many laps around a short loop with some nasty climbs, made even harder by wet, slow snow. The women went first, before things got really sloppy. The Millers were our only racers - Kaitlynn had an amazing race to finish 5th, and Hannah was strong as well, holding her own for 35th in a very tough field of experienced racers. Things got really ugly in the men’s race – the tracks had been obliterated, the temps had reached full-on spring mode and continued to rise, and the snow was incredibly slushy, soft, and slow. The race quickly turned into an ultramarathon-style test of survival rather than a race – people dropped out left and right, including some of ours. Even the top skiers were just walking up the hills – it was too soft and slow to do much else. Spencer showed great veteran poise, steadily powering his way to a 36th place finish. Sean and August just kept plugging away, and both managed to finish – the only two juniors to complete the race! A crazy race and a fitting end to a crazy season. A huge thanks to Deb Miller for hosting the ever-growing group of skiers throughout the week! Thanks also to Everett Marshall and Deb again for the photos in the post.
And that’s the end – no more ski racing for Bowdoin Nordic this year, unless someone decides to go race across Greenland this spring or some such nonsense. It’s been a great year despite all the challenges – although we’re sad to see the end of it, we’re all excited for the new adventures ahead!