Things kept cooling, and the next morning we had a nice fast track to work with. With no stadium, the originally scheduled sprint race wasn't possible - very sad, since this was our only sprint of the year. Instead, we did a 3.8k prologue. I've never loved the prologue as an event, but this was actually a really great race thanks to the fast snow and fun course - a couple big climbs in the first 800 meters, followed by a series of short descents and fast rolling terrain - tons of free skate, V2alt, and all the fast stuff that makes skating so much fun. This race wasn't an NCAA qualifier, and this combined with the weird distance had me worried that the skiers might not be able to get fully focused. Fortunately, no problems there - everyone was excited to let it fly, and everyone came back talking about how much fun it was. Turns out we got some pretty good results out of the day as well. Renae led the women in 18th, with Gabby 22nd for a skate PR and Lily 30th. For men, Elliot was 6th, beating Gabby's record from last week for the best first-year result ever. Sean was 22nd, Jake 29th, and Christian 30th. Seven people in the top 30 - that's a good day even by the standards of this season! Thanks to the strong team showing, we were able to overtake Williams to claim 5th place overall for nordic teams.
A few other notes on the weekend: 1) Rachel served as our third wax tech this weekend and was a great help. She did a little bit of everything - testing, structure, klister touch ups, and a ton of glide waxing and scraping - and her efforts really helped make our good results possible; 2) Jane Culnane led a small but determined group of parents who went above and beyond to provide a great array of hot and delicious food on a damp chilly weekend; 3) Last but not least, a few of our men lost their minds and fashion sense and decided to get really bad/amazing haircuts:
As someone who lived through the late 80s/early 90s, I enjoyed this little dose of nostalgia despite the questionable aesthetics.
While some of us were racing and cutting hair in Vermont, others were back in Maine doing an informal race I dubbed "the Bowdoin Carnival" - a duathlon with several skiers from Colby and Bates at Pineland. Russell and Orion broke away from the group, with Russell taking the win in the final sprint. Many thanks to John Eldredge and John Tarling for handling timing and helping the skiers get organized! Here are results:
One more carnival to go: Eastern Regional Championships at Middlebury this weekend. Can't wait!