Monday, April 2, 2018

March Wrap Up

While we were focused on NCAAs and the Paralympics, there was plenty of other good Bowdoin Nordic-related stuff happening in March.  Here's a quick rundown:

Rangeley Loppet - Rangeley used to be an annual season-ending tradition for our team.  We've had a lot of fun and some great performances there - most notably a win by Erin Hatton '12 in 2010 and a double victory for Jackson Bloch '15 and Hannah Miller '17 in 2014 - but the team hasn't competed in this race for the last few years.  This year, a small but determined group went back to Rangeley to recapture our lost glory.  Mission accomplished!  Ellie won the women's race by 10 minutes - she was mixing it up with the college boys for most of the race, and ended up beating some of them.  Sam nearly made it a sweep for the captains, finishing just three seconds behind GMVS coach Peter Kling, a former elite nordic combined skier.  Russell was 3rd for men, while Lily was 10th and Rachel 11th for women.  A fine team showing and a great reminder of how much fun this event is.
Spring Break - After NCAAs wrapped up, several of our skiers descended on the peaceful home of the Watson family in Livingston, MT.  Orion spent the next several days guiding Christian, Rachel, Noah, Ian, and Elliot around the mountains of Montana on various ski adventures.  When Orion headed back to campus for track, the crew went over to Noah's cabin in Idaho for a few more days of skiing.  Here are a couple photos courtesy of Lee Watson:

Meanwhile, a few of our skiers were adventuring all over Norway:  Sam, Ellie, Cirque, Lily, and Fiona.  They crossed paths with Tyler DeAngelis '15, who spent the winter racing World Loppet events, as well as Mac Groves '17 and Hannah.  Here's a short video of a typical day.  The trip culminated in the Norwegian Birkebeiner, where they all carried a little Baby Haakon 54 kilometers to safety.  Pretty much all of them have described this event in superlatives:  hardest race ever, most exhausting, most fun.  A Spring Break well spent.

World Cup - As the SuperTour leader, Kaitlynn Miller '14 earned start rights to the March World Cup races.  Even after four highly successful years as an elite skier, Kaitlynn had never raced in Europe, so this was a nice opportunity for her to race some at some iconic venues against the world's best; she held her own and put up some respectable results.

Spring Series - SuperTour Finals were in Craftsbury this year.  Renae is one of those people who just can't get enough of racing, so she headed over to Vermont with some Colby friends to do a couple races on the final weekend of Spring Break.  Spring Series is the only time all year that the international skiers race domestically, so the races are super competitive.  The whole Olympic Team was there, including two newly-minted gold medalists!  Exciting stuff.  Renae was just 1 second away from qualifying for the heats in the classic sprint, and she posted a solid mid-pack finish in the 10k skate.  I'm proud of her for taking the initiative to get to these races - it's a daunting task to handle your own logistics and wax your own skis at a big-time event against a field of fully supported elite skiers.  Not a bad showing for a college first-year.  Meanwhile, Kaitlynn posted three strong finishes to lock up the overall SuperTour title!  That's no easy achievement - women's skiing in the US is stronger than ever.  This should open some doors for her in the coming season.

The Medal - Jake came back to campus with some hardware.  It's pretty sweet.  Here's a photo:

Fast and Female - Speaking of medals, Kikkan Randall held a Fast and Female event at LL Bean last weekend.  Fiona, Lily, Ellie, and Gabby all helped out - very exciting to meet Kikkan, help the next generation get fired up about skiing, and of course take some photos with the gold medal!

(thanks to Steve Fuller of Flying Point Road for this photo) 

Quite an eventful month - looking forward to a peaceful spring!

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