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Nordic Tales of the Van: Williams Carnival

This past weekend found the nordies in Craftsbury VT for the Williams Carnival. Lack of snow down at Prospect Mtn. forced Williams to move the race farther north and also cancel one race, leaving just an individual 10km Classic event. However, we weren’t complaining, as conditions at Craftsbury were pretty stellar all around. The race course at Craftsbury was a welcome change from Trapp’s with some windy fast downhills and short but challenging hills spaced out on the 5k loop. In fact, I think the coaches were quite happy to stay at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, which is literally two steps away from the race course and also boasts an amazing dining hall with tasty organic food. I mean, it may even top staying at the Eagle Mtn. House in Jackson, because we didn’t have to ski “all the way down a hill” to get to the course ;)

So anyways, having just one race this weekend meant double the points, double the stakes, and double the flirting (oh, wait…that’s not supposed to be in here). The women were first on Saturday, and battled through some tough conditions to finish 3rd as a team once again. It may have been slick out there, but all the ladies put their heads down and raced hard the whole way. Tristan “feisty” Ramey led the way in 12th, myself, Liz “Bo Derek” Guiney, broke my 10th place streak  with a 14th, Annika “wears the pants” Taylor was 21st, Elizabeth “everything’s great!” Izzo was 23rd, Danielle “jeggings“ Baron was 34th, and Kelsey “ GUYSSSS!! WAITTT!” Hoar was 45th.

Sam Reed '15 Led the charged for the wildcat men at the Williams Carnival

The men raced next, and got their kick and glide on despite quickly disintegrating tracks out on the course. Sam “crash and burn” Reed led the boys in 18th, Erik “slight caffeine addiction” Lindgren was close behind in 19th, and Per “snygg” Lindgren was the 3rd scorer (apparently that means “sexy” in Swedish, I don’t know). Next was Johnny “the mullet” Springer in 25th, Dan “steady eddy” Guiney in 30th, and Nick “everyday is Wu-tang Wednesday” Mancuso in 37th. No makeouts this week, bummer! After the race everyone got to cheer on some of our UNH eastern cup racers, who were doing the TD Bank Eastern Cup finals Saturday and Sunday, also in Craftsbury, and turned in some great results.

Overall, it was some pretty tough racing out there, but I think I can speak for everyone and say that we gave it our all; especially the coaches, who magically seemed to be cheering on every uphill and intersection! Today we enjoyed a nice sunny ski and “crazy dress up” day at Gunstock. Next weekend we’ll be off to Stowe VT again for the Middlebury Carnival and EISA championships. With NCAA spots on the line, and a score to settle with Midd (we’ve been trading off 3rd and 4thteam places all year) it’s bound to be an exciting weekend. Thanks to all the parents for cheering and bringing us great food, and thanks to the coaches for another fun race weekend!

The UNH Women skiing in style at Gunstock

Quotes from the weekend:

Kelsey (talking to her skis):    “Okay, klister. Let’s go play!”

Liz:    “So… do you think they’re going to groom for the race tomorrow?”

 Erik (is internet deprived in the NEK): “Oh Tristan, you have internet in your room? So do you think I could possibly stop by later?”

 Per:  “Niff niff niff niff niff niff” = the sounds that pigs make, in Sweden

-Liz Guiney ’13

Nordic Tales of the Van: Dartmouth Carnival

After a short week we headed back up to the Trapp Family Lodge for Dartmouth’s Carnival (Carni-Crush).  We had our heads in the game and were eager to put out some great results.  The women hit the trails Friday morning competing in an individual start 5k skate race.  Liz Guiney led the women’s team with yet another 10th place followed by freshman Annika Taylor and Tristan Ramey in 16th and 20th.  The guys set out for a 10k skate is some warming temperatures.  Johnny Springer led the men finishing 20th (I guess Johnny and Tristan need to make-out, its sort of an unwritten rule…) followed by Per Lindgren and Dan Guiney (22nd and 23rd). 

The UNH Nordic Women's gift to the Dartmouth Team

 For dinner we decided to get out of the Innsbrook and went to the Cactus Café where we enjoyed a great Mexican meal.  When we got back to the Innsbrook it was time to get down to work and write our poems for carni-crush.  After meticulously crafting together our Valentines we hit the hay and got a good nights rest for the 20k/15k classic races Saturday morning. 

 The mass start races were exhilarating to race in and fun to watch.  The Lindgren brothers were in the lead group in the men’s field.  Erik finished 6th and Per finished 8th.  The men had a great day (and they beat UVM!) with Sam Reed (16th), Johnny (18th), Dan (20th), and Nick Mancuso (26th).  Liz led the women’s team (hoping for anything but another 10th place finish), but finished 10th again.  Tristan and Elizabeth Izzo rounded out the top three (12th and 20th), but the women had a good day was well with Baron (23rd), Taylor (30th), and Kelsey Hoar (35th).  Overall, we finished out the weekend in 3rdplace. 

Johnny Springer '14, Per Lindgren '15, Erik Lindgren '13, Sam Reed '15

 Thanks to all the parents and Joe Miller for the great food table after the races! And to Cory, Steve, Kevin, and Katie for great skis and support on the trails!

 Peace Out!

 Danielle Baron – ’12

Nordic Tales of the Van: UVM Carnival

This past weekend we had our third carnival, hosted by the University of Vermont.  The races were located in Stowe, VT at the Trapp Family Lodge.  It was a beautiful weekend, with blue skies and warm temperatures.  Most of the team has skied here before, so we were quite familiar with the racecourse.  We were also very excited to be staying at the Innsbruck.  They provide robes in the room, so naturally that was the only clothing we wore.  Kevin’s room was short a robe, so he figured Danielle McVicar’s winter coat would suffice.  It did.

            Saturday’s race was an eventful one.  The women did a 5k classic, and the men did a 10k classic.  A couple hundred other racers joined us this weekend because the Carnival was also an Eastern Cup; this lead to some awesome ski racing.  For the women we had Tristan Ramey cracking the top ten in 9th place, followed by Elizabeth Guiney in 10th.  Elizabeth Izzo was our third scorer, finishing the race in 19th.  The guys finished strong with Per Lindgren in 7th, Erik Lindgren in 10th, and Dan Guiney in 17th.

            On Sunday, both men and women did a 10k skate.  The women were led by Liz Guiney in 10th, followed by Liz Izzo in 16th, and Annika Taylor in 17th.  Dan Guiney was our first guy in 23rd, with Johnny Springer placing 32nd, and Per Lindgren in 34th.

            Solid effort to everyone; this weekend had some tough races, but we held strong.  It looks like the team will be racing at Trapps again next weekend for the Dartmouth Carnival.  So stay tuned for those results, and another Tales of the Van.  Carni-Crush is also that weekend, so I am sure you are going to hear some great stories of love, and inappropriate valentines.  Peace out my friends.


Perry Thomas

Alpine Tales of the Van: UNH Carnival

The UNH carnival! This is the one we had been waiting for. Besides Paul Atkinson and Zach Clayton no one on the team had experienced a home carnival yet, and we were excited to have a leg up on the other schools by racing at Attitash.

We were able to stay at the same house we stayed at for our winter-break camp, which is a huge house just outside of North Conway, called “the Beast.” It almost feels like we are going home when we pull up to the Beast. It sits at the top of a usually icy hill and if you can actually pull into the driveway, you certainly earn bragging rights. Usually, some pushing had to be taken place, but that’s a man job as you can tell from the perspective of my photograph. Staying at the Beast, I don’t think I ever stop laughing and this trip was no different.

Coming into Friday’s GS we knew the weather was going to be dicey, but I don’t think anyone expected how much snow we would get. It started out by hailing, but to be honest we were just pleased it was not freezing rain. Unfortunately, there was at least 8 inches of fresh snow on t he track which needed to be pushed off. The groomer was actually asked to make a few passes on the trail because it would be almost physically impossible to have enough speed on the flats to push the snow off the track. Once, the cat was finished grooming both the womens’ and mens’ field were asked to slip the wide line to try and get down to a hard surface. If you are looking for a hip flexor workout, try pushing wet snow off of Illusion for about 4 runs! The track was hard and we were all ready to start inspecting, when the race officials called the race off because of safety reasons. Of course, we were all pretty bummed, knowing how well we could have done on that trail. But, our sights were set to the slalom race the next day.

With the unexpected day off, we all tried to find things to do at the Beast. The boys started a what I think was a record breaking length game of Risk, there was rummy played, foosball, ice ball fights, and of course tuning. Some of the team went to play soccer against UVM and Middlebury to see who would get the carnival win for the day. Of course, UNH pulled through, beating both schools and I think it is safe to say that if there was a duel NCAA sport of soccer/skiing we would be untouchable.

For dinners we all traveled up to where the Nordics were staying at the Eagle House and had a couple of pasta dinners which carbed us up for the next day. As for lunches, I’m pretty sure we were the luckiest team on the circuit with the amount of food both the Halapowski family and the Lepine family brought. So a big thank you to them!

The slalom race held great results for the Wildcats. Zach Clayton and Sam Coffey finished 4th and 5th respectively, and Paul Atkinson rounded off our top 3 in 15thplace. But I think we can all agree that if we were basing the results off of the best facial expressions, he would undoubtedly take home the gold.

Paul Atkinson '12 racing slalom at the UNH Carnival

The girls had solid results as well with Catherine Blanchard coming in 7th, Marie-Elaine Lepine in 8th and myself in 12th. We ended up second overall for alpine, which is good, but I still think we can take UVM down if we all ski like we know how to!

As it was a home carnival our friends were the main reason the slalom was pulled off so well. So we have a massive amount of thank yous to send out. First of all, we all wanted to send our thanks to Paul Burton and the rest of the crew who were the reason the race was run as smoothly as it did had it not been for all of the slippers, gatekeepers, and course workers. We appreciate it so much! To have a cheering section was new to most of us as well. It was almost a little Schladming-esque being able to hear the blow horns and screams while racing. So to the fans we had supporting us, and all of the alumni who were able to make the trip up we want to thank you all so much!

Zach Clayton '12 racing Slalom at the UNH Carnival

I also want  to send a special thank you to Geoff Bonewald, Curtis Lush, Charlie Kidd, Eric Coffin, and Kris Hopkins. Not only did they forerun both the women’s and men’s race, but I would hear them rummaging around the house at 6 am to be on the hill setting our courses by 6:45 am.  It was clear we had the best fore-runners on the carnival circuit. As they went one by one, the en tire women’s field was watching them and I kept hearing, “why aren’t they racing?” “they are so good.” Its evident how deep our men’s team is and how much talent each of them have. We will without a doubt see great results from each of them in the future.

Our final thank yous go out to our coaches, Brian Blank, Katie Hitchcock, and Viktor Hlas. As stressful as this carnival was for the athletes, I can’t even imagine what it was like for them. So, thank you coaches!

Overall, I was really happy with my first home carnival experience. My team is pretty awesome, and I can’t wait to continue this chain of success at the UVM carnival at Stowe and beyond.

Jenna Kantor 2014