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Alpine Tales of the Van: Bates Carnival

With the first carnival of the season comes some serious nerves and excitement. All of our training both on snow and off would be evident as Bates would be the first true testament to our pre-season training. We all thought we were skiing quick, but its not until the first carnival where we have an understanding of how quick we actually are. The opening race was a GS and as we got to the mountain we could tell there was some fresh snow on the ground. Jokingly, the boys said, “I hope they didn’t groom this morning.”  Sure enough we get to the mountain to see a perfectly groomed race trail. No one was optimistic about the snow. Yet  after inspection we got down to a super hard surface, perfect for the later bib numbers. Blue skies, and sunny, it was almost like we weren’t in the east for a little while.          

The first run of the carnival kicked off with Marie-Elaine Lepine starting bib number 1. I was starting later, so I was able to watch her run from the bottom and could tell how the course ran. I’m not a big fan of hearing the times, especially at Sunday River where the times are pretty long usually range from 1:14 to 1:20, but I knew that she had skied really well. By the time I raced, there was a little groove, but it held up great. I came through the finish line of the first run to see that we had 4 girls in the top 10, a great way to kick off the carnival season!  Then it was the boys’ turn. Its insane to see how well the entire boys field skis, especially the UNH boys. Though, they were a little far out time wise, they were still in a solid place to get some points.  Taylor Burton led the Wildcats with a 10thplace finish, with only one pole. I guess he thought that he would give himself a handicap so he wouldn’t crush everyone else’s dreams.

Taylor Burton '13 racing GS at Bates Carnival (Photo by: Shelby Love and Colton Hardy)

As the day progressed, the sun stayed out but the winds picked up and by second run it was almost like we were in a hurricane. By the time it was our turn to race the winds had picked up significantly and we could barely see the snow. It was certainly an experience. Both Catherine Blanchard and I had some trouble second run and bumped back to 19th and 17th respectively. But Marie-Elaine Lepine and Laura Roz  had no problem keeping themselves in good standings for the Cats with Marie finishing 3rd and Roz 5th overall, bringing the women wildcats to 2nd place behind UVM.  The boys picked it up second run with Paul finishing as the top cat in  11th, Taylor Burton in 12th, and Coley Oliver in 16th for his Carnival debut.

The slalom was a little rough for most of the team. With Catherine Blanchard, Laura Roz, and Laura Halapowski all not finishing Marie and I were the only finishers, but with a solid 2 gate hike, I didn’t qualify for second run so Marie was the only UNH girl represented in 2nd run but she was still able to finish with a solid 11thplace overall result.

Alpine girls inspect slalom at Sunday River (Photo by: Shelby Love and Colton Hardy)

The boys also had a rough race for the most part but Coley Oliver absolutely killed his first carnival slalom finishing in 5th with a healing sprained ankle. Pretty impressive. Taylor followed Coley with a 11th place result and after a big bobble on the first run Sam Coffey was just outside the flip, but with a solid second run he rounded off the top 3 in 21st .

So, not to shabby for our first carnival. We know what we are capable of, and we are already to rip for the rest of the season. This was our first and last carnival before school starts. Now, the real challenge starts of balancing skiing and school. Not anyone’s favorite thing to do, as we all wished we were majoring in GS or SL, but its apart of NCAA I guess. Next carnival is UNH and I can’t even wait!

 Jenna Kantor ’14

Nordic Tales of the Van: UNH Carnival

Spring semester classes have begun, and the UNH nordies have been scrambling to stay organized, healthy, and fit for the rest of the ski season.  Speaking of classes, I thought I would give a shout out and congratulations to the team for last semester’s grades.  The ladies had an average GPA of 3.44 and the guys weren’t far behind with an average of 3.41!!!

We were all pretty excited to be hosting a carnival this year.  The last time we hosted a carnival was my freshman year, and I think most of my class with agree with me when I say that it was a lot of fun.  Jackson XC has some great trails.  The racecourse is full of brutal climb after climb, and s-turn upon s-turn.  I’m not sure which emotion we expressed more in the week preceding our carnival: nervousness, fear, or excitement.  I was more on the excitement end.  I don’t really feel fear or get nervous, but I can’t really speak for the rest of my team.

Liz Guiney '13 (Bib 20) and Annika Taylor '15 (Bib 26) race for 10th and 11th in the classic sprint at the UNH Carnival

The other great part about hosting a carnival at Jackson XC is that we get to stay at The Eagle Mountain House.  It is a huge, old New England style Inn with lots of history and character.  Just be careful when walking outside the building, you might get buried by snow falling off of the roof.  The food spread was also very good.  There was plenty of pasta (our favorite!), and eating with our alpine counterparts was great too.

Onto the results.  Friday’s race was a 1.5k classic sprint, in some not so great weather conditions.  I think we experienced just about every type of precipitation, going from snow to freezing rain to rain, and everything in between.  We had five women qualify, and they finished as follows: Liz Guiney – 10th, Annika Taylor – 11th, Tristan Ramey – 30th, Dana Roach – 32nd, and Danielle Baron – 33rd.  We qualified three men, with Per Lindgren finishing 18th, Dan Guiney, in 30th, and Tom Reagan in 35th.

On Saturday we had a couple mass start races, with the women racing for 15k and the men for 20k.  There were bodies strewn all over the 5k course.  The s-turns on the trail Henry claimed many lives, skis, and poles Saturday.  After this weekend, I started tallying the number of crashes each person on our team has accumulated over the past few years.  Kelsey Hoar was winning, but freshman Sam Reed surpassed her this weekend and has taken the lead.  Third place goes to Mancuso, but I think the number of poles he’s broken in crashes, rather than crashes alone might better represent Nick.  In the end our three scorers for the women were Liz Guiney in 10th, Liz Izzo in 13th, and Annika Taylor in 21st.  For the guys we had Erik Lindgren in 12th, Johnny Springer in 23rd, and Dan Guiney in 29th.

Johnny Springer races the 20k Skate at the UNH Carnival

The team overall ended the weekend in 3rd, (booya!!!).  Thanks to all the parents for cheering us on and once again providing food for the best food table on the eastern circuit.  Thanks to Cory, Steve, Kevin, and Katie for wicked fast skis.  It was nice to see Athletic Director Marty Scarano and Deputy Athletic Director Steve Metcalf out on the courses; thanks for coming out!  Last, but not least, thanks to our Athletic Trainer, JD, for the awesome shoulder massage.  I had a great race because of it (thought I would forget about you, JD, didn’t you?).  Peace out my friends.  See you all in Stowe, VT next weekend for the UVM Carnival.

Perry Thomas ’13

Nordic Tales of the Van: Bates Carnival

The UNH nordies found themselves in Rumford, Maine yet again.  The smell has been permanently implemented into my nostrils I think.  To our disdain, the guys were in the same house that we were in for US Nationals (it is a 40min drive to Black Mountain).  That meant some mornings were a little too early for our liking, while the girls slept soundly (some were a little too comfortable I think) 5min away from the mountain.

The first night the guys’ team prepared dinner.  It was pretty easy because Cory had pre-made the pasta dishes.  There was something for everyone.  We had a casserole for the gluten-free (can’t eat normal food because they’re too cool for it) people.  We even had a casserole with red sauce and meat, and one with alfredo sauce and broccoli.  The alfredo one was similar to the other one, but different.  It was similar because it had the same type of noodles, but the sauces were different.

Like at US Nationals, the skiing was awesome at Black Mountain.  Fresh snow on top of the man-made snow allowed for some smooth skiing.  Of course, the ladies continued their tradition of “throw-back” Thursday by sporting some tight and bright ski suits while they skied the racecourse.  Ok, you guys look pretty hot, I’m not going to lie, but I still don’t agree with it.

Friday’s races consisted of the girls doing a 5k skate, and the guys doing a 10k skate.  The ladies race was highlighted with Liz Guiney posting the 8th fastest time, Liz Izzo busting out a top fifteen in fourteenth place, and freshman Annika Taylor skiing to a 22nd place finish to round out our three scorers.  On the guys side, we had Johnny Springer posting a 22nd place (Johnny and Annika got the same place that day…interesting…), Junior Erik Lindgren was 26th, and Senior Dan Guiney finished 28th.

Captain Danielle Baron '12 being guided up the hill by Coach Schwartz during the 5k skate race at Bates.

 

On Saturday, the men and women completed a mass start 10k classic race.  The men had Freshman Per Lindgren cracking the top fifteen with a fourteenth place, followed by his older brother Erik in 17th place, and Sam Reed in 23rd.  On the ladies side, Liz Guiney bested her eighth from the day before by one place, Annika Taylor finished 12th, and Liz Izzo was 21st.

Per Lindgren '15 and Captain Erik Lindgren '13 Racing the 10k Mass Start Classic

 

The first Carnival weekend is always tough trying to get back into the swing of collegiate racing.  I think we stayed strong this weekend though.  I think our results in the next few carnivals may scare UVM and Dartmouth a little because we are only going to get better.  We trained hard this past fall, and I think Bates was just our warm-up.  Get ready to see a lot more Wildcats in that top-ten.  I think I speak for everyone on the team when I say each one of us is ready to put tha team on our backs.  There’s just so much determination.  Get ready for the UNH Carnival weekend starting this Friday!  Nordic is at Jackson XC Ski Center in Jackson, NH and alpine is at Attitash Mountain in Bartlett, NH.

 Yours truly,

Perry Thomas

Nordic Tales of the Van: US Nationals and Camp

In the past, the tales of the van stories have inspired many, and revealed more about my teammates than they might have wished.  Many stories of winning, losing, love and heartbreak have been detailed in these, perhaps somewhat tall tales.  There have been some great writers of Tales of the Van, including the one and only Dylan McGuffin, and the ever so lovely, yet feisty, Anya Bean.  I hope I can live up to the legacies they created in their Tales of the Van.

On January 1st, the team headed to Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine to participate in the US National Championships.  We were a bit timid on the drive up, for even when we entered Rumford, there was still no snow in sight.  Some even questioned if we had taken a wrong turn and were actually heading south.  I dissuaded this suggestion by using my scientific knowledge to determine the exact location of the sun in relation to the direction we were heading and confirmed that it was in fact directly above us at the time.  I was unable to determine which direction we were heading, but the smart phone was able to. 

We found snow at last!  It was in the form that some of us New Englanders are quite familiar with as of recently: Man-made snow.  To our surprise, the skiing was awesome.  Black Mountain did an amazing job preparing for this event and they pulled it off splendidly.  Though I still think they could have fully covered the 5k loop with man-made snow if they weren’t prohibited by the uphill snowmobile (or as the Alaskan, Tristan Ramey, on our team refers to it: snowmachine) race that was the week before.  Notice Tristan that even Microsoft Word disagrees with that term by underlining it with red.

We were humbly surprised by our housing arrangements in Rumford.  We were treated with two separate houses (a guys and a girls house), with all the amenities you could ask for.  We had a pool table and an outdoor hot tub!  Ok, the girls had all the cool stuff.  Tom Reagan was the pool shark out of the group.  Honorable mention to Sam Reed though!  I was the hot tub shark out of the group, if you know what I mean…The best part though was the freedom of being able to walk around in nothing but my bathrobe (only article of clothing I brought).  Andrew Clemence (How we doin?!) and I also enjoyed talking only in Maine accents.  By the end of the week, talking normally felt weird.

Our first race was a skate sprint (1.4k/1.6k).  On the ladies side we had Junior Elizabeth Guiney qualifying for the SR heats in 22nd.  She was ousted in the quarters, but ended up 18th overall!  For the JR ladies heats we had Freshman Annika Taylor and Sophomore Elizabeth Izzo finish 9th and 23rd respectively.  On the men’s side, we had first year (Sophomore) Johnny Springer finish the JR men heats in 12th.

Captain Liz Guiney '13 Racing the 20k Classic (photo by: Steve Fuller)

Two days later we had our second race, 10k skate for the ladies and 15k skate for the men.  For the men we had Springer placing 111th, Freshman Sam Reed in 128th, Senior Thomas Reagan in 156th, Junior Ian Wilson in 167th, Freshman Will Meyer in 170th, and your humble author stumbled in a little bit later…For the women, Izzo was 41st, E. Guiney – 56th, Taylor – 57th, Freshman Tristan Ramey in 94th, Senior Danielle Baron in 97th, Sophomore Anne Miller in 111th, and Sophomore Dana Roach in 141st.

The following day a few of the men attempted the 30k mass start classic (me being one of the attempters); the SR women did 20k, JR women – 5k, and JR men – 10k.  In the women’s 20k, Liz Guiney was 24th, Baron – 42nd, Miller – 46th, and Junior Kelsey Hoar was 47th.  For the JR women, Ramey was 40th, Taylor – 50th, Izzo – 60th, and Roach – 73rd.  The junior men finished with Reed in 29th, Springer – 41st, and Meyer in 89th.

Sam Reed '15 Racing Jr. 10k Classic (Photo by: Steve Fuller)

We were all pretty excited to start our training camp in North Conway and meet up with the rest of the team.  On the drive to N. Conway, we stopped at a subway (as usual).  We’re all waiting in line to order our delicious subs when Anne Miller gets a phone call.  It’s Dana, and she’s trapped on the bus.  Apparently the door opening mechanism was too confusing, so she panicked.  I never really thought you could lock yourself inside a vehicle and not be able to get out, but apparently it happens.  Dana, you’re just lucky we didn’t have a skit night…I had some great ideas.

Ski camp was a little different this year.  We didn’t stay at The Hoch for the first time in 30 years.  I think most will agree that this was a good change though, especially Cory and Steve considering that they actually had beds to sleep in (they had the nicest rooms of the entire house). The Isaac Merrill House is really cool. 

Annika Taylor '15 and Liz Guiney '13 Skiing at Jackson XC Touring Center

I have a feeling we’ll be staying there for years to come.  Despite the change in location, camp was full of the same activities and shenanigans.  Apparently you can get skunked in bananagrams, and drink enough coffee so that the caffeine in your body is beyond the legal limit that the NCAA will allow (impossible, but I think a few of us came close).  Also, having a kitchen that doesn’t have heat is a bad thing when the temperature gets into the single digits.  Lets just say there wasn’t very much coffee being made that day.  If my calculations are correct (they’re not), the team: read over 15 books (surprisingly half of that by Mancuso???); drank 10 pounds of coffee, 3 pounds of tea, and 2 pounds of hot chocolate; watched over 20 hours of movies and TV episodes; ate over 35 pounds of pasta; spent 4 hours listening to my angelic tones and smooth guitar playing; oh, and I think we skied somewhere in there too.  Successful ski camp?! I think so!!!  Headed back to Rumford for the Bates Carnival.  Stay tuned my friends for the next episode of TALES OF THE VAN!!!

The Nordic Team with Cranmore Steve after Tubing at Cranmore Mountain

 

Yours truly,

 Perry Thomas ’13

UNH Nordic Skiers Chase Snow in West Yellowstone

This past Thanksgiving week, 8 UNH wildcat nordies traveled to the snowy land of West Yellowstone, MT for some sweet skiing, racing, and quality team bonding. Dana Roach, Anne Miller, Kelsey Hoar, myself (Liz Guiney), Ian Wilson, Tom Reagan, Johnny Springer, and Dan Guiney were lucky enough to make the trip and enjoyed some perfect snow conditions for the 6 days we were there. Highlights of the trip included:

Anne Miller '14 racing at West Yellowstone Super Tour (Photo by: Shane MacDowell '09)

  • Anne and Johnny tearing it up in the skate race and experiencing that “high altitude burn” that you just don’t feel down at sea level! They finished 49th and 74threspectively, in a deep SuperTour field.

    Johnny Springer '14 breaking in the new race suit at West Yellowstone Super Tour (Photo by: Shane MacDowell '09)

    Tom setting a new all-time record in the “Calzone Challenge”, an eating contest that originated with the Jackson Hole ski team and involves a monstrous 16 inch combination of cheese, sauce, meat, and dough. The girls looked on in awe as Tom chowed it in 14 minutes 50 seconds.

  • A long ski into Yellowstone National Park which included some buffalo sightings!! (oops,  Johnny has informed us that they are in fact called “bison”. I stand corrected)

 We also got to catch up with former UNH skier Sierra Jech and alumn Shane MacDowell, so it was a great week all in all! Now we are back to campus for a few weeks for the last days of class, finals week, and the first official races of the season at the Craftsbury Eastern Cup December 17th and 18th. Everyone pray for more snow out east, and we’ll see you on the trails!

Kelsey Hoar '13 skiing in Yellowstone National Park (Photo by: Sierra Jech)

-Liz Guiney ’13