2010-11 Tales

2011 TALES OF THE VAN

MIDDLEBURY NORDIC TALES OF THE VAN BY ANYA BEAN

Friday at Middlebury: Hot, wet, and slow. Elizabeth, Clare, and Abby scored for the women, and Dan, Harb, and Lindgren scored for the men. This was a bad day for the team, but the guys at least beat Bates, St. Mikes, and UMPI although St. Mikes and UMPI didn’t have full teams…The highlight of the day was probably racing in our lifting t-shirts. We got lots of compliments and were looking good thanks to Body by Ciani. (Ciani is our lifting coach. The best.) Tasha and Clemence got the badass awards for the day. Tasha threw up while racing and Clemence wrecked face into the woods.

Saturday at Middlebury: Cold, windy, and powdery. We had a 3x1k skate relay in a completely open field that may has well have been in the arctic tundra. We had our best scoring day of the season with our women’s team of Clare, Elizabeth, and Tasha WINNING and our men’s team of Dan, Lindgren, and Clemence coming in third.

We hope to carry our momentum from Saturday’s racing to Rumford this weekend for our LAST carnival of the season! Yikes!

Overheards:

“Taylor, what’s your major? – Cory
“Civil engineering.” – Taylor
“Really?!?!?!” – Cory

“I don’t wear mascara for races just in case I cry.” – Jojo Coffey

“You guys drive this far for such a short race?!?” – Cat, Piner

“Oh, can you please play Today was a fairytale? That’s my favorite song; it reminds me of my first boyfriend.” – Lindgren. (Apparently Lindgren isn’t into the girls’ music selection?)

“All girls love chest hair.” – Chad

Shout out to Harb and his music he brought for our van ride.

MIDDLEBURY ALPINE TALES OF THE VAN BY ZACH CLAYTON

This week the Wildcats headed to the Middlebury Ski Bowl for the fifth carnival of the season. Coming off a solid week of training the team was looking forward to putting down some notable results, but hoping for some decent weather, as the forecast did not look promising. Middlebury, known for its tough conditions, did not disappoint as Friday proved to be a balmy, spring-like day followed by blistery, wintry conditions on Saturday.
Despite the crazy weather, the weekend began with slalom on Friday and the guys running first. The guys had a great day as Paul Atkinson led the Wildcats with a 2nd place finish, followed by Sam Coffey in 5th, who scored his first result in the 20s. Nice going, Sam! Closing out the top three Wildcats was Zach Clayton in 10th place. On the girls’ side, Catherine Blanchard finished with an impressive 5th place, followed by Jenna Kantor (12th) and Marie Elaine Lepine (14th). The Wildcats posted solid results despite the rain and soft conditions throughout the day.
Day two at Middlebury brought on snow, fog, and high winds for a demanding GS race. Our first finisher of the day was Marie Elaine Lepine with an impressive 4th place. Next for the girls came Laura Rozinowicz in 11th and rounding out the top finishers was Catherine Blanchard in 21st. On the guys side, Zach Clayton placed 4th, closely followed by Paul Atkinson in 5th, and Chad Lawrence in 12th. Both the girls’ and guys’ teams finished in 3rd for the day, as the ski team rallied to a 3rd place overall finish at the Middlebury Carnival. Other noteworthy results for the weekend came as Paul Atkinson was named EISA Skier of the Week. Way to go, Paul!
Overall we had a great weekend and once again showed our speed. We are looking forward to our last carnival of the year at Sunday River where we will be competing in the EISA Championships and hoping to continue with some excellent results.

DARMOUTH ALPINE TALES OF THE VAN BY Marie-Elaine Lepine

This Friday and Saturday UNH Wildcats were at Dartmouth for our 4th carnival of the 2011-year. The vibe and energy was amazing with a big crowd because of the celebration of Dartmouth’s 100th anniversary.

We had our athletic trainer JD to come and see us race and help us with any injuries we had or just help us to feel better by massaging our muscles to feel looser and better for the race. Also, Steve Metcalf, Deputy Athletic Director, came to encourage us this weekend. It was very pleasant to have him and JD come watch us compete.

On our way to Dartmouth Thursday, we stopped at Pat’s peak to train slalom for a couple of runs just to keep us fresh for the race Friday. Unfortunately, Jenna Kantor, freshman on the team injured herself and wasn’t able to race, but we got another freshman girl, Joanna Coffey to come to Dartmouth and race. Wish all the best to Jenna to heal fast.

The guys had a good giant slalom day with a 9th, 10th and 11th place for Sam Coffey, Paul Atkinson and Zach Clayton. And for the slalom event, Zach Clayton was in 5th, Paul Atkinson in 9th and Sam Coffey in 14th.

The girls did a good job in the slalom event and were all in the top 30 after first run, except Marie Lepine that unfortunately had to hike to finish the race. The slalom final result is Laura Rozinowicz in 10th, Joanna Coffey 16th, Jacqueline Lebel 18th and Kristen McNeil 20th. As for the giant slalom event, once again Laura Rozinowicz was the first girl of UNH with the 7th place, then Marie-Elaine Lepine in 14th place and Catherine Blanchard in 17th.

Once again we had our great “assistant assistant coach” Viktor Hlas to help us at the start to have our skis all set to go and cheer us on. Viktor is a great help to the team during races and training. Thanks Vik!
Wildcats are now ready to head out Thursday to Middlebury for our 5th carnival. Alumni and supporters are more than welcome to come watch us and cheer us on. We love your support. Thanks!

DARTMOUTH NORDIC TALES OF THE VAN BY ANYA BEAN

I think everyone was a little disappointed with our performance at Dartmouth, but as Howie would say, “Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you.” In the women’s 5k Clare was 5th, Miller was 12th, and Elizabeth was 14th. The men’s 10k scorers were Clemence 21st, Lindgren 26th, and Dan 33rd. The course was fast, and all the times were really close. In the 15k Clare was 4th, Elizabeth was 9th, and Miller was 17th. In the 20k, Lindgren, Dan, and Harb were 18th, 27th, and 28th.

After the races we exchanged valentines with other skiers…..and coaches. All of the poems were well-written and very tasteful of course! Dan was named to the prestigious Midd Top 10 meaning that the biddies at Middlebury think he’s the hottest babe on our men’s team. Cory didn’t make Midd Top 10 this year, but he did get several shout outs.

Thanks again to all the parents for the food/support/valentines. You are the best! Our non-carnival skiers came to cheer us on Saturday and were GREAT! They were dressed to impress and they enticed us up the hills with some saucy dancing and energy. AD Steve Metcalf and head trainer JD joined us this weekend. It was nice to have some extra support and massages from JD!

We are pretty excited about this coming weekend at Middlebury. I mean, who isn’t pumped for a weekend of only skate races?!

Overheard from the weekend:

“I’ve never seen you with clothes on before!” –JD
“Everything Lindgren says is funnier. I mean he’s an ELS.” -Dan
“Why can’t you skate in a classic race?” – One of the many questions asked by the piners
“So how do you cool down after an alpine race?” -Nordic
“We sit in the van.” – Piner

Editor note: Adding a quote from the weekend. “I am surprised how someone so small and cute can smell so bad” The person who said this is embarrassed that it might be published so I told her that I would not say her name. If you are trying to guess though she wrote the tales of the van. Hope that helps in figuring out who the quote is from.

UVM Nordic TALES OF THE VAN by Anya Bean

The UVM carnival was this past weekend, and the weather was beautiful! On Friday, the women raced 15k and men raced 20k; both races were mass start classic. Tasha, Clare, and E. Guiney wrecked face with 6th, 7th, and 8th. The men followed with Lindgren, Harb, and D. Guiney scoring for the cats in 8th, 19th, and 22nd. There is a rule that has been in place for many years that says you have to make out with whomever you get the same place as…just sayin’.

On Saturday, the women raced 5k skate, and the men raced 10k. Tasha skied to 6th, Clare was 8th, and Anya was 10th. The scorers for the men were Clemence in 17th, Bedard in 35th, and D. Guiney in 36th. Everyone was pretty tired on Saturday, some from training, some from hitting the books too hard, and others from maybe socializing too much? The girls enjoyed cheering on the boys in the sunshine after their race. We scoped babes as next weekend’s Dartmouth carnival will be where all the carni-crushes are laid out. One highlight from the day may or may not have included the attack of the UVM catamount…(a pretty pathetic looking creature honestly.)

We are back at school for a few days writing poetry for the upcoming weekend and being exemplary student athletes before we head to Hangover to beat up on Dartmouth on their home turf!!!!!! They beat us by only 17 points this past weekend so we need to show them what’s up this weekend.

Overheards from the weekend:

“I only started winking at people in September.” –Harb
“Ugh I think I caught my lazy eye from you.” –Dan Guiney
“Izzo, we didn’t get the same place, but we can still makeout if you want.” –Harb
“How do my cheeks look in these pants?” –Kvehl
“…Can you really shred on nordic skis?” – one of the piners

UVM Alpine Tales of the Van by Paul Atkinson

Tales of The Van UVM Carnival
Last weekend the team travelled up to Stowe, Vermont for the UVM Carnival and had some great results. In the first day of competition we had great results in the GS event with both the mens and women’s teams coming in second place in the team scoring. This was highlighted by a second place individual placing by Laura Rozinowicz which led the girls team but was closely followed by Marie Elaine Lepine in 8th and Catherine Blanchard in 15th. This was the first time on the podium for Laura as a college racer great job Laura. On the guys side Chad Lawrence led the team with a 4th place finish that was closely followed by Sam Coffey in 5th place and Paul Atkinson in 6th place. Overall this was a great day for the wildcats and as a team we only trailed UVM in the overall standings with the Slalom challenge coming the next day.
Saturday brought the Slalom challenge and high hopes for a great overall team result. We had a great day which ended in two first time podium finishes with Zach Clayton coming in second and Catherine Blanchard placing third. These great results were very impressive and exciting for the team. Other great efforts in the race on Saturday were a 5th place finish for Paul Atkinson, a 10th place finish for Sam Coffey, an 11th place finish for Jacqueline Lebel and a 25th place finish for Laura Rozinowicz.
All in all we had a great weekend with promising results. We look forward to our next event at the Dartmouth Carnival where we hope to continue and improve on these successes. I would like to thank all of the parents who came and supported us especially the Lepine family for providing us with great lunches.

Nordic Tales of the Van Colby by Anya Bean

We arrived at the race venue in Augusta looking fresher than any other team in our throwback Thursday apparel. We were expecting to be racing 20k for the men and 15k for the women, but after assessing the hairpin s-turns, the consensus was to shorten the loop to avert the dangerous turns. We were scheduled to race at Titcomb in Farmington, but the lack of snow forced us to move the races to Augusta. Both men and women raced 10k, and the 10k classic race scheduled for Dartmouth was changed to 15/20k mass start classic. Mancuso fell during the course preview and actually broke his finger. Our men’s team was also missing Harb and Lindgren due to sickness. The top three men were Bedard in 16th, Clemence and Dan in 23rd and 24th. As the men were finishing, the snow picked up, resulting in a full-blown blizzard for the entirety of the women’s race. Being a bunch of snow princesses, we did not let this affect us. The women maintained the 2nd place streak with Tasha in 4th, Clare in 5th, L. Guiney in 9th, and Anya in 10th.

On Saturday, the relay team of Clare, L. Guiney, and Anya had an exciting race. We were neck and neck for the second and third legs, and then got boxed out for the win. Katie Miller wasn’t racing because of sickness but we are confident that had we had a full second team we would have gone 2,3 in the relay. Tasha and Izzo skied fast for their team despite lacking a third leg. The team of Bedard, Clemence, and D. Guiney skied hard for a 5th place finish.

We are back at school now enjoying the snow. We skied at Pawtuckaway today, which has some great snowmobile trails. We only had one injury, which was sustained by E. Guiney not from anything ski related, but from slipping on the stairs of the bus…she too hurt her finger. Luckily we don’t have any college races this weekend. There is a group racing at the Eastern Cups in Weston, MA on Saturday, but everyone else will be getting in some solid training and enjoying the social scene at the U.

Overheards from the weekend:

“I only learned like last year that unicorns weren’t real.” –Tasha
“Too bad our team colors aren’t black and yellow.” –overheard by many team members
“Glitter makes everything more fun.” –probably all the freshmen girls
I think the rest are probably too inappropriate for publishing…

Colby Alpine Tales of the Van by Marie Lepine

With two carnivals done, the ice is broken for the new skiers on the team. The team is very promising and we are all very excited about this year. We now have two weeks to train before the next carnival at Stowe, VT. We are psyched to have this time to train some more and be ready to show everyone who the Wildcats are at The UVM carnival.

Meanwhile, we had a very good time in Lake Placid, at Whiteface for our first carnival. Paul Atkinson made sure to represent the UNH ski team by winning the slalom event – way to go Paul! Ethan’s family was very kind to have us once again at their place. Even though some of us missed second run inspection or forgot to wear shin guards, we still did a good job for our first carnival.

The second carnival of the year kicked off with a quick training session at Sunday River on the way to Sugarloaf for The Colby Carnival. A trip to Sugarloaf is always bitter sweet- you never really know what to expect until you are in the gate and hear the starter telling you to go. It ended up being an excellent trip with the men coming in second overall on Saturday. Once again Paul did a good job coming in 2nd, then Taylor showed everyone what he is capable of by finishing in 4th, and Sam Coffey, new to the team this year, finished in 8th place.

After spending two weeks together at the Beast, including fun times with all the girls watching our favorite shows and hanging out together, and the guys watching football and playing foosball, we have become closer than ever. We had a lot of fun exchanging our thoughts and giving each other comments and advice about our skiing, making all of us improve and ski faster. We learned a lot about each other and we are now ready more than ever to show everyone what we can do.

TALES OF THE VAN- EASTERN CUPS
By Anya Bean 12′

This past weekend we had our first races, which included a skate sprint at Craftsbury and a 12k classic at Jericho. We left Durham on Friday and Mancuso immediately knew that the girl-filled weekend would be challenging when the conversation topics commenced with shopping and boys. We were antsy in our pantsy to get on snow after a strenuous week of finals spent as true student-athletes in the library. We skied at Trapps where the snow was the best we’ve seen this year. After skiing, we arrived at the Innsbruck, (naturally) where Coach Monsulick locked the key inside immediately…

On Saturday, we made it to Craftsbury successfully thanks to the navigation skills of volunteer assistant-assistant coach Kevin Rose. It was an exciting day filled with racing and seeing all of our people we hadn’t seen in so long! Clare Egan made her debut as a Wildcat finishing first for our team in 9th place. Liz Guiney finished 13th, I was 21st, Izzo 22nd, Katie Miller 26th, Hoar 28th. Dan Guiney finished 18th and alum Dylan McGuffin now racing for the Craftsbury Green Team threw down and finished 3rd.

We had a great day of racing Sunday. Clare, E. Guiney, and Miller finished 9th, 10th, 11th, I was 18th, Baron was 22nd, Izzo was 33rd, Hoar was 38th, and Steph was 63rd. In the guys’ race Bedard was 23rd, Dan 41st, Harb was 46th, Clemence was 48th, Perry was 57th, Mancuso was 61st, and Rose was 113th.

It was great to get in some races this weekend, and we will be back in action at Nationals in Rumford on the 2nd of January. Hopefully we will get some snow before then!

Overheards from the weekend:

“So Kelsey, are you going to change your last name when you grow up…. because I would.” –Izzo

“If a person could look like Christmas, it would be Clemence in Lindgren’s race-suit.” – Mancuso

“I never thought nordies were hot until I came to UNH.” –Jojo Coffey (Alpine)

“That would make no common sense.” – Cory

 

2010 Race Season

 

Tales of the Van

Part 2

 

We spent most of last week on campus, continuing to practice and waiting for classes to start up this coming week. Freshman and sophomores who remained on campus covered upperclassmen’s floors and sofas and proceeded to mow most of our food like we were a dinning hall or something. My roommates and I had Bjorn, AKA bottomless Swedish pit, but what was hardest on our cupboards was the 10 cups of coffee he would drink every day. When is coffee time you might ask? Well it seems that any time is coffee time for Swedes… To give you an idea, Bjorn has nearly finished a 38-ounce (that’s the big coffee can), which makes 240 SERVINGS in just over a week.

My household is not the only place with food issues.  After one of our wonderful skis at the Bean/Caldwell trail network, freshman Megan Trow spent 15 minutes trying to cut a loaf of freshly baked bread with the dull edge of a serrated knife. I quote “ I don’t think this knife is very sharp.” said Trow. Half true….maybe think about taking a cooking class, just putting that out there.

To take a tangent, that bread that she was cutting, made by the awesome “Jen Jen” is kind of like what I imagine warm clouds would taste like, with a little butter, nuts, raisins, cinnamon and sugar. This magical bread is only amplified by the fact that we have been skiing for a few hours. Ooooh Baby! OK enough about bread

This week of EISA racing led us to Richmond Vermont, where after some of the sketchiest van driving I have encountered, lay a small touring center known as Sleepy Hollow. The skate course was a 7.5 K loop, which had some of the most climbing and most deadly turns I have encountered on a racecourse, let alone together on the same one.  One girl described the hills as “death” and also added the fact that there was only 100 meters of flat on the entire course. Congratulations Kevil on waiting until after the finish line to faint. Great Job!

The Ladies had a strong showing with 3 in the top 10 with in Bean 5th, Kullas 6th and Guiney 10th.  The men had a decent showing with McGuffin 3rd, Lessard 24th and Bedard 26th.

Shane Macdowell gave Cory and Steve a hand with waxing this weekend, which was a big help and gave us great skis again, as usual. Shane also gave Steve a play buddy in the pool at our hotel. Picture a six-year-old birthday party with only 2 kids, a pool and a waterslide. We actually had a water slide, albeit a little too rusty for my liking.

The second day of racing was a team sprint relay. Teams of three raced three 1km laps in a relay format. Among stiff competition both men and women placed fourth.

One thing that must be clarified after talking to some Dartmouth babes (pretty standard), Apparently there was some confusion, evidently they thought Kevin Rose’s Mohawk was an attempt to copy the Dartmouth freshman boy’s Mohawk tradition.

1.Please do not put Kevin and Dartmouth in the same
sentence; he is in a whole other league.

2. Kevin has had his Hawk since October

3. Kevin has made a lifestyle choice by having his hawk,
which has led the women to flock like the swallows of Capistrano, except for
Audrey Mangen who has yet to see the light. But is handicapped by the fact that
she goes to Harvard

4. Dartmouth is a safety school… just putting that out there

5. It’s news to us that Dartmouth invented the Mohawk, or
other sweet things like electricity and cars

6. UNH would destroy you in a dance off

7. The UNH guys are really ridiculously good
looking…Dartmouth…not so much

8. Dartmouth has green Mohawks, and Kevin’s Mohawk is blue.
Learn your colors!

Both Friday and Saturday ended up being great days for skiing. There was solid skiing but there is still room for improvement. One thing that probably could not get any better was Perry Thomas Krumping the shit out of UVM girls. HOLD ON, that doesn’t mean what you may think, but it was the “performance of the day” and deserves a shout out… Is that the second week in a row Perry?

 

Yours truly,

D. McGuffin

 

 

Tales of the Van

UVM Carnival

 

After nearly a two-week break fromracing, the Nordic team loaded up the buses and headed for the hills in Stowe. The Carnival was hosted by UVM at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe VT. Despitelacking snow in much of the northeast, conditions at Trapps were decent. The volunteers did a great job getting the trails race ready, and even threw downsome rocks for traction on the steeper hills.

Racing this weekend was a slightly different format than usual. The carnival was combined with a NENSA Eastern Cup, basically meaning that there were about 500 hundred people scramblingaround and a few clueless J2s. Despite the mass crowds there was a lot ofexcitement in the air, getting everyone a little “jacked” to race, and scope babes after of course. Temps were cold and windy, typical Stowe weather. AnyaBean was heard saying that the weekend was “cold as a witch’s tit”.

The first day of racing was a 5k classic for the lovely UNH wild kittens and a 10k classic for the bros. Rounding out the top three for the ladies was Natasha “Canada Eh?” Kullas in 8th place, Liz “Lurp” Guinney in 13th and Anya “My favorite color is pink but I will still beat the shit out of you” Bean in 22nd.  The Guys side was equally competitive and had showings of 11th for Dylan “McLovin” McGuffin,  Erik “the Swedish coffee sieve” Lindgren in 16th, and rounding it out for the guys was Mike “The Man” Lessard in 19th place. Harrison  “iambic pentameter” Harb also had a great race right behind Lessard in 20th place.

Kevin Rose had a big weekend himself on all fronts. The Hawk was looking especially good, and there was no lack of complements from the Ladies, who have apparently given him the name “hair”. The most common question Kevin “Hair” Rose heard this weekend: “Can I touch it?” usually referring to the Hawk. It was somewhat of a Patriotic theme, with colors red, white AND blue expertly placed next to one another by stylist Andrew “bro chill” Clemence. Kevin also made Faster Skier again! This might the most anyone on the team has been on the website this year… so it’s kind of a big deal. Stay tuned next week to see exactly how Kevin will up his game next!

 

We stayed at the Innsbruck down in the town of Stowe. The Innsbruck is very authentic and comes with all the amenities of a real Austrian chalet (as far as I can tell). Everything from Hot tub to Robes, with most of the team rocked for the majority of Saturday afternoon. This being said, and knowing our team as many of you do; the robes presented a little too much opportunity for “intentional wardrobe malfunctions” and for a short period things got a little absurd.  The girl’s team was far from freaked out, possibly even being the major contributors, but either way they were hanging around the robe-claddin Erik Lindgren a whole lot.

Day Two offered a 10k skate for men and women, as well as a prime opportunity for some members of the guy’s team to get “girled”, but we will deal with that shortly.

UNH gals posted these results: Beaner 13th, E Guiney 16th, Danielle “I never smile” Baron 20th with Katie “the flash” Miller right behind her in 21st.

The dudes had a tough day with McGuffin 3rd, Lessard 21st and Harb 34th. I should say that Andrew “ Bro Chill” Clemence had a terrific race and while he wasn’t on the Carnival team, would have skied to an impressive 28th.

Some of our guys were unlucky enough to get “girled”, meaning that the faster girls beat them. Some of these girls are actually nationally ranked and incredibly talented, but that does not get our guys out of being shamed into running a naked lap around the track. It’s not required by any means, but in the true UNH team spirit several guys, who will remain anonymous, braved the artic temps and raced around 400meters of pure misery. Those of you who have been following us this year, you may have noticed that streaking and brief nudity is a reoccurring theme for our team. I don’t really know what to say in terms of addressing this, especially to parents, other than: “Don’t Worry! We seem normal enough in public right?” ehhh….

What would another week be without taking another Jab at Dartmouth? Well this week the phrase “actions speak louder than words” came into play in the form of a safety school sign getting taped up on the window of the Dartmouth bus. This was a Mission Impossible type of maneuver and we actually placed the sign in a perfectly choreographed, three person strike. We had a window cleaner/glass warmer (so the tape would stick), there was the sign placer and then a cameraman to document the large scale “kick me” attack.

We’d like to think that the sign made it all the way to Hanover on the back of the bus, but I guess that will be one of the great mysteries of I-89 south.

Overall another pretty good weekend of ski racing for UNH. We finished 3rd overall, which is nothing to shake a stick at. Special thanks again to Cory, Steve and Shane for helping out, and to the parents for the food, cheering and athletic support. We head back to Trapps for Dartmouth Carnival/ Carnie crush weekend. Be sure to stay tuned to see who gets more valentines; Cory or Steve, and we will probably ski pretty fast too.

Over and out

DM

 

Tales of the Van Part

Dartmouth Carnival/Carnie Crush Weekend

This weekend saw us traveling back to Stowe for the Dartmouth Carnival. The weekend was kicked off by a Thursday training session. Thursdays are typically when the girl’s team come up with their most “clever” outfits (“Throwback Thursday”) and ski around looking like complete fools.  Staying true to fashion, they did this exactly this with a slight Valentines Day theme preparing for the upcoming holiday.

Knowing that Carnie Crushes were not going to write themselves, Erick Anderson decided to bring in the secret weapon, a full Where the Wild Things Are suit, complete with tail. Skiing around with Erick was interesting. The suit was “not only extremely stylish, but also very warm”. And stylish it was, Anderson was constantly getting looks, hoots and hollers, with the occasional newbie that apparently had never actually read the book. The Highlight of the ski came after skiing by former UNH skier, Corrine Woodbury and receiving a Wild-Thing-Worthy growl. Not sure if the growl was friendly or not, we continued skiing.

By now the Innsbruck Inn has started to feel like a second home. We took to the hot tub and robes without missing a beat. It goes without saying that where there’s robes there’s trouble…. We’ll just leave it at that for now.

Friday saw brought a 15 and 20k for the Ladies and Guys respectively. The conditions were good, Stowe had
apparently had slacked a little on putting gravel down on trails. The ladies skied well to Tasha “Heartbreaker” Kullas at 13th, Anya Bean “the Love Machine” in 16th and Danielle “The Seductress” Baron in 20th.

The guys had a rough day in the 20k. Dylan “McDreamy”(apparently his actually nickname on the EISA circuit… just sayin’) McGuffin skied to 16thplace, with Erik “Swedish love-ball” Lindgren in 19th and Mike “ Be Mine” Lessard in 21st.

The REAL work began that night preparing for the festivities the following day. Out came the construction paper, scissors, hearts, glue and a mild amount of censorship for the making of valentine poems. For those unfamiliar with the Carnie Crush tradition, it was apparently started by a UNH skier, back in the day, and has grown to a circuit-wide pre-valentines extravaganza.

Saturday brought 3x5k relays for
both men and women. The men skied to be the 6th scoring team. 5k is a distance that gets underestimated, and this race was a little bit of a shock to the system. With near sprint race speeds for a race that is about 4 times longer, you are more than likely to spend some time in the “pain cave”. “I had to hold in the barf because I knew I wouldn’t get any kisses if I smelled like throw-up”, reported a UNH skier. This race gives a better appreciation for theladies who regularly ski 5k and dominate. The relay was no exception, with one of the more exciting relays I have watched in a while. The Ladies were “ in the hunt” for most of the race, and after some great skiing finished as the 5th scoring team.

After cooling down and refueling, round two for the day began: CARNIE CRUSH!

Tensions were high as awkward Nordic skiers meandered around looking for the lucky recipient of their valentines through the crowd. A crowd of a hundred people watched as Middlebury gave out the prestigious “Midd Top 10” of which I was an embarrassed participant. Erick “Where the wild things are” Anderson was awarded the even more exclusive SLU top 6, showing what he is really made of.  The UNH ladies did not bring any robes from the Innsbruck, thank goodness, but they were heatin’ things up in the Stowe parking lot and there was no shortage of blushing.

Kevin Rose came through again and showed his true colors. Turns out that color is pink with hearts….shocking right? Kevin stole the show the entire weekend and could barely lift his arms by Saturday afternoon from pushing away all the babes climbing all over him. Dartmouth has a tradition of all the freshman getting green hawks, but I will let Aubrey Smith from faster skier do the bashing this week, saying: for style – and theme – points, the ‘hawk on Kevin Rose (UNH) took the day. Wow for such a long tradition, you’d think Dartmouth would have their game together a little more. Then again should we really be that surprised?

There were poems, songs, and provocative dancing. Destiny was played out at the Trapp Family lodge in front of teammates, coaches and parents. Cory Schwartz set a precedent for Carnie Crush weekend. In a surprise decision, he was awarded an honorary Midd top 10 , in actuality he is number 11, but I will go so far as to say that there has never been a coach who has been presented with this highest honor. Schwartz was very modest about his award and made casual conversation with other coaches, asking “ How many Midd top 10’s have you had?” and “ Top 10 is that bad?” Besides his overwhelming modesty, I asked Schwartz his secrets for being such a stud. “Well basically I mill around pretending like I have no idea what’s going on, and act like I don’t care.” Well-played sir!

The Schwartz-Munsulick Carnie crush competition came out as a draw. Munsulick and Cory were tied at one apiece, leaving the competition to be settled next year. Although I think Munsulick got his from the Dartmouth men’s team… that still counts right?

See you at Prospect this weekend!

DM

 

 

Tales of the Van Part

Williams Carnival

This weekend of racing brought us to Prospect Mountain, in  the far reaching south Western corner of Vermont.  The drive over was our second longest of the year, but apparently not long enough for Bjorn, the swede, who wanted to “stop many times and drink a lot of coffee”. We should look into possibly getting some form of intravenous coffee injection system for him. When we arrived at Prospect after only ONE coffee stop, it really felt like winter with some of the most snow we have seen all year.

We spent the weekend with the Sandquists, Parents of former skiers, who have a really cool, big old Victorian (I think), and who definitely cooked some of the best pre race meals we’ve had

Friday brought a classic race, 5k for the ladies and 10k for the men. We arrived at Prospect to e few inches of new snow only to see the piston bully just heading out to groom, something that should have been done about 5 hours before, but better late than never I suppose.  Conditions were soft, and tough. For the ladies we had Kullas in 11th, Guiney in 23rd and Abigail Taylor with another outstanding race in 26th. The men’s side was a little rougher with McGuffin in 18th, Bedard 23rd and Lindgren 26th.

Joe Miller stepped up the food table yet again with the introduction of a grill + Meat which equaled delicious burgers. Joe might not realize that busting out the grill means it might be hard to live without at the Middlebury Carnival, so….

Saturday was skate and again was a 5k and 10k for women and men respectively. The women had a great day with Kullas in 6th, Guiney 11th and Beaner 14th.  The men’s side was McGuffin 12th, Lessard 15th and Harb in 22nd.

UNH finished 3rd overall in the carnival this week. Another good one for the wildcats. Thanks Again to the Sandquists for their hospitality and great cooking and to the parents for another awesome food spread after the races. This up coming weekend will be the final carnival of the season and the Eastern Conference Championships in Middlebury. Hopefully we will cap off a great season of racing with a great final carnival.

See you there

DM

P.S. Joe do you think the grill will fit in the back of your
Subaru

 

Tales of the Van Part

Middlebury
Carnival-EISA Regional Championships

 

Some of you may have noticed some interesting weather this past weekend…

While Middlebury is in a bubble in many ways, it was still somehow affected by the crazy weather us normal folks also experienced. As a result, races were pushed back to Saturday and Sunday. What did this mean for the Nordic team? Well instead of having the normal oatmeal breakfast before racing on Friday, we got to chilax, drink as much coffee as we wanted (OH YEAH BJORN!) and enjoy a delicious hearty breakfast of pancakes, snausage and eggs.

For those unfamiliar with the Middlebury Carnival tradition, we typically stay at the Waybury Inn, a wonderful place with seemingly unlimited chocolate chip cookie supplies and where the hot chocolate flows like wine. It’s the kind of place you would expect to find a wardrobe that leads to Narnia or something. But anyhow after breakfast, a few of those cookies and looking for the portal to Narnia, we navigated our way up the Midd Gap to the Breadloaf ski center, where we did some easy pre-race skiing and scoped babes, you know the usual.

Saturday’s weather was no walk in the park.  It was more like a one legged skip through a booby-trapped jungle with lions and tigers and terrestrial giant squid (possible exaggeration). This kind of weather is especially perfect when it’s a classic day… uh not. The weather went from blue skyies to fresh snow, to rain, to snow, to sun in about an hour.

All kidding aside, Saturday was one of the most challenging wax days that I have ever experienced, and also one of the roughest final 5k. Danielle “Smiles” Baron led the charge for the ladies in 17th, followed by Abby “giggles” Taylor 25th and Anya “killer” Bean 30th.  The guys side went like this Mike “klister master” Lessard 18th, Dylan “I Like Snow” McGuffin 21st and Erik “Espresso roast” Lindgren in 24th.

My feeling after the race could be summed up with a “shoulder shrug”.  I guess I understand how Kevin “hair” Rose’s parents feel every time they see his Mohawk.

Because the Waybury Inn is so sweet, it was booked on Saturday night, and because the weather was acting like a little….. guy, we were forced to pack up camp and move to the Brandon Inn a few miles down the road. Brandon was a lovely town and we made lots of friends as we cleaned and waxed our skis out of the back of our Budget rental truck on mainstreet. Seriously are you telling me that there’s not a bunch of Nordic skiers with blowtorches, in the back of a rental truck, running around downtown Brandon on a regular basis? It is Vermont after all…. Kevin also made a new friend, apparently the “mayor” of Brandon, who took quite a liking to Kevin’s hawk and general persona. The toothless friend made several awkward advances that left Kevin questioning his hawk and Vermont in general.

Sunday was nothing but sunshine, smiles and 15 to 20k on the “ouchtown express”. The weather had done a complete 180 from Saturday and it was a real treat to be able to ski comfortably with no gloves or hat. The course was the same as the day before, only mass start, skate and about 3 times longer for the women  and twice as long for the men.  There was great racing, broken poles, broken skis, broken faces and broken hearts(kevin’s friend was still in Brandon feeling very rejected).

Results went down like this… Beaner in 12th, Baron in 16th and Abby “remember when I didn’t race Carnivals last year and now I am scoring for the team” Taylor in 18th! The guys results were McGuffin 6th, Lessard 12th and Lindgren 18th. This was one of the most fun but also hardest 20k s I have raced. The snow was slow, so even skiing hard it felt like you weren’t moving. I apparently don’t have a very strong relationship between my brain and the rest of my body (Shocking right?) and didn’t realize how hard we had been going until about 18k, where I didn’t just walk into the “pain cave”, I ran until I hit the back wall and then fell over onto some broken glass.

The food after the race was once again spectacular and I want to give a BIG final thanks to all the parents and friends who have contributed throughout the season. There really is nothing like hot food after a race. Thank You! There is also nothing quite like cooling down in a t shirt and we took full advantage of the phenomenal weather. Soon we had to pack up and head to the Middlebury snow bowl, yeah Midd has their own ski area-are you surprised? At the snowbowl we watched the annual Nordic team sprint, a 2 person relay that is about 500 meters. At stake this year were two large chocolate rabbits. Representing UNH was Kevin Rose and Danielle Baron.

Just to clarify this is a “fun race” and the only teams that take it seriously are the teams that take themselves too seriously…. Cough Dartmouth Cough Middlebury cough. Things were off to a great start, when inexplicably in the middle of the race the partner tag off between Rose and Baron turned into what looking like partner yoga with Nordic skis on. While the alpiners got a good look at what nordic skiing is really all about, Middlebury was busy cheating, shocking, trying to beat Dartmouth… but they will never beat UNH in the best looking competition. Booyah!

Thanks to everyone who has been following the Ski Team this year. Anya Bean, Tasha Kullas and yours truly will be heading to Steamboat Springs for the NCAA championship, with racing on March 11th and 13th. I will defiantly be checking in from Colorado.

Cheers

DM

 

Glossary of Terms

Ouchtown Express:
this is the train to ouchtown. It is painful and often slow. There is no
getting off until you have reached our destination.

Pain Cave: a cave
filled with pain, lots and lots of pain

Narnia:  It’s the place in that book, you know the one
with that guy who has goat legs

Mayor of Brandon:  A Crazy guy who has no teeth but no lack of
interest in Kevin Rose

Chilax: a
combination of chill and relax. Basically Erick Anderson’s life because he is
only taking 1 class this semester!

Snausage: The
“true” phonetic pronunciation of sausage

 

 

 

Tales of the Van: The
Final Chapter

NCAA’s Steamboat
Springs (It’s COLORADO!)

 

To start I apoligize for the delay. I have been busy shredding Tucks, Hot tubbing, straight chillin’, trying not to fail out ofschool and obviously scoping babes!

It’s not that often that I leave New England willingly, but I guess taking a trip to Colorado to ski race would qualify as a pretty good reason. Besides being one of the sunniest places on earth, Steamboat Springs was also the site of the 2010 NCAA Championships.

The early morning departure from Durham was followed by the largest pile of luggage ever assembled in the Logan airport. The check in procedure was too long to deal with before having any coffee, but soon after this was taken care of and we were watching free movies on the airplane courtesy of Jet Blue. I watched Couples Retreat, I’d give it 1 thumb up, followed by Up in the Air starring George Clooneyand some lady. This I’d give two thumbs up, except for the end, but I won’t ruin it!

We landed in Denver. If you’ve never been there, upon first arrival you might think that Rocky Mountain High by Jon Denver was a load of crap! However after a few hours of driving there was more than enough mountains and snow going over the passes. SO SKETCHY!

We got to the Hotel, “The Alpiner”.  Everything was nice, but I became worried when I got out of breath walking up the stairs… Oh Boy this week is going to be fun!  We skied around the next day, and the next and the next day and the next day etc. Skiing was punctuated by coffee in the morning, at a place that sounding like what happens the morning after eating Mexican food….”the Steaming Bean”…. Too Much?   Anyway we basically went there every day and quickly achieved local status. I’ll just say I caught the coffee babe winking at Cory more than once….

We took a trip to the hot springs up in the hills, which was more than worth the drive, mostly for the local color. Cutoff jean shorts, mullets, lots of saggy body parts and even a BUDWEISER KING OF BEERS tattoo! But the water was really cool, or hot and defiantly a highlight of the trip.

Finally the first race came, 5 and 10k classic. Tricky conditions for waxing, but Cory and Steve nailed the wax!  Beaner was 38th in her NCAA debut and Kullas the seasoned veteran was 21st. I had possibly the best classic race of my life, kicking my own ass into 10th.

We had another day of skiing, scoping out the local babes, and more shopping with the girls….ugh.  Over the course of the trip I watched multiple Dog the Bounty Hunter marathons, I think A&E is the station. This is the greatest thing I have ever watched, on television or real life and if you have not watched it I highly suggest you do. Just think tanner, dumber UNH police with more skin showing and pepper spray and paintball guns instead of real guns, chasing tweaking meth addicts around in Suburbans, and did I mention it’s in Hawaii?

Next day, 15 and 20k skate, mass start. I started in the first row (holy shit terrifying) and at about 2 minutes realized it was already the hardest 20k I have ever raced. I proceeded to ride the “ouch town express” at a cruising altitude of about 6800 feet all the way to 29th. The ladies raced later when the snow was much slower, cruising to Beaner 29th and Kullas 35th. One of the highlights for me while I was racing both days was the Alpiners coming to our races. They have no idea how good they are at cheering, at were actually so good they in trouble from an NCAA official. They bring the intensity and defiantly helped us bring our A game!

After a BBQ and power nap in the afternoon we went out to a smoke house. Cory looked at the menu and was immediately drawn to the Rocky Mountain oysters. Obviously he ordered some and only the bravest expanded their pallet to the “road less traveled” in other words we ate fried testicles. I had to try them, How many times can you find those in New Hampshire right? I would described them as fried clams that taste like chicken fingers…. Pretty good. Definitely another highlight.

Speaking of highlights, the following night was possible one of the funnest times I have ever had with Nordic skiers. Those of you who have made it to NCAA’s know what I mean, but for those who don’t …. Just picture a bunch of really fit, extremely good looking kids just ready to cut loose ( and there were BABES!)….. yeah REAL fun!

What was not so fun, was daylight savings time coinciding with an already early morning departure. Rough is the only world to describe it. No casualties however and everyone made it home safely, although I actually thought I was going to die when we were landing in Boston, ask Cory, Im serious, so terrifying!

Anyway, What I would call a great trip to end a great year of racing and for me a great college ski racing experience. I want to send a final thanks to Cory and Steve for another great year, all the parents who travel all over the place, just to get ignored by us before our races and the alumni and other supporters who make their way to the races. Your presence is felt and appreciated very much.  I just want to thank everyone who has been reading all year. This will be my last Tales of the Van.

 

Signing out

Yours truly,

Dylan McGuffin

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