Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alps




We woke up this morning to dense fog. We had planned to go alpine skiing, but we were really socked in and the weather forecast was for fog all day. After about 2 minutes of discussion, we decided to take our chances and hope that we could get above the fog on the mountain.
Sometimes a couple of pictures are worth a 1000 words... enjoy the views.....we did!!!!!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Obertilliach

We had a long, but beautiful drive today, through the Black Forest of Germany, northeastern Switzerland, western Austria (to Innsbruck), over the Brenner pass into Italy, then through northern Italy and back into Austria and to Obertilliach. Obertilliach is a small town nestled on the side of the hill with lots of snow, great x-c skiing and an alpine mountain. The town is at 1450 meters (about 4800 feet) and there is plenty of white stuff.

Our hotel is very nice :) . We just finished an excellent dinner and the kids are headed to the hot tub. Tomorrow we plan to go alpine skiing. It looks as if the lift will take us above tree line to the top of the ridge. They got about 14 inches of snow last night on top of a five foot base in town (no doubt there is more on top) so it should be nice!

It is always fun driving around Europe at this time of year because at the lower altitudes, the grass is green and it is warm, but when you drive over the passes you get into major snow. Luckily there was no precipitation today and we had pretty clear sailing with some nice views.

Everyone is in good spirits and things are fine!

Relay Race?



Well….. I guess there is a first time for everything! This morning we got up for our 7:15 pre-race jog and were surprised to see that they were already serving breakfast. We kept the jog short , had a good breakfast, packed up our stuff and headed down for the relay race.
As we drove into the race site, we were surprised again. There were people starting their race and it was only 8:30. All of the races had begun at 9:30 and no one had told us of any change! We parked the van and carried our stuff over to the side of the course. Sure enough, they were racing and it looked like the women. I hustled over to pick up our bibs, but the bib van was locked and empty. I looked at the race clock and was surprised again… it read 9:35! Uh oh.. a little bell went off in the back of my head… daylight savings time must have happened in Germany last night.
Sure enough, they had changed the clocks and no one had bothered to tell us. We are not sure if it was because they were afraid we might win after yesterdays race or if it was just a combination of oversight and the fact that we are staying up on the hill without internet access and are thus completely isolated. Regardless, we missed the race ☹.
We picked up a start sheet and saw that we had not even been entered as promised. So we decided to take an easy ski and watch the men’s race. It was fun to watch and we were glad that we did not have to wax as it started snowing just before the race and then stopped snowing half way through. Zero’s would have probably been the way to go.
After our quick internet fix in Hinterzarten, we returned to Feldsburg to clean and pack our ski bags. The kids then went to play in the giant snowbanks, hopefully we can include a picture!
After dinner, it cleared up and we hiked up the ski hill and took pictures and slid down on plastic bags :)
Tomorrow we drive to Obertilliach, Austria. If the weather cooperates, we will probably spend a day alpine skiing and another touring the x-c trails before we head to Italy and Switzerland.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Classic Race



We had our classic mass start races today in a cold rain. We have not been able to find a torch so we waxed last night in our wax room and hoped for the best. We woke up to more snow and had some worries because we had put on a thin layer of purple klister covered with universal klister! Luckily, as we drove off the mountain, the snow turned to rain and we had good skis.

The J1 girls had a 10 km race and the boys raced 15km. The 5 km course is all in fields, but it is very hilly! Isabel had a great race and made the podium with a third place!! Gage and Megan were 10th and 11th for J1’s and Karmen skied a solid race and placed 10th. This was exciting because everyone did quite a bit better than on Thursday.

The boys have been fighting a little cold. Doug and Austin Caldwell decided to sit out the race and try to do the relay tomorrow. Tom quit after 5 km, but Austin Cobb had a solid race, moving up from 25th after one lap to 17th at the end.

It is interesting that there are not tons of people racing at the National Championships. The top skiers are very good, but there is not a lot of depth. The biggest numbers are with the younger ages. Lots of J2’s, a medium amount of J1’s and then a few OJ’s and Seniors. No doubt some of the top skiers are still racing up in Scandinavia because the world cup just ended. It seems that they target the top Juniors pretty early and there is not much of a race circuit if you are not picked ( Jurgen Uhl, from UVM, mentioned this in his interview on the EISA web page earlier this winter).

Tomorrow we have a medly relay (1 classic, 2 skate legs). We will drive back down to Hinterzarten this afternoon to get on internet and check the weather so we can wax our skis!

Blog from Gage

We just walked up our 70 steps of stairs coming back from dinner and I just witnessed Izzy with wavy hair after she took out her cornrows Megan gave her earlier today. Even though she looks incredibly cute, she should stick to straight hair. Today we “tested wax” even though all I did was put on the klister Sverre told to and walked around on them for about 30 minutes. The snow as slow as snow can get, and we don’t really know what to wax yet (I probably didn’t help much)… We don’t know how far we are racing tomorrow, but we do know it’s a classic mass start. Even though you are probably jealous of my ski where I walked up the hills and had trouble standing up on the down hills because I kept almost falling on my face from my gripping skis, the highlight of my day was when we decided to have a snowball fight with about 8, 8 year olds who were in some sort of recess. Even though none of them were throwing the snowballs hard (and of course we were mostly just throwing ours in the air) it was scary because they would run at us until they were a few feet away and then throw. Yes, the snow is awesome snowball snow. You don’t even have to pack it!! But, soon we had to split because the teachers came out. Yeah, that was great, six teenagers screaming and running down the street when we saw their teachers coming. I can just imagine the kids standing on their snow, laughing at us.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Germany report from Isabel

Germany has been amazing; there is a ton of snow. I think we have gotten two more feet of snow since we arrived because everyday it has dumped about six inches. We spent our first day here trying to find a bank and the ski area. The excursion took about five hours but it was worth it because we got to go to Freiberg, which is a pretty German city, and we walked around for a little while.
On Wednesday, Austin and I turned seventeen and we had a great birthday! The day began with a skate ski and some level three at the race venue. It was awesome because it was a huge blizzard. The wind was extremely hard because the entire race takes place in a field. The course is really hard, but it has a lot of fun down hills. On the way back to the hostel we drove through a town called Hiterzarten because we were trying to find internet. We ended up parked outside a hotel and used their internet. Hiterzarten is a cute little town where World Juniors are going to be held next year. We took some pictures of the town, the buildings are amazing, most of them are old and have the cool European roofs. There are small towns scattered around the hillsides and it seems as though they all rely on tourism because there are little trinket shops and hotels everywhere.
In the afternoon, we all went to the alpine mountain across the road where we went sledding and jumping on our skis. This soon turned into a great game of king of the hill. It was girls against boys and surprisingly we were pretty evenly matched, no team ever won. This game went on for about an hour, and at the end everyone was soaking wet and very cheerful. Luckily, no one got hurt; the worst injury was Tom’s small battle wound. We all had a great day and it was an awesome birthday!
On Thursday, we had our first race, a 5k skate for girls and a 10k skate for guys. We arrived at the race venue and we were stunned by how few racers there were. There were twenty-three J1 girls and only five OJ girls, so in every race Karmen is guaranteed a top five! The race went pretty well for all of us, Megan was our fastest girl and Douglas was our fastest boy. An elementary school must have been let out to come watch the races because each time someone came into the finish there would be forty little kids cheering for you and doing the wave; it was awesome! Karmen was the first American to start and when the announcer said she was from America, everyone around the stadium cheered, it was cool to know that they support American skiing. After the girls race, we went out and cheered on the boys, we got to see Tobias Angerrer race and Megan got an awesome picture of him. The day went well and everyone had a lot of fun. For most of us, this is our first time in Europe and it is even better than we expected!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SMS has major impact at Easterns






8 SMS nordies plus Matt Boobar made the drive way up into the Maine north woods last Friday. After bouncing and bumping through the frost heaved roads we arrived to tons of perfect snow in Rangeley, Maine at the Base of Saddleback Mountain.

The event was the Eastern High School Championships which pits state teams of 48 (24 girls and boys) from, ME, NH, VT, NY, MA in a 4 race, three day point series. The highlights included 12 SMS top 3's, Skyler and Hilary winning the sprint, the very tight VT versus MA relay involving 4 SMS skiers, Heather's sprint finish in the 7.5k mass start and Team VT taking back the overall title.

We definitely want to send a special thanks to the entire staff of VT and MA coaches from various public and private schools. They all teamed up to support SMS skiers and their entire state teams.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We made it

We are in Germany. Lots of snow, but no phone or internet so it is tricky. We drove down to Freiburg today. It is very nice! Tomorrow we hope to ski the race course trails and then we start racing on Thursday.
Everyone is doing well on our grand adventure. Don't panic if you do not hear much from us. We#ll try to write something here every 2-3 days!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekend Action

Matt is at the Eastern High School Championships with Skyler, Hilary and 6 of our J2 girls; Poppet has taken Mac, Alyssa and alum Patrick O'Brien to the Sugarloaf marathon. Sverre leaves with 8 of the older kids for German Nationals tomorrow. They will then travel through Austria and Italy before their final race in Switzerland.

March is Championship month and everyone is ending the season in style!

Yesterday the Brattleboro Reformer ran a nice article on Parker. Go to www.reformer.com/ci_11956804 to read the article!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Snowboarding!!!


The US Open is in Town!
Guess what we've been up to this week.....


Thanks Michael Cobb for the comp tickets.


Tyler did not want to go. Mac had to drag him.


These puppies are BIG! The snowboarders think we are crazy for what we do, but now we know who the really insane ones are.

Good luck to our boarders! It's fun to watch you guys in action. You're amazing. Watch out for us as we make our way down the slopes on our matchsticks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Canadian Nationals

Tom and I traveled to Canadian nationals in Duntroon Ontario with Pete Phillips and three Burke J1 boys. We were a little short of snow but they were able to hold all the races. Our first races were the sprint relay and a 10k skate; both days were cold and very foggy. The relay went really well and the skate did not go so well. For the second half of the week the sun finally came out and Tom got a great tan! We had good weather and good skiing for the sprint, the 7.5k classic race, and the 15k skate. I felt good in the classic race and Tom had a decent sprint.
It was fun to get to know the Burke boys and during our study breaks we managed to get in a few shampoo wars and fine meals at Pizza Pizza. We saw Amy Caldwell and Camille Pepin, some fast Americans, and A LOT of Canadians! All in all it was a great week and thanks to Pete for including us!

The van ride was a bit long...

but Pete got us there...

and the races went well!

by Austin Caldwell

Monday, March 16, 2009

J2 Championships

We had a great time, brought home some hardware, and brought the title back to Vermont!


This picture sums it up!
Teammates: Alyssa, Hallie, Ashleigh & Mac (dressed up as the Holderness Bull). Just kidding! But I wouldn't put it past you Mac!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

SMS Girls repeat as High School National Champions!


20 Team N.E. J1/OJ girls led by Sverre during course inspection.


Parker is all smiles after winning three Golds!


Heather and Rachel with N.E. teammates and friends Tara and Corey


The SMS Girls skied great all week, earning top High School honors for the second year in a row! The SMS boys had great finishes as well. Doug Amos skied very consistent solid races all week, Skyler had a 4th place in the sprint and Austin Cobb skied above and beyond expectations with a 6th in the sprint and 12th in the Classic! They finished 3rd in the nation for High Schools behind an Alaska and a Montana school.



SMS J2 girls seen here with Team N.E. Teammates Jackson Rich and Sam Humphries.


Here are a few final stats for the SMS Nordies. We finished up with 7 all Americans, 2 gold and 2 silver medals. If we add '08 alums Parker Tyler (Utah) and Chase Marston (Middlebury), the medal haul is 7 gold and 3 silver medals and 9 All Americans.

Go to http://xcjuniornationals2009.org/ for all the race results!

Look for some specific story's from the SMS kids soon!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Quick Update from JO's

We just finished JO's. The last 2 days we had classic races and the New England Team rocked. Congratulations to all of them!!!!
Here are some highlights!
1)New England won the team trophy!
2) 5 SMS girls placed in the top 10 in Friday's individual race.
3) Heather and Cam touched off to Cory Stock with a 40 second lead in todays relay and Cory brought home the GOLD, extending the SMS streak to 14 straight years with at least 1 gold medal at JO's.
4) But... the day may have belonged to SMS alums... Parker Tyler '08 ( now U of Utah) won her 3rd gold of the week and Chase Marston '08 (Middlebury) won his second gold in the relay. Sophie Caldwell '08 (Dartmouth) was 5th at NCAA's and Pat O'Brien '06 (Dartmouth) was 7th at NCAA's.

CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE!

MORE NEWS TOMORROW!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mid Week JO Update

The weather has stayed near perfect and the racing has been intense as the top 350 XC skiers from across the country go at it on top of Donner Summit. The courses have been in perfect shape and the races have been fair and exciting
Monday we had the skate sprint race and the New England skiers did very well getting many top 10's and two victories including the Older Jr. women's race which was won by Parker Tyler (SMS'08) ! Fellow alum Chase Marston '08 placed 4th in the Older Jr. boy's race and we had 5 current students in the top 10 !
Skyler Davis '10 and Austin Cobb '10 placed 5th and 6th in the J1 category. These were fantastic results in very different ways. Skyler is an excellent sprinter and the big question was whether he could move through the rounds at the high altitude. He qualified first and went through his first two rounds perfectly, but in the finals his legs tightened up and he ran out of gas. He did everything correctly, he just did not have quite enough for the last round. Austin is a smooth, patient skier. He qualified 16th, but paced himself beautifully in the heats and passed higher qualifiers over the top of the last uphill and into the finish. Austin also pooped out in the A final, but 6th place was a great result!
In the J1 girls race, Megan Killigrew '09 and Hilary Rich '09 skied very well and ended 5th and 7th overall. Megan followed Skyler's path and was awesome. Hilary fell behind in her semi final so she conserved energy and then demolished the field in the B final.
Our J2 girls were all in the top 20, with Heather Mooney '11 skiing a very smart race and winning the B final easily.

Today we had the longer mass start skate races. They were tough for our New England team as a whole, but we did have some excellent results. Chase Marston became our second National Champion of the week when he skied away from the lead pack of 6 on the last uphill and carried his lead into the finish. Cambria McDermott '11 skied brilliantly, finishing 4th for J2 girls, and became SMS's 6th student to crack the top 10. Megan probably skied the best 10 km of her life, finishing 12th and everyone else skied well.

On Friday we will have 5/10 km classic races and the competition will conclude with classic relay races on Saturday

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Skiing

So we had a nice March snowstorm yesterday, and what better way to use the skinny skis in the wet snow than to go waxless (and uphill-less). We did do about 20 minutes of aerobic work, skiing from the Sunbowl up to Ursa, but after that, well.... it was just plain fun.


Foggy mid way up on Ursa lift


Getting on the gondola for run #2


Sunny on the top!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Craftsbury Spring Fling

While it may be nice out in sunny California, we at home have been having some fun of our own. It has been maybe even a little bit warmer here, and probably just as good skiing. No, maybe perhaps better because we have lots of OXYGEN here! :) The girls packed up Friday after classes and headed to Hanover for the night - pizza, a movie, and a facebook lesson for me. (Now I know how many friends qualifies as a lot on facebook.) We also confirmed that Sophie was actually working on her paper and not on the computer facebooking as we tried to contact her to go say hi (cause we were right across the street), but no response. Good girl Soph!

Saturday we headed up to Craftsbury for the Spring Fling race after much consternation over what to wear given the soaring temps. Fortunately it wasn't that warm and we weren't all forced to race in jog bra's - much to my relief! We met Mac & Tyler there, and soon after discovered that there was no 10k race, just a 15 and 30k. (Tyler's eyes were wide.) I told the boys they could ski the race together, just don't let any of the girls beat you. (Guess they forgot that included thier coach too!! Guys!!!) Anyway - the course was great - about 8k of nice easy terrain in the middle of the race. One stream crossing that Ashleigh stopped and contemplated before sloshing through, and lots of dirty snow. Oh and 1k of good up before the final k of the race, but we all prevailed and had a super time. Alyssa is all fired up for her 30k now in Sugarloaf, and maybe we can even convince Tyler that he needs to come too so he and Mac can ski that together!

Hello to all out in California! We miss you! Make us proud, ski fast and smile!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

JO Update

Imagine a blue bird sky, bright sun and temps in the high 20's. Now add in an 8 foot base of packed powder, wide rolling trails and great views. I know that's hard to imagine for those of us from the East, but that's what we have here!

We have a group of 50 of the top Jr skiers from New England here for Jr Nationals on the summit of Donner Pass. There are 10 different divisions of the US with their color coordinated race suits charging around the trails in preperation for the races which begin tomorrow with the sprint race.

Matt is the Head New England coach and he is busy organizing the rest of us. So far, everything has been great and we are all excited to get racing. We have 12 SMS skiers (plus several alums) here and we are hoping for some great results.

More news and pictures tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

BKL Festival 2009

The trolls were out in force again this year, as Notchview hosted their third BKL Festival with it's own special flavor. SMS coaches and athletes went down to watch the action, forerun a few races, cheer on our local BKL skiers, and support our own SMS'er Tyler Foulkes. Ty had a great weekend, wrapping up his BKL career with a fourth place finish in the individual classic race. Nice going "T-bone"! (Quite an improvement from 25th last year.) And congrats to all the other BKL skiers out there. There was some fine skiing going on this weekend.


"Flying Troll" Russell Boswell
Photo Courtesy Kris Dobie


Many thanks should go out to all the organizers and volunteers that put on these Festivals. It is a huge undertaking from the heart. We certaintly appreciate your efforts to provide a wonderful event for the young nordic skiers in New England.

Wild Wings Classic Time Trail

We had a tune up time trial today at Wild Wings STC in Peru. Four inches of fresh powder and cold temperatures greeted the team and we ran multiple loops on Turkey/Grouse for the individual start race. Doug and Bridger had a tight contest in the 10km race and Mac showed that he is getting back into form by beating all of the girls in the 5 km race. Here are the results followed by lap times. It is great having the close results; it helps everyone learn to work for each second on the courses.

10 KM
1) Doug 30:20 (7:20, 7:45, 7:37, 7:38)
2) Bridger 30:41 ( 7:16, 7:47, 7:52, 7:46)
3) J. Austin 32:10 (7:47, 8:02, 8:08, 8:07)
4) Skyler 34:20 (8:01, 8:39, 9:09, 8:31)
5) Tom 34:24 ( 7:58, 8:32, 9:09, 8:45)


5KM
1) Mac 16:56 ( 8:23, 8:33)
2) Hilary 17:04 ( 8:26, 8:38)
3) Karmen 17:26 ( 8:30, 8:56)
4) Megan 17:29 ( 8:21, 9:08)
5) Rachel 17:31 ( 8:40, 8:51)
6) Heather 17:38 ( 8:47, 8:51)
7) Gage 17:53 ( 8:45, 9:08)
8) Cam 17:57 ( 8:52, 9:05)
9) Issy P 17:58 ( 9:02, 8:56)
10) Hallie 18:32 ( 9:03, 9:29)
11) Alyssa 19:28 ( 9:17, 10:11)