These past two race weekends have flown by in a flurry of qualifiers for Junior Nationals, Eastern High School Championships and U16 Championships. And this team has QUALIFIED! While we don’t fixate on results and rankings, it is pretty cool for this team to be able to say that every skier qualified for EHSC. That, plus Elsa and Justice will be representing Team New England at Junior Nationals and Ann and BKL skier Caleb Zuckerman will be representing Team New Hampshire at U16 Champs.
The athletes offered some commentary about the races in Dublin, Holderness and Whitefield, and looked ahead to highlights in the championship season to come. Again, didn’t get everyone, but soon enough!
Share your race reflections from Dublin / Holderness / NH Series #2 (how have the races gone? Anything you’re particularly proud of?):
Hannah – Dublin was cold and I wasn’t feeling too great (going on three weeks since I first got sick). For the first time, I DNSed a race—and it turned out to be one of my better decisions. I woke up the next day without the usual pre-race adrenaline rush, ready to go have fun skiing the beautiful Holderness course. My process goal was to smile, and smile I did. Holderness was both my best and most fun race of the season…until NH Series #2 came along. I flew off the start line and hunted down the wave in front of me, saying hello to Ann. Themes of the race included big monster V2, smiling, and trying to keep up with Ann as she flew up past me on the last big hill before the finish. Go Ann!
Dirk – At Dublin the 3k did not go as well as the 1.5k. I felt very tired and my muscles were tired. I also could have sent it harder on the down hills. I was a little scared of the icy corners when my legs were tired. The 1.5k was much better and I did a good job pushing myself in general especially over the top of the last hill. Holderness was ok. I feel like I could have pushed a little harder in the first lap and caught Justice. The NH series was good, but I feel like I could have gone harder on the flat. Pacing was hard because I had no one to pace with and the course was very easy and fast.
Catherine –Dublin was fun! We had raced five times there earlier in the season on the 1.5k race course which made for a really fun race. I paced the 3k well; I had used all my energy by the last hill. On the downhill I was extremely tired and was just trying to hold on until the end, but I relaxed a little too much and I wasn’t able to make it around a corner and ended up off the trail and in a bush. It was not ideal. The rest of the race went well though. I had a very fast sprint to the finish and a great cool down with Elsa and Ann. I started the Holderness race at the perfect speed and kept it up throughout the 10k. It was my second 10k classic and I have learned to love that distance. I enjoy settling into a pace and pushing through it. Best race of the season!
Ann – Dublin was a pretty good day of races for me. I felt speedy during the first race, but wish I had been a little bit less cautious on the downhills. I was able to go hard in the 3k race, but had good recovery time between races and had a pretty great 1.5k, feeling less tired than expected. At Holderness, I had a great race but wish I had gone harder. It was difficult to go hard in the first section because it was so rolling, but I had a great second half to the race. I felt speedy and quick, but want to work on taking bigger strides when I “run” up hills. I felt super speedy and powerful in the sprint to the finish, which was so fun. Today at the NH Qualifier, I had a good race too. I was surprised that my heat, the first heat, was not as fast as I thought it would have been, with 2 of the racers gone because of JNs. I wish I would have gone out harder in the beginning, because Hannah quickly caught me. That being said, I would not have had as good of a race if she hadn’t caught me! I was able to chase after her as she used to powerful V2 on the flat and gradual uphills. I have found that I always go faster when chasing people and having people to set the pace. I felt especially powerful and speedy at the end, and was able to really push myself and pass Hannah on the last uphill. Thank you Hannah for pushing the pace and making me have a great race!
Spencer – I feel like I didn’t run myself into the ground in the first race at Dublin. The 1.5k, however, I felt like I really worked super hard and it paid off. I felt really powerful on the gradual downhills and flats. Then, at Holderness, I felt like I didn’t warm up as well, but I raced hard. I think my double polling in that race could have been better (better core-to-arms transfer of energy), but my striding felt strong and I kept my kick the whole race. In the second NH Series, my whole plan was to draft on Noah for a bit and then go all out for the last 3k or so. I think I did this, but on the final uphill and finishing straight, I was definitely feeling it! Overall, some good races!
Victoria – I’ve been really encouraged by how quickly my body has adapted back into the sport/racing after taking so many months away from athletics. While feeling pretty sick and crappy over the weekend, I’m proud of laying the negatives aside and giving my best efforts for each race. I’ve also been working on keeping a healthy perspective for races, and for the first time ever, I am able to feel content with just giving my best, even if the result was “bad.”
Elsa – Dublin and Holderness were both super fun, but bittersweet because they were the last Eastern Cup races! There were definitely lots of nerves in the air but I am so proud of how our team handled the charged atmosphere: with composure, grace, and lots of glitter to lighten the mood! 🙂
Which end-of-season races are you looking forward to? What goals do you have for the last month of the season?
Dirk – I am very excited for EHSC, its too bad that I didn’t make it to JN’s, but I still have another year. Hopefully I can do well at EHSC, maybe a podium.
Hannah – I’m looking forward to all the races I wind up doing—EHSC, Craftsbury relays, maybe Bretton Woods Marathon, and who knows what else. My goal is to smile in all of them, because I think I sort of forgot that recently. Turns out I go my fastest when I focus on enjoying the race and going hard because I want to, not because I have to. Also looking forward to being with an awesome group of NH teammates at EHSC.
Catherine – I am very excited for Eastern High Schools! It is always a highlight of the season. It is really fun to get to see skiers that I have known for years through the U16 and EHSC program.
Spencer – Can’t wait for EHSCs! I want to work on the technique tip that big sassy Hil gave me about my arms and upper body.
Ann – I am excited for EHSCs and U16s because it will be so fun to be with some of my HHS friends and to be with the team! Also I always love the Craftsbury relays because it is always so warm and beautiful, with so many fun people and such a low-key race!
Elsa – I’m looking forward to JNs, and also the club relays!! My goals for the last month of the season are to remain focused and motivated even as races are winding down, and to savor every moment with the team! 🙂
Victoria – The only race I have left, which is the club relays (Victoria will miss EHSC as she travels with family to Truckee for JNs cheering) . My goals are to spend a lot of time on skis, having fun and putting in some solid work for next winter as I continue regaining my fitness.
Favorite part of spring skiing?
Dirk – skiing FAST
Hannah – Norpining and long skis at Greens…can I beat last year’s record of latest spring ski? Last year was April 22 at the Skiway.
Spencer – Wearing a t-shirt and shorts in the super nice weather!
Ann – Wearing a t-shirt and enjoying the SUN!!!
Elsa – Being able to wear a t-shirt: even though I love winter, the feeling of warm weather on the horizon is so nice 😉
Victoria – Not really sure, but I look forward to skiing in places that I don’t normally get to ski at during the racing season and spending time with teammates. Also, T-shirt skiing is pretty great.