Fort Kent Weekend: Saturday Skate Sprint

by John

*EHHH EHHH EHHH EHHH*, we woke with a start in the apparent attic of our temporary housing, the time was six o’clock and brisk it was at that time. The boys awaited the eventual call to arms by their numerous alarm clocks, but for a while they stayed there hands and pretended to sleep for just a bit longer. The night had been long and surprisingly eventful for a train had passed right next to there home and woken everyone, except andy… However today was a new day and our band of adventurers got up and got ready for the first eastern cup race of the year.

After joining the females in the group for a hearty breakfast they set out into the frigid morn, in search of glory and victory. Upon arrival at the venue after a rather long ride by motorized carriage they split up and got down to business. The girls went in search of some place to warm up for there race and the boys relaxed a bit longer before they followed the girls out for their warm ups as well. The race that day was to be a skate sprint around a course that offered no rest and a variety of things that would challenge all who happened upon them, strategy and fitness was the name of the game that day. At nine o’clock sharp, they all raced quite well, with four of the five of them making heats, three of those four making open heats. Then the boys went off and not quite up to par with the counterparts not a single one made heats. However they all raced well and, one of them almost made heats falling a mear three people short… less than a second! After cool downs had been had by all the girls started to warm up for there afternoon race. Hoping for another successful race they set out and did their best, and they all did admirably yet again but alas all but one of them did not make finals. That one person by the skin of their teeth held on and raced yet again, for the joy of the sport and the pure elation that it brought her to race along those groomed trails in paradise… if paradise was a consistent -2 degrees fahrenheit. While our brave amazon raced around the course her one last time, the rest of us went back to the house for some R&R.

The time at home was indeed relaxing as many of us found time to do homework or play card games, and some of us even slept. Once our final racer and our coaches came back home dinner was started, and it was pasta. It took quite a while to cook but it was an enjoyable experience to all, as greta and andy had a seemingly great time cooking the brownies, and we got to hear some of Greta’s great piano playing skills. Once dinner was upon us, we sat down and dug in, and with Dennis missing dug is a very appropriate word for what we did. Manners were out the window for this dinner.

Woodstock Time Trial

by Hannah

Saturday morning at Centerra dawned cold and frosty, although we knew our friends up in Fort Kent were probably colder and frostier. Excitement was somewhat visible above the many layers of coats, especially among the five 7-8 skiers who had come to join us five JNTers in our timetrialing endeavors. I wish I, the sleepy teenager, had as much energy as the 8th graders, who spent the morning trying to balance on the toes of their boots, throwing snowballs, and stealing hats.

When we arrived at Woodstock, the first thing we noticed was the snow. THE SNOW!! The entire golf course was covered in an immaculate blanket of sparkling powder, freshly groomed and waiting for us to ski on it. Honestly, they should have just held the first Eastern Cup at Woodstock.

After traipsing into the nordic center to change in unusually luxurious locker rooms (the women’s has several armchairs), we leaped out onto the snow and skated happily across the gently rolling terrain, while Keith and Welly tried to figure out where on earth the course went. Once that problem was resolved, we previewed the course, which was for the most part rolling, with some lovely sections of tuck-skate downhills, and wended its way through a very muddling maze of trails. Guiding us through this maze, we had only the map Welly had drawn on his hand (described by him as a fish with a straight tail that bent a little). Fortunately, during the actual time trial, the course was clearly marked, or some of us would never have returned!

Speaking of actual time trials, I suppose you want to hear about the actual time trial, not just me rambling on with setup. Very well, here goes…

photo: Woodstock Inn Nordic

We started in 30 second intervals, with Dennis all alone running all of the timing. I don’t know how he managed to keep track of all that! All I can say is that it was very humbling to have Jack Lange blast past me about two minutes into my race 🙂 I mostly focused on the technique pointers people had given me, and for the first time in a lot of races, I actually was not terrified by any of the downhills on the course. On the other hand, there was a universally hated uphill, after a very long glorious rollercoaster ride of downhills, that I am pretty sure was steeper than Murterbachen! (I know I spelled that wrong)

Anyway, fun was had by all, and that’s all I have to say 🙂

Fort Kent Weekend: Thursday & Friday

Thursday   by Perrin

This weekend we had our first Eastern Cup weekend of the year! The races took place in Fort Kent, Maine, a small town less than a mile away from Canada. It was a nine hour drive to the venue, so for the first time in my JNT career, only half of our team traveled to race. We all met at the van on Thursday afternoon to pack up. Soon we were on our way, all nine of us in one van (only one van!–we haven’t all fit in one van since my freshman year!). Evan and Scottie piloted our vehicle like experts, and after a stressful van-ride for Johanna, we stopped at Whole Foods for dinner and Johanna found out that she had been accepted to Brown! We all ate dinner and continued on to the familiar Pleasant Street Inn in Waterville, Maine where we spent the night.

Friday Travel   by Greta

After a hearty breakfast of granola, fruit (huge thanks to Billy’s Inn), and fire cider, we hit the road to complete our four hour drive to Eagle Lake. The ride was filled with homework and laughter – and “the question game”. We made a bathroom stop along the way at a comical rest area that housed signs suggesting possible ways for drivers to stretch out their limbs after a long car ride. Once we departed the rest area, fully stretched, we drove along through the north woods of Maine.

Even though the windows were coated in frost and ice, due to the subzero temperatures that followed us throughout the day, we caught glimpses of the snow-covered Katahdin in the distance. After a series of bumpy dirt roads, we arrived at our destination, the Eagle Lake Inn. We unloaded our bags from the back of the van, and proceeded into the warm Inn. Once inside the Inn, we changed into ski clothes and prepared to make the trek to the Fort Kent Winter Sports Center to ski!

Friday Ski   by Malcolm

Once Evan had shared a few words of wisdom with the group, we headed out to preview Saturday’s sprint course—a fast, hilly, 1.4k loop—and begin to strategize for the next day’s race. We were skiing not just on real snow, but on a course that wasn’t surrounded by grass. What more could you ask for? While Scottie and Evan finished testing wax, the athletes engaged in an intense game of Up Jenkins full of secrecy, betrayal, and distrust. It was clear we were in for a fun weekend.

Friday was also Keelan’s birthday, complete with cupcakes and a card from home!

*** And we can’t forget… On Friday Night, Malcolm, Perrin, and John all received great news! Malcolm was accepted to NYU’s film program, Perrin to Bowdoin, and John to RIT!!! An exciting few days for FS Seniors!


Stay tuned for Saturday and Sunday race (and travel) posts, and posts from the half of the team that time trialed and trained locally!

Time Trial at Rikert

by Catherine

time trialing

Today, we arrived at 7am at Centerra. It was great to see snow and many skiers were excited to get on snow to practice classic skiing. We dropped our skis off to get waxed, and headed into the lodge to grab some food and get ready for a couple hours. Soon after, we went outside and started warming up. The skis were still being waxed, so we ran at L1 around the campus. We found out that the other team was skating and we were classic skiing. All of the skiers were very flexible and it worked out really well. We continued to stay warmed up, either by running or skiing. Some people were trying out their skis for the first time on the line, but everything worked out really well. The race was very fun and fast! After the race, the group skied some more and played on skis. It was great to have so much snow and to be on our skis again. We loaded up the van and drove home.

practicing starts

First Team Trip to Snow!

by Keelan and Perrin

This was a very exciting day as it was the first day we would be on snow as a team. After packing up the van – a little bit of an adventure as it had been a whole summer since we had packed up the van – we got on our way to Proctor Academy. Proctor was extremely generous and allowed us to ski on their one kilometer loop covered in man made snow. We arrived around 9 am and were greeted by the refreshing sight of a perfectly groomed trail. We unloaded the van and got our skate skis on. Because it was many of our first times on snow, we spent a lot of time skiing without poles to practice balance and get the feel for skiing on snow again. Our short loop included an agility course, jump skating, and 180’s (which resulted in many face plants). While we skied, Dennis was hard at work in the wax garage, expertly spreading klister on our classic skis. He kindly waxed all of our skis so we could have more time on snow-thank you Dennis!

Switching to classic skis, we reversed directions around the loop and attempted to kick up the hills. Evan led us through some fun technique and speed drills, and we even had some head to head sprints and finishing lunges. After Evan demonstrated his flawless uphill striding, the coaches watched us individually and shared their technique wisdom. The three hour ski was topped off with some double poling and trying to imitate the world cup sprinters that raced today. We were all very ready for some food and rest, so we repacked the van, and got back on the road for the trip home, during which we all were lucky enough to listen to the incredible song “Man’s Not Hot” by Big Shaq (highly recommend).