Today was a great day for cross country skiing in New England — with two celebrations — one in New Hampshire for the Caldwell Family and another to push forward the legacy of the sport in Vermont.
55 skiers, ages U16 through Masters, toed the line in an Invitational Race hosted by the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe,Vermont. The expert field of athletes, including three Olympians, navigated a grueling 10 kilometer course that finished at the Trapp Outdoor Center.
Ida Sargent of the US Ski Team/ Craftsbury Green Team took top honors in the women’ s race covering the course in 31 minutes and 34 seconds. Liz Stephen, Elizabeth Stephen, aka OMA, was hot on her heels taking second place, representing the US Ski Team and Burke Mountain Academy (32:09). Sun Valley XC Gold Team member, Kelsey Phinney, took the third position (32:38).
Adam Martin from the Craftsbury Green Team fought his way to victory in the men’s field, covering the course in 28 minutes flat. He was followed by Caldwell Sport’s, Kris Freeman, a mere 8 seconds behind. Ben Ogden, a junior sensation from the Stratton Mountain School, rounded out the podium 22 seconds behind Freeman.
Alex Lawson of Middlebury College took top honors for the junior women with a time of 35:25. Rena Schwartz from the Green Mountain Valley School took second place (36:01), followed by Lillian Fisher from the Stratton Mountain School (36:21).
Albeit Mr. Ogden placed in the Open Field, Karl Schulz, skiing for the University of Vermont, took the victory for the junior men with a time of 29 minutes and 17 seconds. Greg Burt, of the Green Mountain Valley School, followed in second place at 29:41, and Finn O’Connell of the University of Vermont crossed the line in third (29:54).
The NENSA Elite Invitational brought together a broad age range of the top skiers in New England and US Skiing, showcasing the talent of our cross country athletes. The event was made possible by the support of the Trapp Family Lodge and the Town of Stowe. Event sponsors included: Cabot Cheese, Sunrise Orchards, Ploughgate Creamery, Gallagher Brothers Honey and von Trapp Cheese. Kathy and Marty Hall graciously donated prize money to the winners of the overall field.
After the race our community gathered to celebrate at the von Trapp Bierhall, with awards and a Winter Kickoff Party, which supported the National Nordic Foundation (NNF), and NENSA.