Coaches were busy prepping skis early yesterday morning for the last event at U16 Championships, the exciting mixed team relays! This event began with a girls leg of a 2.5 km classic loop, followed by a boys 2.5 km classic loop. Then they would tag off to a girls skate 3.3 km skate, and a boys 3.3 km skate would finish the race. The 2.5 km loop was on the same course they had been using for both of the individual races, and the 3.3 km loop was the 2.5 km race course, with an extra loop added at the top of the climb.
The girls lined up by state for the mass start which began at 10 am. After a clean start, they snaked their was around the first turn, and up the long hill.
New Hampshire teammates Elsa Bolinger and Amanda Vansant came in first to the tag zone, with Grace Mattern from New York and two Vermont teams hot on their heels. The boys classic leg took off, with the two New Hampshire teams in front chased by Midwest skier William Nemeth with the fastest time on this leg, Greyson Davis from Vermont with the second fastest time on this leg, followed by Maine skier Carter McPhedran, Massachusetts skier Benjamin Buchheit and New York skier Teddy Warfle.
Greyson Davis for team Vermont handed off first to Camille Bolduc the girls skate leg, closely followed by William Nemeth from the Midwest, handing off to Celeste Alden, and New Hampshire skier Daniel Bandler right behind them tagging teammate Catherine Stowe. The chase was on, and Camille held the lead, with Celeste and Catherine right behind her.
Camille came in with the lead, and handed off to Jackson Young, followed by Celeste Alden tagging Jake Van Hefty from the Midwest. Catherine Stowe tagged Quinn Wilson from team Vermont, Amelia Tucker from Massachusetts handed off to Linden Niedeck, and New Hampshire’s Catherine Bregou was next after a fast leg tagging Samuel Murray. Another Vermont team with Samatha Nolan came in right behind tagging Mathias Boudreau Golfman.
It was a fight to the finish between Jackson Young on team Vermont and Quinn Wilson from team New Hampshire, with Jackson beating Quinn to the line.
Linden Niedeck had the fastest time on this leg to bring team Massachusetts to third place. Samuel Murray finished fourth for another New Hampshire team, followed by Jake Van Hefty from the Midwest (guest teams don’t score team points so this team was not counted), with Mathia Boudreau Golfman skiing for team Vermont coming in fifth.
Things wrapped up after the races with a raffle, and then the naming of the top 5 relay teams.
Then the overall state points were announced, with New York in fifth (they didn’t have a full team), Maine in fourth, Massachusetts in third, New Hampshire in second, and Vermont taking first place! Team Vermont was then awarded the U16 Championship cup.
Congratulations to all the racers on a superb weekend of racing. It’s always great to see skiers getting to know others from their state, and from around the East. This Championship event is a great step in the NENSA development pipeline, but also a chance for educating skiers on FIS racing rules. For some it can be the first time racing as a team, cheering on teammates and rooting for their state.
Thank you to the Gore Mountain Nordic Center, volunteers and staff for putting on high caliber races. Thank you to NENSA’s Associate Sponsors L.L. Bean, Nokian Tyres and Swix for all your support.