2019 Gallagher Cup and Eastern Cup Champions

In 2014 NENSA began the tradition of honoring the top ranked male and female Eastern Cup skiers with the Gallagher Cup.  NENSA is pleased to announce that Callie Young (Dartmouth) and Josh Valentine (GMVS) are the 2019 Eastern Cup Champions – their inspired efforts are a perfect way to celebrate Mike Gallagher’s legacy as an athlete, coach, and community leader.  The two skiers who win this award each year do so by being consistently dominant in New England’s premier race series (winners are determined by the lowest average points from seven of the nine EC events).

Valentine racing at the Dublin Double Eastern Cup and Young at the Cheri Walsh Memorial. (photos Dave Priganc)

Callie Young raced in seven Eastern Cups with two junior category victories, in addition to competing in four EISA Carnivals for Dartmouth.  She ended the year second overall on the New England Junior National (JN) ranking list and attended JN’s in Anchorage, Alaska where she was a team leader with individual results of 4th, 5th and 9th in the U20 age category.  She then went on to anchor NE’s U20 National Champion Relay team.  Callie having fun and skiing fast at the Holderness Eastern Cup. Young is ranked 68th on the overall National Ranking List and 43rd for sprint.

Young still racing and having fun at the Cochran’s Nordic Cross event this April. (Priganc)

Young grew up racing for Craftsbury, her former coach Anna Schulz describes her passion for racing and her teammates, “Callie loves skiing and racing more than just about anyone. She has this rare ability to balance a fiercely competitive streak with genuine kindness and compassion. It’s pretty common to see Callie bury herself in some sprint rounds and then put on 5 layers and drag herself back out to cheer for any buddies who are still racing. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient.”  Cami Thompson-Graves, Callie’s current coach at Dartmouth, describes her as someone who, “does everything that is asked of her and never complains, she is a gem!”

Valentine racing at the Rising Stars FIS Junior Invitational at the 2019 World Cup in Quebec. (photo GMVS)

Josh Valentine also raced in seven Eastern Cups, with two, second place overall finishes and ended the year in sixth position on the New England Junior National (JN) ranking list.  Josh had a breakout performance at the 2019 US Senior Nationals – winning the classic sprint for U18 athletes.  This result along with solid skiing in the distance races qualified him to represent the US at the U18 Scandinavian Championships held this year in Otepaa, Estonia.

At Junior Nationals Valentine made a big impact on Team New England with individual finishes of 4th, 6th and 8th in the U18 age group.  He skied the scramble leg for the NE team that went on to finish 4th.  Valentine is ranked 75th on the overall National Ranking List and an impressive 32nd for sprint!  GMVS coach Colin Rodgers, describes Josh as, “a determined individual.  When he puts his mind to something he gets it done.  What sets him apart is his game day focus.  It is impressive.”

We congratulate these skiers and thank them for reminding us of Mike Gallagher’s competitive spirit.  Mike was a three-time Olympic cross-country skier and the Head Coach of the US Ski Team from 1980-86.  You can read more about Gallagher here on fasterskier.com

Picture of Vermonter Bill Koch celebrating his winning the FIS Overall WC crown with a very happy coach, the late Mike Gallagher.  A very special moment. (Photo and caption courtesy of Peter Graves)