During the first week of August a collection of 20 athletes and coaches gathered in Waitsfield, Vermont for the Eastern / Central edition of the U16 National Camp. The U16 Camp concept was created by Rick Kapala and is seen as a crucial component of the U.S. Ski Team Pathway. The program is typically the first opportunity to bring together athletes from across the country, along with U.S. Ski Team staff, and coach representatives from each region for a rich training and educational experience. After a hiatus due to Covid, the National camp was split into two individual camps for 2022, one for West / Alaska and one for the Eastern / Central divisions.
The Eastern / Central camp was built in affiliation with the Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS), New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) and Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC). A special thanks to National Nordic Foundation (NNF) who provides financial support for this and many other Nordic development projects.
The design of the camp allowed for two days on the GMVS campus and surrounding training venues with just the U16 athletes, but over the course of the week the GMVS campus became a hotbed of cross country activity. During the second half of the week, GMVS hosted its own summer training camp in conjunction with athletes from the Sportoberschule, in Mals, Italy. This allowed for some training overlap, including an uphill run event at Mad River Glen. This additional collaboration during the second half of the week provided the unique experience of interacting with a broad spectrum of coaches and athletes from throughout the world.
Camp consisted of two training sessions per day and three tests (rollerski time trial, strength test, uphill run). A few of the favorite workouts included traversing the Green Mountain ridge line from west to east, agility at Sugarbush (including several ramps and team relays), the App Gap Challenge and a river run down the Mad River. Evenings were spent with educational talks, socialization and on the final night a bonfire in the woods with smores.
In the middle of camp the U16’s were able to utilize both of the rollerski tracks in Lake Placid, New York. Some of these very trails will be utilized for Junior Nationals in the coming years. Kris Seymour delivered an inspiring talk and tour of the extraordinary and recently renovated multi-sport facilities at Mt. VanHoevenberg.
Development camps continue to illustrate just how strong the cross country skiing culture in the United States is becoming. There is no doubt the success of this camp was built on the shoulders of years of hard work by Bryan Fish, Rick Kapala and all of the programs that support skiers across the nation. NENSA is proud to have been a part of this project and we can’t wait to see where these skiers (and coaches) journeys take them. A special thank you to Colin Rodgers and the GMVS staff for hosting this experience. It takes and army and we have a strong one!
Eastern / Central Athletes:
Amelia Circosta – Craftsbury Ski Club
Anders Linseisen – Mansfield Nordic Club
Anika Leahy – Craftsbury Ski Club
Anna Peikert – Rochester Nordic Ski Team
Ava Schneider – Frost Mountain Nordic
Benjamin Jenkin – Queensbury Nordic
Beth McIntosh – Frost Mountain Nordic
Brady Morigeau – Mansfield Nordic Club
Daniel McCollor – Minneapolis Ski Club
Ellis Slover – Gould Academy
Emily Percival – Minneapolis Ski Club
Hanna Koch – Minneapolis Ski Club
Julia Thurston – Mansfield Nordic Club
Micah Bruner – Stratton Mountain School
Miles Miner – Minneapolis Ski Club
Sarah Glueck – Ford Sayre
Stella Meza – Lakeland Nordic Ski Team
Tabor Greenberg – GMVS
Thomas Simmonds – Loppet Nordic Racing
Tyler Watt – Gunstock Nordic
Bryan Fish – U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Cate Brams – Eastern Mass Cross Country (EMXC)
Colin Rodgers – GMVS
Justin Beckwith – NENSA
Kristen Bourne – U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Sam Benzing – The College of St. Scholastica
Sam Myers – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay