Jeff Knight and Crew Rise to the Occasion 

Jeff Knight in groomer 1200Chief Groomer Jeff Knight

What do you do when you are scheduled to host a State Championship Nordic Weekend with all high schools in the State of Maine and over 300 skiers participating and Mother Nature throws you a challenge? You call on Black Mountain's Jeff Knight and crew to take on the challenge and groom the John Roderick Trail System to a safe and  competitive venue. On the night before the competition was to begin, Black Mountain in Rumford received a sustained overnigdan warner head shotht downpour with temperatures reaching near 60º on race day. That was the first challenge for the crew commissioned to set tracks for the classical races that were to be held on opening day of the competition. 

And set the tracks they did. Even so, with the temperatures as high as they were, inevitably there was some standing water in parts of the course. Adding salt to the wound was the weather forecast that was predicting a drastic temperature drop and gale force winds overnight. At the coaches meeting on Day 1, TD Dan Warner made the wise decision to eliminate "High School Hill" on Day 2 because it would be "just too fast". The coaches all agreed with that decision. It would be safe to assume that the coaches had some trepidation about the ability to transform water and eventually ice to a safe skiable course.

Roger Arsenault 500But, after a successful Day 1, the race crew met with Jeff Knight to devise a plan for Day 2. After the competition, Chief of Competition Roger Arsenault stated "We talked with Jeff last night to form a plan for grooming today and we trusted he and Rob to pull it off. They more than exceeded anything we could have imagined." He added, "We finished a heck of a season in style today. Even though yesterday was a challenge for everyone, no one complained. No one expected to get what they got today. The look on everyone's face today was priceless. The real heroes today were Jeff, Landan and Robb. Dan said it best and I echo him in that without their effort and skill, we would have been dead."

Skiers and coaches were pleasantly surprised, perhaps even shocked, to see the transformation that had taken place overnight. Not only was there no water or ice, the 5k course was groomed to a perfect surface for the freestyle pursuit race that was to occur on Day 2. Leavitt Coach and Maine Principals Association liaison Dustin Williamson wrote, "I would like to thank all of the Chisholm Ski Club members and to Black Mtn for hosting a very successful MPA Class A/B/C Nordic Championships.  The club and the mountain went above and beyond to make sure that the state meet was safe, fair, successful, and simply the best for every racer.  There were several worries about how the snow conditions would be with the crazy weather but everything was fantastic.  I am very grateful and appreciate all of the work that went into hosting the championships."3k Signacade 200
Mt. Abram Nordic Coach Buzz Bean wrote, "Thanks for another great race. Your team always puts on a world class event!" High praise indeed.
Among the many CSC member crews that skillfully do their "jobs" to make for a successful race day, none have more responsibility that the timing crew, headed by Bob Arsenault. Roger states, "The pursuit is a fun race but needs a great crew and a lot of planning. Timing and scoring was in Bob and Randy's  (Easter) and their team's hands. Not many know what goes into hosting and scoring these events. What they do is hand the MPA scoring and results fast."
Thanks to everyone for all their help and doing their jobs perfectly.


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