January 18-19, 2014
NENSA Eastern Cup Weekend #2 at Black Mountain
In the recently completed NENSA Eastern Cup Races, hosted by the Chisholm Ski Club and Black Mountain Ski Resort, the River Valley Area once again proved that it could offer a world-class event despite the odds presented by the recent ice storms.
Skiers were competing on the newly improved nordic trails, made possible due to a grant from the Bangor Savings Bank and many volunteer hours over the summer.
The four races on Saturday were all mass start freestyle events. In the Boys U16 (formerly J2) 5K, Daniel Streinz, skiing for the Maine Winter Sports Center, earned the gold with a time of 12::01:80. Russell Boswell of Stratton Mountain came in second, and Anders Hanson on Craftsbury Nordic came in third. The second race of the day was the Girls U16 5K. Leah Brams, representing Cambridge Union crossed the finish line first at 13:40.30. Mackenzie Rizio of Stratton Mountain came in second, followed by Chloe Levins of Mountain Top Nordic.
In the Women's 10K, Caitlin Patterson of Craftsbury Nordic took the gold with a time of 26:38.60. Katharine Ogden of Stratton Mountain earned the silver, finishing in 26:53:00. Elizabeth Guiney of Craftsbury Nordic finished in third with a time of 27:07.10. The final race of the day was the men's 15K. Kris Freeman, trying to earn a spot on the USA Olympic team while skiing for Maine Winter Sports, broke the tape at 34:19.40 to take top honors. Matthew Liebsch and Sylvan Ellefson took the silver and bronze respectively.
Tracks were set by Mike Cooper and TD Justin Easter late Saturday night and races continued on Sunday with the Interval Start Classical races. The U16 boys went out first in a 5K RACE and Daniel Streinz took his second gold with a time of 14:48:10. Forrest Hamilton of the Mansfield Nordic Club came in second, and Russell Boswell took the bronze to earn his second medal of the weekend.
In the second race, the U16 girls and women were combined to race on the women's 5K course. In the U16 girls, Leah Brams once again crossed the finish line ahead of the other girls in her class, finishing in 16:23.00. Chloe Levins earned her second medal of the weekend, this time a silver, with a 17:05.10 finish. Mackenzie Rizio's time of 17:20.30 was good enough for a third place finish.
Overall in the female division, Katherine Ogden took gold with a 15:35.50 finish. Cate Brams crossed the finish line next at 16:21.10 to take the silver. Her younger sister Leah's time was third best in the race, earning a third podium appearance for the weekend.
It was a clean sweep for Craftsbury in the final race of the weekend, the men's 10K. Patrick O'Brien took the gold, finishing in 27:09.40. Teammates Gordon Vermeer and Jake Barton took second and third.
Race Director Roger Arsenault would like to thank all of people who made the weekend event successful, Black Mountain director Jim Carter, Groomer Jeff Knight, and the Chisholm Ski Club volunteers, offering a "sincere thank you to all volunteers who helped with the EC event. Flawless event that sent everyone away feeling good about the weekend and the venue."