- Hannah Kearney Send-off January 20, 2014Join Hannah Kearney at Morano Gelato as they dedicate a new flavor, “Caffe Kearney,” in her honor! Hannah will be at the shop on Tuesday, January 21 from 3:30 – 4:00 so stop by for a picture, a taste of her requested flavor, and to wish her luck before she heads off to Sochi to make the Upper Valley proud on the world stage once again!Continue reading →
- Ski for David’s House January 14, 2014
The Bretton Woods Nordic Club/Bill Koch League is organizing an event called “Ski for David’s House” that is taking place on February 1st at the Bretton Woods Nordic Center. The purpose is simple … raise money for David’s House, a home-away-from-home for families whose children are receiving treatment at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.
At the end of a day skiing, you’ll feel good, not only because you had fun skiing, but you also helped families who can’t be outside having fun … all of the info you need is online at www.davids-house.org/skiing. Your participation will help make this event a success and will help provide a home-away-from-home for the families of children at the Children’s Hospital. David’s House recently opened four additional bedrooms, which means the need for support is more critical now than ever. Visit www.davids-house.org/words to get inspired.
Thanks and we hope to see you on February 1st!Continue reading →
- Gate Clearing For Young Athletes – By Edie Thys Morgan January 13, 2014
“Clearing” up the issue: an anti-cross blocking manifesto. By Someone Who Cares.
“When can I cross block?”
Once the slalom gates are set in the snow that is the most common and the most cringe-worthy question a coach gets asked.
The answer? “How about never?”
First off, the term cross-blocking is misleading. It is often referenced as a good thing, a sign of advancement, while in reality it is quite the opposite. “Blocking” is simply clearing a gate out of your path. “Cross,” well it has no possible upside here.
If your skis are arcing hard around the gate, your feet are close to the gate, and your body is angled so far into the hill that it actually passes on the inside of the gate…if all that is happening, then your outside hand is the closest one to the gate, and is therefore the one to “clear” the gate. Look at a top NCAA skier, or watch a World Cup and that is what you see. Calm, disciplined, upper bodies with arms, hips, knees always pushing forward and down the fall-line. Like a metronome the outside hand ticks the gates out of the way without creating any extra movement or influencing body position.
If your skis are not arcing hard around the gate and are not very close to the gate, the outside hand is nowhere near the gate. To clear the gate with the outside hand you would have to reach across your body. In so doing you lose all pressure on your outside ski and any prayer of carving a turn or generating any power from the ski. It is rare to see a J4 who can consistently carve clean turns while running a tight enough line to warrant outside clearing. I have yet to meet such a J5. They simply do not have the strength or technical ability.
Armor is good. It saves on orthodontic bills, bloody knuckles and bruised shins. Better safe than sorry, and besides armor looks cool. It makes us feel stronger and more powerful. But put a kid in armor and all of a sudden he or she feels the need to hit something. Who can blame them? It is hard to resist the siren song of guard on plastic, the satisfying thwap of a gate bowing from our assault. But if you listen more closely, you will also hear another, less heroic sound. It is the rasp of edges skidding around a turn.
Here’s what’s happening, and it happens every day, every run, with every kid who wants to “cross block.” Skier sees gate, skier goes straight at gate, skier blocks gate with outside hand. The act of reaching over to the gate releases pressure from the edges before the turn is anywhere near completion. Skier must complete turn after the gate by skidding skis around and is already too low to make a good turn on the next gate. So, skier goes straight at that gate, whacking it out of the way, and again releasing any pressure and negating any turn initiation that might have been started above the gate. Pattern repeats until skier passes through finish and wonders, “Why am I so slow? After all, I hit all the gates!”
What do we do?
First: Accept that cross blocking is a Faustian bargain. One you reach across your body you are trading the long term prospect of clean powerful turns and engaged edges, for the immediate gratification of plastic-on-plastic impact.
Second: Ditch the term cross blocking altogether and use the proper term for getting gates out of your way—clearing.
Third: Refocus on the one core skill that will never fail you—pole plants. Even when you are so awesome that you are carving and clearing with your outside hand, you’ll still be planting your pole. It’s what completes your turn, what allows you to get off one ski and on to the next, all while moving your body down the hill. If you can’t plant your poles, something is wrong (hands too low, timing not right, poles not in correct position, etc.) Figure it out with your coach, and get back to planting those poles.
Fourth: When you are planting your pole every turn and making clean turns above the gate and a gate gets in your way…CONGRATULATIONS! You can ski a line close enough to the gate to have to clear it. So knock it out of the way, without bringing your hand across the body. If you do that, you will automatically be clearing with the “correct” hand, be that inside or outside. You’ve got the armor—use it! And worry about your feet not the gates.
Fifth: Give it time. The above situation will happen sooner on flatter terrain, easy snow or on a straight course. Don’t expect to be able to run the same line on steep, icy or turny course. You will eventually be able to, but only if you take the time and go through the steps to master the basics of clean skiing first.
Thank you for reading. That will be all.Continue reading →
- Bogburn Classic Cross-Country Ski Race, Jan. 4, 2014 January 8, 2014
NORTH POMFRET, VT. — The Cambridge Sports Union hosted the 30th Annual Bogburn Classic Cross-Country Ski Race on Saturday, January 4th. More than 132 skiers from all over New England brave the frigid temperatures and turned out for a day of very exciting nordic racing. Many Upper Valley skiers look forward to this event every season and there was a strong turnout by racers from Ford Sayre.
Ford Sayre skier Evan Nichols won the boys third- and fourth-grade race finishing the loop in a 10:53. Cormac Leahy of Craftsbury finished second in 11:39, and West River’s Wyatt Teaford came in third in 12:19. Other local finishers were Hugh Clark (4th, Ford Sayre, 12:42), Jack Lange (5th, Ford Sayre, 13:05), Simon Phipps (7th, Ford Sayre, 13:39), Christian Blix (9th, Ford Sayre, 14:35), and Andre Davis (15th, Ford Sayre, 19:28).
In the third- and fourth-grade girls race, Elsa Bolinger of Ford Sayre won with a time of 11:10. Phoebe Hussey of Frost Mountain finished second in 11:39, and Ford Sayre’s Ann Rightmire finished third in 13:11. Other Upper Valley racers were Sarah Glueck (4th, Ford Sayre, 13:52), Katie Davis (5th, Ford Sayre, 14:29), and Margaret Frost (7th, Ford Sayre, 14:56).
In the boys fifth- and sixth-grade race, Griffin Wright of Danville won with a time of 11:34. Chris Feist of EMBK finished second in 13:55, and Ford Sayre’s Daniel Bandler finished third in 14:33. A strong squad of local skiers claimed the next five places: Vincent Levey (5th, Ford Sayre, 15:49), Daniel Frost (6th, Ford Sayre, 16:05), Peter Burnham (7th, Ford Sayre, 17:21), Noah Phipps (8th, Ford Sayre, 17:23), and Erik Blix (9th, Ford Sayre, 17:37).
Quincy Massey-Bierman from Craftsbury Nordic skied the course in 13:20 for the win in the fifth- and sixth-grade girls race. Ava Thurston of Mansfield Nordic finished second in 13:51, and Ford Sayre’s Lucy Glueck finished third in 14:17. Other local finishers were Liz Rightmire (4th, Ford Sayre, 15:07), Carly Milliken (7th, Ford Sayre, 15:31), and Eloise Silver-VanMeter (9th, Ford Sayre, 16:23).
Frost Mountain’s Sam Hodges won the seventh- and eighth-grade boys race with a blistering time of 15:11. Thom Hussey of Frost Mountain finished second in 16:19, and Frost Mountain’s Cade Christner finished third in 17:19. Other Upper Valley skiers included Andy Rightmire (6th, Ford Sayre, 18:34), Jack Burnham (7th, Ford Sayre, 20:08), Oliver Wilson (9th, Woodstock Nordic, 20:55), and Malcolm Silver-VanMeter (10th, Ford Sayre, 23:06).
Perrin Milliken from Ford Sayre finished the course in 18:41 for the win in the seventh- and eighth-grade girls race. Ford Sayre’s Greta Bolinger (19:31) and Ingrid Miller (19:39) finished second and third. Other local finishers were Kennedy Lange (4th, Ford Sayre, 19:42), Cassandra Nichols (6th, Ford Sayre, 20:56), Olivia Brooks (7th, Woodstock Nordic, 22:25), and Tessa Cahoon (8th, Ford Sayre, 23:24).
Stratton Mountain’s Russell Boswell won the J2 (under age 16) men’s 7km race in a time of 25:19. Erik Lindahl of Ford Sayre finished 3rd with a time of 25:55 and Adam Glueck of Ford Sayre finished 5th in 27:38. Ford Sayre skier Richard Powell finished 1st in the Men’s master 5 standings with a time of 51:30 over 13km. Ford Sayre skiers Bryce Wing M6 (54:40), Colin Pogue J1 (55:46), Chris Powell J1 (57:54) and John Chaffee SR (59:44) also had strong finishes over the long course.
Norwich, Vt. skier Kirsten Miller finished 6th in the women’s J2 standings with a time of 32:41 over 7km. Ford Sayre skiers Rosalie Lipfert U23 (31:15), Peg Merrens M4 (33:03), Ellen Chandler M5 (33:21) and Cindy Glueck M3 (35:01) logged very good finishes in the women’s masters standings. Ford Sayre skiers Ann Osborn (34:50) and Sara Spencer (37:49) finished well in the women’s J2 standings.
View photos from Heidi Nichols and Laura Osborn of the event at: http://losborn.smugmug.com/share/FordSayreContinue reading →
- Nordic New Year’s Day Funfest January 2, 2014
1/1/14 — Ford Sayre Nordic kids and parents know the right way to start off 2014. Approximately 40 kids and as many parents took part in a New Year’s Day Funfest at Thetford Academy. Low-key freestyle races for each age group featured a tight 360 turn. Then it was adults turn to race with parents and coaches giving it a try. The day culminated with an egg relay race featuring seven kids teams of mixed ages. Thank goodness the eggs were hard-boiled! Plenty of cookies, brownies and hot cocoa were on hand to reward participants.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who made the day possible!
View photos from the event at: http://losborn.smugmug.com/share/FordSayreContinue reading →