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Archive for January, 2014

Cleaning, Dirtying & Technical Difficulties

27.Jan.2014 by Clare Egan

On Sunday we wrapped up the North American Biathlon Championships in Jericho, VT. After winning the sprint race on Friday by just three seconds, I knew I had hard work ahead if I wanted to stay on top for the remaining two races. (Check out my personal blog for a race recap from Friday’s sprint!)

In Saturday’s pursuit start 10k, I started off very strong, shooting [1, 0] for the first two prone stages. It was only the second time I have ever “cleaned” in a race. Hitting all five targets (recorded as 0 misses) is called “cleaning” because when you hit each black circle target, a white pedal swings up to cover the black, so when you hit all five you are left with a clean white target.

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Target with Echo and Delta hit.

With fast skiing and 9/10 prone shooting, I was well ahead of my competitors at the midway point of the race…but then came the standing shooting. In small part due to gusty wind, and in larger part due to my inexperience and nervousness, I shot [3, 4] in standing, meaning I had to ski seven penalty laps in the second half of the race.

My main competition, Katrina, caught me after the final standing stage as I skied my fourth and she skied her only penalty lap. Then we set out on course together for the final 2.5km loop before the finish. I knew she was right behind me and knew that I needed to beat her by 15 seconds in order to win, having started 15 seconds ahead of her. So I really motored to the finish and ended up winning by 9 seconds. Another close race!

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Saturday’s pursuit podium.

On Sunday, I was very much looking to a mass start format, during which I could race Katrina and the other women head-to-head. I had a good warm up despite the barely-legal -4F thermometer reading, and toed the line with high hopes. I came into the range after the first loop about 10 seconds ahead of the others, got into position, and could not see a thing through my site. Some snow had gotten in there and frozen completely so I had no visibility whatsoever. I spent probably over two minutes on the range blowing hot air through the site trying to clear it out. Finally I shot and missed 4. Still, I set out from there thinking that if I skied fast and hit every target for the rest of the race, I could still win!

When I came into shoot the second time, my eye cup– a rubber cylinder through which you view the site– fell right off, probably from having been wrestled with during the ice fiasco, and though it is not actually fundamental to the rifle’s zero, it makes using the site much easier.

eye cup

Rear site with eye cup, shown just above thumb.

rear site

Rear site without eye cup. See that tiny hole? Yeah me neither.

Long story short: I maintained a positive attitude about getting in a good skiing workout, but the shooting went to shambles and skied 15 penalty laps, five of which resulted from my first (AND HOPEFULLY ONLY) time “dirtying” the target. By my calculations I skied almost 15k for what should have been a 12.5k race. Needless to say I do not have a podium photo from Sunday! I’m glad I have that behind me as I head to Europe a week from tomorrow.

U23 Toblach Pre-Camp/GRP Italy Reunion!

27.Jan.2014 by Liz Guiney

Hi everyone! I’m finally in Val di Fiemme, site of the U23 and World Junior Championships. The internet here is great (it was barely a crawl in Toblach), so I decided to do a little update about our pre-camp. We arrived in Toblach on Monday the 20th after a relatively easy travel day and a half. Toblach is beautiful; there’s a really dramatic valley with towering cliffs on either side. It’s right on the edge of the Dolomites, which are a bit different in geology from the regular Italian Alps. The stone is brown, not grey, and it erodes differently to form sharp, spiky peaks. The venue is right at the base of the valley and they’ll be holding a World Cup there in just a few days (the 1st and 2nd of February). I traveled over with Pepa and then we immediately met up with Ida who was driving in from Poland. It was so fun to catch up with her and do some training and technique work with the GRP ladies. We also got to see Susan and Hannah who were in nearby Antholz for a training camp after their WC there.
I’m rooming with Annie Pokorny, which is great because we get along super well, but in all honesty the entire group of U23 ladies and the whole team has been fantastic so far. I can’t wait for the races, I feel a lot more prepared this time around; I think knowing what to expect and staying confident are half the battle. So without further ado, here are a lot of pictures of Toblach and the surrounding area (and because it was so beautiful there, I couldn’t put my camera away!)

Run on our first day in Toblach. From L to R Sloan Storey, Mary Rose, Annie Pokorny, Ben Saxton, Rosie Frankowski

Run on our first day in Toblach. From L to R Sloan Storey, Mary Rose, Annie Pokorny, Ben Saxton, Rosie Frankowski

 

Same view, but with just the ladies this time! (Thanks Ben for the photo)

Same view, but with just the ladies this time! (Thanks Ben for the photo)

 

The town of Toblach/Dobiacco (everything has both a German and Italian name here). The venue is a the base of the valley.

The town of Toblach/Dobiacco (everything has both a German and Italian name here). The venue is in the base of the valley.

 

Ida and I waiting at the base of Platzweise for the biathlon girls

Ida and I waiting at the base of Platzweise for the biathlon girls

 

A stunning place to go for a ski. Lucky ducks

Platzweise was a stunning place to go for a ski. Lucky ducks

 

And here's where I got a little trigger happy with the camera.

And here’s where I got a little trigger happy with the camera.

 

There was a dogsled race going on while we were skiing. I thought the dogs were adorable, Pepa was complaining about the poops on the trails. Luckily we were able to dodge them and save the race skis!

There was a dogsled race going on while we were skiing. I thought the dogs were adorable, Pepa was complaining about the poops on the trails. Luckily we were able to dodge them and save the race skis!

 

Perfect tracks and sun

Perfect tracks and sun

 

Last one of the trails, I swear! Thanks Judy for the last two pictures

Last one of the trails, I swear! Thanks Judy for the last two pictures

 

Stopping for water and natural beauty appreciation

Stopping for water and natural beauty appreciation

 

GRP ladies represent in Italy. Pepa is so happy to be with all her babies!

GRP ladies represent in Italy. Pepa is so happy to be with all her babies!

 

The whole GRP crew! So great to have Dick and Judy here too.

The whole GRP crew! So great to have Dick and Judy here too.

 

Pink and purple jacket crew. Ida, Susan, me, and Hannah at the end of our ski

Pink and purple jacket crew. Ida, Susan, me, and Hannah at the end of our ski.

 

We drove to Cortina one afternoon to walk around the town. This is a look at the GS course (I believe). As you can see from the red gating near the very top, it is incredibly steep

We drove to Cortina one afternoon to walk around the town. This is a look at the GS course (I believe). As you can see from the red gating near the very top, it is incredibly steep

 

Susan and Hannah came to visit again for Ida's birthday dinner!

Susan and Hannah came to visit again for Ida’s birthday dinner!

 

Off day in Val di Fiemme. A proud (multiple time) finisher of the Marcialonga displays her/his bibs. The Maricalong is a huge Italian ski marathon which finishes in Val di Fiemme.

Off day in Val di Fiemme. A proud (multiple time) finisher of the Marcialonga displays her/his bibs. The Maricalong is a huge Italian ski marathon which finishes in Val di Fiemme.

 

Val di Fiemme walk with Annie P and Ben S. Not too much snow on the ground, but some in the distant mountains!

Val di Fiemme walk with Annie P and Ben S. Not too much snow on the ground, but some in the distant mountains!

One thing I don’t have any pictures of is the food, which has been incredible. Every dinner is a 4 course deal, and the pasta, gelato, and the coffee are all great. We had a really cute old man named Sigi as our waiter in Toblach and his repertoire of magic tricks kept us on our toes!
So on to Val di Fiemme and down to business… I’ll preview the race course tomorrow and then my first race is a skate sprint on Wednesday. I would be absolutely thrilled to make the rounds, so that will be the big goal. Then I have a little bit of time until my next race, a 15k skiathlon on Saturday. You can find the website for the championships here, I’m not sure if they will have live results or not, but you can bet they will be updating frequently. I’ll try to post more after the races to let you know how it goes, but until then, CIAO!

Liz Guiney

Craftsbury Training Camp in Italy

27.Jan.2014 by Ida Sargent
GRP Girls skiing together in Italy!

After the last World Cups in the Czech Republic and Poland, the US Ski Team travelled to Seiser Alm, Italy for a pre-Olympic training camp.  Seiser Alm sits above 2000 meters and after a long training block at altitude over Christmas, I wanted to be at a lower altitude to get speedy and quick, peaking for the Olympics!  So I headed separate ways from the team and headed to Toblach, Italy for a Craftsbury training camp in Europe.  Pepa flew to Toblach to coach me during this time and it has been incredible to have her here for the past eight days.  She’s leaving tomorrow and I will be sad to see her go but excited by the progress that I have made.  Half training camp and half vacation it has been the perfect for me both mentally and physically.  On the ski trails we put in the hard work focusing intensely on technique work, hard intervals, and fast skiing.  The afternoons and evenings have been the relaxing vacation time and the mental break as we spend the time drinking coffee, eating delicious Italian food, and soaking in the sunny mountain scenery.  Liz was here preparing for the Under 23 World Championships so it was awesome to have a GRP training buddy again.  She’s skiing fast and it will be fun to see her kick butt this week in Val di Fiemme.  Hannah and Susan were competing in biathlon World Cups in Antholz, Italy which is about 40 minutes away and Dick and Judy came over to watch the races so the Craftsbury presence made it feel like home!  Hannah, Susan, and I all spend the winter in Europe but the biathlon and XC circuits keep us separate so seeing them here was a real treat.

 

Pepa has her Ipad out at every session.  Seeing the video while I ski allows me to make changes quickly.  Here I am working on my V1 in skate speeds.
Craftsbury reunion in Italy!  We enjoyed a perfect day of skiing and lunch in the sun together.
Mountains and the church in the center of town
GRP girls together in Italy!  So fun to spend time with Susan, Liz, and Han and just missing Clare and Caitlin!

 

Today’s lunch!

Intervals in the sun on my birthday in my “birthday suit” courtesy of the USST ladies and Annie Pokorny.  I got some crazy looks especially when I face planted on the last interval

Very chocolaty birthday cake!  This was actually one of two cakes because our hotel wanted to make sure we had enough!  We have definitely been eating well here!

I usually don’t see Pepa for the entire winter so this week has been great!

This weekend I will be racing in to World Cups in Toblach and then headed to Sochi early next week!  So excited for what is to come!  Thanks for all the cheers and support!

Craftsbury Pride and Some Gems from the Past

22.Jan.2014 by Hannah Dreissigacker

After a long hiatus from the CGRP blog, I have returned!  I’ve been inspired to do so by the awesomeness of realizing that I’m going to the Sochi Olympics along with two of my original Craftsbury Nordic Bill Koch League teammates.  Its making me so proud for our little ski program!! (which is growing and growing…think how many future Olympians are among us!)

So with no further ado, I present to you a “blast from the past” of Craftsbury VIP’s.  (Not just Ida, Susan and I…keep your eyes out for Lucas, Anna, and Emily among others!)

Amazingly, Pepa let us girls do her hair into lots of tiny braids!   Left to Right:  Ida, Hannah, Emily, Elsa, Anna, Pepa in the middle.

Amazingly, Pepa let us girls do her hair into lots of tiny braids!
Left to Right: Ida, Hannah, Emily, Elsa, Anna, Pepa in the middle.

The Craftsbury Crew on the road at BKL fest (or maybe its Midget's?) Left to Right: Back: Kit Wright, Lucas Schulz, Elsa Sargent, Susan Dunklee.  Front: Emily Dreissigacker, Luc Broadhead, Hannah Dreissigacker, Ida Sargent, George Kiely.

The Craftsbury Crew on the road at BKL fest (or maybe its Midget’s?).  I think we must have been singing something.  Lucas really takes the cake here. 
Left to Right: Back: Kit Wright, Lucas Schulz, Elsa Sargent, Susan Dunklee. Front: Emily Dreissigacker, Luc Broadhead, Hannah Dreissigacker, Ida Sargent, George Kiely.

Luc, Ida and I hiking up to ski at Tuckerman's Ravine.

Luc, Ida and I hiking up to ski at Tuckerman’s Ravine.

Representing USA at "midgets"--the North American Midget Championships.  (quebecois bkl) Lucas, Ida, Susan, Hannah, Kit, Luc, George, Emily and Elsa.

Representing USA at “midgets”–the North American Midget Championships. (quebecois bkl)
Lucas, Ida, Susan, Hannah, Kit, Luc, George, Emily and Elsa.

The Rollerskiing Lineup. L to R: Emily, Dan Broadhead, Alex Schulz, Ida, Hannah, Elsa, Isaac Noyes, Kit Wright, Luc Broadhead, Lucas Schulz, Ethan

The Rollerskiing Lineup.
L to R: Emily, Dan Broadhead, Alex Schulz, Ida, Hannah, Elsa, Isaac Noyes, Kit Wright, Luc Broadhead, Lucas Schulz, Ethan

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This one doesn’t even need a caption.

Sporting our loot at the BKL festival.   I think Ethan (bottom left with the balaclava) might be my favorite character in this picture.

Sporting our loot at the BKL festival.
I think Ethan (bottom left with the balaclava) might be my favorite character in this picture.

Em, Han, and Ida.  Look, Ida and I used to be the same size!!

Em, Han, and Ida. Look, Ida and I used to be the same size!!  Also note that Ida is rocking the earmuff-only look here.  

I have to say, the Craftsbury Juniors look pretty spiffy in their new green and black suits, but we felt really cool in those NEVT fleece vests that Susan’s mom made too.    And now, to bring us back to the present…today I spent the morning skiing with Ida, Susan, and Liz  at a beautiful place high in the Dolomites called Platzwiese.  Susan and I are training in nearby Antholz, Italy for the next two weeks until we head to Sochi.  Ida is training and then racing in Toblach, Italy, and then heading to Sochi right after the world cup in Toblach.  Liz is training with the U-23 team in Toblach before heading to U-23 World Championships in Val Di Fiemme, Italy.  And Pepa, and my parents were there too!  It was a real Craftsbury Reunion in Italy.

Skiing in the Dolomites!

Skiing in the Dolomites!

wahoo!

I will also be documenting my Sochi adventures on my own blog (previously my art blog):  hannahsartventure.blogspot.com