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Archive for February, 2015

Putting Oslo Behind, Moving On to World Championships

17.Feb.2015 by Clare Egan

I just wrapped up a week in Oslo, Norway, competing at Biathlon World Cup 8. I am working my way up from the very bottom, which gives me an exceptional opportunity to improve. I did a 15k individual format race with 4 shooting stages, a 7.5k sprint format race with two shooting stages, and a 4x6k women’s relay, with Annelies Cook and the GRP’s Susan Dunklee and Hannah Dreissigacker.

In the individual, I was 82nd with six misses [1p, 1s, 1p, 3s]. I was disappointed with the last stage but otherwise content. Then in the sprint, I narrowly avoided getting last place, finishing 91st with six misses! Six misses out of ten targets is not good. I am trying to focus on what was good, which was the work I did on the course and on the range; I did everything on my checklist as far as skiing technique and shooting process, and stayed in control the whole time. My misses were really close so I just have to be a tiny bit more precise. Then I had one more opportunity to race today in the women’s relay.

But Sunday proved to be another rough day for me in Oslo. Our team started off well, with Susan using only two spare rounds and skiing the fastest course time for the first leg to tag off in 6th place. But that was the closest we ever made it to the front of the race. Hannah, Annelies and I each had two penalty laps. As I skied my second penalty lap, the winning team from the Czech Republic lapped us and crossed the finish line, so I was pulled from the course and was not allowed to finish. With the exception of Susan’s race, this was not the kind of performance that any of us aspired to as we prepare for World Championships. (See US Biathlon’s race recap of the relay, here, and World Championships roster announcement, here.)

I am trying to focus on the few good things that I did this weekend, even if they were very few. My prone shooting is consistently solid and my ski times are getting faster as I race more. The third component of biathlon, my standing shooting, needs major improvement, but I did hit four out of five targets in one stage of the individual race, so I know the skills are there. We have a few weeks now to practice before World Championships begin in Kantiolahti, Finland on March 4th. I am grateful for the example of my more-experienced teammates and the guidance of US Biathlon’s world-class staff, for helping me keep my head above water. Onto World Championships!

 

Craftsbury SuperTour in Photos

10.Feb.2015 by Liz Guiney

Jake just posted a great blog wrapping up the SuperTour and thanking all the Center staff, volunteers, and coaches for all their hard work the past two weeks in pulling off the big races here in Craftsbury. He pretty much hit the nail on the head, so no need to expand more on that. Instead of words, I’ll just leave everyone with a story in photos from the two weekends. Thanks to photographer John Lazenby for coming to Craftsbury and graciously providing us with high quality images from the races! All images from this blog are from him, so if you want to repost anywhere, please credit him. Alright, here we go, starting at the very beginning:

20k/30k Mass Start Classic on January 30th-

All focus at the start

All focus at the start

 

Andrew Dougherty even looks good running to his start!

Andrew Dougherty looking good, even running to his start!

 

Alex Howe climbing Moss Run

Alex Howe climbing Moss Run

 

Jake Barton leading out Alex Schulz

Jake Barton leading out Alex Schulz

 

Early on in the women's 20k mass start

Early on in the women’s 20k mass start

 

Coming up Screaming Mimi the first time

Coming up Screaming Mimi the first time

 

Chelsea Holmes of APU leads out the pain train

Chelsea Holmes of APU leads out the pain train

 

Erika Flowers of SMS-T2 charging

Erika Flowers of SMS-T2 charging

 

Caitlin Patterson gets a congratulatory birthday/victory hug from Kaitlynn Miller

Caitlin Patterson gets a congratulatory birthday/victory hug from Kaitlynn Miller

 

The new wax room got some serious use this weekend

The new wax room got some serious use this weekend

 

Classic Sprint, February 1st-

GRP rower Emily Dreissigacker finding her stride in the classic sprint

GRP rower Emily Dreissigacker finding her stride in the classic sprint

 

Me skiing with Kaitlynn Miller in the quarterfinal

Me skiing with Kaitlynn Miller in the quarterfinal

 

Women's semifinal

Women’s semifinal

 

Gordon demonstrating a proper lane change in the men's semis

Gordon demonstrating a proper lane change in the men’s semis

 

Start of the women's A Final

Start of the women’s A Final

 

Congratulating Anja Gruber on her 3rd place finish

Congratulating Anja Gruber on her 3rd place finish

 

Emily all smiles after placing 6th in the sprint

Emily all smiles after placing 6th in the sprint

 

Groomer extraordinaire Keith Woodward in his element. Thanks Keith!

Groomer extraordinaire Keith Woodward in his element. Thanks Keith!

 

Race debris..

Race debris..

 

Sheldon prepping the volunteer army. Thanks for all the hard work guys!

Sheldon prepping the volunteer army. Thanks for all the hard work guys!

 

Skate Sprint, February 6th

Jake Barton in qualifying

Jake Barton in qualifying

 

Caitlin P. racing in the Bane mask

Caitlin P. racing in the Bane mask

 

Kaitlynn laying down a fast qualifier

Kaitlynn laying down a fast qualifier

 

Alex Schulz tucked in close during heats

Alex Schulz tucked in close during heats

 

Caitlin P. in semis

Caitlin P. in semis

 

Kaitlynn staying loose between heats

Kaitlynn staying loose between heats

 

Spotted: volunteer Lindy Sargent working harder than anyone out there!

Spotted: volunteer Lindy Sargent working harder than anyone out there!

 

10k/15k Classic Mass Start, February 8th

GRP guys Gordon and Andrew at the front of the lead pack in the 15k

GRP guys Gordon and Andrew at the front of the lead pack in the 15k

 

Andrew's signature red hat at the front of the pack

Andrew’s signature red hat at the front of the pack

 

 

Andrew following a move from Kris Freeman

Andrew following a move from Kris Freeman

 

More volunteers working hard and staying warm, that's Carol van Dyke under all those layers!

More volunteers working hard and staying warm, that’s Carol van Dyke under all those layers!

 

Thanks for reading everyone! If you want to find results and stories from the weekend, make sure to check the news section of the GRP Homepage, or find full results at the Craftsbury SuperTour webpage.

 

Another Weekend in the Books

9.Feb.2015 by Jake Barton

Well after two long weekends of racing the GRP athletes and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center staff can take a moment to relax and celebrate what they have accomplished. The GRP had a great showing last weekend, ending with Gordon Vermeer’s 2nd place in the mass start classic race on Sunday. Clearly he is peaking just in time for the Birkie. Congrats Gordon on a truly impressive finish in an extremely competitive field.

More importantly, I wanted to write this post in order to congratulate all the Craftsbury Outdoor Center staff on pulling off a couple of incredible weekends of racing. I doubt that many people think about the kind of preparation and work that goes into hosting events such as these. Especially race weekends that combine EISA college carnivals with Super Tours with Eastern Cups with Marathon Series….that is a monumental task and requires an immense amount of work.

First off I want to send a huge thank you to Dick and Judy who are behind the scenes in just about everything that happens at the outdoor center and with planning and executing these events. I’m not sure how there is enough time in the day for these two to do as much work as they do but somehow they pull it off.

Secondly, I want to thank everyone who helped with setting up the race course and stadium for the past two weekends. Especially the grooming crew (Lucas Schulz) who laid out some amazing race courses. Had to have been the best conditions I’ve skied all year anywhere in the country.

I can’t forget to thank the kitchen staff who never cease to impress with their quality of food even when they are attempting to serve hundreds of people a day. One race day I heard that they made 60 gallons of Chili…. yes that is not a type-o. SIXTY. Unbelievable. The amazing food at the center is constantly receiving praise and it has to be one of the main reasons people come back year after year. Keep up the good work kitchen staff, we all appreciate it so much.

Finally, I want to send a big thank you to all the volunteers over the last couple of weeks. There’s no way these races could’ve happened without all of your help. It always amazes me how many people are willing to spend there day standing out in the cold helping out in any way that they can. It’s hard work and all the staff and especially the athletes appreciate everything that the volunteers do during these big race weekends. Thanks again.

This raps up the climax of the racing season at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center this year and I think it is safe to say that many people are ready for a break. It has been a crazy, hectic couple of weekends but everything went off extremely smoothly and the events were a huge success. Again, I can’t stress how much work this takes and how easy it is for one little thing to go wrong and ruin the whole day. I have only heard positive feedback about the racing these past weekends and that is all due to the hard work of the staff and the volunteers.

Thank You

Sunny Falun

8.Feb.2015 by Ida Sargent

After lots of snow over the course of our first week in Falun, the sun finally came out for a few beautiful days in Falun, Sweden.  It was a nice end to the training camp and the perfect energy boost for the last few hard sessions.  Tomorrow I travel to Ostersund, Sweden where I will meet up with my USST teammates and race in a World Cup there on Saturday.  Pepa flies home to Vermont to rejoin the rest of the GRP team.

Sunrise on my morning jog

Sunrise on my morning jog

Morning rays

Morning rays

Looking down the stadium

Looking down the stadium

A Swedish ski cafe

A Swedish ski cafe on the trails

Looking out over Falun from halfway up the Mordarbacken

Looking out over Falun from halfway up the Mordarbacken

Our cabin with the ski jumps behind

Our cabin with the ski jumps behind

Hanging over my poles after a hard interval.

Hanging over my poles after the “final” in my sprint time trial.  The training has been great but I’m excited for the races and ready to go!