We are proud to report that the Green Racing Project had six current or affiliated athletes who raced at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Susan Dunklee, Emily Dreissigacker, and Clare Egan competed in Biathlon. Caitlin Patterson, Ida Sargent, and Kaitlyn Miller represented Team USA in skiing.
As members of the GRP we were extremely excited to see our teammates compete in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. Seeing so many GRP skiers and biathletes competing during the games was rewarding on two levels, the personal as well as validating the approach the Green Racing Project takes towards athletic and personal development. As rowers, our training is usually separate from the skiers and biathletes, but we see how hard our ski and biathlon teammates work towards their goals and it is great to watch them succeed. The fact that so many current and former GRP athletes have been successful on the national and international stage reinforces the idea that development of the athlete and development of the person go hand in hand. Watching the GRP Olympians is a perfect reminder to build our athletic selves such that our focus and determination is built up by how we live within our community. This lesson is well timed as we are heading into our last training block before the start of spring racing.
With that in mind, below is a summary of the racing as well as backgrounds on each of the athletes who went.
Susan Dunklee is a Barton, Vermont native who did much of her early skiing at the Craftsbury Outdoors Center. She attended Dartmouth College and graduated with a degree in Ecology in 2008. Although she has been skiing since she was two, she learned to shoot later in life at age 22 for a biathlon development program. Susan has competed in five World Championships between 2012 and 2017, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and recently at the 2018 Open European Championships. In the 2017 World Championships she placed 6th in the 15km individual race and 2nd in the mass start event. This 2nd place in the mass start earned her a Olympic spot and made her the first American Woman to make the 2018 Olympic Team. In her first Olympic event, the 7.5k sprint Susan finished 66th with 5 misses. In the 15k individual she was the top U.S. finisher, placing 19th with two misses over four stages. Her final two events were relays. In the mixed relay Susan was the first leg of the US team. She used two spares in prone and shot clean standing. She finished her leg in 5th and the team finished in 15th. Susan scrambled in the 4x6k and finished her leg in 2nd, cleaning in prone and using one spare when standing. The team ended up in 13th.
Emily Dreissigacker is from Morrisville, Vermont and learned to ski at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. She raced as a skier during high school but decided to row for Dartmouth College, graduating with a degree in Economics in 2011. During her summers in college, she competed as a rower for Craftsbury’s U23 program and then as a member of the GRP. Due to an injury to a tendon in her hand , she decided to make the switch to biathlon. Emily has had a great 2017/2018 season, including placing 5th and shooting clean at the IBU-Cup in Arber, Germany which earned her a spot on the 2018 Olympic Team. In the 7.5k sprint Emily finished 51st with one miss. This qualified her for the 10k pursuit two days later in which Emily finished 47th, shooting 80% over 4 stages. In the 15k individual Emily placed 67th with 4 misses. She also was the anchor leg of the 4x6k relay, crossing the line in 13th.
Clare Egan began her skiing career in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She started skiing in middle school and was a two-time member of the New England Junior National Team. She attended Wellesley College where she created the ski team and competed as both a skier and runner. After graduating in 2011 from a masters program in linguistics at the University of New Hampshire she joined the Green Racing Project. Clare finished twice in the top-10 in American Birkebeiner 50k and had eight top-6 finishes in the Supertour. After trying Biathlon in 2013, she made the switch and now mainly trains out of Lake Placid with the US Biathlon Team. Clare placed 35th in the Biathlon Spring at the 2017 World Championships. She has represented the US at three World Championships and has been competing for the United States on the 2017/18 World Cup Circuit. She earned her Olympic spot after good performances on the IBU circuit. In the 7.5k pursuit Clare was 61st with 3 misses, barely missing out on the pursuit. In her second race, the 15k individual, Clare placed 62nd with 4 misses. In the 4x6k, Clare was the second leg, starting in second. She cleaned without using spares in both her prone and standing stages held onto fourth place.
Ida Sargent is from the town of Barton, Vermont and has been skiing at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center from an early age. Ida went to Dartmouth College and was captain of the Nordic Team, graduating in 2012. Even before she was done with college, Ida was a member of the Green Racing Project, training and competing in 2009 in preparation for the 2010 U23 World Championships. She joined the US Ski Team in 2011 and competed in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as well as the 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 World Championships. At the 2014 Olympic Games Ida placed 19th in the freestyle sprint and 32nd in the 10k classic individual. In the run up to the 2018 Olympics she placed 6th in the freestyle sprint at the world cup in Davos. Pre-Olympics she was ranked 17th in the World Cup sprint rankings, meeting the top 50 criteria for Olympic qualification laid out by the US Ski Team. During the 2018 Olympics Ida was competing on a still healing, surgically repaired thumb from a January crash. She competed in the classic sprint and placed 33rd in the sprint qualifier, narrowly missing the top 30 cutoff.
Kaitlynn Miller is from Elmore, Vermont and grew up spending time in the woods around Elmore as well as skiing for the Craftsbury Nordic Center. Kaitlynn went to Bowdoin College where she skied and studied Biology and Environmental Studies. After graduating in 2014, Kaitlynn joined the Green Racing Project and has raced internationally including at the World Cup Finals in 2017. In the 2017/18 season, Kaitlynn placed 2nd in the classic sprint, 2nd in the freestyle sprint, and 3rd the 20k classic at U.S. National Cross Country Ski Championships and first in the 1.4km sprint at the Super Tour in Craftsbury. She earned her spot on the Olympic team by the 3rd place finish in the 20k.
Caitlin Patterson grew up in Idaho where she was introduced to skiing. She spent high school in Anchorage where she started racing more competitively. She attended the University of Vermont at which she skied and studied Civil Engineering, graduating in 2012. She joined the Green Racing Project shortly thereafter and has enjoyed success, winning events at the U.S. Senior National Championships and the overall during the 2016 Supertour. Caitlin has had a great start to the 2017/18 season, sweeping all four races offered at the U.S. National Cross Country Ski Championships, the Women’s Classic Sprint, and the 20k classic mass start, 10k freestyle, and freestyle sprint. This great performance earned her a Olympic spot. Caitlin’s first Olympic race was the skiathlon which is 7.5k of classic skiing followed by a transition and 7.5k of freestyle skiing. She finished the classic portion in 36th and improved on that in the freestyle to 34th. Her second race was the 30k mass start in which Caitlin finished 26th.