It was another great day of racing today at Holderness. The classical portion of the race was held on a very twisty and hilly 7.8k loop. The top juniors in the East were in attendance, this was the last chance to qualify for Junior Olympics to be held in Alaska. The day started off at a hearty 4 degrees Fahrenheit but quickly warmed up. There was new snow with some leftover ice from the rain earlier in the week. The big question was klister or no klister. We went with the sticky stuff and it worked well.
The first race of the day was the J2 Boys race with Nate Niles representing the club. After two top six places at Class C States earlier in the week, Nate was running on fumes. In the mass start event, Nate got a good start and hung in the front pack with two of the top classical junior skiers in the country. The pack eventually spread a bit but Nate showed his grit in the top finish of the day. Coming down the home stretch with 300 meters remaining, Nate was neck and neck with 3rd ranked skier Austin Cobb from the Strtton Mountain School. Refusing to surrender to fatigue, Nate held off Cobb off at the line. This created the loudest crowd roar of the day! Nate took third place, his best 5k Eastern Cup finish of the season. As a result, Nate improved to 7th overall in the final rankings. Nate is the first alternate to represent New England as a J2 at the JO’s in Anchorage. Congratulations Nate!
The second race of the day was the women’s race. This race featured J1 veterans Adele Espy, Holly Whitney (in her last MCN Eastern Cup), in addition newly crowned Maine State Class A champ Rachel Hall raced as a J2. Against all racers in the women’s field, Adele Espy finished fifth overall. This finalized her ranking as the third J1 women in the east! As a result, Adele will represent New England on the JO team in Alaska in two weeks. Holly Whitney had a great day finishing 27th overall in the talented field. Holly finishes off the Eastern Cup season as the 14th ranked J1 in New England. With that, Holly stands poised to make an immediate impact on the Williams College Nordic program next winter. Coming off of a Maine Class A individual and team title three days earlier, Rachel Hall finished the race in 57th overall. Rachel finished 12th overall in the New England J2 rankings. The women’s J2 field started with the women’s J1/OJ field. This was a challenge but it gave Rachel great experience racing against the best in a mass start.
This was the last EC event of the season. The Maine Coast Nordic skiers made many waves while gaining valuable race experience. Everyone who took part in the Eastern Cups this year should be proud. MCN is giving Maine a lot of exposure in the New England Nordic scene. We look forward to 2008-2009!