CRAFTSBURY, VT – Three days of racing into the season and the Purple Cows have once again established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. After losing four Juniors to study abroad, the full team of 21 athletes has been reunited. They spent this past week racing at Senior National Championships hosted by the Craftsbury Outdoors Center in Craftsbury, Vermont.
After the first day of racing, a long distance individual start classic race, senior captain Sonya Jampel led the Ephs, finishing as the 34th U23 racer in the nation, closely followed by her teammates junior Ingrid Thyr and sophomore Magdalen York.
For the men, junior Jack Consenstein returned from a semester abroad in Norway and shocked the audience by pulling out a 38th U23 male finish in the nation, closely followed by teammates sophomore Henry McGrew (14th U20), senior Evan Carr and sophomore Franklin Reilly.
The next day in the classic sprint, freshman Siri Bohacek stunned the crowd placing 17th overall U20 in the country. Blazing the same course, sophomore Emil Graf scored 9th U20 in the country closely followed by teammates sophomore Andrew Hull (10th U20) and junior Dylan Syben.
The last day of racing, a skate mass start race, was a brutal yet successful day for the Purple Cows. Senior Braden Becker astounded his fans and family by cruising to 15th overall and 3rd U23 in America, only 2 minutes and 30 seconds back from the top finisher. Braden was followed closely by teammate senior captain Nick Gardner who ended up placing 15th U23 in the country. The Williams men set the tone for the following race, a 7.5k skate mass start where the Williams women made their presence known. Freshman Jenae Rasmussen killed the scene after placing as the 23rd U20 in the country. Jenae was closely followed by teammates freshman Marika Massey-Bierman and sophomore Isabel Lane who tied for 34th U20. Lastly, freshman Isaac Freitas-Eagan lead the U20 men in the 10k skate placing 11th U20 closely followed by freshman Woody Martineau who placed 24th U20.
Eph Norodic head coach Jason Lemieux shared some wisdom before the long distance skate mass start race, stating, "Skiing is a physical sport but it is also very mental and building confidence is about what you focus on. If you focus on your failures or things that didn't go well it's more likely to happen than when you focus on the times when you have been the best at what you do. Remember those times because they're going to happen again." Coach Lemieux concluded his pep talk the night before the race by reminding his athletes that "there are a lot of humans racing tomorrow. None of them are superhuman."
Looking forward to the rest of race season, coach Lemieux offered his thoughts. "Coming out of US Nationals, usually people are really fast. And I think it is because they get their eyes open to next level competition. I think we have done a good job balancing training and racing. There's a lot of pain out there, that's part of racing but I think we are going to have a great year." Here we go; rock the cow!
The Eph Nordic skiers will open thier Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association (EISA) schedule Jan. 12 & 13 when they compete at the St. Lawrence University Carnival.