The J2 Boys raced 4.5K with Stratton Mountain School’s Koby Gordon earning a narrow 5.3 second win over Gatineau, Quebec’s Zacharie Turgeon. Ben Hegman (Mansfield Nordic) was third with Jake Elder (Cumberland County Nordic) just 1.5 seconds behind him to claim 4th.
The J2 Girls raced 4.5K with the women’s field. Cambridge Sports Union’s Julia Kern grabbed the victory with an impressive 13th place overall. Anne-Marie Comeau from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Quebec was second with Stratton’s Brooke Mooney and Katherine Ogden third and fourth.
Overall, the women’s race featured a runaway win by Dartmouth’s Sophie Caldwell, but an intense battle behind her with only 6 seconds separating 2nd from 7th place. In second was the Craftsbury Green Racing Project newcomer and former CXC Elite Team skier Maria Stuber enjoying another strong finish with her new team. UNH’s Elizabeth Guiney and UVM’s Lucy LeGarrec took third and fourth.
By the time the men’s race temperatures had warmed a bit, and no team was hotter than the Craftsbury Green Racing Project who put four athletes into the top six. Another team newcomer and former CXC athlete Brian Cook took advantage of his early start and stormed to a lead that held as over 200 men crossed the finish line. Teammates Dylan McGuffin and Nils Koons were 2nd and 3rd. Patrick Johnson of Middlebury College was just 0.5 seconds behind Koons to grab 4th.
Despite so much warm weather across New England this December it was once again another winter-like day in Craftsbury. Participants enjoyed plentiful artificial snow, cold temperatures, and lots of fantastic ski racing thanks to a superhuman effort by the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Many thanks to the hosts, racers, and supporters who made this weekend a great opening to the 2011-12 TD Bank Eastern Cup season.