j2 Fest and Eastern High School Championships
Vermont beat out a fighting Maine in a competitive series of nordic ski races at the J2 Festival this past weekend. The three-day, four-race event was held at Holderness School in Plymouth, NH. The top 20 J2 (14 to 15 year old) girls and top 20 J2 boys from each New England state competed as a team in a variety of races.
Four Gould skiers raced for the Maine team – Jeb Clarke, Molly Seigel, Samantha Southam and I. Friday started out the weekend with a five kilometer skate technique race. Saturday we raced twice in a 5K classic race and a 1K skate sprint, followed by a mixed medley/gender relay on Sunday morning. Jeb won the skate 5K race with a blistering time of 12:21:9.
Skiers started in “waves”of five, one skier representing each state. There were one minute intervals between the waves. This is always an exciting way to race – each skier fighting hard for the lead, sprinting like crazy, snow spraying and skis soaring from the second they are set loose from the line. The weekend was full of spectacular crashes (evident from our bruises and “snow burn” scrapes), victories taken by seconds, and team camaraderie (Maine love!).
The Maine team fought hard and every Gould skier raced tough and fast. This coming weekend will be the Eastern High School championships in Rangely, ME. This event is similar to J2 Fest, but is for the fastest High School students of any age from each state. Jeb and I will be racing again, as will Andrew Nesbitt and Peter Cowan. All of us are racing for Maine.
Sorry about the lack of pictures, I hope to add some later. I’ll be reporting back to you next week with results, pictures, and school events.