Nordic skiing

HANCOCK/RIPTON — The Rikert Nordic Center and the Middlebury Snow Bowl will welcome skiers this winter with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Changes include required online reservations for skiing, equipment rentals, and lessons, as well as lodge access that is limited to restrooms, equipment rental, and grab-and-go food purchases. “We are looking forward to a great ski season,” said Mike Hussey, director of skiing at Middlebury College, which owns and operates the cross country and Alpine skiing venues. “This year will really put the focus on what skiing is all about—being up in the...

TIGER SENIOR WILL Carpenter, seen here at Rikert Nordic Center in the classic championship race, earned Honorable Mention as a Division II Nordic All-Star after skiing to 10th- and 18th-place finishes at the two-day championship meet. Independent file photo/Steve James
ADDISON COUNTY — Four Nordic skiers from Middlebury Union High School and one from Mount Abraham were named Division II All-Stars, and another three Tigers and one Eagle earned honorable mention. Those named all-stars earned the 10 best combined times for the freestyle and classic state races over the two-day state championship competition, and honorable mentions went to those with the next best five combined times.  Three Tiger boys earned All-Star status: Jack Christner, Zach Wilkerson and Elvis McIntosh. Christner won the classic race and finished fourth in the freestyle, and also anchored...
OBERWISENTHAL, Germany — Middlebury College freshman Nordic skier Sophia Laukli helped the U.S. women’s junior women win a silver medal at the Nordic world championships last week in Germany. Laukli, a Maine resident, joined Kendall Kramer, Novie McCabe and Sydney Palmer-Leger to help the U.S. finish second behind Sweden, 4.9 seconds back, in the junior women’s four-by-3.3-kilometer relay. It was the best-ever finish for U.S. women in the event.  Laukli has excelled this season for the Panther Nordic team, which has helped the Middlebury ski team win two carnivals this winter. The Panthers...

TIGER SOPHOMORE PHOEBE Hussey bursts out of the starting gates at Rikert Nordic Center on the way to her team-best fifth-place finish in the Division II championship classic race this past Thursday. The Tigers finished second behind U-32 in Division II in the two-day competition. Independent photo/Steve James
RIPTON/JERICHO — Defending champion U-32 overcame a first-day relay-race disqualification and rallied on Monday past the Middlebury Union High School girls’ Nordic team to top the Tigers for the Division II state title, 132-153. The Raiders and Tigers outclassed the eight-team field in classic racing held on Feb. 20 at Ripton’s Rikert Nordic Center and freestyle racing at the Ethan Allen Range in Jericho on Monday. Lamoille was next with 194, followed by Harwood (203), Burr and Burton (214), Peoples (358), BFA-Fairfax (379) and Stowe (441). Sophomore Phoebe Hussey led the Tigers on both days...

MUHS SENIOR WILL Carpenter crests a rise during Division II classic racing on Feb. 20 at Rikert Nordic Center. He finished 18th and helped the Tigers win relay races at Rikert and during the second day of competition in Jericho. Independent photo/Steve James
RIPTON AND JERICHO — Over the two days of the Division II boys’ Nordic state championship, the margin between winner U-32 and second place Middlebury Union High School came down to less than one place per skier in the individual races — seven points. When the snow settled after the freestyle competition at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho on Monday afternoon the Raiders had claimed their second straight D-II title, 72-79 over the Tigers. The Raiders and Tigers easily outpaced the rest of the eight-team field in the final standings: Lamoille (163) was third, followed by Burr and Burton (313), BFA-...
CRAFTSBURY — The Middlebury College ski teams finished second overall at the opening carnival of the season this pat weekend, hosted by Harvard at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Resort. The Panthers were just four points behind the University of Vermont. Vermont won the event with 867 points, followed by Middlebury (863) and Dartmouth (839). The Panthers return to action this weekend at the University of Vermont Carnival. The women’s Nordic team on Saturday placed three skiers in the top six in the 15-kilometer classic race. Alexandra Lawson took second in...
CHITTENDEN COUNTY — The Middlebury Union High School boys’ Nordic ski team on Monday clinched the annual three-stage Tour de Chittenden race, edging Division II rival U-32, 28-34. Both teams easily defeated D-I competition. Champlain Valley (65) was third, with Mount Mansfield (109) and Burlington (124) next in 10-team scoring field. Tiger skier Jack Christner won individual events on Thursday at Colchester High School, a short freestyle race, and Saturday, a longer classic-style race at the Ethan Allen Firing Range, and finished first overall with a cumulative time of 28:04. Tiger Elvis...
MIDDLEBURY — This past winter new-look MUHS girls’ and boys’ Nordic teams each fared well at the two-day Division II state meet, each finishing second to U-32 despite the graduation of many of the skiers who had helped both of the program’s teams win titles the year before. There’s little doubt the Tigers will excel again. The top four female skiers from the classic state meet race return — seniors Malia Hodges (a co-captain) and Isabel Olson, sophomores Astrid Olsen and Maddy Stowe — and five of the top seven from the freestyle race are back: Hodges, Stowe, Olson, Olsen and Mary Nagy-Benson...
BRANDON — The Nordic ski team at Otter Valley is building momentum going into this season. Fourth-year head coach Devon Fuller was seeing improvement and focus in preseason as his team prepared for the season with 15 student-athletes, seven of whom are in the middle school. There are no captains, but the team boasts three juniors, three sophomores and one freshman, plus four eighth-graders and three seventh-graders. Many of the students are returning team members. “The kids are getting better all the time,” Fuller said. “I have a handful that started in seventh grade and now are freshman and...

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