Monday, January 26, 2015

Bates/UVM Recap, Photos and Poems

We are a bit behind on blogging here...funny how that happens in the midst of the season, huh? SLUSKI is off to a great start! The women's team has had some standout moments but are still chasing a day where everything clicks. The men's team started off fierce and has not looked back, finishing in the top-5 for the first 4 races in a row.

Kate battles it out in the 10k classic mass start at UVM

There are almost too many great races and moments to bullet form I'll highlight some more individual successes and breakthroughs:



Blaine (16th), Chumley (29th), Taren (53), and Kyle (17th) all had their best-ever Carnival finishes

Kate scored her first NCAA points of the year and her second-best Carnivan finish in the skate race

Isaac was inside the NCAA points in his first-ever Carnival race

Dana, Sliz and India all had personal-best Eastern Cup races AND qualified for their first sprint heats (with Dana in the open heats! And India with a broken finger!)

Isaac "Stumpy" Wright having a killer first Carnival race!


Erin had her first top-30 of the year and her second-best distance Carnival

Phil had his first top-30. It came down a sprint for that top-30 and Phil earned it through and through

Kyle had his first pts in a classic race, and as a bonus he found a magical kick-zone on his warm skis

Dana had two great races, particularly the mass start on Saturday…she was charging more than your iPhone the morning after a long Saturday night!

Morgan got his best result (52) in the classic mass start

Will gives it his all in the UVM skate race


While the individual success is great, the team spirit has never been higher and each weekend has been a real fun experience. This group has a lot of fun together and that makes handling both the highs and the lows much easier. Before the season started we all answered some discussion questions and, based on everyone's responses, wrote a team mission statement. 

The mission of the St. Lawrence University Ski Team is to foster an environment that challenges and motivates student-athletes to reach their potential both within and outside of the sport.
A culture of respect and active communication creates a healthy balance of effort and enjoyment, along with a desire for members to push toward achieving both personal and team goals. 

I have to say, it feels great to be able to say that this group is really embracing so much of what this mission statement puts forth. I can think of so many examples of various aspects of this statement being carried out by the team at all times, and it is inspiring. 


To close out this blog post, I will share two poems that Dana and Calvin wrote about the Bates Carnival: (note: I may have edited for content/language)

Bates Carnival
By Dana and Calvin

We drove 7 hours in the van and mini bus
It was so bumpy that Taren swore and cussed
First dinner out at Matterhorn
Where Tinder was used as a substitute for porn
Breakfast was made in our rooms
Where we chatted and thought of our future grooms
It was so smelly at the paper mill
Three, four, five times up high school hill
Isaac came in for the kill
India took a big spill
Drew helped out
And did it without a pout
Morgan, Will, and Kyle had their best results
Etown came up to them and had lots of exult
The NYSEF girls all wanted to give them big kisses
They all turned, glared and said, “Sorry misses”
Second dinner was at Phoenix
Chumley made a sick remix
Sliz saw all her Maine hicks
Terko always knows the secret wax tricks
Kyle nods his head, drinking coffee for a quick fix
We went over the hills, making the descent
At the meetings we all nod our heads and comprehend
Kate tries not to giggle
While Erin and Austin wiggle
LMFAO blasts on the radio
And Emma likes to sing, though
C-town got sick, so we went home real quick
While in the van, Blaine snap-chatted a chick
A latte in Phil’s hands, he took lots of sips
As he opened his lips,
Sean swayed his hips and flashed his nips
Austin let it rip
And the boogers and snot sure did drip
Bob gave lots of feeds and gave you your drink, guaranteed
Calvin boosted his speed,
The Dana Train ran non-stop, going to the open sprint heats
With speedy speedy feet
Black Mountain was windy and gray
The roads became icy and beckoned us to stay
Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin were dismayed
We came, saw, conquered, and slayed

Ode to Ace
By Calvin

The race was at a place with bare mace
It was a fast chase
With much grace and a quick pace
India is a head case
$h#t, I just scratched my base
Dana has a tattoo on her face
When I bent down to tie my lace,
I quickly stood to the sound of “Blank Space”
Taylor Swift, so talented I’d give her my grandmother’s vase
Out of the start, I hear the bass
Into the finish, no one behind, my opponents defaced without a trace
So sit down and pull out your pencil case because this ain’t no arms race
The proof is in the TROPHY CASE
Yeah, that’s right I write in uppercase


-Closing photos-

Bob and the women's team enjoying a stop for some BJs on the way home from Stowe

Will, Phil and Austin chill out on an ice throne. All three (plus Kyle) were in the top-30 in the UVM classic mass start


As always, for more photos and updates please visit and 'like' the SLUSKI Facebook page!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

News from LP and da UP

For the first time in many years the SLUSKI team is divided for our winter training camp...but in a good way! Ethan has been out in Houghton, Michigan (da UP, eh?) with Will, Kate, Erin, Calvin and Blaine at US Nationals. Adam has been in Lake Placid with the rest of the gang...but despite the physical distance it seems like both crews are experiencing the same types of stimulation: fast skiing and cold weather!

We have had a good time communicating back and forth, mostly bragging about our various home-cooked meals...although the culinary competition is a bit one-sided since we have a whole kitchen at our disposal and the Nats crew has been frying pineapples on a hotplate:

Tasty grilled pineapple in Michigan

The racing has been great. With so many events at Nationals and a crew of five, it's daunting to recap every event...In the 10/15k skate Erin and Blaine led the way in 55th and 65th, respectively, with Kate and Will also posting strong results in 84th and 82nd. 

In the classic sprints Erin posted a 74th, and Will and Calvin demonstrated impressive sprinting for distance specialists in 67th and 79th. Blaine ended up having the longest day (in a good way), posting a 58th in qualification and moving through the rounds to hang on to his position as the 9th junior overall thanks to a 3rd place in the B-final.

If those numbers seem relatively high to be celebrating...consider that this field is far larger and deeper than most any EISA race...this is a combination of Eastern, Midwestern, Western and Alaskan skiers, plus professional racers from across the country, guests from other nations, and US Ski Team members. In many cases a top-100 finish is a noteworthy result: to see SLUSKI fighting it out at places half that high is quite an Ethan recently stated in an email to the athletic department: 

"So far this has been our best showing as a team at the US Nationals in my tenure as head coach and bodes well for our potential this season. "

I think that sums it up pretty well! Today will feature a 20/30k mass start for the older racers, while Blaine tackles the other juniors in his premiere event, the 10k classic. You can search through results here, including the equally-strong SLUSKI results in the "College Cup", which measures all of the collegiate teams in attendance. 

For some very unique videos of the events, check out the edits Chumley has put together that capture the scene out there well:

Here in Lake Placid we have been showing the cold who's boss, getting out on some great conditions at Van Hoevenberg. Despite that warm-up and rain a week ago, almost every trail remains skiable and in great shape thanks to the awesome grooming crew. Flurries every day have slowly changed the surface from crushed ice to packed powder with each successive round of grooming!

After the cold skiing each day we have been warming back up with group-cooked meals, lots of card games, and a trip to the local bowling alley across the street. 

Last night we played the Bob Washo classic SALAD BOWL

India attempts to act out a word for Sliz to guess

We also hooked up the computer to the big screen to watch the world premiere of Chumley's films from nationals!

But back to the skiing: Yesterday we held a 2-part "Tour De LP" skate timetrial. First up was a 2k prologue, the times of which were used to determine a "hunting start" skate pursuit half an hour later. 

Kyle  busts out of the start in the chilly prologue

Prologue winners Kyle and Taren maintained their head-starts in the pursuit to win the overall event, though we are still putting together the individual split-times from the 5k where it was reported that Mrs. Dana Hatton went particularly fast. 

Dana leads India into the finish of the prologue

After a mid-day journey to the Albany airport by coach Terko, Austin officially joined the crew...albeit minus all his baggage thanks to a classic United Airlines fumble: if anyone in the Syracuse area finds bags with his name please let us know!