Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Climb to Castle Race 2016

Hi again,

The SLUski blog is staying alive! This week, hear from Kate Andy, another freshman, and from Lucy and Jackie on the weekend adventures from the Climb to Castle Race! They are writing like blog pros already and did I mention..skiing like ones too?!

Hi everybody!  
My name is Kate Andy and I am a freshman on the team this year. I’m from Concord, New Hampshire and I am super excited to be a part of this group, and so far, training has been great.  I started skiing when I was in eighth grade, mainly because Erin Waters, a fellow SLU skier, convinced me to pick up the sport!  Now, I absolutely love to ski, and cannot believe I get to compete in a college uniform (something that has been my dream since I started).

This summer, I mostly stayed in Concord doing a lot of Nordic training and working.  I worked at an animal hospital, taking care of the boarded pets and helping with patient appointments.  There was always an adventure going on in the hospital, so that kept me plenty busy.  On the side, I did some volunteering at the Audubon Society, studying the bluebird boxes that were around the complex.  Aside from being dive-bombed by the angry parent birds, it was really interesting to watch the babies grow and eventually fledge from the nest.

As I started getting into the New York mood, I visited Niagara Falls for the first time and it was absolutely beautiful! I travelled into Canada for a little bit, and swam in Lake Ontario, which felt just like an ocean.  At the end of the summer, I visited New York City before heading out to the rural campus of SLU.

Niagara Falls
New Hampshire Sunset
With a few weeks of captains’ practices under my belt, I am really looking forward to what the season has to offer.  It feels so great to be training with a big group of people because I did most of my training on my own this summer.  Thank you to the upperclassmen and the six other freshmen that have done such a good job welcoming me onto the team! Go Saints!

This weekend was the infamous Climb to the Castle! For those who don’t know, it is a 5-mile rollerski race up Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid. Racers are sure to be greeted with inclement weather, strong winds, a grueling morning, and one very long hill. It averages an 8% grade, and according to Whiteface the road has 2300’ of climbing in all. Needless to say, that is a lot of up!

The Saints had a strong day on the climb, with multiple age group podiums and a large showing. The girls went off first and the boys chased us up the mountain (eventually catching us and giving some good mid-race encouragement!) The finish line was surely a welcome sight, though with the extreme fog it was hard to know when it was coming. Overall, it was a great time, a good indicator of fitness, and a preview of the time we will spend together this winter. I think everyone’s highlight may have been the sandwiches at the Lakeview Deli after the race.

Now for some pictures:
Team post race! 
Pretty cool moment to see both former assistant coach, Adam Terko and current assistant coach, Liz both podium in their age group!!
Men's Start (NYSEF Photo)

Women's Start (NYSEF Photo)

Calvin '17 leading the SLU men to a 6th place finish! (NYSEF Photo)
Anna under the one slice of blue sky! She powered through to 23rd place (NYSEF Photo)  
Dana '18 and Kate '20 working together to come in strong with 11th and 12th

Jackie '20 hanging tough after leading the first 3 miles, finishing 4th overall

Asst Coach Liz hopped in, crushing a 7th overall (NYSEF Photo)

Lucy '20 seen here working her V1, finishing 6th overall

Madi '20 skied strong for an 18th place (NYSEF Photo)

Ryan '20 gutting it out for 17th (NYSEF Photo)

Ruben '19 flying around the Lake Placid turn, finishing in 10th (NYSEF Photo)

FasterSkier article here
Climb to Castle Race Photos here
Race Results here

Thank you to Dave and Nick for manning the camera all day.  Thank you to Marge and NYSEF for putting on this race for the 10th year in a row! And lastly, thank you to you all for your continued support!

-Lucy and Jackie

This coming weekend is Family weekend and we are looking forward to spending some quality time with our families and meeting new faces as well. The alpine and nordic teams are having a ski sale on Saturday 10am-1pm in Leithead Fieldhouse- be sure to stop by and say hello!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Only a Hop, Skip, and a Jump away

Hello again SLUSki fans!

Welcome back to the blog! We're excited to be right back in the swing of things.  With only two weeks until official practice, we thought we would update you on what has happened so far and introduce you to some freshman. As you may know, I wrote a lot for the blog last season and am trying very hard to recruit more writers! I successfully poked the freshman into writing a little something after I shared with them my first post I wrote as a freshman; I think it worked because you'll see it referenced in here!  This week, hear from Lucy Hochschartner from Lake Placid, NY,  Jordan Tanguay from Fort Kent, ME and Jackie Garso from Lake Clear, NY.

-Dana '18

Ps. We are excited for colder weather....

Lovely Lucy from Lake Placid:

Hi! My name is Lucy, and I am a freshman from Lake Placid.  I love to ski and have spent the summer preparing for winter.  In June, I went to the Tahoe area and Yosemite with my dad for a little over a week to spend some time together hiking and running around a new place.

View from Tioga Peak, California 
The rest of the time I stayed around Lake Placid training and working in the office of the summer camp that I live at, since my parents work there (it’s a school as well).

Taken while on a run back home
Although I’m not from too far away, there have been lots of new things in these first few weeks at SLU.  Mainly there are a whole lot of new training partners!  This summer I did most workouts alone or with my ski team, which usually meant being one of two girls my age, and so it has been incredible to have such a large group of girls to train with.  We have 7 freshmen girls (a lot!) and some wonderful returners who show us the ropes, make sure we don’t get lost, and make us laugh!

            Captain’s practices have been awesome.  The roads in Canton seem to go on forever, rolling through fields and farms. It has made roller-skiing a true joy, which if you’ve ever talked to a skier, you’ll know is not always the case.  We have done some distance workouts with the men and women together, which were lots of fun and good for getting to know the team.  All in all, it’s been great, and I can’t wait for the season to start because it's only a hop, skip and a jump away.

Joyful Jordan from Maine:

Hey y’all!
My name is Jordan Tanguay, and I’m from Fort Kent, Maine, a small town at the tip of northern Maine, where I can basically throw a rock and hit Canada.

Canadian Mountains
So far SLU is awesome, and my teammates are truly incredible. It’s so fun to go out on a distance ski and just talk about our days, get to know each other, and take in the miles of open fields and smell the beautiful scent of cows (sarcasm intended..). Being one of seven freshman girls coming in this year, it is nice knowing we are all transitioning to this new place together, and are able to motivate each other too. Everyone is eager to go out each day and kill it, knowing that whatever we do, we’ll always have Dana by our side when we get back (Dana Dining Hall, but of course Dana Hatton).

Over the summer, I was a lifeguard and swim instructor; which basically entails yelling at kids not to splash, and soothing pre schoolers when they FINALLY got their toes wet with five minutes remaining in the lesson. When I wasn’t at the pool, I was training. I did a lot of roller-skiing, running, strength training, biking, and climbing. I competed in a mountain challenge at Sunday River Ski Resort in Bethel Maine, but didn’t actually get to do it, because of severe lighting, thunder, hail, and torrential rain, (so if you see me looking swag wearing a green tee with crossbones on it, don’t judge.) On the bright side, I was fortunate to spend a week at Acadia National Park, and got to climb Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and first place to view sunrise in the US from October 7 to March 6.

Summit of Cadillac
I also had the opportunity to train with some talented bi-athletes, great coaches, and fun teammates as well- learning the art to get back up after miserably failing at a 180 in an agility course, and racing against thunderstorms while sweat painfully dripped into our eyes.

So, besides taking a graceful body slam the other day, when my pole stuck in a crack in the concrete, and making way for honking vehicles whizzing by, I can say that the transition to this new place in these first few weeks has been very reassuring, knowing that I get to spend a few hours a day with kindhearted people who also wish there would be snow on the ground, and skis under our feet.  It's only a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Jolly Jackie from Lake Clear:

Hi everybody! My name is Jackie, and I’m a freshman from Lake Clear, NY.
I spent most of the summer training with NYSEF in Lake Placid. Early in the summer, I got to go down to Waitsfield, VT for REG Camp, which was a nice change of pace and a good opportunity to see/train with some friends from New England who I usually only get to see in the winter.

I also volunteered at Ironman – My high school Nordic team runs the transition area, and my XC team runs a water station, so I was really busy all day! The best part of volunteering at an Ironman is probably running to get bikes for people after they finish; they’re all so happy they don’t have to wander around looking for their bikes and it’s a good way to finish out the day.
LP Ironman Transition Area
The LP Ironman Transition Area at 11:30pm was way calmer than it was 12 hours earlier. I stuck around until midnight and got to see the last finisher come through about a minute before the cutoff!

One of the last workouts I did before coming to SLU was the traditional ski up the Whiteface Toll Road. Because NYSEF runs Climb to the Castle, we all cap off summer training with a race preview. However, this year a bunch of us decided to go from the 4 Corners, making it 8 miles instead of 5.

Lucy and I on the top of Whiteface! Photo Creds: Colin Delaney
I’ve never had more than one or two other girls to train with, so having a team of 12 has been really cool, and that combined with the numerous scenic roller-skiing/running routes have made workouts pretty fun! The other day, we went roller-skiing at Higley, which was a cool way to preview where we’ll be skiing this winter, and a ton of fun to rip around. It’s been pretty hot here the last few weeks, but with the weather starting to cool down, winter seems just around the corner.

Or perhaps it's only a hop, skip, and jump away...