Races include 200-plus competitors

15 years ago
By Kevin Sjoberg  
Sports Reporter

    PRESQUE ISLE – The TD Bank/TAMC Eastern Cup Opener at the Nordic Heritage Center proved to be a success, not only for the more than 200 competitors but for the volunteers, who are also preparing for the U.S. Junior Olympic Championships in March.

ImageContributed photo/Tim Doak
    Joey Bard of Caribou, a member of the Maine Winter Sports Center team, competed in th TD Bank/TAMC Eastern Cup Opener, held at the Nordic Heritage Center Dec. 19 and 20. The event included more than 200 athletes.

    The Eastern Cup races were held Dec. 19 and 20. The first day of competition featured freestyle sprints, with mass start classic races taking place on the second day of the event.
    In the Dec. 20 mens’ 10K mass sprint, Ben Koons of the Maine Winter Sports Center, a member of the New Zealand Olympic ski team, came in first in 31:57.6. He bested Dylan McGuffin from the University of New Hampshire by 13.8 seconds.
    Pavel Sotskov and Welly Ramsey of the MWSC team were seventh and eighth, respectively. Their times were 32:52 and 32:56. Joey Bard of Caribou, another member of the MWSC team, had a time of 35:27, while Justin Fereshetian of UMPI clocked the course in 37:13.
    Sophie Caldwell of Dartmouth College skied away from the women’s field for the win in 37:28.28. Stratton Mountain School’s Gage Fichter was the runner-up.
    Sarah Dominick of MWSC finished in 43:06, while UMPI’s Chandra Wisneski had a time of 43:28 and Hannah Shepard, also of UMPI, came in at 43:45.
    In the J2 5K girls’ race held that day, Corey Stock of Cambridge won in 19:41.8. Katelyn Plourde of MWSC had a time of 25:24. The boys’ J2 winner was Jack Hegman of Mansfield in 19:08.27. Jesse Rochester was the fastest MWSC athlete to cross the finish line, doing so in 21:17.
    In the Dec. 19 J1 and up sprint qualifier, Caldwell prevailed in 2:55.88. Justine Cyr was UMPI’s top perfomer in 3:33. Danni Anderson of Mapleton and MWSC crossed the line in 4:03.
    For the men’s J1 and up race, Skyler Davis of Stratton won in 2:29.86. John Dixon and Pavel Sotskov, both of MWSC, had times of 2:34.66 and 2:34.89, respectively. Bard came in at 2:28.05.
    Heather Mooney of Stratton (2:30.48) and Devlin Shea of GMVS (2:18.58) were the champions of the J2 girls and boys sprints.
    The TD Bank/TAMC Eastern Cup Opener served as the first of four New England Nordic Ski Association sanctioned events held throughout New England. It also was used as a training event for the Junior Olympics volunteers, according to event director Tim Doak.
    “It gave us an opportunity to test the same courses that will be used for the JOs and the chance to try our new timing system,” Doak said.
    Doak said the course volunteers and groomer operator did “an amazing job preparing the course and stadium with very little snow.”
    “Many hours of work went into the snow preparation, including having Soderberg Construction harvest snow with a loader from non-competition areas of the venue and placing it on the competition trails,” he added. “UMPI and MWSC athletes also assisted by completing their workout each day in the week prior to the event by shoveling snow for 15 to 30 minutes from the woods onto the course.”
    Doak said the 50 to 75 volunteers benefited greatly from the Dec. 19 and 20 event.
    “Each different group of volunteers came away from the event with a better appreciation of what the JOs will entail, and with ideas on how to more effectively complete their roles.
    The U.S. Junior Olympic Championships are scheduled to take place March 6-13.