Regional Updates

Regional Update

Central

CXC Elite Team

CXC (Central Cross Country) is expanding its Elite Team program to up to 12 athletes and is looking for post- and pre-college athletes committed to long term athletic development. The program is open to athletes from all regions. Currently the team consists of six post-college athletes; four male and two female. The team will be structured on athletic commitment, results and support during the training and racing season. The vision of the program is athlete development toward national and international excellence. The CXC Elite Team provides professional full-time coaching, training and racing equipment, training camps and race support. If you have questions about the program or would like to be considered, contact Bryan Fish, CXC Elite Team head coach at bryanfish.cxc@gmail.com or Yuriy Gusev, CXC executive director at yuriy.gusev@cxcskiing.org.

CXC Junior Development Program

The CXC Junior Development Program is also expanding its program to up to 14 junior athletes. Currently the program consists of nine high school athletes from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois. The program will provide three different opportunities for junior athletes to excel in cross country ski racing. Athletes will be able customize their program based on three major elements: full-time professional coaching, training camps through spring, summer and fall, and race support at NRL races, JOQs and U.S. National Championships. If you have any questions regarding the program, contact CXC Junior Development Program coach Bill Pierce at ctx52616@centurytel.net or CXC executive director Yuriy Gusev at yuriy.gusev@cxcskiing.org.

Two CXC Skiers Qualify for World Cup

Central Cross Country team skiers Brian Gregg and Garrott Kuzzy will represent the U.S. at the 2008 World Cup in Canmore, Alberta, January 22-26, 2008. CXC head coach Bryan Fish will help coach both CXC and the U.S. Ski Team at the event.

Gregg and Kuzzy qualified for the World Cup races based on their performances on the SuperTour circuit and at the 2008 U.S. Championships in Houghton, Mich. The Alberta races marked the World Cup debut for Kuzzy and Gregg. Four CXC team athletes have now earned World Cup starts since the program's inception a year-and-a-half ago. Caitlin Compton and Laura Valaas competed in the 2007 World Championships in Sapporo, Japan, last year.

Far West

Tahoe Rim Tour

Far West Nordic in conjunction with Northstar Resort and Tahoe Cross Country will present the inaugural Tahoe Rim Tour, a new 30-kilometer race and tour on Sunday, January 27, 2008. The race begins at the North Tahoe High School in Tahoe City, passes through Tahoe Cross Country Touring Center, climbs over the 7,700 ft. Starratt Pass and heads east along the Tahoe Rim before connecting into the trail system of Northstar Cross Country. The challenging course includes approximately 2,000 feet of climbing.

Participants can choose between classic, skate or snowshoeing, with prizes awarded for age group winners in each of the three categories. Results from the classic race count for points in the Fisher Cup Race Series, the Sierra Ski Chase and in the masters team qualifying series. The Tahoe Rim Tour is a fundraiser for the Far West/Auburn Ski Club Junior Nordic programs.

New England

The 2008 TD Banknorth New England Bill Koch League Festival

NENSA (New England Nordic Ski Association) will celebrate the 30th Annual Bill Koch League Youth Ski Festival on February 29 - March 2, 2008, at the new Gunstock Nordic Center in Gilford, NH. The theme of this year’s festival is “Strong Kids, Inc.” The theme encourages kids and families to make healthy choices and to lead an active lifestyle, not only through Nordic skiing, but also through year-round activity.

Festival chairman, Frank Edelblut and co-chairs, Don and Lorraine Cline, have been hard at work since last spring organizing what has become the largest youth Nordic ski event in North America. The festival weekend will kick off on Friday with course previews at Gunstock Nordic Center’s new trails, which were designed by Olympic biathlete John Morton. With Gunstock’s snow-making capabilities there will be plenty of the white stuff — regardless of whether Mother Nature contributes.

The Margate Resort, the official resort of this year’s festival, will not only accommodate most of the attendees, but will be the venue for Saturday night’s turkey dinner, J3 graduation and awards ceremony. Post-event activities will include a lakeside bonfire with s’mores, sledding, a disc jockey in the Blackstone Room, a game room and plenty of pool time. This arrangement will allow families from all over New England to spend time together, share stories of the day and enjoy the finest hospitality of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.

Saturday’s activities will begin with an opening ceremony and individual freestyle races, followed by the mini-marathon. Sunday’s events will begin with the lollipop race and finish up with the classic sprint, on what promises to be a fast and exciting race course.

Registration for the 30th Annual TD Banknorth Bill Koch League Festival is available at www.nensa.net. Click on “kids” and follow the links to the festival website. For more information, contact Lorraine Cline at lorraine@clinedesign.com.

New York

The New York State cross country ski racing season began with one of the best Decembers in recent memory. Three early season races got skiers on snow early and ready for the upcoming full schedule of NYSSRA (New York State Ski Racing Association) events.

The season started with the annual NYSEF season opener. Over 130 skiers took part in the 10 km freestyle race. The Middlebury College, Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University ski teams were well represented with Middlebury’s Alexia Turzian and St. Lawrence’s Ben Knowles winning the women’s and men’s races. The annual Osceola Christmas Race showcased a lightning fast 5 km freestyle course. Taylor Leach and Brian Pepper captured the overall wins in this race. The calendar year ended with the Lapland Lake Reindeer Roundup. Skiers raced a continuous pursuit over rolling terrain. Defending NYSSRA champion Paul Allison captured the men’s title with Dartmouth College’s Alison Crocker winning the women’s race.

The 2008 season is jam packed with great events all over the Empire State. Highlights include the annual NYSEF NRL weekend in Lake Placid, the Great Sacandaga Mini Marathon at the Saratoga biathlon center in Day, the Tug Hill Tourathon in the Winona State Forest and the Mid-Atlantic JO championships in Old Forge. The Lake Placid Loppet attracts hundreds of skiers to the Olympic Sports Complex. The Empire State Games test New York’s finest skiers.

The season culminates with NYSSRA’s feature event, the NYSSRA Champions Cup Weekend. This year’s event takes place in Lake Placid and is sponsored by High Peaks Cyclery. The weekend features the New York short-course championships, the annual Club Championship Relay and the 25 km New York State Championship freestyle race. Skiers who tackle NYSSRA races are entered in the annual “quest for the vest” points series. Champions in USSA age categories are awarded the NYSSRA Champion Vest at the Champions Cup awards ceremony.

NYSSRA-Nordic, Inc. sponsors cross country, biathlon, ski-o and Bill Koch events throughout New York state. Much more information can be found at www.nyssranordic.com.

Rocky Mountain

Winter in the Rockies started a bit late, but when it came, it came in a hurry with lots of snow for ski racers and recreational skiers alike.

Skiers had a chance to “warm up” their racing routine with few races and a well attended clinic before Christmas and should be ready for the event packed season. Colorado Cup Series continued with the Steamboat Stampede on January 5 and the Snow Mountain Ranch Classic on Jan. 12.

The Keep Winter White Ski Tour Series kicked off on January 13 with the Tour the Summit. For more information please visit www.coloradocrosscountry.com.

The Colorado Nordic centers and guest ranches are looking great with superb grooming and warm hospitality. RMN clubs are strong and the number of skiers is steadily growing. Juniors are focusing their efforts toward Junior Olympics in Anchorage, Alaska, and masters are excited to have the Masters World Cup so close to home in McCall, Idaho. Younger juniors will enjoy fun racing and games on Feb. 8 in Aspen as a part of the three-day SuperTour Festival and Championship in Summit at the beginning of March.

For more information please visit www.rmnordic.org or contact Ivana at ivana@rmnordic.org.

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