JHSC Club and Community Nordic Update
Happenings of the JHSC Nordic Program, Trail Creek Nordic Center, and Local Nordic Community
Welcome to the January 17th edition of “What’s Going On!” Read on for the scoop of the ongoing 2019-2020 season . . .
Great job on the first two weeks, getting the kiddos to practice, with appropriate clothing and equipment! We spent the practice(s) doing introductions to one another, playing some fun games, and taking an adventure ski! This week was a POWDER week, so expect some snowy kids as we play in the fluff! Hats, buffs, and base-layers (tucked in) are key to keeping the snow and cold off tender young skin.
Wildlife Sightings: Last Monday's group was treated to the sight of an ermine carrying a yummy vole back to its den for a hearty winter meal. An ermine is a short-tailed weasel wearing its winter-white coat. They are hard to spy, but the tip of their tail remains brown even in winter!
Coach Kathy Neily
Lollipopper Head Coach
The Teewinots have had a great first two weeks of practice! We have been focusing on our fundamental body positions and harnessing a great athletic stance to help build our Nordic foundations for the season. These first practices have been classic specific, as we have explored the woods around Trail Creek, and have had some fun in the fresh powder! We have some athletes participating in the Johnny Curtis Memorial Races this weekend, and we are looking forward to our first Skate practices next week!
Teewinot Head Coach
The Development Team has had a solid last few weeks of skiing. The daily snow has put a damper on our gliding practice but has improved the adventure skiing. Powder skiing is the norm lately as we work on our up and downhill technique. With vast improvement from all our athletes, we are now able to roam around Trail Creek, and our adventures are taking us farther out on the trail system.
We will focus next on the New Moose Chase/Winter Carnival. This event on February 8 will highlight a sprint relay race with teams made up of different age group athletes. We will be practicing together this week, with our older athletes mentoring the younger ones. The Development Team will also continue our adventures and powder skiing as we work at improving our technique.
Rob, Will, Mark, Pipa
Development Team Head Coach
The Junior Team has been busy working in power application and fluid technique transitions that match to the terrain. We have been having an awesome time skiing Armins Loop/Faceplant, as well as Black Hole and Olympic Loops. The past few weeks we have been preparing for our home IMD JNQ/U14 Cup Races with intervals on the race course, tactics work, and refreshers on waxing skis for races. Thanks again for all of the hard work!
Junior Nordic Team Head Coach
School is back in session, which means we have been back at training with a more consistent schedule after a nice break to play and celebrate over the vacation. Our Prep and Comp Teams have been busy working to get ready for the upcoming Junior National Qualifier that we are hosting at Trail Creek on January 17th and 18th!
This has meant a lot of intervals on both the sprint and distance courses in order to really take full advantage of our home course advantage. Both coaches and athletes are excited to show the rest of IMD and High Plains the caliber of Nordic skiing that Jackson has to offer.
Several athletes also traveled to Pinedale last weekend to put in some solid efforts at the high school races. The kids had some great races and posted solid results, which can be found HERE.
Assistant Nordic Program Director & Coach
As you might imagine, Coach Ben has had a few million things on his plate, with somewhere shy of 400 racers not to mention their coaches, ski waxers, racing technical delegates, family, etc. all coming to Trail Creek, and all wanting the best possible Nordic racing conditions. As he was flying by he mentioned that, all in all, things are going well, with the teams and programs mostly flowing like clockwork. The skiers are also digging in and doing their best.
Look back to this report early next week for additional updates.
Head Coach and Nordic Program Director
If you get the opportunity to come out to Trail Creek on a Monday and/or Wednesday afternoon and spot a bunch of the second youngest skiers scurrying about, in addition to head coach Sevi you’ll probably see Coach Derek Collins, either leading or hot on the Teewinots tails. Derek is a great addition to our coaching family and has a truly unique story to tell about his experiences that have resulted in him being here with us at Trail Creek.
I was raised in Aleknagik, a small Yupik Eskimo village along the Bering Coast of Alaska. The end of the small school building had an exterior ski rack on it with a bunch of old skis for the kids in the school. This was my introduction to Nordic skiing. We would walk around in the surrounding woods or ski down the icy hill by the school as a group.
I didn't start track skiing till I was around 19 years old. Since then, I have spent a fair bit of time skiing track as well as just exploring the backcountry on skis. I truly love skiing of any sort.
My wife and I both enjoy time in the backcountry with our two children and do our best to incorporate skiing into our adventures. We usually do a few overnight trips on skis with them each winter.
I have the privilege of working under Sevi Hagen as an assistant coach to the Teewinot kids. Certainly the most important thing, to my mind as a coach, is to instill a love of Nordic skiing in the children. Nordic skiing can be a transformative activity that you can continue to do your entire life. It also has a unique community that supports its members and helps foster a healthy, happy lifestyle. That love is what I hope to share with the kids.
Thanks so much, Derek, for being part of what makes Trail Creek amazing and for letting us know a little more about your story. Good luck keeping up with those Teewinots!
As the last newsletter went to print, our very own Elijah Weenig was giving his all at the LL Bean US Cross Country Championships. Coach Ben provided the following report:
Last week Elijah Weenig competed at U.S. Nationals in Houghton Michigan, racing head to head among the fastest junior, collegiate, and senior athletes in the country. The Nationals competitions provide an opportunity for U18 athletes to prequalify for Junior Nationals, qualify for the Scandinavian Cup in Falun Sweden later this month, and to showcase their talent to collegiate coaches. U18s that average a top 6 ranking qualify for the Scandinavian Cup and athletes that average top 20 among U18s and U20s pre-qualify for Junior Nationals.
Elijah had a fantastic week and lead U18 Intermountain athletes in 2 out of the 3 races. He qualified for the skate sprint heats, only to narrowly get knocked out of the quarterfinal. He posted one of the faster times among all of the quarterfinal heats and would have advanced to the semifinals if he had been in any other quarter final heat. His final result within the U18 class was 10th place for the day.
In the 15km individual skate, Elijah carried his momentum from the sprint race with a 10th place in the U18 class, topping all other intermountain skiers. In the classic 10km mass start he continued to capitalize on finding his top race speed to finish 8th in U18s, and again ranked as the top Intermountain competitor.
Elijah rounded out his Nationals trip ranked 10th in the country among all U18s, and 30th among U18s and U20s. The future is bright!
Complete results can be found here.
January 4th was the Sandbag Challenge here at Trail Creek. A nice sized group showed up for a great day of racing and camaraderie. Locals Erich Wilbrecht and Jamie Peacock were the net and handicap winners respectively. But we have to mention New York City resident, Tim Kubarych, who happened to show up, ran down to Wilson Backcountry Sports, rented a pair of fish scales, and come back up to ski the course. Tim gets the “Nordic Spirit” award. Full results are available here.
Thanks also to Nordic Scribe and Conjurer, Dave Adams, for having the data and inspiration to support the sport in the great way that he does.
While not technically a race, we have to mention that the January 5th Annual Free Ski and Fat Bike Day, sponsored by JH Nordic and Turpin Meadow Ranch, was a huge success with around 600 people coming together to share in the great event. Make sure to put the event on your calendar for 2021!
On January 11th the Teton Ridge Classic was held in Victor, Idaho. 116 racers competed in distances ranging from 2 to 24 kilometers. Moderate temperatures and light snow made for a great classic day, with Trevor Willoughby winning the male 24 km in 1 hour 36 minutes 13.6 seconds, and Julie Davenport the female division in 1 hour 48 minutes 5.3 seconds. Full results are available here.
Finally the high school racers were back at it in Pinedale on January 10th and 11th. While many of the local racers were not able to attend due to Intermountain Division conflicts, Jackson skiers still made a good showing. Top Jackson finishers include Joe Goodrich, Hayden Poduska, Parker Smith, and KC MacLeod. Full results are available at the High Plains Nordic page.
Snow has been in abundance so far this month at Trail Creek, with multiple feet having fallen in the preceding week. After being in a bit of a deficit part of the year, the nearest Snotel station on Phillips Bench as of January 16th has it at 104% of normal. When we’ve been able to get ahead of the snow, the trails have been great, with plenty of width and most obstacles covered.
Skier days have been running on the very busy side as we have entered the peak Nordic season. All of the JHSC teams are now skiing, along with Wilson Winter Sports. We’ve also seen a steady flow of recreational skiers with many people discovering Trail Creek for the first time.
If you’re looking for moose, you shouldn’t have to look too hard as the most recent storm cycle seems to have moved in the last few stragglers, with the current resident population being somewhere around a dozen. As mentioned above, the Lollipoppers spotted an ermine this week which are regularly out and about. We still have a few shy elk and deer hanging around, and our local coyotes and foxes are out every night foraging on rodents and anything else they can find.
We have had a bit of an issue with the Pisten Bully but believe we have remedied the situation with the replacement of a device that controls the amount of air coming from the turbo charger. Grooming has also been focusing on the Johnny Curtis races going on this weekend and will soon be switching gears in anticipation of the upcoming Nordic Festival.
We are currently right smack dab in the middle peak Nordic season with a very busy schedule. As this newsletter goes online the Johnny Curtis Memorial Intermountain Division Junior National Qualifier and Wyoming High School Race is ongoing here at Trail Creek. Results and all of the information are available here.
A great opportunity for local Nordic skiers to strut their stuff is the Bison Stampede Freestyle Race at Teton Pines on January 18th. More information can be found at the Teton Pines Nordic Center page.
Saturday, January 25th is a great opportunity for Nordic racing over the hill in Idaho at the 17th Annual Peaked Sports Spud Chase at Teton Springs near Victor, Idaho. Details are available at the TVTAP website.
While the Wyoming High School schedule has next weekend off, in two weeks they will once again be gathering at Casper Mountain for the next in the series of high school races. Late January is always a good time for a road trip; keep it in mind if you get itchy feet.
Finally, in the next couple of weeks one of the biggies of the Mountain West happens with the Boulder Mountain Tour. This long-time favorite of mountain Nordic skiers happens on the great Nordic trails of Ketchum Idaho on Saturday, February 1st. Details are available at the Zions Bank Boulder Mountain Tour website.
Click on the image below to go to the full calendar spreadsheet, complete with links to most races. Feel free to send corrections or any events that need to be added to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thanks so much to the members and sponsors who make this all possible!
David Adams, Keith Austin, Brigham Family, Heather Budge, Janet Conway, Curtis/Adams Family, Arielle D’Arge, Mike Evans, Goodrich Family, Roman Goralski, Gordon/Mick Family, Charlotte Gross, Rachael Harrower, Ann Harvey, Huntington/Finlay Family, King Family, Thomas Kohlhardt, Lee/Clegg Family, Leeds Family, Lovett Family, Kristina MacLeod, Maria Mahood, Ann Makley, Clara McGee, Finley Miller, Annika Peacock, Chris Peck, Wayne Petsch, Pruzan Family, Ratcliff/Henderson Family, Schilling Family, Parker Smith, Springer Family, Stanley Family, Thal Family, Thomas/White Family, Brian Van Hatten, Jocelyn Wasson, Olivia Weenig, Bode Welch, Chris Wimberg, and the Wiswell Family.
A special thanks to Jackson Hole Nordic for being a strong supporter of our programs.