Welcome to the February 22nd edition of “What’s Going On!” Updated February 27th Read on for all the scoop…
Intermountain Youth Championships
The Intermountain Youth Championships were held at Trial Creek last weekend with over 230 athletes in attendance, marking the largest event at Trial Creek. Athletes competed in an individual start skate race, a skier cross, and a mass start classic The weekend signified the final race in the U14 cup series. Prep team athlete Peter Concannon finished 3rd on the ranking list and Aurora Stiles 2nd. This is a significant achievement as both of these athletes are preparing for competing at the U16s level in the years to come. Other notable results include Micah Weenig (3rd skate U8), Colton Petsch (5th, skate, 5th skier cross, 4th classic U12) Lena Poduska (2nd skate, 1st skier cross, 1st classic U12), Peter Concannon (1st skier cross U14). Aurora Stiles (5th skate, 2nd classic). Lucas Wilmot also cracked the top 10 in the season finale U14 cup standings. Congratulations to all of our U14, U12, U10 and U8 athletes for great performances over the course of the weekend. See https://www.sportstats.ca for results.
Lollipoppers are venturing farther afield with their increasingly efficient pole and classic skiing abilities, and adding skate skiing strides for those who are comfortable. While the fish-scales we use for many of the kids aren't very easy to skate with, they do earn their keep on the uphill portions of the longer tours!
We had two of our second-year Lollipoppers compete in the 3K Moose Chase, and a half-dozen first- years raced in the 1/2K Bob's Mini-Moose Chase. We are so proud of the kids for entering the races and doing so well! Our two young men who did the 3k really did the Lollipopper Guild PROUD, as that is quite a long distance for little guys! One did skate, and one did classic. We hope to see more of the kids experiencing racing - it's a great test of their developing skills and really builds self-confidence knowing they can conquer those distances unassisted. Thanks to all the families for being so supportive and joining in the fun!
Coach Kathy Neily
Lollipopper Head Coach
We had a record number of Teewinots come out and compete in the Moose Chase this year with a total of 12 athletes! One Teewinot braved the 5k skate and crushed it! Nine athletes jumped into the 3k skate, and two skied the 3k classic. For some, this was the second year of racing the moose chase, and others had their first Nordic race and had a blast! It was great to see such a great turn out from the team, they all skied so well!
In the coming weeks we will continue to alternate between skate skiing and classic, working on technique through games, drills, and of course adventure skiing! As spring approaches we hope to have some warmer sunnier days and we will incorporate a B.B. gun Biathlon and donut relay obstacle course into the last few weeks of practice. Until then,we will continue to take advantage of all the new snow!
The current snow conditions are just what the Development Team has been waiting for! A firm crust and six or so inches of light powder have created a surface we can ski on. This means we are no longer limited to the trails for our adventures and so we have been cruising all over Trail Creek leaving the groomed trails behind (sorry Steve!). Powder downhills and glade skiing up hills have left us with some tired and happy kids.
This past weekend's Moose Chase saw several fast Devo races. Let's give a special shout out to Ben Bradford, 3rd place male overall in the 3K skate, and also to Neve Pruzan who completed the grueling 15k skate race with her mom, Tamsen. The coming weekend holds more racing when the Intermountain Youth Championships come to Trail Creek. Many Development Team members will be competing in the skate, classic and Nordic X races. Congratulations to all these fast skiers. March is just around the corner, the adventures will continue, and a BB gun biathlon and donut relay are in our near future.
Development Team Head Coach
The Junior Team spent last week preparing for the Moose Chase with some intervals on Lower Fields and Son of Gut Flop, and speeds on Face Plant. The team had some great efforts and results across many distances from the 3k, 5k, 15k, and the 30k! We are excited to race at IMD youth champs this weekend and will be doing some course previews and Nordic X work. Today (Monday) we went out on a great adventure ski taking advantage of the powder, on crust and cruised through the trees down Suicide and up and back down a lower section of Blacks Canyon. Thanks for all the great work grooming!
Junior Nordic Ski Team Head Coach
Seven athletes from the Prep/Comp Team qualified for Junior Nationals at the last qualifier in Bogus Basin two week ago. This it the most athletes JHSC has taken to Junior Nationals in 37 years and speaks to the athletes’ dedication and love of the sport. There were a handful of athletes who were very close to making the team and are in a position to make waves in the future. They will be focusing on the Western Club Championships in Soldier Hollow on March 9 and 10. Athletes from across the West that are not competing at Junior Nationals will be in attendance. JHSC athletes are vying for strong results in some different and interesting race formats, like the team sprint and pursuit. These athletes will continue to train with JN athletes as the championship events coincide.
Elijah Weenig, Sam Johnson, David King, Mason Wheeler, Bridger Stiles, Kate Brigham, and Natalie O'Brien will be attending Junior Nationals in Anchorage, Alaska this year. The venue is at Kincaid Park, which skis much like Trail Creek in the sense of longer gradual climbs, steep uphills, and whipping downhills with sharp corners. JHSC athletes will be staying with, and teaming up with, the Intermountain Team at the Coast International Inn, 10 minutes from Kincaid. Their schedule will look something like:
Friday, March 8 - Arrive to Anchorage
Saturday, March 9- Official training at Kincaid
Sunday, March 10- Official training at Kincaid
Monday, March 11- Individual Start Distance Freestyle 5km/10km
Tuesday, March 12 - Official training at Kincaid
Wednesday, March 13- Classic Sprint; Mid-week Awards Ceremony
Thursday, March 14- Official Training
Friday, March 15 - Mass Start Classic Distance 5km/10km
Saturday, March 16- 3x3km Freestyle Relay; Final Awards Celebration
Alaska, Far West, PNSA, Rocky Mountain, Intermountain, High Plains, Mid West, Mid Atlantic, New England, Alaska, and Great Lakes will be in attendance and are given a quota of 50 athletes to compete.
JHSC Coaches Ben Morley and Scott Lacy will travel with the athletes and will have specific roles throughout the week, but will still have time to interact and coach JHSC athletes. Scott will be on the wax tech team as a classic test pilot and Ben will be the U16 boys’ coach for all Intermountain athletes.
For more information on the event and to follow results see http://www.juniornationalsxc2019.com/
This edition we are featuring one of our Devo skiers, Neve Pruzan, who is also a second generation JHSC and Trail Creek skier. Neve comes from a family of outdoor enthusiasts, so it is no wonder she’s a natural on skis. In the recent Moose Chase she was the youngest person to complete the 15K. It will be fun to watch her grow. The following is our interview with Neve:
Do you remember when you started skiing?
I first started skiing when I was 2, mostly around the yard with my strap-on skis.
At what age did you start skiing with the Jackson Hole Ski Club program?
My earliest memory of skiing at Trail Creek was falling a lot (and getting back up). I was 5 when I first started skiing at JHSC, starting with the Lollipops!
What grade are you in now and where do you go to school?
I go to TSS Journeys School and am in the 4th grade.
Which of the groups (Lollipoppers, Teewinots, Devos, or Juniors) do you ski in?
I am in the Devo’s, with Coaches Rob, Rainer, Taylor and Robin. I’m a first year U12.
Do other people in your family Nordic ski?
I ski with my mom, dad, (brother) Noah, and sometimes (brother) Nate. When I don’t have training, I like to go skijoring with my dog, Angel, at Stilson.
Are you getting close to being faster than others in your family?
Sometimes I can keep up with Noah. My mom says I will ski faster than her sooner than later!
Do you do other skiing like Alpine or backcountry?
I ski with a fun group at the Mountain on Saturdays. It’s all girls and my instructor, Cassie Elliot, is the best!
What other sports do you do throughout the year?
When I am not skiing I ride my horses and go to long distance races with them; I paddle board with my family, do swim team, and go running all over with my dog.
What is your favorite memory of skiing for JHSC or at Trail Creek?
I’ve had 2 amazing days that I can remember. Two weeks ago, we had a big powder day and did laps on Face Plant with my teammates and coaches; the other day was getting towed on the snow machine with Coach Johnny.
What has been the biggest challenge of your Nordic skiing experiences so far?
The hardest Nordic race I ever did was the Moose Chase last week. My mom and I did the 15 km race and I was tired after.
Thank you, Neve. Best wishes for your future success!
Where did you grow up and where did you ski growing up?
I grew up in Truckee, California ripping around the trails at Auburn Ski Club and Royal Gorge (North America's largest network of Nordic trails!)
At what age did you start skiing?
I started skiing at age 11 when I joined my middle school Nordic team.
What is your history of Nordic skiing up to this point in your life?
After starting the sport in middle school, I went on the ski for Sugar Bowl Academy throughout high school and raced for Far West at 5 Junior Nationals. I was lucky enough to attend the U16 national camp for 2 years and western REG camp for 2 years. After enjoying much of Western junior skiing, I ventured east for college where I skied for Bates College on the EISA Carnival circuit for 3 of my 4 years. Now I am experiencing the pleasure of participating in the Nordic world through a coach’s lens while coaching the JHSC junior team this winter!
Does your family ski?
My family does dabble in Nordic skiing; however they are more involved in the world of Alpine and backcountry skiing.
What are your most memorable races if you raced in younger days?
The Soldier Hollow Super JNQ weekend was a highlight of my season throughout middle school and high school. I always remember that race series as providing an incredibly talented and deep field of athletes and it was also a great weekend to see my friends from other clubs and divisions! Also, the Supertour opener in West Yellowstone was an amazing opportunity to ski in the early season (over Thanksgiving break) and really break back into the feel of racing for each season!
Where do you like to ski when you aren’t at Trail Creek?
If I am skiing and I am not at Trail Creek, I am most likely not in Jackson, which means I am home in Truckee enjoying a beautiful blue bird ski at Royal Gorge. You can ski for 6 hours straight and never ski on the same trail twice!
Have you ever coached before working for JHSC?
I served as the student assistant coach for 2 of my years at Bates College in which I did a lot of wax testing, race weekend logistics, and cheering for my team! I also was fortunate enough to function as a dual coach for the Sugar Bowl Ski Team, where I worked as both a Nordic and Freeride coach.
What is your educational background?
After attending Sugar Bowl Academy for high school, I went on to study Environmental Economics, Ecology, and Spanish at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
What are your plans for the off season?
In the off season, I work as a trip leader for an active travel company called Backroads (you might have seen our vans and trailers driving around Jackson in the summer!) in various locations around the country.
How often do you ski now?
I ski almost every day! I think I've skied almost 85 days this season between Alpine, backcountry, and Nordic!
What age group are you coaching now?
I am coaching the Juniors (middle school) this season (big shout out of everyone on the Junior Team—you guys are awesome!) and have been helping out as a coach for all ages at the Junior National Qualifiers.
What or who turned you onto skiing in your youth?
An amazing man named Mark Nadell sparked my life-long love of Nordic skiing. He ran our middle school program and really inspired me to pursue the sport beyond his years as my coach.
What is your favorite memory of skiing for JHSC or at Trail Creek?
I have been amazed at how good the skiing has been all year! I have had so many awesome classic distance skis this season, I can't choose just one!
What is the biggest challenge of being a coach?
Finding a balance between keeping it fun and taking training seriously can be difficult at times. I think especially with middle schoolers, it's vital that the sport stays fun and exciting, but it's also so important to start introducing the kids to a more regimented training schedule. It has definitely pushed me to be creative in how I approach practice every single day!
Thank you, Bria! It is great to have you as part of the JHSC family (and that was a great fish!).
The racing schedule hasn’t paused for a breath since the last Nordic News two weeks ago. The high school Nordic team raced February 8-9 in Casper with results being available here. While not a lot of the area skiers were at this race, there was a quite professional video taken, showing what skiing is like in Casper; if you’re interested, check out this video link.
The JHSC Intermountain Division skiers were finishing up the third Junior National Qualifier at Bogus Basin February 9th and 10th. Coach Ben gave a more detailed report (above), but a record number of our skiers qualified for Nationals in Anchorage, AK this year. Full race results are available through Summit Timing.
On February 16th not only high school, but racers from Lollipoppers to 81 year olds, had a grand day skiing the 27th annual JHSC Moose Chase. Nearly 200 skiers participated in one of the premier Valley Nordic events where the rule of the day was lots of smiles. Results are available here and you can also read a great article from the Jackson Hole News & Guide. The top male finisher in the 30K was our very own Coach Scott Lacy, with Sara Domek of Dubois as top female competitor.
The Moose Chase was the last scoring event before the final Sandbag Nordic race series event, which will be March 16th at Trail Creek. The Sandbag Final race that day will begin at the end of the Old Pass Road. Current standings with handicaps are below:
While we’ve had a bit of a respite in the past few days, February has turned out to be a major snow month. Preparations for the Moose Chase were ongoing; all-the-while visions of skaters slogging through feet of snow were dancing in our heads. Thankfully, just before the big event, things quieted down a bit. Here is a fascinating link that shows how our closest snow reporting station has been doing this winter. As of report date the image in the link shows that we are currently sitting in fourth place (see image below) out of the last eleven winters, but the general consensus is that the Valley has been getting relatively more snow than higher elevations like where the Phillips Bench station is. There is no question that we’ve had a lot of snow so far.
One of the really fun things of the past week is that a significant crust has developed under a few inches of lovely powder. The teams have been freed from the trails and are making tracks everywhere at Trail Creek. It is magical to see trails of adventures that appear each afternoon.
Moose and elk continue to hang out, having to struggle to make a living in this deep winter time. Be sure to give them some room if you have encounters on your next Nordic outing. No recent mountain lion sightings have been reported.
We do have several upcoming events that will affect grooming so be sure to check the calendar if in doubt.
IMD Youth Championship
Nearly 300 youth are gathering February 23rd and 24th for a wild weekend of Nordic adventures. Nordic skiers from the youngest up through age 15 will be racing, not to mention jumping and doing a whole lot of other fun stuff in this event. All the information and race results can be found on the website.
Many of our locals are in the process of travelling to Wisconsin to compete in one of the epic Nordic events of North America, the American Birkebeiner. You can see how are locals are doing in either the 50K skate or 55K classic race here.
Looking a little farther ahead, the season will be wrapping up in grand style: the Yellowstone Rendezvous March 2 the last major regional event; Nordic Nationals in Anchorage March 8-17; USCSA Championships March 12-16 at Trail Creek; and the Sandbag Final March 16th at the end of the Old Pass Road at Trail Creek.
A hopefully somewhat accurate tabulation of all the multitude of events for IMD, High School, and the community are below. If you would like to add an event, email email@example.com
More Community events at https://jhnordic.com/events
Thanks so much to the members and sponsors who make this all possible!
Adams Family; Keith Austin; Eric Balog; Matthew Brazell; Brigham Family; Kristi Brown; Derek Collins; Broughton Coburn; Janet Conway Heslin; Culver Family; Curtis-Adams Family; DesLauriers Family; The Everett Family; Goelet Family; Gordon-Mick Family; Eliot Goss; Ann Harvey; Hall Family; Scott Horn; Jen Kandolin; King Family; Klomparens Family; Kohlhardt Family; Nancy Lee; Mark Lovett; Rob Mahoney; Ann Makley; Kelly McCloskey; McGee Family; Lars Moller; Neal Family; O'Brien Family; William Oliphant; Wayne Petsch; Michael Price; Pruzan Family; Monroe Rosenthal; Susan Segal; Sheafor Family; Roger Smith; Springer Family; Stanley Family; Stiles Family; Thal Family; Jocelyn Wasson; Chris Wimberg; Wiswell Family
A special thanks to Jackson Hole Nordic for being a strong supporter of our programs.