Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 race results wrap up from Leah, Kamran, and Nicole

Our races this week have officially come to a close. The racing began on Friday with the classic sprint race. Three girls and three boys qualified for the heats, with some other athletes barely missing rounds. In the heats we saw the strength of our competitors, the Norwegian boys double poled the qualifier and the heats! All the Americans were eliminated in the quarterfinals, doomed by slick skis. Henry Harmeyer double poled his quarterfinal, but couldn't move on to the semis. Our skis were fast, but not fast enough. Hannah however, hung with the Scandinavian girls and ended up placing 5th in the A-final. A very impressive result that scored her a yummy cake and some swag (awesome Bliz glasses!).

Saturday was the individual skate distance with the girls skiing 5k and the guys 10k. Some of us had no points so we started very early in the race. Zak and Leah were leading most of the day until some of the last finishers knocked them out of the lead. Hannah had another great day and placed 3rd; Zak and Max both pushed hard and finished the day in 6th and 8th respectively. We had many other great performances from the girls Leah, Lauren, and Nicole all had top 30 finishes in 22nd, 27th, and 29th. For the boys Henry had a solid race and placed 27th. 


On our final day of competitions we raced relays. The format was classic, skate, skate; the girls skied 3.3k each and the boys each skied the 5k distance course form Saturday. The girls team of Hannah, Leah, and Loren were very strong and placed 5th, with Leah skiing the 2nd fastest 2nd leg of the day! Our other team of Nicole, Abby, and Kat skied into an impressive 12th place. The guys teams had awesome days, and the team of Kamran, Max, and Zak finished 4th. We were surprised that the Norwegian boys again elected to double pole the classic leg. The fast conditions and mostly gradual hills weren't enough to slow them down, they went on to take 1st and 2nd places. Henry, Paolo, and Mack also crushed their races and placed 9th. Wrapping up our weekend of racing on a high note.

All of us athletes had a great time, with some posting very impressive results, and others learning from their teammates and competitors. Either way we all walked away with some new friendships, and a bunch of motivation for next year. 

Leah Brams, Kamran Husain, and Nicole Schneider 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pre race days- by Henry Harmeyer
previewing the skate distance course. This hill is called the DomusBakken. We found out that domus means judgement, so this is Judgment Hill! (actually the hill is named for a sponsor- Domus (a department store like Target) but we think Judgment hill is cooler. It's the biggest hill on the 5km course 2 steep sections with a gradual uphill section in between.

swedish chocolate to calm pre-race nerves

Skating in the stadium, heading out to test skis and learn the courses.

The courses were marked on Wednesday and Thursday with these signs. We checked out the distance course on Wed so we can focus on the sprint course on Thurs.

There's a sweet roller in the race courses, her's Kam getting some airtime.

Adam, Martin, and Sam in the wax room. Bliz glasses are great for scraping cold paraffin waxes!

We walk 10 minutes to and from the venue each day. We are staying at the Scandic Hotel. The rooms are super nice, straight out of Ikea and the food is incredible. It's a great set up for a ski trip!
The view of the stadium from the bridge. We haven't seen the sun yet since we arrived on Monday afternoon. Tomorrow the other teams will arrive and this place will get a lot busier as everyone goes through their pre-race routines.

Skiing up and over the bridge, the bridge is a part of every race course here.

another view of the empty stadium area- you can sort of see a small alpine ski mountain and ski jumps in the distance

The bridge in the stadium- it'll be lined with spectators for the races!
Arrival- by Mack FitzPatrick
 24 hours of travel and an 8 hour time difference has taken it's toll, but I've finally gotten acclimated to the Swedish lifestyle, breakfast at 8, lunch at 12, dinner at 5, and evening coffee at 8:30.  Lucky for us, most of the people here speak English, but it's fun to see and hear all the Swedish words as well. So far our days have consisted of course previews, a few training sessions, some running, and exploration of örnsköldsvik, the town we are staying in. The ski trails that we are going to be racing on are amazing. All the trails are lighted, well groomed, and there's a bridge we get to ski over! To some my trip up so far things here have been wonderful. My teammates are great and the coaches are so supportive. I can't wait for the racing to begin! 
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Checking out the course before the race.

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Got the wax cabin all set up.

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Went wax shopping.

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Loving the trails and excited to race.

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Teams USA hanging out between training skis. 
Pretrip- by Kathleen O'Connell

As I embark on my journey to Ornskoldsvik, Sweden to compete in the U18 Scandinavian Cup Trip, I have a lot to prepare for. Preparing for international travel is no easy task, and preparing to compete and ski internationally is even harder. There was a long list of things I had to do, and miraculously, I got them all done in time. Packing was probably the longest and most tedious task I had.


Athletically, I had to organize a specific training plan with my coaches. This training plan accommodated to my travel plans and when I should be peaking. I raced in the CU invitational collegiate ski race, in Steamboat Springs, the 23rd and 24th in order to keep the intensity of my training high. I also did strength about two times a week up until I left along with other distance skis and intervals.

Mental preparation has also been very important for my trip to Sweden. I can’t say I’m not nervous going into this competition, but I’m also very excited. I try not to focus on the things that make me nervous, and only the things that make me excited, which isn’t very hard. I’ve always loved exploring the world, and it’s pretty cool I get to do that through skiing. I’m looking forward to making new friends, meeting skiers from other countries, gaining international racing experience, and of course, missing school. However, none of this would be possible without the support from my parents, coaches, teammates, and especially the National Nordic Foundation. Huge thanks to the NNF for making my goals become a reality!
Pre-Trip- by Lauren Jortberg

As I landed at Denver International Airport after a very long day of traveling from Houghton, Michigan; first by van and then by airplane; it all set in that I would soon be getting back onto a plane, this time destined for Ornskoldsvik, Sweden with the NNF U18 Nation’s Cup Team. It has been my goal to qualify for the U18 Nation’s Cup Trip ever since my older sister Jessica qualified five years ago. My coach, Adam St. Pierre, is the trip leader this year, which made representing the USA at the U18 Nation’s Cup an even more important goal for my season.

Ski racing in Houghton was an experience I will remember forever. I’ve never been so cold racing. With wind chills of -20 degrees, I greatly looked forward to returning to dry, sunny and warm Colorado! I was also excited to be heading home achieving a goal I’ve dreamt about for years. 

When I got home from Houghton, I embraced the 65 degree weather in Boulder and got my vitamin D levels back to normal, training some on rollerskis in town and some on snow at our home area, Eldora Mountain Resort. After nationals, my focus was building my training volume back up. I went on many long easy skis to keep my fitness up. I also got back into racing a few weeks later racing at the CU invitational 5k skate in Steamboat, Colorado and the “Slush Cup” skate sprint at the SuperQualifier in Soldier Hollow, Utah. 

It felt good to put a bib on with less than two base layers underneath, and race in the warm Colorado sun. Racing the CU invitational improved my FIS points for Sweden and also gave me a taste of the European competition I would soon be racing against. I raced the skate 1k sprint in Soldier Hollow to get some speed for sea level racing. With extremely warm temperatures and mostly man made snow, it became very slushy right away. By the time 700 racers went through and the heats started, the snow had deteriorated to knee deep mashed potatoes. The snow in Sweden could be very similar to the snow I raced on in Utah, and I’m glad to see this type of snow at this event. I hope my preparations this season both before and since nationals will allow me to reach my next set of goals.

I am very thankful for the all the opportunities NNF has provided me to enhance my ski training and racing; helping me take my skiing to the next level. I have been to the U16 National Camp and Western REG to train with the best skiers and learn from the best coaches in the country. I look forward to many more great experiences thanks to NNF and will do my best to represent NNF, USA, BNJRT, and myself at the U18 Nation’s Cup Competition.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stay Tuned for 2015 Updates!

The Scando Cup blog is back in action for 2015. Stay tuned for updates from the coaches and athletes!

The initial report from Sweden from coach Adam St. Pierre:

"Great skiing here good fresh snow, nice accomodations, good food..."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sun and mountains

Today we woke up bright and early at 2:00 am (EST). We then proceeded to wander aimlessly around Trondheim in vans, hopelessly looking for a way out. Then, we found a tunnel! And it went through a mountain! And two hours later we ended up in a little town called Meråker.
            It took us a while to find a good ski area. After visiting the Meråker school and receiving directions to a good place we headed off. It was very cold, as most of Norway is, but it was surprisingly light and we headed off on the trails. We skied in wonderful sunlight through the beautiful Norwegian mountains. The trails were well groomed and rolling which was a nice change of pace compared to Granåsen, which has very steep uphills and downhills. We headed off toward the mountains and as we got close we decided to summit the mountain closest to us!! After a beautiful trek to the top we were rewarded with gorgeous 360 degree views against a blue bird sky. We saw another peak to the right at the top and proceeded to summit that as well. We were rewarded for our efforts with a ripping descent down the mountain and with a beautiful ski back to the vans on the groomed trails.
Photo stolen shamelessly from Julia's Facebook page!
Hamish, vying for “likes,” collected a plethora of photographs under which he planned post captions of “#Sun” and “#Norway.” Keegan, the ultimate training machine, refused to climb the mountain and instead double poled intervals around the base. Cal, the resident expert on downhill skiing, was shamelessly beaten down the mountain by his hopeless crush, Heidi. Haakon, lacking much skill, fell several times on his trek off the peak. And Evan, disappointed that he forgot his instagramming device, was awed by the view but was sorry that he would not be able to post captions of “#Sun” and “#Norway” under his own pictures. Overall it was a great day and fun was had by all.