Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, VT—The TD Bank Eastern Cup Series arrives this weekend for two races at Trapp Touring Center. The center has been blessed with good snow despite a challenging winter in parts of New England and the snow cover has been enhanced with their expansive snowmaking system. The weekend’s five and ten kilometer events will feature the new John Morton designed race courses at Trapp Family Lodge. These courses were used for last year’s USSA Super Tour events where participants enjoyed the technical challenges and overall difficulty of course’s many climbs and descents.
In a special twist, this weekend combines the Eastern Cup with the University of Vermont Winter Carnival races adding the region’s fastest collegiate skiers into the races to an already strong field. On the men’s side UVM alumnus Juergen Uhl, fresh off his win at last weekend’s TD Bank Craftsbury Marathon will test himself against his former teammates and try to keep his winning streak alive. Middlebury alumnus and current Craftsbury Green Racing Project team member Tim Reynolds has also been skiing fast of late and will be tough to beat. But they will have to look out for red-hot collegiate skiers Nils Koons (Darmouth / Sidney, Maine) and Dylan McGuffin (UNH / Northfield, NH) who have been trading victories on the collegiate circuit so far this season. In a special twist, this weekend combines the Eastern Cup with the University of Vermont Winter Carnival races adding the region’s fastest collegiate skiers into the races to an already strong field. On the women’s side, frequent top-10 Canadian skier Megan McTavish will travel down to Stowe where her biggest challenges are likely to come from a Dartmouth women’s team that has been dominating the college racing scene so far this season. Also look for J2 phenoms Corey Stock (CSU / Lincoln, MA) and Heather Mooney (Stratton / Peru, VT) to try to ski their way onto the podium Saturday when the J2 women race in the open women’s race. For J2 boys, all eyes will be watching to see if Jack Hegman (Mansfield Nordic / Huntington, VT) can extend his winning streak and undefeated season.
The races serve as Junior Olympic qualifiers to see who represents New England at the national junior championships this March in Presque Isle, Maine. It also allows athletes to earn NENSA, Eastern Cup, USSA, and FIS points. Collegiate races earn qualifying points toward NCAA nationals and points for their school that are combined with the alpine teams for the overall UVM Carnival title.
One great feature of the Eastern Cup -- and this weekend is no exception -- is that it is not just for the very fastest cross-country ski racers. Athletes of all speeds get to compete side-by-side with some of the nation’s best, local high school athletes have been specially invited to the races, and there is masters group that allows those over thirty to race together. Also, under the leadership of NENSA member Kaitlyn Fink, our events have joined Terracycle’s Wrapper Brigade. In mid-2008, Terracycle launched the Wrapper Brigade, a project that finally puts use to the millions of energy bar wrappers that were formerly discarded. Since its initiation, the program, which is sponsored by Clif Bar, has collected over 300,000 wrappers, which have been turned into products ranging from tote bags to notebook covers. At all of NENSA’s major events this season, bring your empty bar wrappers and look for the recycling boxes in the bib pick-up area.
The TD Bank Eastern Cup is in its fifteenth year as NENSA’s signature race series and each year it features many of the nation’s best cross-country skiers. The series concludes with its next events in Hanover and Holderness, New Hampshire two weekends from now. The Trapp Touring Center has been blessed with great snow during this up and down winter in New England and the snow cover has been enhanced with their expansive snowmaking system. Saturday’s classic technique races and Sunday’s and freestyle technique races are using the center’s Morton Trails designed race courses which will be submitted later this season for FIS Continental Cup homologation.
* The New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) is the Olympic development organization for cross-country skiing in New England, providing year round educational, recreational and competitive events.
* For more information on cross-country skiing in New England and on NENSA's sponsors, please visit the NENSA Website