The Final Stretch  – The last weeks of racing for the 2015 – 2016 season are here.

First, before sharing any of the excitement that has been our last two weeks, the latest news is that we have announced our 2016 summer camps! Please check out the details on the “Camps” page and sign up ASAP as spaces are already filling!

This year Mother Nature hasn’t been kind to the skiing industry but, with the help of two fantastic nordic centers here in Vermont, we’re going to get all of our races in before the snow melts. Last weekend Rikert Nordic Center hosted the NENSA Eastern High School Championships on what’s left from their tireless snowmaking efforts. Their trail crew put in a lot of work last week to make sure that what they had saved for snow would get through the weekend. When it was done the course wasn’t perfect but it was snow-covered and made it possible for roughly two hundred high school racers from across New England to duke it out, state against state, one more time. A huge thank you to Rikert and the Frost Mountain Nordic club for hosting!

GMVS was well represented by Forrest, Elliot and Walker who had stellar performances in each of the three individual events, taking 1st, 4th, and 5th in the overall boys rankings. Complete results from the weekend can be found on barttiming.com.

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Elliot kicked the weekend off with a 2nd place finish in Friday’s skate 5k. He was only 4/10ths of a second out of 1st!

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Walker, Ben Ogden (SMS), Forrest, Lance McKenney (MWSC), and Elliot on the overall podium!

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Forrest anchoring the 1st place relay team on Sunday morning!

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Elliot, Forrest and Walker were all part of relay teams that finished in the top five and Team Vermont won the overall so they are sporting some hardware and new USST headbands! Nice work!

Last week Brian and Caitlin Gregg, Olympians from 2014 and 2010 respectively, joined the GMVS community at our all-school assembly to share their story and spread some inspiration. Caitlin is a native of the Mad River Valley and a GMVS alum so it was great to have both of them on campus for a few days!

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Dream Big, Work Hard, Have fun! This is Caitlin’s bronze medal from the 2015 World Championships in Falun, SWE!

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In the afternoon GMVS hosted the MRV Bill Koch group in the Racing Performance Center where Brian and Caitlin led games and autographed posters for the kids.

On Thursday we explored the Middlebury Snowbowl with Brian and Caitlin. It was great to have the whole team together in the sun at a new venue!

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Heading down the long trail to find some snow….

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Margo heading back to the top for another rip down the hill.

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TK getting some air.

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Tanner blocking out the sun….he’s sporting some sweet new Darn Tough socks. Our team is lucky enough to have the support of Darn Tough, a top notch sock company from right here in Vermont!

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Warren Strong. The Ketchel brothers taking a spin with Caitlin!

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Brian and Caitlin did some speeds at the top of the hill…here’s Brian working on his finishing lunges.

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These two are pretty competitive…here’s a double-poling sprint for the finish!

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Elliot enjoying the warm temperatures and sunshine!

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Carl taking in the view from the top of the chairlift!

On Saturday Kat took a trip to Craftsbury with 14 young ladies from the Mad River Valley Bill Koch group for the Fast & Female event and we found Caitlin there! It was so much fun to see these young ladies get inspired by an afternoon spent with the fastest nordic females from the US Ski Team and the top clubs from across the country!

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Smiles all around and they haven’t even gotten started yet!

March 4 -6 TK, Tanner and Kat went to Maine for the NENSA U16 Championships with Team Vermont. The event was originally supposed to be held at Black Mountain in Rumford but, due to lack of snow, had to be moved to the Gould Trails in Bethel. The volunteer teams from Black Mountain and Gould did an awesome job fighting the effects of sunshine and warm weather. The trails were covered in snow, much of it hand-shoveled, and the races went off! For Tanner and TK this was their first time as part of the Vermont Elite Team and they both put down some solid results, helping Team Vermont finish 2nd to a strong team from New Hampshire, who won the event for the first time ever. Congratulations New Hampshire!

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TK moving so fast that his Leki poles look like their bending in the wind!

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Tanner pushing hard in soft and warm (notice the t-shirt) conditions!

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This was the scene at the Vermont base camp in Bethel….lots of skis and strong Vermont skiers!

Looking ahead, Walker and Carl will close out the race season for the GMVSxc crew, toeing the line in the US Distance Nationals Junior Men’s 20k classic mass start next Saturday in Craftsbury. Craftsbury Outdoor Center has put forth an outstanding effort making snow this winter and they will likely have the last skiable nordic trails in Vermont this season. Stay tuned for an update with results from Carl and Walker as well as stories from Tanner, Elliot and Margo’s backcountry adventure in the Chic Chocs, which kicks off this Thursday!