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Last Day

So the shaving cream adventure didn’t go super well yesterday. The idea was to put shaving cream all over the door handles and write more stuff on the van with it too. I had just done the main door when three or four of the really big PNSA kids came tearing around the front of the van. I haven’t run as fast as I did in a long time. I got away, but one of them ran straight into Glenn’s parked truck. I heard the clunk but I wasn’t willing to turn around and look.

Today, the team relay went very well. I was on a team with Dylan as the starter, me second, and Peter H. as the anchor. The transition was pretty hectic. Dylan was coming in to tag me, but he was in a big group. Also, there was this one New England kid who kept trying to get between me and Dylan. I finally got around him, but I didn’t see Dylan till he was ten feet away from me. I started double-poling, but after on e pole plant someone cut me off at a 90 degree angle. All I saw was his ski tips and I just ran them over. Dylan finally managed to tag me and I went out. Because of the whole mess in the transition, I got out in 2nd place. However, I was quickly caught. I lost a few places, but not very much time. Peter was able to make up the distance for a 5th place finish. As it turns out, August and Ben had a bet on which relay team got a higher place’ August was betting on myself, Dylan, and Peter while Ben was betting on Katrin, Annika, and Joanne. The prize for this bet was a case of beer. Both of our teams got 5th today, so I’m not sure what happens now.

Junior Nationals have been really good for all of us this year and I am very pleased with my performances. Huge thanks to…

Jeff Ben Joel Ambrose Martin Glenn Alana Kara Mary Ellen Nancy All race staff and volunteers

And the Fun Continues…

We have two races under our belts and two more to come. We have had a lot of great results these past two races and are looking forward to having many more in the upcoming races. The other night the athletes were left alone to come up with a team goal concerning Alaska Cup Points. We presented to the coaches our goal of getting top six and, most importantly, beating PNSA.

For as long as I can remember Far West and PNSA have been rivals. Every JN’s brings a variety of pranks and, more importantly, attempting to steal the other team’s flag. This year was no different from any other. Several years ago, we stole PNSA’s flag, kept it for a year, brought it back to JN’s in Presque Isle, and watched it get broken in half in a full on tug a war between the two teams. I guess PNSA thought it was time for some pay back.

Last year was surprisingly pretty quiet for PNSA and Far West. Neither flag was shown much and there were no pranks. This year is turning out to be a whole different story. Yesterday, without notice, Sam put our flag in the back of the trailer which was conveniently parked right in front of a loaded van of PNSA skiers. Needless to say they were pretty smug when they drove away with our flag waving out their window. It wasn’t until perhaps halfway home, that PNSA noticed that a Far West van was following them.

Our detour took us all the way across the valley to PNSA’s giant house where we parked in their driveway and asked if they’d be serving lunch anytime soon. Lucky for us, we had an awards ceremony that night and plenty more window markers. During the ice cream social, we had some of our J2 boys mark up a PNSA van with “Far West Far Best” everywhere. The PNSA kids were pretty fed up with this, so they continued on to take Dylan hostage in their van. He eventually made his way home and got his jacket back today.

We had just finished cleaning our kick wax off this morning when PNSA came marching into the stadium. Far West and PNSA flags both flapping in the breeze, Patrick took this fine opportunity and charged. Far West stood astounded as we watched Patrick sprint through the stadium and towards the parking lot after PNSA. When we finally caught up, Patrick was covered in mud triumphantly holding our ripped Far West flag. We drove away smiling and laughing past the PNSA van, still covered in Far West’s lovely work from the night before. We’re pretty confident that we’re beating PNSA in Alaska Cup Points right now and our next objective is getting PNSA’s flag, and keeping it.

First NCAA title!

The highlight of the day is a tie between Adam Zika, CU freshman, taking the NCAA Giant Slalom champion title and the three Buff alpine girls ALL placing in the top 10. First CU individual title of the week!! Hopefully not the last.

On the strength of their finish, CU moved into second after the girls alpine. For those of you who don’t follow college skiing, alpine and nordic are scored together, so our races are equally as important.

In an interview yesterday, the reporter asked if it was tough to carry all the load from our alpine team because the nordic team was stronger.
Me: Our nordic team is stronger?
Reporter: Yeah, so is it tough to carry all the pressure?
Me: I don’t think we are better…? Maybe more consistent.
Reporter: You are stronger scorers- has it ever bothered you?
Me: *blank stare* Um…. obviously not.

So, with girls alpine saving the day, we head into classic mass start day at the same time Junior Nationals does – WOOHOO!

PNSA retaliation

After I posted my last entry yesterday, Dylan walked in with an interesting story. He had been spending the day with his parents so he stayed at the social a little longer than the rest of us. He said that he was surrounded by PNSAs and taken hostage into one of their vans. There, he was told that they were going to piss in our van and they also took Dylan’s Far West jacket. This morning after training at the venue we mounted a retaliation. We went and found the PNSA van that we had vandalized last night. we were hoping that it would be unlocked and if it was, we were going to mace the interior with a spray can of Old Spice. Unfortunately, the van was locked. However, upon returning to our wax table, we found a group of PNSAs taunting our guys from a distance with the PNSA flag. Patrick and I pursued them, ending in a small skirmish. We eventually called a truce and got our own flag back, but it was completely soiled and had some male genitalia drawn on it. Another strike op has been organized, involving a freshly acquired can of shaving cream and their van at the venue tomorrow.

Skate mass start and flag-napping

Today was the skate mass start race. J2 boys got to go first and we got the best trails. There were a lot of crashes and broken equipment. I counted around five segments of broken poles on the course. Some of them were within the first kilometer, but one was about two feet from the finish line. I had a pretty good start. I was cut off by other racers a few times before I asserted my place more and began to be more aggressive. I made up a few places and caught some PNSA kids. Last night, we as a team made it our goal to be in the top six for Alaska Cup points as well as beat PNSA. Towards the top of the last huge climb, almost straight up the side of the valley and about 1/2 kilometer from the finish, I was dying. However, I had a PNSA skier right in front of me and Mary Ellen to yell at me. I managed to catch him and hold him off for the finish. Far West as a team had an excellent day and we made up significant ground in the Alaska Cup standings. I had a good race and had a lot of fun. After my race, I spent the rest of the time at the venue waving around my Far West flag, fashioned out of Alex’s torn wife-beater and a mop handle. which brings me to the second part of this post…

So as I mentioned, I spent a few hours waving a Far West Far Best flag; At one point, I came across the PNSA kids with their own flag. We critiqued each others banners. Later, as we were packing up to go home, I put the flag in the U-haul. Unfortunately, the PNSA kids ( no one told me that there was a flag-stealing war between us and them) were behind us and STOLE OUR FLAG. We chased them in our van all the way across Heber Valley to their house. They wouldn’t give the flag back, so we went home. As of now, operation Paint the Target is a go.

5 HOURS LATER

Operation Paint The Target was a huge success. At the midweek awards/ ice cream social, Peter C. and I sneaked out during the ice cream part of the gathering armed with glass-chalk for drawing on cars (washable). We found the PNSA van that stole our flag and completely covered it with “Far West”, “Far Best”, and a “We worship the mighty Far West”. Afterward, we went back to the party and talked to PNSA kids like nothing happened. Before leaving, all of our vehicles did a drive-by. All of the PNSAs were standing around outside their van looking at us. I am curious as to what their retaliation will be.

some Buff love out there

Rough day for my buffaloes out here in Montana on skate day. It is crystal blue skis and sunny at about twenty degrees, but somehow we didn’t post the results we were hoping for. Rune (our top Norwegian guy) and I led our stampede in fifth and sixth respectively, but when the scores were totaled at the end of the day, CU was sitting in fifth. Not the greatest for the team looking to defend our title, but we did our best. However, we are primarily (except for me, a pure skater) classic skiers.

We are donning our boots (these $10,000 monstrosities that are supposed to take the lactic acid out of our legs by doing a bunch of weird things with air pressure) in preparation to regroup and ride to war again.

And to my teammates on Far West? I will get you your flag back – I AM COMING FOR YOU, PNSA, and you know who I am.

Down Time

The past two days have been full of non-productivity when not on snow. Brandon H. and Evan are completely addicted to reality television. They have watched at least 9 total hours (seriously no exaggeration) of Storage Wars, Hoarders, Strange Addictions, and all sorts of other crap. Upstairs in the J1/OJ house, people are watching endless Disney Channel movies and shows. On the other hand, Peter C. and I make far better use of our time: Blackhawk Down and 3:10 to ‘Yuma. Today however we made fairly good use of our time. Myself and several others got up an hour early to ski earlier before going up to Utah Olympic Park, the site of the jumping hills, luge, skeleton, and bobsled courses, and the museum. We got to see a few of the Junior National nordic-combined athletes go off of the 64 meter hill before going to the top of the 128 meter hill and the ice courses. We even got to see a few skeleton competitors rip down the track. We then came back to the main house to eat and wax. How can it take 30 people over four hours to wax one pair of skis each with six different profiles?!?!?!. It took me 15 minutes…

Dear Peter,

I just Wanted to inform you your last post was very subpar. You aid that we arrived in Salt Lake, but actually we are in Park City. Also You spelled WICH like the one that melt if you put her in a jacuzzi. also you were very unthorough in every thing you talked about. When you talked about skiing you said “today we went skiing…” and that’s all. You could mention how the ski was or some words of wisdom from Ambrose. Overall, it sounded like a very intelligent child wrote it, However; I really enjoyed it and thought it was pretty good. I think you just need to hear the truth.

The sprint were really fun and enjoyable. The snow was very nice in the morning and then it became very slow in the afternoon. We came back to the house and almost everyone took a cold shower because i ran the jacuzzi and it wasted all the water, but my jacuzzi was not even warm. We then headed over to the food house and ate dinner, wich was very good. then we watched some biathlon and that was crazy. As the night went on we mosied our way back to the house and went to sleep

Classic Sprint

On Monday, Far West juniors, as well as skiers from nine other regions of the country competed in a classic sprint at Soldier Hollow, Utah, site of the 2002 Olympic Games. For results of today’s racing, you can check out Summit Timing’s website.

What you can’t see there is how fast the snow was this morning, how blue the sky, how amped up our athletes were, while they raced, but especially while their teammates were racing, how proud our first-year racers were of their skiing, how humbled our first-year athletes were by the fierce competition, how many different waxes our kick testers tried throughout the day, how many of our kids stayed at the race venue for hours after their day was over to cheer on their teammates, how hot it got in the California-like sun, how slow everyone’s skis got in the rapidly transforming snow, how bright red some of our boys’ faces burned due to insufficient sunblock–no, for that you’d have had to have been here.

Mass start skate races on Wednesday. Tomorrow we ski Wednesday’s 5km course, which is nearly the same as the Olympic course, altered by the lack of snow. More later.

Buffalo Soldiers

Today, we achieved a new level of awesome here in Montana. All three of us (three is the maximum racers allowed to start any given category) fell on our face. I leave the normal falls to my teammates, on downhill corners or when their classic skis grabbed, and take the special fall for myself. Somehow I fell going uphill? I seem to have found my pole between my legs five times today – what was it doing there??

My roommate and best friend Eliska, the current defending champion for the 15km classic race at NCAAs and I are currently jumping on our bed singing to a little kid’s TV show explaining how to squeeze your toothpaste. Being 24 and 19 doesn’t make you any more mature if you don’t let it.

I feel old when I look at the results and haven’t a clue who anyone is. All the people I raced with at World Juniors are now U23s and either on World Cup or Supertour or occasionally the collegiate circuit. For being the youngest skier on my team three years in a row – WHY DO I FEEL OLD?

Eliska and I proved our dedication to our NCAA success by playing frisbee in the stadium – frisbee full of dives, falls, and general failure to either throw or catch. Needless to say, we received a lot of funny looks, but hey! It worked for us last year.

Practice those downhills, Far West!!! (And squeeze your toothpaste from the far end)