Ski Report, Sports

Kehler and Circosta Race at Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, Alaska

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Charlie Kehler (second in from left) raced on the New England boys U16 team recently at Fort Kent, Maine. His teammates include David Northcott – Caldwell Sport, Henri McCourt – Mount Blue High School, James Crowley – Gould Academy, Lucas Barstow – Gould Academy, and Niko Cuneo – Mansfield Nordic Club.

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Charlie Kehler and Amelia Circosta, both from Greensboro, traveled to Fairbanks last week to race in the Junior National Cross Country Ski Championships. They were part of the Northeast U.S. team and train locally with the Craftsbury Ski Club. There were a total of 10 teams from across the U.S with 30-50 skiers on each team. The two junior skiers were part of the Under 16 (U16) age class. There were also U18 and U20 groupings skiing in three races over four days. Kehler had two top-20 finishes in the individual classic race and the skate sprint, while Circosta had a sixth in the individual classic race and fourth in the freestyle sprint for her top races.

For both Circosta and Kehler, the chance to travel so far away to a much different place with a small group of 12 U16 skiers was really special and memorable. Circosta noted “racing was obviously a huge and dominant part of the week, but we found time to do other fun things, including seeing the northern lights, touring an outdoor ice sculpture exhibit, and listening to music while hanging out with friends. There were so many nice people to spend time with, which I would say was maybe the single biggest factor that made the week as great as it was.” She noted that the northern lights adventure was done by 25 teammates at midnight after a really long day of sprint racing at below zero F temperatures. Kehler shared similar thoughts: that the team chemistry was by far the highlight of the week. He found the cold temperatures challenging but he learned to adapt as the races progressed. The temperatures hovered near zero F much of the week. Circosta was appreciative of the blankets provided while waiting at the start and the volunteers who shuttled jackets and warm-up pants to the finish the line.

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Amelia Circosta earned a fourth-place medal in the sprint race at U.S. Junior Nationals in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Congratulations to Kehler and Circosta, seeing their many months and years of ski training turn into an adventure like this that will be part of their lives forever. It also takes supportive parents, teammates, and coaches to make it all happen. Craftsbury Ski Club coach Audrey Mangan was also on the trip coaching the U18 girls’ team.

Anika Leahy Wins the U16 New England Championships

FORT KENT, Maine – Greensboro’s Anika Leahy skied for the Vermont team of 20 girls and 20 boys in the under 16 (U16) New England Championships along with teams from New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. Leahy literally found her stride winning the freestyle and sprint races and placing second in the classic race. She exclaimed, “this past weekend was incredible. The trails, trail conditions, racing, and people were amazing. I had so much fun meeting new people and talking with old friends from different teams and the Vermont team. The environment was amazing and everyone contributed to it.” Leahy skis with the Craftsbury Ski Club (CSC) and attends Craftsbury Academy. Other CSC racers included Isabel and Emily Linton (Coventry) and Tillie Lange (Sutton). The Lintons had some top 20 finishes and Emily Linton had several top-40 places. Vermont took home the team title ahead of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine.

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Charlie Kehler raced in Fairbanks, Alaska, for the Northeast U.S. team.

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