Recreation Briefs: Strong Eastern Cup Start for Ford Sayre Athletes

  • Ford Sayre's Jack Lange competes in the freestyle sprint qualifying race during Saturday's Eastern Cup cross country races at the Craftsbury Nordic Center in Craftsbury, Vt. (Gary Solow photograph)

  • Etna's Fritz Bedford has added a 10th masters world record to his swimming resume. (Barbara Hummel photograph).

Published: 12/26/2018 11:52:21 PM

Craftsbury, Vt. — Ford Sayre Junior Nordic Team skiers Elsa Bolidner and Sam Murray both posted a pair of top-five finishes at last weekend’s Eastern Cup season opener at the Craftsbury Nordic Center.

Both athletes raced in freestyle sprints on Saturday and an individual-start 5K freestyle race on Sunday. Bolinger finished third in the girls U16 sprint heats, posting a time of 3 minutes, 55.35 seconds in a race won by NSCF’s Victoria Bassette. Bolinger added a fifth-place result among U16 girls in Sunday’s 5K with a time of 15:22.6. Mansfield Nordic’s Ava Thurston led the division in 14:30.2. Ford Sayre’s Catherine Bregou was 13th in the division (16:14.2.).

Murray enjoyed similar results in his boys U16 efforts. He was third in Saturday’s sprint heats, clocking 3:15.90 in a race won by Green Mountain Valley School’s Trey Jones. Murray was nearly as strong on Sunday in the 5K freestyle, taking fourth in 13:04.1, with Mansfield Nordic’s Aidan Burt taking the win (12:32.0).

Ford Sayre’s Evan Nichols (13:22.0) and Jake Lange (13:31.9) were close behind in sixth and seventh place, respectively.

Norwich’s Lang WinsQuebec Giant Slalom

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec — Norwich’s Charlie Lang got his senior downhill skiing campaign at Burke Mountain Academy off to a flying start with three race victories in the past week, including one at one of the longest-running events in North America.

Lang’s victory in Sunday’s Super Serie giant slalom at Mont Tremblant capped the week. Lang won the two-run race, among the longest-held such events on the continent, in 1 minute, 50.54 seconds, nipping Quebec runner-up Raphael Quenneville by a one-hundredth of a second. Lang won the opening run in 54.93 seconds, adding a sixth-place result in his second trip down the mountain for the narrow decision.

Long began the week with three races at Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain, winning two of them. He claimed an Eastern development GS race on Dec. 18 in 2:02.41, following that up by winning a development series slalom two days later in 1:22.65. In between, Lang claimed third in a Dec 19 GS in a combined 1:57.14.

The Sugarloaf races included three other skiers with Upper Valley ties. Hanover’s Oliver Morgan, a Lang teammate at BMA, placed 10th in the Dec. 18 GS. Hanover’s Chauncey Morgan, now racing for Colby College, took sixth in the Dec. 19 GS. Ford Sayre’s Alexander Purcell also competed, with a top result of 31st in the slalom.

Storrs Hill OpeningPostponed by Rain

Lebanon — The Storrs Hill Ski Area has put the start of its skiing and riding season on temporary hold while volunteers work to get the slope back in shape after last weekend’s rain. Keep up to speed with Storrs Hill’s plans, including any changes to its scheduled ski jumping camp later this week, by visiting its Facebook page.

Once the season officially starts, Storrs Hill plans to open for the public with the following schedule:

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Fridays: 6-9 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sundays: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Lift tickets during public hours are $10 for juniors and $15 for adults, although Tuesday and Thursday evenings will cost $10 regardless of age. Season passes also are available.

Call Lebanon Parks and Recreation at 603-448-5121 or Storrs Hill at 603-448-4409 or visit for more information.

Elementary XC Skiing

Canaan — Mascoma Valley Parks and Recreation is inviting all youths in grades 1-4 interesting in learning about cross country skiing to join a program set to start next month.

The program will touch on the basics of cross country skiing, and all equipment is provided. The class will be held on Wednesdays beginning on Jan. 2, continuing through Jan. 30, and running from 3:30-4:30 p.m. each Wednesday. The program is open to a maximum of 40 participants and costs $25.

Contact Mascoma Recreation for more information or to register.

In the Pool

Another Record For Etna’s Bedford

Worcester, Mass. — Etna swimmer Fritz Bedford added a lifetime 10th masters world swimming record to his resume at the New England and Colonies Zone Championship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Dec. 7-9.

Bedford, 55, shaved a tenth of a second off the men’s age 55-59 mark in the 50-meter backstroke, clocking a time of 27.86 seconds. In addition to taking that race, Bedford won three others, setting zone championship meet records in two of them, the 50 butterfly (27.18) and the 100 individual medley (1:04.58).

UVRays masters team head coach Barbara Hummel also set a zone championship record at WPI, taking the 50 breaststroke in 43.88 seconds for women ages 65-69.

On the Mat

Collette Leads NLG

Andover, Mass. — Corinth’s Rachael Collette posted two event wins and placed second in her division to lead Wilder’s Northern Lights Gymnastics at the Interstate Xcel Meet on Dec. 15-16 in Massachusetts.

Participating in the senior B age group in Xcel Silver competition, Collette took runner-up all-around honors with 35.400 points. Her effort included wins in the vault (9.200) and bars (9.100) to go with a second in the floor exercise (9.100).

Competing in Xcel Bronze senior B, Enfield’s Merren Bunnell took second in the vault (9.400) on her way to fifth place in the all-around standings (35.200). Xcel Silver senior B gymnast Brynn Spaeth, of Hanover, earned third in her floor exercise (8.900) to take fourth overall (34.550).

Lebanon’s Olivia LaHaye also posted a third-place event finish in the vault (8.600) competing the Xcel Gold senior B division.

To the Hoop

VSP-Oxbow Fundraiser

Bradford, Vt. — The Vermont State Police Troopers team will take on an Oxbow High School alumni team in a charity basketball contest on Saturday at Mona Garone Gymnasium.

The game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m., shortly after the Oxbow varsity boys basketball team takes on Rivendell Academy. All proceeds from the charity game will go toward the Michael Johnson Scholarhsip Fund, which is named in memory of the former state trooper and Oxbow High boys hoop coach. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for seniors and students.

Contact Oxbow High at 802-222-5214 for more information.

With Sticks

Indoor Field Hockey

Meriden — At it wraps up one season of high school and adult indoor field hockey, Mascoma Valley Parks and Recreation has another one in the works for January.

The fall session concludes today, with high school play for grades 7-12 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and adult play from 7:30-8:30 p.m. All sessions are held in Kimball Union Academy’s Barn facility next door to Akerstrom Arena. The cost of the program is expected to remain $10 per night or $30 for the four-week season.

Contact Mascoma Rec or visit their Facebook page for more information.

In the Gym

Wear Out Your TrainerFor a Good Cause

Lebanon — Wayne’s World Elite Fitness Training in Lebanon will link up with a variety of other fitness facilities around the Upper Valley for the Crush Cancer (and Your Trainer) charity fundraiser on Jan. 19.

Five years into the event’s existence, Wayne’s World owner Wayne Burwell and his peers are expanding their reach from two gyms to seven with the hope of raising $20,000 for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon. The event will offer two means for achieving that goal.

Each of the seven facilities will host an open boot camp from 10-11 a.m. At a cost of $20, participants can put in some sweat equity for an hour with their favorite trainers and gyms.

At 11 a.m., the tables get turned. Participants can take a train-your-trainer pledge of $5 per minute, where they get to dictate exercises for their trainers to perform. Train your trainer continues until 3 p.m.

For more information on the event, including a list of participating gyms, or to get involved in the fun and fundraising, contact Burwell at

In the Gym, Part Deux

Toddler Open Gym

White River Junction — The Hartford Parks and Recreation Department is bringing back its Toddler Open Gym program on Sunday mornings after the first of the year.

The program, which will run from 9-10 a.m. at the Dothan Brook School, is open children ages 1-5 along with their parents, grandparents or caregivers. Hartford Rec provides a variety of items for play. Adults must stay with their children during the hour to provide supervision.

Pay is on a drop-in basis at $2 per visitor by purchasing a Toddler Open Gym season pass at $10. The first session will be on Jan. 6 and will continue every Sunday morning through March 10.

Contact Hartford Parks and Rec at 802-295-5036.

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