The Dublin School Nordic Team traveled to Vermont Academy on Wednesday, February 22nd for the 2017 New England Prep School Athletic Council’s Championships. After a full day of both individual and relay races, the Dublin boys’ team won its first ever NEPSAC Championship and the young girl’s team finished second to Holderness School by eight points. Dublin senior Calvin Bates (Dublin, NH) won the individual NEPSAC title and both the boys’ and girls’ relay teams won by significant margins.
The day started with a five kilometer mass start classic race. The Dublin Coaches (Lindsey Masterson, Alison Weber, Lisa Bates and Brad Bates) spent two hours testing kick waxes for the difficult conditions on Vermont Academy’ excellent course. The opening stadium area was sixty degrees in the sun, while other parts of the course had either ice, slush or drier snow. With the wax applied and warmups completed the Dublin girls got off to a great start with sophomore Lilly Bates (Dublin, NH) taking an early lead. After some breathing issues Lilly dropped back to fourth, but toughed it out and finished as the first Dublin skier. Junior Robyn McIntosh (Chelsea, Quebec) continues to get faster toward the end of the season and had an excellent race, coming in eighth overall. Ninth grader Aggie Macy (Dublin, NH) finishedeleventh and sophomore Sita Moses (Dublin, NH) rounded out the scoring for Dublin in twenty seventh place. Sophomore Olivia O'Rourke (Peterborough, NH) finished thirty sixth and junior Diamond Miller (Parsippany, NJ) finished forty fourth.
Dublin seniors GH Werowinski (Acton, MA) and Calvin Bates led the pack leaving the stadium after the start of the boys’ race. Soon after the first climb the race for the individual championships came down to Calvin and the outstanding Gould Academy skier Marcus Wentworth. Wentworth raced a smart race and drafted off of Bates for much of the race until the frantic dash to the finish line during the final kilometer. Bates made sure he earned the inside of the final turn heading into the final two hundred meters and held on for a tenth of a second victory. This was Bates’ third podium after earning bronze and silver medals in his ninth and tenth grade years before missing last year’s Championships due to sickness. George Henry, who has improved dramatically in the classic technique, did not have great kick with his wax but showed his resilience and leadership by earning an impressive fifth place finish in his final day of racing for the Dublin team. Ninth grader Quinn Wilson (Dublin, NH), who has become the one to watch on the prep school circuit, earned a top ten finish by crossing the line in ninth place.
As is the case in most team competitions the race came down to Dublin’s fourth scoring skier and in this case Dublin’s veteran Ryan Hyde (Hollis, NH) came through once again for the team, finishing in eleventh place. Hyde’s gutsy race placed him above most school’s second fastest skiers. In their final races, seniors Jared Lewis (Bennington, NH) and Mark Franklin (Keene, NH) finished in thirty third and thirty fourth positions, cementing their status as consistent displacers in the team scoring and important members of the varsity team. Senior Ben Simon (New York, NY), and sophomores Grady Allen (Shepherdstown, WV) and Alex Goltz (Dallas, TX) earned valuable championship experience in their solid races and added to the positive spirit of the day.
Entering the afternoon for the three person by three kilometer relay the Dublin boys had a commanding lead and the girls stood in third place behind Gould and Holderness. In a scoring system that values the lower point total, a victory in the relay scores ten points for the team’s overall score, second place earns twenty points, third place earns thirty place, and so on. Some of the schools that lacked depth raced their best skiers first to make the opening of the relay as competitive as possible.
Agnes Macy led the charge for Dublin’s “A” team and had a great start coming out of the stadium, placing herself in second place behind the fast Proctor Academy senior Katie Ball and ahead of Vermont Academy’s and Holderness’ number one skiers, Hayley Adams and Amanda Vansant. Tension grew in the stadium during the ten minutes the skiers disappeared from view before cheers were heard as Macy descended into the final five hundred meters with nobody in sight behind her. The coaches were hoping she would complete her leg within ten seconds of the first team, so there was some excitement when Macy tagged off to McIntosh with a thirty-five second lead over the next team. McIntosh skied the best race of her season, earning the fourth fastest time on the day, and expanding Dublin’s lead before tagging Bates for the final leg. Even with a big lead Bates was not ready to take her foot off the gas pedal and clocked the fastest leg of the day in bringing home the victory for Dublin, besting second place Holderness by over two minutes. The victory moved the Dublin girls into second place in the NEPSAC Championship. With the entire girls’ team returning next year the team was already talking about the future.
Entering the relay with a big lead in the team points, the Dublin boys were not ready to take it easy and coast to a victory. Werowinski took out any frustration he had from the individual race with a monster opening leg in the relay. Having worked on strength throughout the off season, his double pole start could not be matched and he entered the woods with a lead. Werowinski emerged eight minutes later with a big lead and tagged off to Wilson. Hyde, leading the “B” relay team, entered the stadium in fifth place, showing the depth of the boys’ team. Wilson had a very fast leg and handed off to Bates with a fifty second lead. Bates cruised into the stadium with a comfortable one-minute lead after skiing the fastest leg of the day. The victory sealed the NEPSAC Championship for Dublin.
The Dublin Nordic Team would like to NEPSAC, Alexei Sotskov and Vermont Academy, and all of our league teams for a great day of racing.