Eastern Cup #4 - Holderness - Day 1

March 1, 2024
Eastern Cup #4 - Holderness - Day 1

What a weekend to end the Eastern Cup season on! Holderness put on a great show, with a thrilling course for the 1.1k skate sprint on Saturday and some pristine classic tracks for the classic 10k on Sunday.

Team spirit was high, glitter was EVERYWHERE, and smiles were contagious. There were lots of firsts, personal bests, and learning moments for many of our athletes, and some might even say they gained some wisdom along the way.

This was our highest attended eastern cup; 46 athletes participated - including nine U14s from the EMXC youth program! Also of note was that all nine of our Seniors were present, including Xander and Nathan, who cheered on their teammates throughout the weekend. Here are some highlights from each day and a special shoutout to those for whom it was their last eastern cup with EMXC.

Saturday, Skate Sprint

Saturday’s sprint course was unique in that it included nordic cross (XCX) features, including some winding turns, a few rollers, and a drop feature. This required athletes to use their agility to make it around the course quickly. It also meant that tactics were even more at play in the heats, as line choice could make or break an athlete’s position in their heat.

Keira catching some air over the drop feature. (Photo by Rebecca McNeil)

The girls kicked off the day with some fast skiing. The course was short and the fastest time in the qualifier was only 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Hannah Petersen, Abby Kirincich, and Fran Tucker all qualified for heats - Abby for U16 heats, Hannah for U18/20 heats, and Fran for Open Heats. In their respective heats, all three skied to personal best sprint results. It was Abby’s first time every qualifying for heats, and she skied to fourth place in her semifinal. Hannah skied all the way to the final, where she placed fifth in a tight pack of girls. Fran skied all the way to the open final, where she took the inside line, passing the 3 skiers ahead of her to take the Win on the day.

It was also special to see Keira, Iris, Avery, and Ulrika charging both the uphills and the downhills and recording times within 7 seconds of one another. Sarah and Polina were within 2 seconds of each other! A clear sign that EMXC sticks together!

Sarah, Polina, and Hannah warming up together for the sprint race. (Photo by Dingli Zeng)
Abby digging deep as she approaches the final stretch of the qualifier. (Photo by Dingli Zeng)
Fran skiing out of the start. Look at all those fans of ski racing! (Photo by Dingli Zeng)

The boys followed the girls and had some great races. The course was fairly skied in by the time the first race was over, and a berm formed on the downhill, making for an extra fun challenge. With a competitive field, Sam Currie skied an awesome race, landing himself in 32nd. This put him in a good position for the U18/20 heats, where he dominated his semi-final and created a gap between himself and his competitors. He finished 5th in the final. Ian Brenner was just one place out of qualifying, and Milo Fernandez was close behind with a personal best result.

The boys smiling during their course tour with coach Chris. (Photo by Dingli Zeng)
Milo skiing strong in the qualifier. (Photo by Dingli Zeng)

Jasper Lloyd, Tor Webb, and Zach Scopinich-Burgel all qualified for U16 heats. This was a first for Zach and he navigated his fueling and warmup well and placed 6th in his semifinal. Jasper narrowly missed moving on to the final with an exciting finish and a 4th place in his heat. Tor opted out of the heats, as he wasn’t feeling well.

Tor pushing around a sharp and fast corner in his qualifier. (Photo by Dingli Zeng)