Eastern High Schools Recap
March 20, 2023
Unlike other events, EHS and U16s are both scored based on a system where every racer for a team scores points based on finish place. This means that taking 100th vs 100st has the same points difference as 1st vs second. As a result, EHS is a high scoring event (total points for the weekend can exceed 30,000), and every single racer counts. At EHS, the overall depth of a team is what makes the difference in team scoring.
With this premise in mind, Team MA's accomplishments this year at EHS are seriously impressive. Here's the breakdown:
- Massachusetts finished the weekend in fourth place overall with 27,117 points, only 605 points behind third-place Maine with 27,722 points.
- The boys team took second behind Vermont in every race. This is a testament to the depth of MA skiing - and a testament to the hard work of all the athletes in MA, including those who didn't make the EHS team this year. Each athlete pushing their teammates to improve is what has made this amazing result for MA skiing possible on the boys side.
- In both skate races, Team MA as a whole scored third behind VT and NH.
These results indicate that the depth of MA skiing is only continuing to improve. For us coaches of EMXC, this is the kind of momentum that gets us really excited to see where we can go in the years to come.
None of these results would have been possible without the leadership of Ryan Touponce, and Joe Miller who organized Team MA and made it all happen. And, without the hard work and willingness to take on a challenge of Philip Walton, Chris Stock, Dave Currie, Art Sanders, and Frank Feist, who stepped up to the plate big time on the waxing front to make great skis for Team MA.
Now for the more EMXC-focused recap. All photos courtesy of NENSA.
Friday - Skate 5k
The weekend started off with Friday's skate individual start 5k. In the boys race, EMXC started the weekend strong, placing 9 EMXC skiers in the top 50.
On the girls side, Hannah finished just 17 seconds off the podium, with an impressive 4th place result, and Alex finished her first ever EHS race just two seconds out of the top ten, taking 11th.
Saturday - Classic 7.5k, Skate Sprint
In Saturday's mass start 7.5k Classic event, Massachusetts skier Quinn McDermott of Mt Greylock took first place, leading an impressive MA contingent that placed six skiers in the top 20. From EMXC, this included Jared in 9th (a 59-place improvement on his classic result at last year's EHS, and his first-ever EHS top-10 finish!) Nathan in tenth, Ian in 11th (a 47-place improvement from last year's EHS classic), and Xander in 13th. Andrew, Dashiell, and Sam all also posted top-50 results. Just outside the top-50, Ethan improved on his last-year's classic result by 20 places, and Tyler took 55th in his first-ever EHS classic race!
In the girls race, Hannah and Sarah both had strong top-20 showings, marking a 23-place improvement for Sarah over 2022's classic race. Anna improved her 2022 result by 20 places, securing strong points for MA.
Saturday afternoon featured a wave-start sprint race, with five skiers (one from each state) starting in heats every minute. With this format, there is advantage to starting in an early wave. This didn't phase Xander, who finished just 0.3 seconds out of the top-10 despite starting in the fifth wave. Jared and Will took 14th and 15th respectively, having started in waves six and nine. Ian, Sam C, and Andrew followed close behind, packing the top-26 with SIX EMXC athletes (more than the total number from either Maine or New Hampshire)! Dashiell, Calvin, and Nathan all took spots in the top-50, and Jonah improved on last-year's EHS sprint race result by almost 40 places.
On the girls side, Alex took her first EHS top-10 in a close race, edging out 11th place by 0.1 seconds, and leading MA to place 5 in the top-30. Polina improved on her last-year result by OVER FIFTY places to finish 32nd. Abby K improved on her morning result by 20+ places.
Sunday's relay saw MA teams in 6th, 10th, 20th, 26th, 34th, 35th, 36th, 39th, 43rd, 47th, 50th, 51st, and 52nd, for a team finish of 4th on the day. Highlights included:
- Nathan tagging off in 2nd place after leg one;
- Sarah and Polina with the 13th and 16th-fastest times on leg two;
- Xander, Ian, Andrew, and Sam with the 3rd, 6th, 16th, and 24th-fastest times on leg three;
- And Alex bringing her team home with the 9th-fastest time on leg four to finish in 6th place.
All in all, the weekend demonstrated the great power of a TEAM, and what can happen when all of MA works together. Congratulations to all!