Wednesday, February 29, 2012

HURT Juniors a FORCE at states.

There is no doubt about it, the picture of the junior nordic ski racing scene in New York was painted with clarity this past Monday and Tuesday in Lake Placid. Top skiers from across the state competed in the State Championship Meet at Van Ho and everyone on hand can attest that the HURT nordic/RNR duel for nordic dominance is fought hardest at the junior level. Without a doubt, the depth of talent from Section V (Rochester) skiers was on display but it was the HURT juniors from section 2 and 3 that did the most damage against the Western juggernaut. In the boys individual championship skate race on Monday its was HURT's Adam Luban who was narrowly edged out by RNR/Webster champion, Eric Mallery. teammates Austin Huneck and Brian Halligan were inches behind, as they captured 4 and 5 respectively. It was by a mere 1.3 seconds that Austin misssed joining the speedy Luban on the podium as Section 2 senior leader, Mike Mulshine, skied an impressive race to capture 3rd. The gaps were close at 26 seconds was the margin between 1-5. Seth Mares completed the strong showing by HURT junior boys with a top 20 finish and earned a spot on the Section 2 "A" relay squad.

While Luban was set to anchor the Section 3 relay team, it became a HURT/RNR showdown as the Huneck/Mares/Halligan show went out battle against the Section 5 "A" squad. Despite three strong legs by the HURT trio, Mallery and company proved a bit too much as they skied to the silver medal.

The girls race was a different story. As HFL and Pittsford flexed their "Marit Bjoergen-like" nordic muscles it was 9th graders, Sarah Duclos and Amy Duclos who were able to ski to a 24th and 27th place finish in the skate race and 20th and 21st place in the classic sprint. And Emma Underwood responded from a disappointing top 20 with a great scramble leg on Tuesday for the Section 2 "A" team who finished just off the podium. A big congratulations goes out to all the girls who competed and with the new bar set, they are ready to get after it!
Translation: MARIT BJOERGEN (I train with HFL, don't you see my yellow helmet?)

The Director was on hand to speak with the HRT newsroom after the skate event on Monday. (We tried to get in touch with him on Tuesday after the relays but his mom said he had to go to school, finish his math homework and work on his book report)

HRT: So what do you think of the junior performances today?

D: I liked what I saw. I like seeing 2,4,5.....not as much as 1,2,3..... but they are all coming back next year. A 20th at states isn't bad at all either. I like only having one section 5'er in the top 5 too....just for spite you know.....I mean.....I bleed Section 2....and there are no secrets about the cross-state competitive rivalry.

HRT: And the girls?

D: Emma, Amy and Sara skied tough today. Emma is coming back for one great final run and the Duclos twins have 3 years of preparation ahead of them. I expect to see them finish tied for 1st in a couple years.

HRT: Tied?

D: Of course.....they are twins....duh

HRT: You have taken some criticism in the media from women across the region who feel you aren't doing enough to bring the girls up fast enough. Some women suggest some new female leadership is in order. Any comments?

D: OH.....UH.....WHA?!

HRT: Rumor has it that their may be a vote of "no confidence" based on a petition by the HURT ladies. Is this news to you?

D: UH.....Look......I have a NYSSRA championship title to win next weekend. Yes....that's a THREE-PEAT!! No confidence!?.....pssssh......Just be there when you watch us raise that banner again....with the help of all our great women skiers! Now...I have to go study....or my mom will ground me next weekend....(whispering.....that's the only women I really fear...)

What will happen to the notorious "Director"? Is this the end of his tenure? Will Robin save the Batman from the Joker? Stay tuned to HRT nordic news to answer all these dramatic questions......

Random Picture of Batman.

The HRT newsroom is working on compiling a video report of states. In the meantime.....enjoy some of the story told in pictures.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Updated HURTathon Results

I missed some racers on yesterday's results, here are the corrections.

Racers Tackle The Beast

The Day's Champ Heads Out

Director Beats His Dad

(Article originally posted at

SortaFasterSkier: So you finally beat your dad, it was a long time coming, how does it feel?

Director: Good overall, we all knew it was bound to happen any day, what with the huge strides I am making (winks to camera for effect).

SFS: So how did you do it?

Director: Well, as they say "this was not my first rodeo" so I came into Sunday's race with a detailed three part plan.

SFS: I should have know you came prepared, so how did the plan play out?

Director: Well I don't want to give away any trade secrets, but what the heck.

Step 1: I sent my dad out on a hard hike up Sawteeth Mountain the day before. I also mandated that he needed to wear snowshoes instead of crampons on the icy trail, this ensured lots of slipping and extra energy spent. Finally, after returning late in the day, I made him wax my skis, as my normal ski tech (Bjorn Nordhoff-Urhem) was out sick. This ensured a late bed time for him, all the while I was resting up and being pampered by my crew (thanks Mom!).

Step 2: The morning of the race I made sure Chris grabbed my dad to help set the course, while I laid low helping at registration and eating cookies. They had to ski and hike up that blasted mountain to set the hundreds of flags and then hike back down just before race start. Again, you can see my plan of tiring out my adversary.

Step 3: Finally, I made, how should I say, cough, cough "donations" to a select few skiers to make sure they fell down at certain key intervals in the race, holding up my dad. Boy did this ever pay off! I was expecting a stumble or little delay, I never would have guessed Jim and Chris (I mean skier A and skier B, who shall remain anonymous) would have pulled off such a great performance. They went down in bowling pin fashion right at the icy crux of the course. This section was steep, let me tell you. It made the Hill Of Death look like a pimple. But all this commotion really held up my dad, letting me ski to victory!

SFS: Wow, what an evil and cunning plan! No wonder other teams shake in their carbon skate boots when HURT rolls up. All this just to beat someone on your OWN team, and your dad at that, wow!

Director: Let me just iterate, no one stands between me and my goals. You don't rise to this type of power by lolly-gaging around picking flowers.

Monday, February 13, 2012

NYSSRA nordic hill climb

You've seen them on TV!!!.......(well haven't seen them on TV, but maybe you have woken up at 4:00am to watch swedish commentary and blurry bootlegged video coverage of them.....)




Come join HURT at West Mountain in Queensbury, NY for a race up to the top. The Senior/Masters race starts at 10:00am and the Junior race starts at 10:15. Registration opens at 8:30. Race is $20 and their will be a $5 Bill Koch Event up the bunny slope. Use this Ski-Reg link to register today.

It will look a little something like this:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feb. 4th and 5th.....a new monster is born

Desperate for snow and for a ski race, the Director loaded his team in the HURT wagon and drove to Stowe, VT to compete in the Eastern Cup at Trapps. He pulled no punches and brought a laundry list of competitors for the Saturday 10K classic, Sunday 10K skate race. Making the trek to Vermont was Chirs Yarsevich, Dave PK, Austin Huneck, Tim Huneck, Brian Halligan, the Director himself, Adam Luban, Ed Luban and Emma Underwood. The move was not without controversy though. By taking large amounts of his team out of state he made an opportunity for other NYSSRA clubs to jump out to a massive points lead if they chose to compete in the Empire State Game weekend at the Lake Placid jumping complex.

The team in Vermont suffered from lack of racing, but were still able to turn in some solid results. Full results can be seen here. Top performers on Saturday were Austin Huneck (154th)), Emma Underwood (149th) and THE DIRECTOR with a podium finish in the Bill Koch race! In Sunday's skate race Adam Luban lead the team with a 131st place finish.

Critics of the Director saw this as a foolish and a somewhat arrogant move as he openly said the he "felt he could afford to give his top rivals the points with still ample opportunity to make up ground before season end". One unnamed HURT member felt like this was a huge mistake and went out of his/her way to undermine the direct orders of the Director. Since the team's inception, this type of brazen disobedience has never been seen. The Director has always ruled with an iron fist and nobody had thought to test it.

We here at the HRT newsroom did a little digging and a thanks to a mysterious leak (let's call him deep-klister) we recovered the following document which apparently was sent out to all of HURT's fastest females. It appears that they were directed to go to Lake Placid and sweep up the medals at the skate prologue, Ski-O race and Classic 5K. (We suspect that Emma was dragged to Vermont kicking and screaming by her father, and that is why her race performance had her kicking up the hills and going screaming-fast down them)

Bottom line....the HURT's ladies (Sarah Duclos, Amy Duclos, Jill Kozoil) responded to the directive and delivered big at Empires. And in doing so, a new monster was born. Not three heads this time.....but a fierce, twin, Ducl-o-licious fire breathing juggernaut of scholastic race speed. Both Sara and Amy Duclos stomped up the podium catching medal, after medal, after medal, after medal. (x6) It was impressive, inspiring and a little scary. At least for the Director.....someone on his team is looking to start a coup.....and they wield much of the female power.

I guess we have Jessie Diggins, Kikki, and "fast and female" to thank for the new developments in US skiing. HURT is no exception

(visual approximation of the Duclos sisters)

Is the Director's power slipping away?
Who is the man/women behind the mask?
Has the Director thrown away his three-peat?

Many questions still remain in the 2012 nordic campaign. Stay tuned.....and enjoy the February rollerskiing??!!??

Visual approximation of the new leader to be?

Full results to Empires can be found here. Congrats to all the athletes from HURT who raced this weekend in VT or at Empires (Eric Hamilton, Rene Clarke, Jill Kozoil, Brian Chrzan, Matt Tornianen, Dave PK, Chris Y, Adam L, Brian H, Austin H, Aaron H, Mike Halligan, Tim Huneck, Ed Luban, Emma Underwood, Sara D, Amy D....I think that's it.....phew)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

HURT Goes to Stowe

Team HURT traveled to Stowe, VT this weekend to race in the Eastern Cup. The Director was there to capture it all on video and still had time to take home a bronze in the Bill Koch race, nice work!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hunting for Snow

After 50 degree weather and heavy rain, the HURT faithful had to get creative and hunt out some skiable snow this week.

Resorting to a top secret training facility created by The Director himself, conditions were surprisingly decent for some fishscale training.