Nordic skiing: ConVal hosts sunny home meet in Dublin

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal Nordic ski team hosted a race at the Dublin Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/15/2021 10:46:23 AM

The tiny ConVal Nordic ski team hosted skiers from around the state at Saturday’s home race at the Dublin Nordic Center. 

Friday’s frigid overnight temperatures gave way to a sunny Saturday morning, “fabulous conditions” for skiing, ConVal head coach Scott McGovern said after the races with Lebanon, Souhegan and Keene.

“I was very pleased with how the race went,” McGovern said. “The kids had fun, and when I say the kids, I mean all the skiers from all the teams seemed to have a good time. We enabled roughly 70-80 skiers to have some great skiing for a few hours on great ski conditions at a great Nordic center.”

ConVal sent five of their own skiers out onto the course Saturday for the 4.5K skate races, which Lebanon swept, with Ayla Weale on top in the girls’ race and Daniel Mladek winning the boys’.

Freshman Nathan Klonel was the lone Cougar boy in the field, finishing 25th in 18:43.8. McGovern said he’s taken to the sport quickly despite never having cross-country skied before.

“He has been a real natural,” McGovern said. “I’m sure by senior year he's going to be a very strong skier.”

Avid Nordic skier and team co-captain Eva Calcutt was the first ConVal finisher in the girls’ race, her mirrored shades sparkling as she crossed the finish line to take eighth place in 17:58.8. Calcutt has been training with both the ConVal Nordic  team and the Dublin XC club tea m and has made great strides with the extra work.

“She’s really shown a lot of improvement,” McGovern said. “I think being with Dublin has really helped her this year.”

ConVal’s pair of senior skiers, Eme Tyler-Wall and Grace Phillips, finished in 33rd and 28th, respectively, after an early fall cost Tyler-Wall some time and energy. Grace has been with the team for three season and Tyler-Wall four. 

“They’ve shown a lot of improvement over the years and have been a real integral part of the team,” McGovern said.

Younger sister Laura Phillips finished 31st overall.

That was it for the home team on Saturday, as this year, ConVal’s numbers have dwindled, McGovern said, due to the district’s policy requiring student-athletes and their siblings to  learn remotely for the entirety of the season.

“That’s a pretty heavy demand on the kids,” McGovern said.

The Cougars actually had about 18 skiers going into the season, McGovern said, but more than half dropped off the team on Jan. 4 to allow a two-week quarantine and a return to in-person learning.

“I was disappointed that ConVal didn’t make any distinction between a low risk sport and a high risk sport as determined by the NHIAA,” McGovern said.

Even those skiers who stuck with the team through now are facing their own set of COVID challenges. The promising freshman Klonel won’t race again in order to allow his family members to return to school; veteran and co-captain Cami Hendrixson missed Saturday’s race due to quarantine restrictions following family travel, and another ConVal skier has been practicing with the team but not racing to avoid exposure to skiers from other schools. 

Nonetheless, McGovern has high hopes for the program going forward and expects to regain most of those young skiers if COVID concerns have lifted by the next winter season.

“I’ve got a lot of promising people on the team and I’m hoping a lot of people will come back,” McGovern said.

ConVal has another meet Wednesday, hosted by Keene at the Dublin Nordic Center, where state-of-the-art snowmaking has allowed several teams from around the region to host meets along with Dublin School and Dubin XC.

“Someone made a remark that a lot of the competitive ski season in New Hampshire has been on the back of the Dublin Nordic Center,” McGovern said. “Their snowmaking capacity has really saved the season for a lot of schools.”




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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