The_Valley_Reporter - Sports Sun, 05 Jul 2015 13:31:33 -0400 en-gb 2015 Northern Vermont Champions

Mad River 5/6 boys’ lacrosse

Mad River 5/6 boys' lacrosse won the 2015 northern Vermont championship Sunday, June 7, after an undefeated season thanks in part to the coaching of head coach Drew Simmons and assistantcoach Matthew DeLorey.


Sports Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:30:09 -0400
National Trails Day at Blueberry Lake

John Atkinson receiving Golden Pulaski Award.

Ali Zimmer of Lincoln named one of the new trails at Blueberry Lake in honor of her dog Suki. Photo: Peggy McGrath.

The Mad River Riders celebrated National Trails Day at Blueberry Lake on Sunday, June 7, with guided mountain bike rides and bike and paddleboard demos. John Atkinson (top), on behalf of the Mad River Riders, received the Golden Pulaski award from U.S. Forest Service recreation and trail coordinator Holly Knox to recognize the work that the group has done on mountain biking trails. Knox also presented the new trail sign for Suki's Alley to Mad River Rider Ali Zimmer of Lincoln. Zimmer, a professional mountain bike racer, named the new bike trail in honor of her dog, Suki, who passed away over the winter and was her adventure pal. Far right, Mariah Keagy of Sinuosity, a trail development company that will build the new trail with help from the Mad River Riders, holds a shovelful of dirt to represent the trail groundbreaking.


Sports Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:25:27 -0400
Harwood golf going for championship

This past week, the Harwood Union High School boys' golf team edged out Lamoille to qualify for the state championships, which will take place at Green Mountain National Golf Course in Killington on Thursday, June 4.

The Harwood Union High School girls' golf team will also compete for the Division II title on Tuesday, June 2, at Tater Hill Country Club in Chester.


Sports Thu, 28 May 2015 15:30:22 -0400
Supporting multi-use trails in The Valley

With new trails under construction, older trails getting upgrades and a full calendar of group rides, clinics, parties and festivals, the Mad River Riders—a chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA)—is excited to share in all the fun they have planned for 2015 and it invites locals to consider becoming members.

With their dues, Mad River Riders members support trail building, landowner relationships and recreation programs. Last year, the Riders maintained 40 miles of multi-use trails in The Valley, added a new beginner mountain biking route and refreshed several existing routes. The organization has built official partnerships with the United States Forest Service's (USFS) Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont Parks & Recreation, several town forests and many private landowners.

In 2014, the Mad River Riders secured nearly $160,000 of community investment for the Mad River Valley and its volunteers donated almost 1,700 hours of work. Mad River Riders' free programs, such as the Mad River Rippers kids' group rides and Ali Zimmer's women's Wednesday clinics, served over 100 youth and women riders last year and the 2015 schedule and program offerings have grown significantly.

This season the Mad River Riders are managing a major reroute on the Chain Gang trail, as well as adding another new trail at Blueberry Lake. The organization is also working on final approvals for Evolution, a new intermediate trail that will parallel the Cyclone trail to the top of Dana Hill Road, and Mad River Riders is planning new trails and reroutes near Marble Hill Road on the Vermont Land Trust's Tenney property in conjunction with the Catamount Trail Association and the Mad River Path.

Mad River Riders members get the full benefits of a VMBA membership, including shop discounts at a wide range of outdoor gear stores, free day passes to most Vermont bike parks and paid networks, two-for-one ski tickets to many Vermont resorts and much more. As a chapter of VMBA, the Mad River Riders is allowed to build and maintain trails on state and USFS land, has better access to grant funding and is part of a strong statewide community of trail builders and riders. This year, Mad River Riders also added a new, reduced-rate student membership for students enrolled in school, ages 18 and under.

In addition to becoming Mad River Riders members, the organization encourages everyone to support at least one other VMBA chapter through the chapter add-on program. The newly formed Waterbury Area Trail Alliance (WATA) is an example of a nearby chapter, along with Millstone Trails in Graniteville, Fellowship of the Wheel in Chittenden County and the Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance (RASTA).


Sports Thu, 07 May 2015 14:56:40 -0400
Mad Marathon returns

The fifth annual Mad Marathon, Mad Half and relays are scheduled for Sunday, July 12, 2015. Nicknamed the "World's Most Beautiful Marathon," runners typically come from nearly all 50 states and a dozen or more countries. They keep coming back to experience the Mad River Valley's hospitality, hills, farms and the TLC.

Additional runners and spectators are expected due to a two-person Mad Half and a three- or five-person relay. The breakdown for the five-person relay includes two legs that are less than 4 miles each. This means the Mad Marathon has a race for every runner at any level. And for those who know someone who is itching to run the Boston Marathon, let them know it's an official Boston qualifier. Registration is available through or via a link at Final registration is on July 8 or when the race is full. For questions, to volunteer or support a nonprofit, please email or call (802) 496-5393.

"The Mad Marathon is delighted to be celebrating its fifth anniversary. When I look back on the hard work of our volunteers, our loyal sponsors and how welcoming this community is I am honored and thrilled with our progress. We are welcoming back presenting sponsors Sugarbush Resort and Lenny's Shoe and Apparel for the 2015 event," said race director Dori Ingalls.

Ingalls continued, "Since the beginning of the Mad Marathon in 2011, we have worked closely with a number of nonprofits and that tradition continues. We're even starting a new tradition this year, a Celebrity Waiter Dinner at Timbers on the Thursday before the race. The proceeds from that event will benefit Vermont Adaptive. It's very gratifying to get more attention and funds aimed at great local charities. Hannah's House has been with us from the beginning and this year they are aiming for over 100 runners raising $60,000. I've been told it makes their fundraising fun. We see terrific athletes with really big hearts come back year after year and at this point we feel like a big, extended family. Our fifth anniversary is a milestone we all feel very good about thanks to this great community."

Mad Marathon festivities start on Thursday, July 9, with a Celebrity Waiter Dinner at Timbers Restaurant. This fundraising dinner of locally grown food will launch the Mad Marathon weekend of events to celebrate the fifth anniversary. A pre-dinner cocktail party at the Gate House is open to the public with Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon race director, philanthropist, author and athlete, to speak. Stay posted for announcements of celebrity waiters and event details. On Friday at the Waitsfield Inn there is a Race Expo and packet pickup. Another new event added to celebrate the fifth year will be a community concert hosted by Crosspoint Associates on the Mad River Green. The Big Basin Band will be playing to benefit the Skatium. The Saturday's events include packet pickup, the Waitsfield Farmers' Market, Mad Carbo dinners at local restaurants and a 6:30 p.m. Kids Fun Run on the Mad River Green. The kids run through the Mad Marathon finish line to receive their medals. From 7 to 9 p.m. listen to music by Phineas Gage and enjoy the ice cream party on the Mad River Green.

Race day, Sunday, July 12, starts early with packet pickups from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. at the Waitsfield Inn and the race starts promptly at 7 a.m. after the national anthem. Earlier this year Vacation Home Rentals and part of the online service Trip Advisor compared marathons around the U.S. to pick the top one in each state deserving of a road trip. Criteria ranged from amazing scenery to all-out fun and the Mad Marathon took top honors for the state of Vermont.


Sports Thu, 07 May 2015 14:21:25 -0400
NASJA-East selects O’Brien and Duffy for Golden Ski Award

   Nina O'Brien and Drew Duffy were selected by the North American Snowsports Journalists Association - East Region (NASJA-East) as this year's winners of the Don A. Metivier Golden Ski Award. The award is given to the most promising male and female junior alpine racers in the eastern U.S. Nina O'Brien skis out of Vermont's Burke Mountain Academy and Drew Duffy, from Warren, competes out of Green Mountain Valley School. The awards will be presented at the New England Ski Museum's annual spring reception on Friday, June 12, from 5 to 7 p.m., in Franconia, New Hampshire.

Duffy started out the 2014-2015 season roughly, with a number of DNFs, as skiing on the edge can do. He finished ninth in the super G in December at the NORAM's in Panorama, British Columbia, and 16th in the super G at Hafjell, Norway, in the World Junior Championships. Then things started to come together for him. He won the U.S. Alpine National super G Championship in March at Sugarloaf, Maine, from starting position 30 and followed that up in April with fifth in the super G at Sunday River, Maine. He then placed first in the super G and second in downhill at FIS competition in Aspen, Colorado.

The Golden Ski Award has been presented to the top junior male and female skiers in the East since 1969, the year after the modern World Cup circuit scoring system started. Many of the Golden Ski winners have gone on to World Cup and Olympic fame. In 1975, the actual Golden Ski trophy was "lost." In 2007, the New England Ski Museum was given some artifacts and in that donation was the original Golden Ski Award. Eastern Ski Writers Association revitalized the honor and named it in memory of longtime snow sports journalist Don A. Metivier, former editor of Ski Racing Magazine.

"The Golden Ski Award is the oldest honor given to junior alpine ski racers that exists today," says Jim Gregory, chair of the NASJA-East Golden Ski Award Committee. "We are proud this year to honor Nina O'Brien and Drew Duffy, two extraordinary athletes, and we look forward to watching them pursue their goals and set the bar even higher in the sport we all love so much."


Sports Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:49:29 -0400
Harwood cross-country teams honored at State House

Harwood boys' and girls' cross-country teams were recognized by the Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 8.

Both teams swept the Vermont Division II titles this past fall. It was the fourth straight for the boys and the sixth straight for the girls.

Harwood cross-country has been arguably the most successful team in Vermont scholastic history, according to coach John Kerrigan.

Harwood boys' cross-country has been Vermont Division II champion for seven of the past eight years for a total of 13 state titles. Harwood girls have won nine state titles. That gives Kerrigan's teams an amazing total of 22 Vermont state championships.

Harwood boys were led by two-time Gatorade All-American Sam Nishi who finished first. He was followed by the Palmerio brothers (Jacob, Anthony and Nathan) and by Morgan Baughman, Colin Fennelly and Kyle Dash.

Harwood girls placed third, fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth. The Harwood girls included four freshmen: Erin Magill, Phoebe Sweet, Jordy Kulis and Isabel Jamieson. The sophomores were Anneka Williams and Lily Clark. Junior and co-captain Charlotte Boyden was the lone upper classman in the predominantly very young stable of runners.


Sports Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:44:21 -0400
Vermont Senior Games held at Sugarbush

Vermont Senior Games medalists: Seated (L-R): Laurie Landau, Caryl Hurwitz and Louise Messner. Standing (L-R) Renee Epstein, Bob Stevens, Bernie "Boom-Boom" Pistilli, Ann Fender, Rich Jones and John Wilson. Missing from the picture is Doug Day.

The Vermont Alpine Senior Games were held at Sugarbush's Lincoln Peak on March 8. It was a two-run NASTAR format on Racer's Edge and open to anyone over 55. Sugarbush Racing Club (SRC) members, very familiar with the course, came away with nine gold medals – one in every class they entered. In fact, club racers only won gold.

Championships were for five-year age groups from 55 to 89. For the women, the winners were Laurie Landau (60-64), Caryl Hurwitz (65-69), Ann Fender (70-74) and Louise Messner (75-79). On the men's side the winners were Doug Day (55-59), John Wilson (72-75), Richard Jones (75-79, Bernard Pistilli (80-84) and Bob Stevens (85-89). They are all considered Champions of Vermont.

Club racers have supported the games since they came to Sugarbush. SRC has ended its successful Thursday race series for 2015 but will continue to be active on the slopes. They had a costumed fun race on March 20 and supported Mad River Valley Health Center in the Chez Henri Cup races on March 28.

More about SRC can be found at


Sports Thu, 09 Apr 2015 16:21:38 -0400
Drew Duffy stuns ski world with win at U.S. Nationals

Twenty-year-old Green Mountain Valley School alumnus, Drew Duffy, Warren, beat World Cup, World Championship and Olympic medalists to win the U.S. Alpine Super G title Wednesday, March 25, at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine.

On a beautiful, sunny day, after all the top racers had finished and veteran Steve Nyman's win was a forgone conclusion, Duffy stunned the crowd with his blistering run. He grasped the win by four one-hundredths of a second.

Drew Duffy and his brother, Danny, grew up in the Mad River Valley and continued to race at a high level since graduating from Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) ski academy in 2013 and 2012, respectively. They have utilized a crowd-funding program called RallyMe to keep their U.S. Ski Team dreams alive.

GMVS alpine program director Steve Utter says that "Drew's win is inspirational. He has fought hard to get to this point and he deserves the success. He embodies all the core values of GMVS -- discipline, responsibility, respect, total commitment and effort. We are all proud of him."

Green Mountain Valley School, Fayston, is a ski academy with alpine training facilities at Sugarbush Resort and multiple Nordic training facilities throughout the area. The academy offers a full academic curriculum, theater program, student clubs and spring and fall sports. This year, GMVS has two graduates on the U.S. Ski Team, one on the British team and one on the Irish team.


Sports Thu, 02 Apr 2015 13:47:20 -0400
Mad River Glen, Sugarbush to stay open through April

The snow is starting to melt, but local ski resorts are still going strong.

As of this week, the summit of General Stark Mountain had a 4-foot base, while Lincoln Peak reported a minimum of 16 inches and a maximum of 69 inches of snow on its trails. Tuesday, March 31, marked the 105th day that Sugarbush's Castlerock double lift has run this season. Normally, that part of the mountain is open for an average of 79 days each winter, so breaking 100 is "quite significant," vice president of marketing Candice White said.

Looking ahead, Mad River Glen expects its season will run through Wednesday, April 22, at least, but the number of days beyond that will be dependent on snow and skier traffic, marketing director Eric Friedman said.

Over at Sugarbush, Mt. Ellen will remain open through Sunday, April 5. Lincoln Peak will remain open daily through Sunday, April 26. After that it will close midweek and reopen for its final weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, weather permitting.

But even after the lifts stop running, those willing to earn their turns can still ski and snowboard. Once Mt. Ellen closes, it will be open to hikers and Lincoln Peak and Mad River Glen will continue to allow uphill travel outside of hours of operation.

Starting Sunday, April 5, however, Lincoln Peak's designated morning skinning route will close for safety reasons, as Sugarbush prepares for the replacement of the Valley House double lift with a fixed-grip quad. During this time, the mountain's evening skinning route will remain open, although Sugarbush asks that all hikers park in the regular lot, as the heli lot is currently closed due to soft conditions.

In the meantime, the trails at Mad River Glen and at Sugarbush are 100 percent open. Happy spring skiing!


Sports Thu, 02 Apr 2015 13:43:47 -0400