Erin Bolger, a senior at Lakeland Union High School, has already been named a conference and state champion in Nordic skiing. Following the high school ski season, Erin was named to the Midwest Junior Olympic Nordic ski team. Erin will be sharing her experiences during her time in Stowe, VT, for the Junior National Nordic Ski Championships.
Entry 2: Sunday, March 2
We made it to Vermont Friday night. We’re staying in condos with five people to a condo, it’s almost like we’re in a little village of skiers.
Saturday morning we skied the course twice. The race course is located near the Van Trapp (Sound of Music) family lodge, in Stowe, with a beautiful view. The course is a five kilometer course that we will have to ski twice for one of our 10k races. The course makes tons of sharp turns and has some large climbs. It’s probably the hardest and most fun course I’ve ever skied. At the end of the course there’s a great view of the mountains, so I can’t forget to look up!
We previewed the course one last time today and did some final touches to our skis before giving them to our wax techs.
This afternoon we all assembled in down town Stowe for a “parade of nations.” All the athletes marched through Stowe while parents and towns people lined the streets. We then gathered in a nice arena to listen to a comedian and various speakers and see some past Olympians who grew up in Vermont.
My first race is tomorrow, 5k classic. I’m nervous but also super excited to get to race with so many new and fast people!
Entry 1: Thursday, Feb. 27
My trip has officially begun! I’m on my way to Minnesota to meet up with some of my teammates and we’ll head to the Minneapolis airport together tomorrow morning. Looking back at it, I can’t believe that my season is almost over. It seems as though I was just at my summer training camps, training with winter on my mind.
In the summers I train with the central cross country junior development team (CXC). Each month we have a week-long training camp and each athlete has a specific training schedule. I put in about 450-500 hours of training in a year.
In the fall I run or roller ski six days a week and have training camps once a month with CXC. Then in November the high school season begins. In the beginning of the season we usually don’t get to ski right away so we’re all anxious to get on snow.
Once the snow falls it’s always an amazing day! All of my summer training gets put to the test at our home race at Minocqua Winter Park. This year I was able to win that race by just about a minute, which set the tone for my season.
Once race season begins I can forget about a life outside of skiing. I spend every weekend at a two-day race and every weekday training.
The weekends that the team has off, I venture to my Junior National Qualifying (JNQ) races. This year I was lucky enough to have my team at two of my four JNQs. With a few unlucky races I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to qualify for junior nationals.
After completing four weekends of racing (eight races), the officials give you points based on your four best races. Each place is worth points with first place being worth 100.
I was able to get a score high enough to get me a ranking of tenth for my class (U18 female). They announced after my last JNQ that they would be taking 11 U18 females, meaning I had qualified.
At the beginning of the season I set three goals for myself:
1. Conference champ
2. State champ
3. Junior national qualifier
This has been an amazing senior year and has proven that my hard work has paid off! I can’t wait for the week ahead!
I have long day of traveling ahead of me and I’ll be in Vermont by late afternoon tomorrow!
See www.lakelandtimes.com and check the print editions of The Lakeland Times for updates from Erin’s experience in Vermont.