Pinkham Notch, NH—On Saturday, December 12, 2009, Great Glen Trails hosted the Atomic Sprints at Great Glen, the first cross country ski race in New Hampshire this season. Skiers from Bates College took first place in both the men’s and women’s divisions. More than $1,000 in prizes were award to the top skiers.
With more than 20 inches of new snow since Wednesday, Great Glen Trails was able to open for the winter season and treat more than sixty racers to excellent racing conditions. Along with citizen and club racers, athletes from Bates College, Bowdoin College, the University of New Hampshire, Burke Mountain Academy and Gould Academy all competed. In sprint racing, racers are slotted into qualifying heats with all but the first and second skier eliminated. Ultimately, only four skiers remain for the final heat.
Lucas Milliken of Bates College took the top spot for the men in an eventful final that saw a fall right off the start line. Jordan Buetow from Burke Mountain Academy, who had been moving easily through the rounds and looked poised for the win, got tangled with another competitor at the start and went down only a few yards in the final heat. Even with his fall, Buetow skied aggressively and nearly caught Milliken at the finish, collapsing from exhaustion just over the finish line in second place. Peter Cowan of Gould Academy was third, and Matt Johnson of Burke Mountain Academy took fourth.
The women’s final was a mirror image of the men’s final with a fall at the start. Sophie Leonard of Bates College went down in the opening yards and was unable to catch her teammates, Abby Samuelson and Beth Taylor. Sameulson and Taylor battled throughout the entire 1.5 k sprint course with Samuelson out sprinting Taylor in the final yards. Leonard was third, and Holly Bushman of Burke Mountain Academy finished in fourth place.
For their victories, both Milliken and Samuelson took home skis from Atomic.
Great Glen Trails is currently open daily for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snow tubing.
Great Glen Trails