NENSA Zak Cup – Zak Attack Freestyle Race Report
Master skier Jake Hollenback and GNA U16 skier Catherine Stow take the overall titles at round 4 of NENSA’s Zak Cup race series.
Gilford, NH – January 5, 2019 – Gunstock Nordic Association – The fourth event of this year's NENSA Zak Cup was held at Gunstock Nordic. After weeks of questionable weather and low snow, Gunstock worked to create a clean 1.64 km race course with their reserve of man-made snow… Then, the night before the race, the Gunstock Mountain Resort snow farmers generously hauled snow to the backside of the course, allowing GNA to complete the originally planned course and groom out a perfect 4 km loop!
Race day weather was nearly ideal as the forecasted rain held off and temperatures remained steady at 32°F. The day’s event kicked off with the men’s race and, while the field was small, many of New England’s top master skiers were in attendance—making it a very competitive event with fast times. Taking top spot was long-time New England standout, Jake Hollenback (NWVE), with a time of 33:28 for the 12 km race. Gunstock’s former nordic center director, Neal Graves (Stowe Nordic), took second at 34:28, and Tyler Magnan (NWVE) finished in third at 34:45. Special accolades go out to Mitchell Townsend, GNA’s up-and-coming U16 skier took the sixth spot at only 2 minutes down from the winner!
In the women’s race, GNA’s top U16 skier, Catherine Stow, set a blistering pace on the first lap and held on to best Sara Graves (Stowe Nordic) by 16 seconds. GNA’s other up-and-coming U16 skier Vanessa Genakos took third spot with a time of 27:41 for the 9 km race.
Following the women were the BKL/U16 racers who skied a challenging 4 km race. Tabor Greenberg took top honors with Sam Gallaudet taking second and Aiden Bondaz in third.
GNA would like to thank all race participants! Results are now posted below.
Additional thanks to Gunstock Mountain Resort for their exceptional snow farming and for providing a perfectly groomed ski track! And a huge thank you to Nina Gavrylyuk and her crew of GNA volunteers for making the race happen!
Men’s Podium: Cameron Cogburn (4th), Tyler Magnan (3rd), Neal Graves (2nd), Jake Hollenback (1st)
Women’s Podium: Vanessa Genakos (3rd), Sare Graves (2nd), Catherine Stow (1st)
Mitchell Townsend attacks the start. Of note: Mitch finished 6th on the day
Catherine Stow approaches the second lap corner
Of Note: Read Damian Bolduc’s Race Report (Northwest Vermont Endurance) posted on the NENSA website »
And you don’t want to miss Bill Donahue’s contribution to the post – “The Confession of a Wrong-Way Skier” (about halfway into the post)