Harwood Nordic hosts the inaugural Winterfest race this Friday at Dac Rowe Field in Waterbury. Races begin under the lights at 4:30 p.m., when the Harwood Nordic team competes on the lap course. Come out and cheer the home team, and afterward, enjoy a meal and beverage at one of the fine restaurants of the “Beermuda Triangle” in downtown Waterbury.
The Winterfest competition comes during a Nordic season in which Harwood is building momentum. Last Friday, the team traveled north on Route 100 for a meet hosted by Stowe High School at Stowe Mountain Resort. Temperatures were well above normal with rain.
Coaches Kerrigan, Strasser and Revoir scrambled to wax 55 pairs of skis with a combination of warm and colder klisters. The coaches nailed the wax and the skiers took advantage of great grip and glide to have their best finish of the season. Varsity boys placed second and the girls finished third in the 10-team field.
Harwood Union Middle School girls nailed down 13 of the first 14 places. They were led by Phobe Sweet (first), Madeline Strasser (second), Sophie Libby (third), Jordi Kulis (fourth), Aneeka Williams (fifth), Kyle-Marie Hekeler (sixth), and Avery Montgomery (seventh).
The very young Harwood Union Middle School boys were also impressive. They were led by Tyler Skroski (seventh), Anthony Palmerio (eighth), and Colin Fennely (10th).
JV boys were led by RJ Hommel and Connor Delaney, who placed seventh and eighth respectively.
JV girls were led by Lauren Alexander (fourth), Claire Brundage (sixth) and Molly Ferguson (eighth). Molly and Claire were also competing in their first ever classic race.
For the Varsity boys, Nathanael Kuzio showed why he is one of the best J2 skiers in New England. The Harwood sophomore finished a whopping 30 seconds ahead of the second place skier. Junior Brennan Degen (10th), freshman Phillip Hekeler (17th) and sophomore Sam Nishi have coaches Kerrigan and Strasser looking toward a bright future.
Varsity girls were led by team co-captain Grace Butler (seventh), India Harvey (12th), Ellie Ramsey (22nd) and Paige Gaylord (25th).