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James Kehler doing some speedy striding (Photo Dave Priganc).

BKL'ers Top the Podiums at the BKL Festival

Last Updated: 24.Feb.2018

February 17th and 18th marked the pinnacle weekend of the Bill Koch ski season: The Bill Koch League Festival. This year, the Festival was held in Weston, Massachusetts at the Leo J. Martin Ski Track and the theme was “Snowdance.” 18 Craftsbury BKL’ers made the annual pilgrimage for two days of fun. In addition to racing, there were other activities including a pasta dinner, orienteering, beanbag biathlon, and tandem ski races. Every state is broken up into several districts, and Craftsbury is part of the Northeastern Vermont district. This means that kids represent their discrict as well as their club. 

The first race of the weekend was the skate relay on Saturday morning. The youngest racers, in grades 1-2, raced 0.7k. The 1st and 2nd grade race is coed and James Kehler teamed up with Genevieve Graves for 15th place. The 3rd and 4th graders raced 1.1k. In the boys race, Thomas Kehler Charlie Isselhardt, and Soren Stelma-Leonard were a triumphant trio that came in 5th. In the grade 5-6 girls race, which was 1.5k, Craftsbury had two teams. Ruth Krebs and Anika Leahy were 4th and Team Twin made up of Emily and Isabel Linton was 10th. In the grades 5-6 boys race, Sage Grossi and Alan Moody were the runners up, followed by Charles Kehler and Owen Jones were 6th. In the grades 7-8 girls race, Anna Isselhardt was the lone Craftsbury representative and she teamed up with Maggie McGee for 10th place. In the grades 7-8 boys race, there were two teams in green with a total of five racers. The trio of Cormac Leahy, Orion Cenkl, and Linden Stelma-Leonard were 3rd, followed closely by Trey Jones and Charlie Krebs in 4th. 

The racing continued on Saturday afternoon with skate sprints, which were fast and furious. The 3rd and 4th graders raced 0.4k. Charlie Isselhart was 10th with a time of 1:26 (just to give a sense of how quick the races were!), followed by Soren was 14th and Thomas was 17th. The 5th and 6th graders raced 0.75k. Owen was first across the line, with Sage less than four seconds behind in 2nd. Alan was 10th and Charles Kehler was 20th. In the 5th and 6th grade girls race, Ruth and Anika were less than a second apart in 5th and 6th. Isabel was 19th and Emily was 22nd. The 7th and 8th graders raced the same course. Trey was the victor, followed Cormac in 6th. Orion was 9th, Linden was 21st and Charlie Krebs was 0.1 seconds behind in 22nd. In the grades 7-8 girls race, Anna was 18th. 

On Sunday, all the snowdancing paid off, and fresh snow fell for the classic individual races. In the grades 1-2 race, James was 22nd. In the 3rd and 4th grade boys race, Charlie Isselhardt was 6th place, Thomas Kehler 11th, and Soren Stelma-Leonard was 20th. In the 5th and 6th grade girls race, Anika was 7th and Ruth was 9th. Isabel was 11th and Emily was 14th. In the grades 5-6 boys race, Sage was 1st and Owen was 3.5 seconds behind in 2nd. Alan was 11th and Charles Kehler was 16th. In the grades 7-8 girls race, Anna was 33rd. In the grades 7-8 boys race, Trey won his second race of the weekend, followed by Cormac in 8th. Orion was 14th, Charlie was 23rd, and Linden was 24th. 

Congratulations to all these BKL’ers for a great season and awesome racing at the Festival! Full results can be found here and a Facebook photo album here.