Header Background

Samuelson, Milliken win at preseason Great Glen Sprints

Abby Samuelson '10 appears ready for a strong senior season after Saturday's win. (Photo by Lincoln Benedict '09)

The following story is from Cross Country Skier:

On Saturday, December 12, 2009, in the Great Glen Sprints at the Great Glen Trails, skiers from Bates College took first place in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

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 60 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.

Bates first-year Lucas Milliken (North Yarmouth, Maine) 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. Bates sophomore Sophie Leonard (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) went down in the opening yards and was unable to catch her teammates, senior Abby Samuelson (Freeport, Maine) and sophomore Beth Taylor (Norwich, Vt.). Samuelson and Taylor battled throughout the entire 1.5-kilometer sprint course with Samuelson outsprinting Taylor in the final yards. Leonard was third, and Holly Bushman of Burke Mountain Academy finished in fourth place.