Here are my picks for the top snowshoe racers in the Northeast. I’m hoping that most of them will come mix it up at the Northeast Federation championship @ Northfield Mountain on 02-26-11. The 5.5 mile race will have two brutal climbs while covering 4.5 miles of single-track. So here are my picks for the top 20 in the Northeast.
The first group are guys who I think have a great shot at winning on any given weekend.
Jim Johnson (CMS) has run 11 races this year and won nine of them. Double-J has a lot of talent and is not only fast but also a strong climber. He is preparing for SS Nationals and could really have a breakthrough there.
Tim Van Orden (CMS) has five wins in 11 races. Tim is easily the top master in the Northeast. He is also preparing for Nationals where he should be in a battle for the top age group spot. Image what he could do if he ate a real meal?
Jeff Beck has three wins in the three races he’s done in the Syracuse area. He is a proven talent having finished second at the Nationals in 2008.
Josh Ferenc (BAA) has only raced once this winter and won handily. Josh seems to snowshoe every year but never runs more than a couple of races. Too bad, he could probably make the US team and get a fancy USA singlet J
Nicholas Wheeler (Adidas) ran his first snowshoe race early this season and took home the victory. He may be the fastest guy coming to the Northeast championships who doesn’t own a pair of snowshoes. This guy could really rip up the course.
Kevin Tilton (CMS) has one win in three races. Kevin has won five times at Sidehiller. No one in the history of WMAC has five wins at one race. Oddly enough, those are Kevin’s ONLY wins in WMAC (the fact that he lives way up north in the shadow of Mt Washington may have something to do with that). Kevin is preparing for Nationals and is having a very good winter of training.
Judson Cake (Acidotic) has two wins in six races. Ran a very fast marathon last year and seems to be getting into faster shape as the season progresses.
Ben Nephew (CMS) has one win in two races. Ben would probably prefer longer races (he is an excellent ultra runner) but his strength carries over to even the shorter snowshoe races. Ben has finished as high as second place in the National championships.
Matt Westerlund has one win in three races. He is gaining momentum as the season progresses.
The next group are guys who also have a great deal of talent but haven’t gotten a win this year. I think on the right day any of them could break through.
Greg Hammett (CMS) has only raced once this year on the tough Northfield course. I hope he comes back for the longer tougher version on the 26th. Longer and tougher are where Greg excels, although his indoor track times show he also has a lot of speed!
Ross Krause (RunReg.com) has run four WMAC races and had solid performances at all of them.
Tim Cox (Acidotic) has raced three times so far this winter, all in NH series races. He is coming back from an injury in December and undoubtedly will be a contender if he races at the NH championships. He had equipment issues at his last race and still managed a fourth place finish at Horse Hill.
Ryan Kelly (Acidotic) has raced five times and has improved with each performance. Acidotic has the most consistent team racing this winter.
Weslye Dinnan (Quick fix) has raced three times. Very solid run at Sidehiller against a solid field.
Geoff Cunningham (Acidotic) has race four times. His best race was a solid second place to Cake in a Maine race.
Tim Mahoney (CMS) has raced seven times and seems to be in the hunt consistently.
Dave Dunham (CMS) has raced eight times and finished as high as third place. Only Tim Van Orden has topped him in the masters competition.
James Pawlicki (CMS) has raced twice and run well both times. Check him out on NH Chronicle descending the hill at Sidehiller.
Ken Clark (Hartford TC) has one win in 11 races. No one has amassed as many points as he has. They have a category for overall points in the Trail Series (called Stone Heads), we really need an equivalent category in snowshoe.
Connor Devine has raced 6 times and is showing he can run with the top dogs. The kid is only 17, may be one of the future stars.