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Empire State Games — The Altamont Enterprise, February 19, 2009


Winter through the ages, three generations take to the snow on skis

By Saranac Hale Spencer

LAKE PLACID — Tradition follows a course in the Whalen family.

Chris Whalen finished the cross-country trail at the Empire State Games last weekend on a pair of his father’s skis from the 1970s.  They have fish scales on the bottom, so he was a little slower than his competitors, coming in 30th in his division, Whalen said, but he didn’t seem to mind.

“The competition is fun,” he said, “but that’s new.”  Whalen began skiing cross-country two years ago when he went with friends to the snow-covered Guilderland golf course.  Since then, his father, Altamont Trustee Dean Whalen, has taken him to Lapland Lake, a cross-country ski area in the Adirondacks.

This year, Whalen became part of Guilderland High School’s Nordic ski team, which complements his experience on the cross-country running team.  “The mentality is all the same,” he said of the two sports.

Skiing has run in the Whalen family; a ski club outing more than 50 years ago acquainted his grandparents with one another.

His family still comes together around skiing, it is one of the things he likes best about Lapland Lake, Whalen said.

The course Whalen skied at the Games was different than many of the ones he had raced on — with lots of shallow hills and few flats, which he liked.

“Everybody’s really friendly,” Whalen said of his time at the Games.  “It’s really nice that everybody just mingles.”

Results

The following local athletes competed in the cross-country races at this year’s Games:

— Courtney Davis won two silver medals, one for her finish with a time of 18:09 in the scholastic women’s freestyle 5K and the other for second-place finish in the pursuit — also she came in sixth, with a time of 21:19, in the women’s scholastic classic 5K;

— Allie Dimura won a bronze medal for her third-place finish in the pursuit — she finished fourth, with a time of 20:52, in the women’s scholastic classic 5K and finished sixth, with a time of 18:41, in the scholastic women’s freestyle 5K;

— Andrew Klug placed fourth, with a time of 17:09, in the men’s scholastic classic 5K; placed eighth, with a time of 15:42 in the men’s scholastic freestyle 5K; and placed fifth in the pursuit;

— Bryan Dyer came in 28th, with a time of 19:49, in the men’s scholastic classic 5K; came in 24th, with a time of 17:25 in the men’s scholastic freestyle 5K; and came in 22nd in the pursuit;

— Whalen finished 35th, with a time of 21:29, in the scholastic men’s classic 5K; finished 33rd, with a time of 18:39, in the scholastic men’s freestyle 5K; and finished 30th in the pursuit;

— Casey Gerety placed 10th, with a time of 21:33, in the women’s scholastic classic 5K; placed 12th, with a time of 19:45, in the scholastic women’s freestyle 5K; and placed 10th in the pursuit;

— Lauren Oliver finished 26th, with a time of 24:52, in the women’s scholastic classic 5K; finished 21st, with a time of 22:16 in the women’s scholastic freestyle 5K; and finished 23rd in the pursuit; and

— Sam Smith came in 28th, with a time of 25:06, in the women’s scholastic classic 5K; came in 23rd, with a time of 22:41, in the scholastic women’s freestyle 5K; and placed 26th in the pursuit.


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