The theme for this blog post will be a little highlight of local star (and MNC alum) Ben Lustgarten. Ben skied for Burlington HS and trained with MNC in the summers during his years as a Junior athlete. As a collegiate athlete at Middlebury Ben scored a place at NCAAs all 4 years of his career, and achieved a top-10 at US Nationals before graduating and becoming a professional ski racer.
After a few years racing with the Sun Valley Gold Team, Ben returned to his home state of Vermont last year to compete as a member of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. Needless to say, it was a great year as Ben skied away to a convincing victory in the 30k classic mass start at US Nationals in Soldier Hollow, Utah.
Along with a few strong Supertour wins and podiums, Ben was selected to compete at the 2017 World Championships in Lahti, Finland, as well as the 3rd and 4th period of World Cups in Europe and Quebec. Hard to not call that a best-ever season (so far!).
You can check out Ben’s team profile on the GRP by clicking HERE
So what is Ben up to right now? Well, since he is based in Vermont again Ben is nearby! Last week Ben shot me an email saying that he was in town and wondering what we were up to. As it turns out, both Ben and MNC were scheduled for a skate ski last Tuesday morning, so we met up at the Allen Brook School in Williston for a group workout.
After some warmup agility and mobility, Ben helped lead us in some drills and activation processes while going over some technique that he and the Green Racing Project had been working on. From there we took a tour of our favorite neighborhoods and chatted about all sorts of stuff. The group took turns skiing right behind Ben as we made our way around Southridge.
After the session Ben was nice enough to do a pass in front of the camera along the bike path, and then we each took a turn on the same stretch of trail to see how we could pick up on some of Ben’s best qualities. It’s always hard to ski relaxed when you know the camera is on you but it’s also great to ski right with the best. Some key things we need to keep working on are the ever-important 1-foot glide and weight shift, along with some more dynamic knee drive and forward body position. Luckily we are always looking toward drills, analysis, and more to help us get there.
In addition to the occasional drop-in at practice, Ben is also working to put together a rollerski clinic day with Mansfield Nordic and Skirack at the Range. So, although the official flyer has not been published (look for it from Skirack soon) we’re excited to announce that this clinic will take place on Tuesday, July 25th up at the Range! So as the schedule gets finalized we hope some skiers will check it out, whether you’re a Junior or Master skier!
Thanks for skiing with us Ben!