Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Paul Smith’s readies 5K trail network for Nordic, Biathlon competitions

Paul Smith’s College, working in conjunction with USA Nordic and US Biathlon, is in the position to have its new five-kilometer Nordic Trail network approved by the International Ski Federation FIS and the International Biathlon Union IBU for elite level racing.

Once the project is completed, Paul Smith’s will be the sole collegiate facility in the US with sanctioned trails for Nordic Skiing and a biathlon range on campus. This will set Paul Smith’s College on route towards its goal of becoming the top Nordic and biathlon school in the country.

The architect of the 5k trail network is Olympic trail designer John Morton.

“In the 28 years of designing recreational trails and competition venues, I have rarely seen a location with more potential for trail-based recreational activities than what currently exists at Paul Smith’s College,” said Morton. “After homologation (to approve or confirm officially), it would not be surprising to see international level competitions held on this campus.”

“Having Nordic ski trails on campus is as unique as it is wonderful for the student athletes, but it’s the quality of the terrain and the design of the trails that will make this snow pocket a must-ski course in the East,” stated Max Cobb, US Biathlon CEO. “On top of that, having this network homologated will get the attention of the biathlon community everywhere. Thank you, Paul Smith’s College for making this happen so quickly for our athletes and skiers everywhere.”

This is another milestone down for Paul Smith’s College and its education and sport initiative. An official relationship with USA Nordic and US Biathlon stems from the desire to help athletes pursue and education during their prime competitive years, allowing elite level athletes in the Adirondacks to attend a post-secondary education while improving their athletic skills.

“The new trails, along with homologation for both sports, brings us to the next level in attracting student/athletes,” said Matt Dougherty, PSC Nordic coach. “To see how far we’ve come and how fast we’ve moved is indicative of the commitments we have all made, from our school’s leadership to our professors and athletic department personnel.”

“Having a Nordic facility of this caliber at Paul Smith’s College is an incredible asset for athletes to train and compete while pursuing a world class education,” stated Demong, from nearby Vermontville. “Hats off to the team who put together this incredible plan and executed it quickly and efficiently. Also, having the trails certified internationally definitely gives the complex an elevated presence in Nordic skiing. We can’t wait to show the world what a resource Paul Smith’s College has to offer.”

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

4 Responses

  1. Todd Eastman says:

    The new trails are incredible.

    The expansion of the trail system is the biggest improvement to groomed cross country skiing in the Tri-Lakes region since the upgrades at Mt. Van Hovenberg prior to the 1980 Olympics.

  2. Lori J Adams says:

    A dear friend of mine was Paul Smith’s first student. I wish he were here to read this…he would be thrilled!

    • David Blye says:

      Could you share who that first student was? From a Paul Smith’s College Alumni and Trustee. thanks.

      • Lori J Adams says:

        His name was John Engelken. I believe he wrote a short article about his first few day’s experience and it was published on the back page of Paul Smith’s magazine. He was always very proud to share stories of his experiences at the college. He was a good man…

        Sorry it took so long to answer your post…I didn’t see it…holidays and all.

        Lori Adams