The Parkway was not only well-represented at the youth cross-country Bill Koch Festival in Vermont, but residents also saw their share of success, as well.
West Roxbury 9-year-old Cooper Hartmann won the festival's 2K individual race for third- and fourth-grade boys with a time of 0:12:37.5. In addition, he and Jamaica Plain 10-year-old Sam Anderson finished in second-place in the 2x2K relay for that age group.
Hartmann said that his coach, Jim Stock of the Eastern Massachusetts Bill Koch League, prepared him well for the tournament, but he did not know what kind of success he would find.
"There were so many clubs at the festival with some really great skiers," he said.
For Anderson, who finished 23rd in the 2K individual race, the experience was very memorable.
"To get second place at the festival was very cool," he said.
The boys both consider skiing a passion, but they come from different backgrounds in the sport. Anderson has been hitting the trails for as long as he can remember - "I've been cross-country skiing since I was able to walk," he said, while Hartmann picked the sport up while out with his parents, who ski recreationally, at a Weston golf course. After seeing some talented older skiers on the snow-covered links, he told his father that he wanted to pursue the sport.
It is a testament to both boys' talent and hard work that they were able to find such success while skiing against competitors from the more mountainous regions in northern New England. Hartmann's father Christopher indicated that his son's success is reasonable, though, writing in an e-mail that Cooper "feels at home in the mountains." Hartmann also hopes to some day ski in the Junior Olympics, according to his father.
Hartmann and Anderson first met at the relay, but they hit it off immediately. The boys hope to stay in touch and get together outside of skiing.