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Ian Nesbitt/Dartmouth College Athletics

Skiing for Dartmouth College, Patrick Caldwell (3) won the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle race at the NCAA Skiing Championships at Lake Placid, N.Y.


With NCAA win, Patrick Caldwell carries on family’s nordic ski legacy

The Caldwell family of Putney has had a huge impact on nordic skiing in the United States.

John H. Caldwell was a Winter Olympics competitor in 1952 and coached the U.S. nordic team in five Olympics. The longtime coach of The Putney School’s nordic program, he trained some of the greatest skiers in U.S. history and literally wrote the book — The Cross-Country Ski Book, to be precise — on the sport.

Tim Caldwell, John’s son, competed in four Winter Olympics and was part of the era of the 1970s and early 1980s when The Putney School produced some of the best nordic skiers in the world.

Tim’s sister, the late Jennifer Caldwell, was the women’s champion of the 1983 American Birkebeiner, a famed ski marathon race held annually in Wisconsin.

And Patrick Caldwell, John’s grandson and Tim’s son, is continuing the family legacy.

Patrick, who skis for Dartmouth College, turned in a standout performance at the recent NCAA Skiing Championships, held in Lake Placid, N.Y., on March 11-14.

He reigned supreme in the men’s nordic 10-kilometer Freestyle race, fighting to the finish to win by just two seconds. He also finished ninth in the 20-kilometer classic race.

Patrick, who grew up in Lyme, N.H., attended Hanover High School for two years before transferring to Stratton Mountain School for his final two years where his uncle, Sverre Caldwell, coaches the SMS nordic team.

Like his father and grandfather, Patrick is attending Dartmouth as a member of the Class of 2017.

There are plenty of other Caldwells on the nordic scene right now. Sverre’s daughter, Sophie Caldwell, was on the U.S. nordic team in the 2014 Winter Olympics and finished sixth in the sprint freestyle event, the best finish ever for a U.S. woman in nordic competition.

Two more of Patrick’s cousins, John “Austin” Caldwell and Isabel Caldwell, are his teammates at Dartmouth.

Patrick represented the United States in the World Junior Championships in late January and won two of his last three collegiate races, including the 20-kilometer freestyle at the NCAA East Regional. He was also named to the All-East First Team at the 2014 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association’s (EISA) End of Season awards ceremony in late February, and earned Nordic “Rookie of the Year” honors.

He was one of eight SMS alumni skiing in this year’s NCAA Championships. The others were Libby Gibson of Jamaica – Dartmouth College (SMS ’13); Elle Gilbert of Woodstock– Middlebury College (SMS ’12) Takehiro Watanabe of Sapporo, Japan – Plymouth State University (SMS ’12); Jay Ogle of Pittsfield, Mass. – University of New Hampshire (SMS ’11); Heather Mooney – Middlebury College (SMS ’11); Hallie Grossman – Bates College (SMS ’11); and Cambria McDermott – Montana State (SMS ’11).

Local rider wins championship

• It has been a good March for another alumna of the Stratton Mountain School.

Junior Madison Barrett, of West Chesterfield, N.H., won the Halfpipe competition at the Junior World Championships in China on March 15. Barrett was one of four U.S. women’s halfpipe athletes selected to compete against the top juniors from all around the world.

“This has been a standout year for Maddie,” said SMS Snowboard Program Director Ross Powers in a news release. “With her win at Junior Worlds, she has really proven that she is not only capable of competing against the best in the world, but winning at this level. We are all so proud of her.”

In the qualification round on March 14, Barrett landed second. In the finals, she landed back-to-back 540s and 360s on her second run.

Spring sports are coming

• The snow is melting off the fields around Vermont and it appears that the high school baseball and softball season will start on time, more or less.

• The Brattleboro Colonels’ softball team was scheduled to open the season at Drury High School in North Adams, Mass., on Monday, April 6, but that game has already been postponed.

Instead, the Colonels’ opener will be in Rutland on Saturday, April 11, at 11 a.m. The Colonels baseball team also plays its first game against Rutland that day, also at 11 a.m.

Colonels’ girls’ tennis is set to begin on Wednesday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m., at the BUHS courts against Burr & Burton, while the boys are scheduled to get going on Monday, April 13, at 4:30 p.m., at Rutland.

Brattleboro track & field opens on Thursday, April 9, at 4 p.m., at Mount Anthony in Bennington.

Colonels’ girls’ lacrosse begins its season on Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m., in East Longmeadow, Mass. The Colonel boys hope to start their season at Natowich Field on Tuesday, April 14, against Otter Valley.

• In Bellows Falls, the track & field team will be the first outside with a road meet at Monadnock Regional in Swanzey Center, N.H., on Friday, April 10. The Terriers will host their first home meet of the season on April 14, at 4 p.m., at Hadley Field.

The girls’ tennis team will begin with an April 11 match at 4:30 p.m. at Hartford. The Terrier boys start their season April 13, at 4:30 p.m., at Woodstock.

Terriers softball is set to begin April 10, 4:30 p.m., when they host Twin Valley.

Terriers baseball will wait until Tuesday, April 14, at 4:30 p.m., when they are scheduled to host Otter Valley at Hadley Field.

• Twin Valley baseball is also set to open April 14, at 4:30 p.m., against Springfield at Birsky-Wyman Field.

As is customary, it will be a long wait for a home game for the Wildcats. The baseball team won’t make its Baker Field debut until Monday, April 27, at 4:30 p.m., against Woodstock, while the softball team will have its first home game at the same date and time against Woodstock.

• Leland & Gray is shooting for an April 11 softball opener in Townshend at 11 a.m., against Otter Valley.

The baseball team hopes to have its home opener on Saturday, April 18 at 11 a.m. against Green Mountain.

Managing the deer herd

• Proposed changes to the length of Vermont’s archery season and the use of crossbows are two of the topics up for discussion during Vermont PBS’ next live Outdoor Journal Special: Deer Herd Management, airing Thursday, April 2, at 8 p.m.

In the live call-in special, Lawrence Pyne and an expert panel will discuss these and other proposed changes to Vermont’s deer hunting regulations – and how the changes may affect deer hunting and management strategies in the future.

Panelists will include Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department commissioner Louis Porter, Wildlife Management Program Manager and Interim Deer Project Leader Scott Darling, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board member Theresa Elmer.

The Fish & Wildlife Department recently held hearings around the state regarding the proposed changes. If you haven’t had a chance to weigh in, call in during this program or email questions in advance to The program will also be streamed live at

Tulip Trot 5k Run/Walk on May 2

• Come out and support Green Street School enrichment programs while you walk or run down neighborhood streets and the scenic Retreat trails behind Brattleboro’s famous Harris Hill ski jump. This family-friendly local 5k is in its third year and will be held rain, mud and/or shine.

The Saturday, May 2 race starts and finishes at Green Street School in Brattleboro at 10 a.m. There is also a half-mile Sprout Run for younger children before the 5K at 9:30 a.m.

There will be post-race music, refreshments, raffles and awards
. Medals will be awarded to all 5k and Sprout Run-registered school-age kids. Register by April 25 for a guaranteed race T-shirt.

For more information and to register, visit You can also register on race day from 8:30 to 9:30 am. Volunteers and spectators also very welcome!

Registration opens for Going the Distance Bike Ride

• Cyclists of all abilities can now join the sixth annual Going the Distance Bike Ride fundraising event that benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Brattleboro, held Saturday, June 27. This is not a race and is very family friendly.

Registration is open for bikers willing to travel 40, 60, or 100 miles, and raise money for our local youth organization. All routes begin at the Marlboro Graduate Center, traveling through scenic areas of Massachusetts along the Connecticut River. This popular century ride loops from Brattleboro to Northampton, Mass., and back.

All rides are fully supplied with rest stops, delicious foods and support vans. At the finish line, bikers are greeted with a full course meal and commemorative T-shirt.

Registration is free. Participants are asked to join the event’s fundraising page and help solicit sponsors for their ride. Teams are encouraged to join. Volunteers are also needed to greet bikers at rest stops.

For more information regarding bike rides or to access online registration, contact Bob Nassau at

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Originally published in The Commons issue #299 (Wednesday, April 1, 2015). This story appeared on page D4.

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