The reigning Times Argus Runner of the Year made an impressive transition to the Nordic ski season by earning four top-five finishes during Vermont Cup races. Competing for the Mansfield Nordic Club, Thurston placed fourth out of 35th finishers to kick off the season during an 8.8-kilometer classic race at the Craftsbury Rodrigues Cup. She finished behind a trio of former NCAA All-Americans. Thurston finished second and fifth during a pair of sprints Saturday at the Prospect Mountain Vermont Cup. The 17-year-old placed first out of 26 racers Sunday during a Vermont Cup 10-kilometer classic event. Next week Thurston will travel to Finland to prepare for junior world championships.