Local skiers raised the bar yet again this winter as every school from our coverage area managed to bring home some hardware.
Forecaster Country dominance on the slopes and trails continues.
Here’s a look at some heroic performances in all three classes:
Class A-Rangers simply perfect
The Greely girls’ Alpine team might have just completed the most impressive title run of any team in any sport this winter.
The Rangers ran roughshod over some very good Western Maine Conference competition (as well as other teams) in the regular season, taking every meet, going 15-0 and defeating 27 other squads. In their nine WMC meets, Greely had all four scorers in the top 10 and in one meet, it had four girls among the top five finishers. The Rangers won all four races at Mt. Abram and were at their best at the Class A state meet at Big Rock in Mars Hill.
The fun started with the giant slalom last Tuesday, where Greely posted 26 points, to beat Mt. Blue (46) and seven other teams. Individually, Maddie Whittier (a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 30.16 seconds) and Elyse Dinan (1:31.19) went 1-2. Cat Ferguson (eighth, 1:34.16) and Jill Booth (15th, 1:37.13) also scored.
The slalom was Wednesday and the Rangers wound up with 31 points (26 better than Kennebunk) for an overall score of 57, which easily wrapped up the crown (Kennebunk and Edward Little tied for second with 115). Whittier placed third (1:34.14), Booth moved up to seventh (1:38.53), Dinan finished ninth (1:39.09) and Jordan Ouellette placed 12th (1:41.52).
Longtime coach Mark Ouellette suggested that this year’s triumph could become a regular occurrence.
“We graduate three, but only one was a scorer at states, so we should have a three-year run with the numbers coming up and the athletes returning,” he said. “Many coaches have been giving (the Greely girls) accolades.”
On the boys’ side, Greely was fifth with 105 points in the giant slalom, seventh with 104 points in the slalom and sixth overall with 209 (Skowhegan was first with 134). In the GS, Shane Delbianco was the top Ranger (seventh, 1:36.58). Delbianco finished ninth in the slalom (1:28.49).
“The boys skied very well,” said Ouellette. “We’ll lose one, but hopefully have one return from private school and add some new freshmen. With some major improvements we should be able to compete.”
On the Nordic side, the boys were fourth in both the freestyle and classical and fourth overall (Fryeburg was the champion). Individually, Connor Regan was fourth in the freestyle (13 minutes, 46.6 seconds) and runner-up in the classical race (15:17.6).
The Greely girls’ Nordic team had a sixth-place showing in the freestyle and a fifth in the classic and wound up sixth overall (Mt. Blue was champion). Individually, Audrey Parolin came in 23rd in both the classical (22:05.9) and the freestyle (19:55.4).
In the combined standings, the Greely girls were third with 288 points (Mt. Blue won with 171 and Edward Little had 187). The boys had 369 points and were also third (Mt. Blue had 222 and Oxford Hills 354).
In the skimeister competition (which includes both Alpine and both Nordic races), Dinan won the girls’ title with a score of 73. Richard Judge was sixth on the boys’ side with 143 points. Hampden Academy’s Ethan Burke was first with 18.
Class B-Clippers and Yachtsmen rule again
Falmouth and Yarmouth have created an exciting ski rivalry in recent seasons and both programs were at their best at the Class B state meet in Mt. Abram and Black Mountain.
On the first day, Falmouth won the boys’ giant slalom with 36 points, while Yarmouth was third with 64. Falmouth’s Joseph Lesniak came in fourth individually (1:36.80). Yarmouth’s Drew Grout was right behind in fifth (1:36.90). Austin Couch (seventh, 1:39.20) and Luke Andrews (10th, 1:40.70) also had top 10 finishes for the Yachtsmen.
Falmouth then took the slalom as well with 26 points, to easily take the Alpine crown with 62. Yarmouth was ninth in the slalom and sixth overall in Alpine. In that final race, Falmouth’s Alexander Gowen (1:15.21) and Lesniak (1:15.35) finished third and fourth, respectively. Weston Scott was sixth (1:18.28). The Clippers’ top finisher was Ben Woodbury (15th, 1:27.53).
On the Nordic side, in the freestyle, Yarmouth had 35 points to finish four behind Caribou. Falmouth (38) was third. Individually, Yarmouth’s Jack Elder was runner-up with a time of 12:43.9. Falmouth was paced by Jackson Bloch (12:59.8).
In the classic, Yarmouth lost by a point to Caribou (27-28). Falmouth (59) came in fourth. As a result, the Clippers finished the combined Nordic standings with 63 points, five behind Caribou. Falmouth (97) wound up third. In the classic race, Yarmouth’s Thomas Sullivan came in third (14:42.9) and Elder was fifth (15:00.3). For the Yachtsmen, Bloch tied for sixth (15:04.6).
In the skimeister competition, Yarmouth’s Woodbury came in third.
In the final team standings, Falmouth took the championship with 159 points.
“Depth was the boys’ strength this year,” said Yachtsmen coach Tip Kimball. “We’re still a young team, losing only one of our top skiers to graduation.Alex Gowen returned from injury to finish third in the slalom. Luke Andrews broke his thumb in the final practice, but finished 10th in the GS, skiing with a cast.
Yarmouth was runner-up with 250 points.
“The boys’ Alpine team will have two strong skiers in Drew Grout and Matt Highland back to help bring the Alpine boys back to the podium,” said longtime Clippers coach Bob Morse. “I wish to thank Alpine coach, Bob Grout, for another outstanding season, Ryan (R.J). Jacobson, for his expertise and his wax crew of Mike Totta and J..B Sullivan for their strong waxing arms. Special thanks to the Yarmouth Ski Club for the tremendous support of the program.”
Yarmouth had more luck on the girls’ side, bringing home more hardware for the school’s overstuffed trophy case.
In the GS, the Clippers, behind Smythe Eddy (fifth, 1:43.61) and Becca Bell (seventh, 1:47.03), Claudia Lockwood (ninth, 1:48.67) and Taylor Hornney (10th, 1:48.84) had enough to down the Yachtsmen (31-39), who were paced by runner-up Leika Scott (1:36.91) and Allie Lycan (eighth, 1:48.29).
In the slalom, Yarmouth beat Falmouth again, 40-55, to win the Alpine crown, 71-94. Scott was again second (1:24.97). Eddy led the Clippers with a fourth-place finish (1:26.88).
On the Nordic side, in the freestyle, Falmouth’s Sarah Abramson was the champion with a time of 14:12.9. Yarmouth was paced by Bell (fourth, 15:25.2), Sarah Becker (fifth, 15:25.3) and Caitlin Crawford (sixth, 16:05.3) as it came in first with 24 points. The Yachtsmen were second with 44 points. Catherine Hebson also made the top 10 (eighth, 16:09.2).
In the classic, the Clippers wrapped up the Nordic crown by scoring 24 points, which gave them 48. The Yachtsmen had 56 points in that discipline to come in fourth, but their 100 total Nordic points was good for second. Individually, in the classic, Abramson came in second (16:55.8). Hebson was sixth (17:53). For Yarmouth, Bell placed fourth (17:23.9), Becker fifth (17:29.4), Ali Totta seventh (18:01.5) and Tara Humphries eighth (18:14.8).
Bell repeated as skimeister champion with 25 points. Falmouth’s Scott was third (57).
The final team scores saw Yarmouth crowned champion with 119 points.
“It was a super job by the Alpine and Nordic teams,” said Morse. The Senior leadership helped keep the skiers focused and enabled the girls to dominate in both the Alpine & Nordic races. The girls’ Nordic team went undefeated this season. Quite a feat.
“Both teams look to be strong enough to give a good challenge to Caribou again next year. The girls’ Alpine team has two great skiers coming back in Claudia Lockwood and Taylor Hornney, but will need some help from the younger skiers to defend its title.”
Falmouth was runner-up in Class B with 194 points.
“Both teams are fired up and ready for next year,” Kimball said. “Both coach Terry Ionta and I are expecting these guys and girls to be tough teams to beat for at a while to come.”
Class C-Three for the show
At the Class C state meet at Saddleback and Rangeley Trails Center, Freeport continued its recent excellence.
In the boys’ GS, Freeport’s Ryan Collet was runner-up (1:20.68) as the Falcons edged Central Aroostook by a point. In the slalom, Freeport was fifth, dropping it to third in the overall Alpine standings. Collet was second again in that race (1:09.86).
Freeport was joined in Nordic competition by Merriconeag and North Yarmouth Academy.
In the freestyle, the Panthers were first with 31 points, while the Falcons were second with 41 and Merriconeag fourth with 81. NYA’s Ian Moore won the race in 14:38.1. Merriconeag’s Jack Pierce was runner-up (15:16.1). Freeport’s Max Jennings was third (15:19.3).
In the classic, NYA locked up its first-ever championship by scoring 18 points, for a total of 49. Freeport had 45 to come in second overall with 86, while Merriconeag’s 75 gave it 156 and the fourth spot. This time, the Panthers were led by Cam Regan, who edged Moore for top individual honors (16:11.5 to 16:21.4). Scott Ross was fourth for the Falcons (17:16.9). Pierce was eighth (17:28.2).
The Panthers have a great shot at repeating next winter.
“We are not losing any skiers next year, as the state team was made up of six juniors and freshman Ian Moore, so we look forward to a strong season in 2011-2012,” said NYA coach Kalie Dunn.
In the skimeister standings, Freeport’s Evan LaMarre came in fifth.
Freeport took the overall team title with 225 points, holding off Fort Kent by 17.
On the girls’ side, Freeport didn’t quite have the same combined success, but still excelled by dominating on the mountain, while Merriconeag made noise on the Nordic side.
The Falcons’ Alpine team had 16 points in both the GS and slalom and easily took the title with 32 points. Ellyn Pier was runner-up in the GS (1:24.85) and Elly Bengtsson was close behind in third position (1:24.95). Sarah Pier came in sixth (1:32.53) and Taylor Enrico was seventh (1:32.85). In the slalom, Bengtsson was second (1:16.13) and Pier third (1:21.18). Enrico came in fourth (1:22.73) and Sarah Pier seventh (1:30.20).
On the Nordic side, Merriconeag won the freestyle with 21 points and the classic with 14 for a championship team total of 35. Freeport was fourth with 138. NYA didn’t score as a team.
In the freestyle, Merriconeag had the top two finishers in Zoe Chace-Donahue (17:48.2) and Emeli Chace-Donahue (18:01.1). Teagan Wu (fifth, 19:00.2) also made the top 10. The Falcons were paced by Emily Martin (ninth, 20:01.1).
In the classic, Zoe Chace-Donahue won again (19:21.9) and Emeli Chace-Donahue was again runner-up (20:27.2). Wu moved up to fourth (20:55.2) and Carlin Tindall placed seventh (21:28.8). For Freeport, Martin came in 10th (21:58.0).
Freeport’s Lily LaMarre tied for fourth in the skimeister standings. Teammate Mia Thomas was seventh.
In the final team standings, the Falcons were second to Fort Kent, 144-172.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @foresports
Falmouth’s Sarah Abramson attacks High School Hill at Black Mountain in the Class B freestyle Nordic race in last week’s state meet. Abramson won the title.
The North Yarmouth Academy boys’ Nordic ski team won the Class C state championship for the first time this winter and celebrated with its hardware afterwards.